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Choctaw Ridge: Picking & Strumming


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Ode to Billy Joe

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The song features a distinct fingerpicking approach and some cool syncopation. Start slowly and get comfortable with the feel of alternating between plucking with the thumb and your other fingers. With enough practice, this kind of fingerstyle approach becomes second nature.

The combination of plucking then dampening the strings can be tricky to master as well. Again, with slow practice, this will become easier and easier.

Note the variation in the intro, when the D chord alternates between D9 and D7. When you listen to the original recording, you'll hear lots of timing imperfections and even some variations in the chord progression. What we've taught here is the basic framework of the song, and once you get acquainted with it, feel free to tap into your own expression and play the tune how you feel it!
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