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Elevate Your Rhythm: Your Path To Dynamic, Expressive Picking

Dear Fellow Guitar Enthusiast, 

Have you ever felt like your guitar has become a silent witness to your frustration? Like each time you pick it up, the strings taunt your fingers to play something more expressive, more filled with emotion than a basic strum pattern could ever hope of accomplishing? 

Have you felt limited, or even trapped by your inability to express through the strings the music you're feeling inside? 

You're not alone. 

As a fellow guitar enthusiast who understands the struggles of dry seasons in your musical journey, I want to extend a hand and share something that might just reignite the passion you have for this instrument.

It all has to do with something I call: 

The Dynamic Spectrum

If you're anything like me, the very FIRST thing you ever did on a guitar was learn an E minor chord (or one of the other simplest chords of all time), and then give it a nice big six-string strum. 


Well, that's a great start, and for a while, many of us hang out on that form of expression. The whole song is Strum... Strum... But really, that is just one single slice of an entire SPECTRUM of expressive possibilities. 

Think of the color spectrum, since we're all familiar with that imagery. Big Strumming is kind of like the hot red zone, and way over on the other side is the softest of single notes.. maybe even just one note played with passion! 

Have another look at that spectrum - how many individual colors do you see? 

It's a bit of a trick question, because one just keeps on blending into the next, seamlessly. Now imagine that every individual color shade on the spectrum is like a picking or strumming technique.

Most guitar players initially put their efforts into learning more chords, then learning as many songs as they can. 

Few take the time to really develop their full spectrum of expressive tools. I can't tell you how many guitar players I have heard who can play tons of songs, and yet each song ends up sounding frustratingly similar to the last one. 

The strum patterns are all similar, the tempo is similar, the rhythm follows the same Down, Down Up, Down, Down Up pattern over and over. (or whatever their favorite strum pattern is). 

Or perhaps they're more into the softer approach, and songs come out as a collection of thumb-strummed chords put together into whatever strumming arrangement works within their ability to form the chords on time. (In other words, nothing recognizably rhythmic). 

Now please don't get me wrong - I have nothing against players in this category, I'm merely trying to paint a picture, to help us begin to see the path of progress. In fact, if I had to literally create a picture of what I just described, these guitarist's expressive toolboxes might look something like this: 

Regardless of where on the spectrum your own comfort zone lies (that will be the biggest shaded area), my guess is there are gaps where you find it tricky to play, or perhaps hard to transition through. This leads us to always jump into the closest available comfort zone, and hang out there for a while. 

The more dynamic a player is, the fuller their spectrum appears, and they can navigate the entire spectrum with EASE, and AT WILL. 

Want to go from a soft part of a song, and gradually ramp things up until it gets big? 

A dynamic player can do that. Seamlessly.

And the ability to play expressively is incredibly rewarding.

Picking The Right Problem

If I had to guess, I would say that most guitar players' comfort zones lie somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, probably leaning heavily in the direction of strumming. 

That's completely natural, because a guitar is built for, well, strumming! It's a beautiful thing. 

However, in addition to strumming, every guitar player ought to aspire to become a versatile picker, because there's something uniquely special about picking individual notes instead of always strumming a bunch at once.

You can highlight the subtleties in ways that you just can't do with strumming alone. Picking gives you the ability to control the dynamics and nuance of each individual note that you play. You can emphasize specific tones, add vibrato, or attack each note with a different intensity, adding to the overall depth of the music. 

So many of the great guitar songs we all know and love lean heavily on picking - from soft and mellow to faster ones. Picking doesn't have to mean mellow - think of a fast bluegrass song for example! 

Some time ago I surveyed my subscribers, asking what they needed most to help them improve on their guitars. The majority answered that they wanted to make PROGRESS WITH PICKING! 

Well my friends, that's why we're here today! 

I wanted to help you develop that picking side of the spectrum, and give you creative tools to help you navigate your way SEAMLESSLY from one side of the spectrum to the other, whenever you want, even right in the middle of a song! 

The Rhythm Player's Guide to Picking

The Rhythm Player's Guide to Picking is designed for the intermediate, or "experienced beginner" player. It is not a straight up beginner course, but neither is it a fingerpicking course. We cover three main styles: flat picking, hybrid picking, and a style that I call "Melodic Pulse Picking."

