Chris Eldridge

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Whiskey Before Breakfast

Tony Rice Style Crosspicking

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Whiskey Before Breakfast > Tony Rice Style Crosspicking

We're re-issuing one of Chris's most popular lessons with re-mastered video and updated loop points. From Chris: 

This week we are continuing with a crosspicked version of the B section of Whiskey Before Breakfast. The first crosspicked "line" is something that I learned from Tony Rice from the Blake and Rice record. He plays a great voicing of a G7 that really makes that section come alive. Then we look at a crosspicked chromatic descending lick that can be used down low on the guitar in the second half. Lots of good clean fun here this week.





Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:00 Run-Through of Crosspicking Whiskey Before Breakfast


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 0:48 Introduction to the Lesson

Loop 2:50 Breakdown of B Section

Loop 17:17 Closing Thoughts






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Dan Robbins
Dan Robbins Mar 09, 2021

NOTE: I uploaded this last week, but I'm still getting "Error loading this resource," so I'm reposting the video in a different file format.

I'm a couple weeks behind the program here, Critter; I hope you don't mind an upload to last month's tune. Two clips together here, one in the low octave and one "up the neck."

You commented on my last (Gold Rush) upload that I might get more even up versus downstrokes if I pull the guitar a bit to my left to get my forearm closer to horizontal. I thought I was trying but it doesn't look that way on playback. I've noticed other people who seem to have the crook of their elbow most of the way down to the strap button, with their forearm really coming in from the side. When I've tried to do that, I find I just don't have long enough arms (on my little L-00; they do this on dreadnaughts). But that's not how you seem to hold the guitar and it's probably an exaggeration of what you meant. I need to experiment more in front of the mirror.

In any event, I find it much harder to grab bass notes than higher strings and I wonder if that would also improve with the arm repositioning you're talking about. There's the low-string stuff throughout the cross-picking version of Whiskey here, and the Tony-like lick in your intro to On and On (b3 into the G-run) is another good example of this. Your right hand looks equally relaxed floating across all 6 strings, attacking them all with a very similar-looking stroke. Getting your hand to do that must have taken a lot of very focused work, definitely something to aspire to.

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge May 13, 2021

Beautiful, Dan! Really lovely playing.

I think that the balance between your up and downstrokes is much better here. Regarding a horizontal forearm, there are indeed some people whose arms are properly horizontal when they play. But what I meant was that it is desirable for one's arm to be more horizontal than vertical because then you can meaningfully involve your elbow/forearm in the pick stroke. Which is not to say that the entire pick stroke would be coming from the actual elbow - just that your elbow and forearm would be free to contribute. The following is not exact but: when the forearm moves more or less past 45 degrees and tilts toward being more vertical then horizontal, any movement from the elbow will draw the pick along the *length* of the string rather than *across* the narrow part of the string (and toward another string above or below). The natural way to compensate is by using a lot of angle at the wrist, but that can cause its own problems because the wrist is no longer in a neutral position - it's cocked to an extreme.

The same principal applies to reaching the bass strings. Imagine your forearm at a completely horizontal position. As you move your forearm your hand will move up and down. Now imagine your forearm in a completely vertical position. As you move your forearm your hand will move side to side. So the more horizontal orientation helps here too. I'm a strong believer in an individual's contemplation in and engagement with basic principles as a path to effective learning. I think that with a little curiosity and reflection you'll find a way to make these concepts work for you. 

For what it's worth, I've always found it more difficult to manage these angles with a strap attached to the headstock than to the body. But none of this seems to be slowing you down too much - you really do sound great!



Kip Marchetti
Kip Marchetti Jan 29, 2021

You made me laugh ... "it's all just the same bag of tricks" ... Critter just do that crosspicking thing. Great lesson!

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