Originally Posted by: gregmchirIs it advisable to play Folsom prision blues like this and build up speed or use a pick
Also, consider that for faster tempos you need less motion, or more efficiency of motion. Instead of strumming with your fingers, try a simplified Travis picking approach.
1. Play bass notes with your thumb using a minimal downstroke (toward the floor).
2. Play upper chord tones on higher strings with your other fingers using a minimal upstroke (toward the ceiling).
Very important: do not strum! Keep you fingers in position hovering over the strings. This will help a lot for control & accuracy. It also allows you to keep your picking palm slightly planted on the strings near the bridge which can help minimize sound as well.
Anders demonstrates basic Travis picking here.
You don't have to do all of that stuff. Just work on getting your thumb & fingers to do a basic root -chord motion.
I do a similar technique in some of blues tutorials. Watch my picking hand here.
Having said all that, learning root-chord strumming with a pick is also useful. You might consider making time in your practicing for that as well.
Anders & other instructors do a lot of root-chord, or boom-chick strumming that you can learn from. This tutorial of mine is more focused on a rock rhythm apporach. But I focus on the minimal picking motion that can be applied in other music styles.
Hope that helps!
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