Chris Eldridge

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Banks of the Ohio

Rolling, Rippling Accompaniment

One of the great things about Banks of the Ohio (or another pretty folk song) is that it presents an opportunity to use different accompanimental approaches. For instance, you could play it with a basic bass-note strum pattern, a fingerpicking pattern, or a rippling arpeggiated pattern. They would all work and sound good, each with it's own flavor. This week we're going to look at the basics of how to play the arpeggiated approach.

This is one of my favorite techniques in acoustic guitar accompaniment.




Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Chris Eldridge
Bill Monroe
Banks of the Ohio
Doc Watson
Joan Baez

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:00 Run-Through of Rhythm Accompaniment

Loop 1:10 Breakdown of Rolling, Rippling Rhythm Guitar

Loop 11:20 Practice Loop of Rolling, Rippling Accompaniment


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 12:06 Adding Strums for Accents

Loop 15:12 Closing Thoughts and Outro





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jon Jan 25, 2016

Love the lesson Chris, really starting to feel the improvement in my rhythm playing since i joined up.

Love the different approaches, my strumming always seemed a bit dull and samey, so this has been great! Cheers!

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Jan 22, 2016

Hey Allen, I'm starting to think that you're a mind reader! We'll be looking at a proper crosspicked version next week.

For this kind of accompaniment where we're playing notes in groups of 4 I tend to alternate my pickstrokes. You get a lighter, more float-y sound when you alternate. The George Shuffler approach of D-D-U is really something that is aimed at crosspicking in groups of 3 notes. There's a Tony Rice approach to this kind of accompaniment where you essentially sweep D-D-D-U for these 4 note patterns. I think I actually did it once or twice in this video. The Shuffler and Tony D-D-U or D-D-D-U approaches have a different sound. It's more powerful and assertive, and if it's done well it can sound very elegant. It's hard to do well, though. I'm planning on exploring the Shuffler and Rice right hand techniques once everyone has accepted and internalized my dogma of alternate picking. ;-)

Allen StJohn
Allen StJohn Jan 22, 2016

Another great lesson, Chris. A comment and a question. 

Seeing what you were doing with your relaxed wrist reminded me of an instructional where Norman Blake is using the same kind of loose-wristed, slightly strummy approach. More the look, actually, more than the sound.

Which brings me to my question. 
Where do you stand on strict, George Shuffler-style crosspicking: down-down-up, repeat as necessary?
Here's a cool video of George playing and talking about his style.


You use an alternating pattern for Banks of the Ohio. 
Is that because only a few of the rolls have adjacent strings, or is that your preference on pretty much all crosspicking? 

Sorry if I'm getting ahead of you again...


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