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Mississippi Fred McDowell's Right Hand

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 4:13 pm
by bloozegit
Hey folks,

Been trying to learn from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54GNI2K3 ... s%20guitar but I just can't seem to get the right hand picking down.

I'm OK with the usual country right hand patterns like Travis, alternating thumb and all that but when Fred gets the melody line going I'm just lost. I'm sure there's a fixed point in the fingerpicking routine where he starts each note of the melody, but I can't (pardon the pun) put a finger on it.

Can anyone help me out here?

RE: Mississippi Fred McDowell's Right Hand

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 4:47 pm
by bighollowtwang
That's the whole point, though...it's NOT a pattern, it's a matter of getting your thumb on "auto-pilot" so that it can continue uninterrupted while you play the melody with your finger. There's no rule or pattern to it, it's just a matter of having a solid right-hand rhythmic sense and not thinking in terms of "patterns" or some kind of picking formula.

RE: Mississippi Fred McDowell's Right Hand

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 4:50 pm
by badfinger
The only thing that comes to mind is that the thumb of FMcD is often on the off-beat (2 & 4), rather than on 1 & 3.

RE: Mississippi Fred McDowell's Right Hand

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:11 pm
by boogiechillun85
>That's the whole point, though...it's NOT a pattern, it's a
>matter of getting your thumb on "auto-pilot" so that it can
>continue uninterrupted while you play the melody with your
>finger. There's no rule or pattern to it, it's just a matter
>of having a solid right-hand rhythmic sense and not thinking
>in terms of "patterns" or some kind of picking formula.

Really well said.

Jim
http://www.soundclick.com/jimnjblues

RE: Mississippi Fred McDowell's Right Hand

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:46 am
by bloozegit
Thanks for the tips ya'all. Time to buckle down and try again.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:27 pm
by bek1
What bighollowtwang and badfinger said is true. It's also true that you can hear Fred do these wierdly miraculous things like drop lines out of the song that would leave most people floundering and his beat and drive never waver. It was a long time ago, but I remember seeing him up very close and it seemed like all he was doing was flail at the strings. His fingers and thumb would drop in and out and catch the right string at the right moment, keep the bass, melody and scratchy rhythm thing going all without much apparent effort. He did watch what his left hand was doing a lot, but his right hand had a life of its own. It was all so instinctive and stark. Amazing. Check out My Home is On the Delta.