Neil Young's Old Man

What’s doing in the intro to Young Man, in terms of picking technique? Is it sort of hybridy?

Here’s a decent look at Justin Sandercoe’s rendition:

(better focus on the picking at 7:40. i think picking’s the word; he’s targeting strings rather than ‘strumming,’ seems to me…)

As always, the camera man cuts away when we’d actually like to see the guitar, but it looks like just pendulum strumming and some hammers.

Side note – we’re all obviously here because we gravitate to the fast stuff. It’s nice to remember that performances like this that don’t require guitar super-powers are incredibly moving. There are quite a few places in that video that make me shiver, in a very good way.


not so sure with Sandercoe’s version. if you get a chance, i’d like to know what you think.

Nice tutorial. I confess I did not watch the whole thing, but I checked out the part you referenced and it seems pretty close to what we saw Neil Young doing in the other video. What do you mean by ‘hybridy’? Pick with some occasional finger picking? You could certainly play it that way but I don’t think either of them are doing that. It’s just down/up pendulum strumming and a different set of notes are hit almost every time. It’s almost random and that’s a nice thing. I guess what I’m getting at is I would never try playing this ‘note perfect’ because I’d be willing to bet almost no one plays in this style convincingly does it the exact same way twice. That’s how I’d approach it anyway. Hopefully I’m hitting at the heart of your question. If you’re interested in a note perfect rendition, Justin seems to play it slowly enough that you could probably do what he’s demonstrating a few beats at a time until you sound ‘exactly’ like him.

I would say watch the video of Molly Tuttle to get an idea of what he’s doing. It’s like her rhythm motion (she has a rhythm and a lead motion), but when he does his bass strum it’s a little bit more downward slanted

However, you could also just think of it as a loose up and down motion that never stops and see it your body just sort of figures it out on its own. It’s a very natural motion