#1
Before my question I will clarify, slack key guitar being an alternating bass line with the thumb and playing a melody with your fingers.


The alternating bass line isn't much a problem as I've been Travis picking for years, but it's slapping that melody over top.

So I'm wondering if anyone here plays this style much and is able to give me some guidance on how to meld the two together.

Also lap slide players as I will be employing the same technique for both.
#2
There's a very structured approach to developing the style. Not really in an ideal situation to provide detailed tabs on exercises for this right now. Basically, the secret is developing independence between bass and melody aka pimac. Picking hand only. Then slowly introduce very simple notes with the fretting hand.

Tommy Emmanuel is the best in the business at this. YouTube him. He may have lessons.
#4
I will check his stuff out.

Do you have some stuff handy you're able to share later?
#5
I'm a long way from home so haven't got access to all my bits and pieces.

Something to get you rolling quickly though is to sync your foot with your thumb (bass notes). In other words, all the bass notes will land on the beat, for this reason the tempo is usually pretty rapid.

Slowly introduce melody notes on the middle and higher registers using "imac" fingers. These notes will land on the off beat. So you will be playing 8th notes.

So even though the tempo can be fairly brisk and therefore perhaps intimidating, you will only be playing eighth notes max.
#6
I play alternating bass (ie John Hurt style) in standard tuning, Spanish-position slide and lap steel, but not as Hawaiian-style slack key. From the little I've listened to it, I assumed it was the same kind of pattern as Hurt-style alternating bass, but applied to different melodies and chord voicings. (Maybe someone can comment on that.) As mdc says in a different way, it is a question of being able to get your thumb on autopilot most of the time. I used to tell students to view it as a series of pinches (bass and finger at the same time) and alternates (finger plays the off-beat after the thumb), rather than as a rhythmic bass with a melody overlaid. Homespun very likely has instructional material that covers your interests, I'm not sure what, but the country blues stuff I've bought from them has been very good.
#7
Quote by mdc
I'm a long way from home so haven't got access to all my bits and pieces.

Something to get you rolling quickly though is to sync your foot with your thumb (bass notes). In other words, all the bass notes will land on the beat, for this reason the tempo is usually pretty rapid.

Slowly introduce melody notes on the middle and higher registers using "imac" fingers. These notes will land on the off beat. So you will be playing 8th notes.

So even though the tempo can be fairly brisk and therefore perhaps intimidating, you will only be playing eighth notes max.



No problem. I still may need them when you get to it, we'll see how quickly I'll progress haha.

How quickly of a tempo would be a good starter?


Tony: I will check out some homespun stuff out.

Thanks for the help guys. Any other info or tips is greatly appreciated. I will try to update on progress as I carry on.
#8
Ok I found this. Regarding tempo, I never use a metronome in general only cuz my "inner clock" is steady. When I started out it was probably around 50-60bpm.

A good sign is that if you're playing, and this goes for any style, any lick, any shredding passages, even basic chord changes for beginners, and you make a mistake, then you're playing too fast..... always. So use that as a benchmark.

https://youtu.be/qHi8yBb0n3o
#9
He's such a beast. Good video. I love his classical gas cover also!

I have a feeling this might take a by to get used to. I'm no beginner with guitar by no means, but this style I definitely am!