In addition, expect loads of helpful tips on things like muting, choosing chord modifications and even how to go about building mini riffs to use in your playing. 

You'll find tabs for everything and there are even six levels (tempos) of play along examples for every example in the course, so you can start as slow as you need to, and work your way up easily. 

This is a good sized course - there are nearly six hours of videos inside, so be prepared to put some time in and watch your skills grow! The videos average about ten minutes each though, so everything is broken into pieces that you can comfortably do at your own pace. In addition, the course tracker will keep track of what you've done and what you have left, making it really easy to pick up where you left off. 

  • Flat Picking: This is simply the use of a plectrum, or pick, to play single notes from a chord. We're not talking about bluegrass styles, though some people do call that flat picking. We're looking at picking patterns in a broader sense - patterns that would be appropriate for all kinds of different genres, from blues to rock to country and all stops in between. 
  • Hybrid Picking: I love hybrid picking, because it gives me all that flat picking has to offer, PLUS many of the benefits of using fingers as well! We'll learn how to pick multiple strings at the same time (double stops), and how that gives us new creative techniques to add further expression. 
  • Melodic Pulse Picking: This is a picking style that I have developed over decades of playing. It is incredibly versatile and flexible, allowing for soft, rhythmic passages and scaling seamlessly to wherever you want on the spectrum. It works great with mini-melodies, giving you an even broader way to put your unique musical stamp on any song. 

Melodic Pulse Picking

When I was just learning to play guitar, my biggest musical influence was a friend of mine. I absolutely loved the way he played acoustic guitar - unlike anyone else I knew. 

He had a way of picking songs that most people would be strumming, and yet he had strums in there too... in fact, if you listened closely, there was a LOT going on whenever he played, even on simple songs. 

There was movement in the chords, there was a rhythm in the low end of the chord, there were mini melodies happening in the higher strings... all seamlessly woven together into something special. 

Well, I never got a chance to sit my friend down to teach me his style, but long after he moved away, I kept thinking about how I could make my playing sound like his. Over the years my skills grew and I found new ways to pull in bits and pieces of what I remembered into my own playing. 

In time, it became my own style, and I bet it I use it somewhere on at least half of the songs I play. 

Yes, I realize that's a lot. But did I mention it's versatile? Sometimes I'll use it for just a bar, then I'm right back to strumming, and other times, it's my go-to pattern for most of the song. It can become whatever I want it to be, in the moment - and I can teach YOU how to use it too!

There are four main components of Melodic Pulse Picking:

  • The Root Note: Nothing sets the direction for a picking or strumming pattern like a strong root note! We'll often pair this part with a hammer on, lead-in riff, or other expressive technique to add a bit of extra flavor. 
  • The Drone: sometimes this is mini-strums, sometimes it's a single note in the middle strings, and sometimes it's the root note again, but always we're coming back re-establishing "home base" for the chord. This adds texture and tons of rhythmic "backdrop" for the rest to shine. 
  • The Mini-Melodies: These are notes that are highlighted, or accented, and allowed to stand above the rest of the chord. This produces the effect of having a mini-melody right there within your chord!
  • Chord Modifications: This is crucial to helping establish a feeling of movement and variety. Once you know the secret to modifying any chord on the fly, your playing will   

Watch Your Musical Expression Grow

Here are some of the things you can expect to see growing in your own guitar playing as you progress through the Rhythm Player's Guide to Picking: 

  • Precision & Mastery: You'll gain unparalleled control over your guitar picking, effortlessly navigating diverse rhythms with precision.
  • Versatility Unleashed: Become a musical chameleon! Master a hybrid approach, seamlessly blending pick and finger techniques, ensuring you're well-equipped to tackle an array of musical styles and techniques.
  • Dynamic Range: Immerse yourself in the full spectrum of dynamics, from full-bodied strumming to gentle picking. Your playing will evolve into a rich tapestry of expression and emotion.
  • Effortless Efficiency: Discover a technique that not only enhances your playing but also simplifies complex rhythms, making them second nature.
  • Articulation & Emotion: Craft your unique voice as a guitarist with nuanced articulation and expressive playing, allowing your music to resonate with depth and feeling.
  • Rhythmic Confidence: Build a rock-solid foundation in rhythm playing, boosting your confidence to jam with bands or perform live effortlessly.
  • Intermediate Advancement: Designed specifically for intermediate players, this course is designed to challenge and elevate your playing, taking you to new heights.
  • Adaptability: Seamlessly adapt to various playing situations and musical contexts. Our techniques ensure you're always ready to shine, no matter the setting.
  • Performance-Ready Skills: Stand out in live performances or jam sessions, equipped with impeccable picking abilities and dynamic control.
  • Creative Exploration: Ignite your creative spark! A solid foundation in picking techniques will inspire fresh ideas and innovations within your playing style.

