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Innovative Strumming Patterns for the Modern Bluegrass Mandolin Player


As the rhythmic heartbeat of bluegrass music, the mandolin holds a special place in the hearts of musicians and enthusiasts alike. Beyond mastering mandolin chords and scales, exploring innovative strumming patterns can elevate your playing to new heights. In this guide, we'll delve into some exciting strumming techniques tailored for the modern bluegrass mandolin player.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play bluegrass mandolin from a master musician like Mike Marshall or Sierra Hull? Try some free online mandolin lessons now!


Unlocking Mandolin Strumming Potential:

Cross-Picking: One of the hallmark techniques of bluegrass mandolin, cross-picking involves alternating between strings while maintaining a steady rhythm. Practice exercises like "roll patterns" to develop precision and speed in your picking hand.


Chop Chords: Emulating the percussive sound of a snare drum, chop chords add a rhythmic punch to your playing. Experiment with different chop patterns, incorporating rests and accents to create dynamic variations.


Mike Marshall Mandolin Lessons - Bluegrass Chop Chords:



Bluegrass Mandolin Lesson: Octave Mandolin Strumming & Chopping with Sierra Hull:



Tremolo Flourishes: Infusing your melodies with tremolo adds depth and emotion to your playing. Focus on maintaining a smooth, consistent tremolo while varying the speed and intensity to suit the mood of the music.


Mike Marshall Mandolin Lessons - Tremolos:



Double Stops: Harnessing the power of two-note chords, double stops enrich your sound with harmonious depth. Explore different combinations of double stops within chord progressions, incorporating slides and bends for added flair.


Syncopated Rhythms: Break away from traditional downbeat strumming patterns by introducing syncopation into your playing. Experiment with off-beat accents and syncopated rhythms to infuse your music with energy and drive.


Mandolin Exercises for Mastery:

Repetition is Key: Dedicate regular practice sessions to mastering each strumming pattern, focusing on precision and consistency.


Slow it Down: Start at a comfortable tempo and gradually increase speed as you gain confidence and control over the technique.


Record Yourself: Use audio or video recording to track your progress and identify areas for improvement.


Jam with Others: Collaborating with fellow musicians exposes you to different playing styles and helps sharpen your improvisational skills.


Stay Inspired: Draw inspiration from your favorite bluegrass artists and incorporate elements of their playing into your own style.


Mastering mandolin strumming patterns is a journey that requires dedication, patience, and a willingness to experiment. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned player, honing your skills through targeted exercises and creative exploration will unlock new dimensions in your music.


For those seeking comprehensive mandolin lessons and guidance, the online resources that we offer at ArtistWorks are invaluable. Renowned musicians like Mike Marshall and Sierra Hull provide expert instruction tailored to all skill levels, covering everything from mandolin chords to advanced techniques and beyond. Take advantage of these online mandolin lessons to enhance your playing and embark on a rewarding musical journey.


Embrace the rich tradition of bluegrass music while carving out your unique voice as a modern mandolin player. With perseverance and passion, the possibilities are limitless.



Exploring the Roots of Bluegrass: A Deep Dive into Historical Mandolin Styles

The Ultimate Guide to Building Speed on the Mandolin for Bluegrass Players

Bluegrass Mandolin Lesson: Tag Endings with Sierra Hull




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