Dark Folk Guitar – Drone Shapes, Picking Patterns

In this lesson we take a look at some simple voicings that sound fantastic on acoustic guitar, bringing an air of mystery and darkness to proceedings. Along with a variety of strumming and picking patterns, we can reap great mileage from these chords, providing endless fun and inspiration.

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Practice Tips

  • Pay attention to how hard you grip the plectrum. Only apply enough pressure to keep it in your fingers. There’s no need to grip the pick hard; it only makes your playing heavy-handed and more difficult than it should be. I use an extra heavy pick, but because my grip is so light, I can still strum gently and effortlessly.
  • Alternating picking requires years of practice in order to attain great technique. This process can be expedited to a degree by minimizing the picking motion. The wider the pick stroke, the slower you will play, because it’s taking longer to get back to the string to pick the next note. Economy of movement is essential to speed and accuracy, so be diligent when you practice. Using a mirror is a great way of keeping an eye on what you are doing, and will save having to look at your hands, which is something else to minimize.