Man, this is so great! The mighty David Grier stopped by last week and we filmed some amazing stuff. Here’s some Wheel Hoss:
In the first interview, we focused on crosspicking technique and his signature arpeggio parts. This time around I wanted to take a look at more up-tempo single note playing. We’ve been doing a lot of work updating the Primer with motion tutorials, and when David kicks it into gear, he’s a textbook example of how you can use a pickslanting approach for bluegrass with fantastic results. What you see in the above clip should be pretty familiar to almost everyone here.
It’s not just the motions I wanted to talk about, but also all the other parts up the chain, and how they fit together. No matter what pick or guitar he’s playing, David always gets that crystal clear sparkly tone, and you can tell it’s him from the first few notes. So we talked about how that happens. It’s purely an edge picking / approach angle thing, so that he gets a mostly flat attack all the time. That’s one of the reasons the pronated approach works for him — it flattens out your edge picking.
All these pieces fit together, and you’ll see that lots of players in bluegrass are principally downstroke-escape players once they get moving. David, Jake Workman, kid phenoms like Presley Barker. Somehow, the need for projection, treble frequencies, and the need to play certain standard phrases like the G run, eventually lead a lot of players to a similar formula.
TLDR if you want to play bluegrass, a wrist or elbow DSX / UWPS technique is a good place to start.