B1 Intermediate 10 Folder Collection
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Hi. My name is Courtney Marie Andrews, and I'm here to demonstrate the Carter-style picking —
which is also commonly known as the Carter scratch.
The Carter scratch was developed by Maybelle Carter.
Many people consider her the matriarch of country music, but more importantly,
she was one of the first lead guitar players.
[guitar]
Before the 1920s and Maybelle Carter, the guitar was primarily used as a rhythm instrument.
And a rhythm instrument doesn't pick out any melodies or any bass lines
or anything like that. It just sort of
[guitar]
is one continuous strum.
[guitar]
And the reason why Maybelle was so revolutionary is because she was one of
the first musicians and guitar players to use the guitar as multiple instruments in one.
And she was very popular for using the fingerpicks.
She used a thumb pick and generally two steel picks.
I'm nowhere near as amazing as Maybelle is at, at her own style,
and so I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna demonstrate with two fingerpicks today.
Maybelle was an incredible guitar player because she thought of adding
multiple roles into her playing. She was playing the bass,
she was playing the rhythm and she was playing the melody all at once.
And at that time, it was just not common to see guitar playing like that.
And that is why so many people have emulated Maybelle's guitar playing
and she's perhaps the most emulated guitar player of all time.
The way that she played was that she would play the bass notes on the D, A and E strings
and then she'd sort of frail with her pointer finger and her middle finger,
so she'd create a lot of volume when she played.
The thumb pick and the thumb are sort of alternating between these strings,
[guitar]
while the pointer finger is frailing. And "frailing" is a term that basically
implies you're just — it kind of sounds like how it is — you're frailing along the strings.
Frail. [Laughs.]
And so she'd alternate between the bass strings.
So I'm just gonna play the bass part for you — what she would do.
And that is —
[guitar]
and then I'll add the frailing in for you so you can sort of see
how the two play with each other. So that's —
[guitar]
bass, frail, bass, frail, bass, frail, bass, frail.
And then she'd often sort of. To keep the tempo, have a pep in the step tempo,
you can add — the frailing can go up and down or down and up.
And that sort of goes like this.
[guitar]
And then, the probably, arguably the most important part of the Carter scratch
is that she'd play the melody on the bass strings while frailing, and this enabled
her to, to play everything very loudly for theaters and churches and all these
places that weren't, you know, wasn't capable of amplifying yet.
And so they'd have to be played — she'd have to play very loud.
And I think that sort of played a huge hand in developing her style and playing.
And so I'll add the melody in, with the bass and the frailing. So —
[guitar]
Maybelle's style was developed by watching
a African American blues guitarist named Lesley Riddle.
And that may have played a big factor in her playing.
And also the Carter Family had a show on the Mexican-Texas border,
and Maybelle was said to have loved Mexican music, and that might have had, in her later years,
a bigger, big effect on her playing as well.
She also, in her early years, played the autoharp and the banjo,
which are both fingerpick instruments. And that also
probably had a big effect on, on her style and —
the classic Carter scratch is definitely played with fingerpicks,
but over the years people have sort of had their own versions, including myself.
And I — my own version includes a flat pick.
Now Maybelle did occasionally use a flat pick in her style but only on a
couple songs. "Wildwood Flower" is actually a song that she, she'd used a flat pick on.
But I certainly feel more comfortable using a flat pick, and I've sort of loved
to play the Carter scratch with a flat pick, and I'm going to show you how that's done.
I'm going to demonstrate with a song called "Will the Circle Be Unbroken,"
and it's an old hymn. And the Carter Family actually did their own version of this song
called "Can the Circle Be Unbroken," but I'm gonna play the original hymn.
So this is called "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."
[guitar]
Will the circle be unbroken
by and by, Lord, by and by?
There's a better home awaiting
in the sky, Lord, in the sky.
[guitar]
So that's the Carter scratch. I hope you learned something.
My name is Courtney Marie Andrews, and I'm turning the tables.
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How To Play The Carter Scratch (Featuring Courtney Marie Andrews)

10 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on February 26, 2020
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