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This lesson is part of the course Roots and Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar with Scott Nygaard.
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About This Course
 
Learn the essential techniques of roots and bluegrass rhythm guitar by playing classic and contemporary songs, with flatpicking technique tips and strums, bass runs, and fills.
 
 
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Some Old Day
 
This great Flatt and Scruggs song was recorded by JD Crowe and the New South on their classic self-titled album, with Tony Rice singing lead. It's a great example of a medium tempo bluegrass song played with a country swing feel. You'll learn a strum pattern that helps accent the swing feel, as well as some bass runs to use at the ends of phrases. Scott plays the song in D and looks at some different ways to finger the A and A7 chords. Finally, he sings the whole song through so you can play along with him.
 
 
 
The Roots and Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar Subscription Includes:
  • More than 30 in-depth rhythm guitar video lessons
  • Tab/notation with rhythm patterns and bass runs for every lesson
  • More than 20 complete songs with chords and lyrics
  • Lessons in bluegrass, old-time, country, country rock, and western swing styles
  • High-quality video with multiple camera angles so you can see closeups of both hands in action
 
 
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Pretty Polly  
 
Pretty Polly  
 
Pretty Polly
Pretty Polly
 
The traditional murder ballad “Pretty Polly” has been recorded by numerous musicians, including Ralph Stanley, the Byrds, Tim O’Brien, and many others. It has three-line verses that follow the format of many blues songs, where the second line is a repeat of the first, but unlike a standard blues progressions, “Pretty Polly” is usually played with just one main chord, or one chord with a quick V chord at the end. And the tonality can change, depending on the version. It’s often sung using a straight minor pentatonic scale but many singers use both the minor and major third for more of a bluesy sound than straight minor, and there are even versions that use the major third and major seventh. In this lesson, you’ll learn to play “Pretty Polly” in dropped-D tuning with a few different bass run fills. Scott starts by showing you a simple vamp/intro to get you going and then a half-measure fill you can play after the first and third lines. Then you’ll learn some one-measure and three-measure fills you can play between verses. Scott also shows you a cool “capo trick” you can use if you want to get the sound of dropped-D tuning in the key of E by using a partial capo that covers just the top five strings.

  "Pretty Polly" Bass Runs and Fills (Available to subscribers)
 
  "Pretty Polly" Lyrics (Available to subscribers)
 
 
 
Guitar Articles
 
 

The multi-instrumentalist and songwriter plays a twin fiddle version of the song “Lizard In the Spring,” live in the LR Baggs Nashville studio.
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Contemporary fingerstyle legend interprets the early jazz classic.
 
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