How Is The Course Delivered?

As soon as you purchase the Rhythm Player's Guide to Picking, you will be given a username and password for our member's area. If you are a returning customer, the course will be added to your existing account. Once you login, you will see the Member Dashboard, where all our courses can be found. 

From here it is just one click to the Rhythm Player's Guide to Picking homepage, where you will see the full course outline. Every section has a video and a written component that goes with it. The PDF of the course book is provided, so if you wish to print this out to work through as you watch the video, you can do that. 

As you complete sections, you can mark them complete and the system will track your progress, making it easy to come back exactly where you left off. You can ask questions directly on the same page as well - in fact, I encourage you to ask as many as you want! 

The course is nearly seven hours in total, but is strategically broken into bite-sized pieces, making it very easy to take at your own pace. In face, most of the video sections are under ten minutes, making it very easy to watch a chunk, then practice it right after. 

What Devices Does It Work With?

You can access the course with anything that has an internet connection and allows you to login to our website. Phones, tables, computers, laptop - even smart TV's that allow surfing the web will work just fine. Where it's relevant, tab and even chord diagrams have been added on-screen, and there are three camera angles to ensure that you'll always have a good view of the action!

Is This Course Too Advanced FOR ME?

I've bought plenty of courses online, so I'm well familiar with the question of "is this going to be too advanced for me?" or "Is it too basic and below where I'm at?"

So, here's where you should be at already with your playing:

The most important pre-requisite is a good functional command of the basic open chords. We will be learning a lot of cool chord modifications, but it all rests on your ability to play the basic chord without difficulty. This course is about picking so you want to be able to focus most of your attention on your picking hand, not having to worry too much about your fretting hand. 

Basic Guitar Theory - Surprise! You don't actually need any theory for this course, though as always, the more you know, you will always find that helpful. We will be dealing with topics where an understanding of music theory will be helpful, though I'll do my best to provide quick refreshers where appropriate. 

Rhythm - the better you understand how rhythm works, how beats are fractioned, etc, the more it will help you; however we will cover this briefly so if you're not a rhythm pro, that's no problem! 

Is This Course Too Basic FOR ME?

It's actually pretty hard to pin a course or a guitar player down to a specific skill level, like beginner, intermediate, or advanced. The reason is that those terms carry different meanings to different people. 

That said, I think this course is ideal for an "experienced beginner" to intermediate player. So, it's not for total newbies, but if you don't have much experience in the area of picking, and you want to go deeper with it, this is perfect. 

The beginning of the course is definitely a bit easier than the latter half; we'll get into some fairly complex picking patterns that should keep you busy for a while. 😜

My ultimate answer to the skill match issue is simple: if what you see on this page resonates with you, give the course a try. If you find it is too far above or below your skill level and you're not learning anything, simply let me know and I'll give you a full refund. No hard feelings! 

My 100% Risk-Free
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Your success with my guitar courses is completely guaranteed. In fact, my 100% Risk Free, No Weasel Clauses promise to you is that these lessons will greatly increase your ability on the guitar! 

If you aren't 100% satisfied for any reason at all in the first 60 days, simply let me know and we'll give you a fast, friendly refund. 

Are You Ready To PLAY?

The Rhythm Player's Guide to Picking zeroes in on enhancing your picking abilities specifically tailored for rhythm guitar. With more than six hours of video instruction, you'll receive tons of new tools and techniques, giving you the ability to be more dynamic and expressive with your playing than ever before. 

Let's Get Started!

Make your guitar playing more interesting, dynamic, and musical!

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Let’s work together to make your rhythm guitar picking more musical, satisfying, and rewarding than ever before!

To Your Success,

PS. If for any reason at all you’re not satisfied, you’re protected by my 100% “No Weasel Clauses” 60-Day GUARANTEE