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LinkedIn Learning

Acoustic Guitar Lessons: 1 Picking, Fretting, & Chords

via LinkedIn Learning


Learn how to play bluegrass guitar with Grammy-winning flatpicker Bryan Sutton. Course 1 covers holding the guitar and pick, picking and fretting, and rhythm and chords.

The bluegrass style is one of the most rewarding and technically demanding ways to play guitar. Unlike acoustic guitar, it concentrates on rhythm, groove, and playing as part of an ensemble—the skills Grammy-winning flatpicker Bryan Sutton emphasizes in his series, Bluegrass Guitar Lessons. Part 1 concentrates on the fundamentals of bluegrass guitar: picking and fretting, posture, and flatpicking flow. Bryan covers everything from holding the guitar and pick to strumming, fingering the fretboard, and using downstrokes, upstrokes, and repetition to reproduce popular picking patterns. He also helps you develop a sense of rhythm, muscle memory, and consistent sound and tone, and breaks down a selection of popular bluegrass tunes that are important for the repertoire of any bluegrass guitarist.

Note: This course was recorded and produced by ArtistWorks. We are honored to host this training in our library.


  • Welcome
1. Getting Started
  • Introduction to bluegrass guitar
  • Posture
  • Tuning the guitar
2. Right- and Left-Hand Fundamentals
  • Picking hand fundamentals 1: Picking hand technique
  • Picking hand fundamentals 2: Picking arm technique
  • Fretting hand fundamentals 1: Fretting hand technique
  • Fretting hand fundamentals 2: Fretting arm technique
  • Combining picking hand and fretting hand
  • Fundamentals of practice: Part 1
  • Fundamentals of practice: Part 2
  • Fundamentals of practice: Part 3
3. Picking Pattern Exercises
  • Introduction to picking pattern exercises
  • Picking pattern: Exercise 1
  • Picking pattern: Exercise 2
  • Picking pattern: Exercise 3
4. Basic Rhythm and Chords
  • Rhythm and chords overview
  • Major chords 1: The chords G, C, and D
  • Major chords 2: The chords A and E
  • The "boom chuck" sound: Part 1
  • The "boom chuck" sound: Part 2
  • Changing chords in rhythm: Exercise 1
5. Basic Bluegrass Tunes 1
  • “You Are My Sunshine” (basic)
  • “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” (basic)
  • “Whiskey Before Breakfast” (basic): Melody, part 1
  • “Whiskey Before Breakfast” (basic): Melody, part 2
  • “Whiskey Before Breakfast” (basic): Rhythm
  • “Whiskey Before Breakfast” (basic): Performance 70 BPM
  • “Whiskey Before Breakfast” (basic): Performance 80 BPM
  • “Turkey in the Straw” (basic): Melody, part 1
  • “Turkey in the Straw” (basic): Melody, part 2
  • “Turkey in the Straw” (basic): Rhythm
  • “My Home Across the Blue Ridge Mountains” (basic)
  • “Soldiers Joy” (basic): Melody, part 1
  • "Soldiers Joy" (basic): Melody, part 2
  • "Soldiers Joy" (basic): Rhythm
  • ArtistWorks and Next Steps

Taught by

Bryan Sutton

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