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Alternating Bass (Guitar Lesson)


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Mary Flower

Alternating Bass

Mary Flower talks about alternating bass patterns and how to incorporate them into your playing.

Taught by Mary Flower in Lessons with Mary Flower seriesLength: 6:52Difficulty: 2.0 of 5


Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


lethallee61lethallee61 replied on October 14th, 2015

Another great lesson from you Mary. By the second time through I was getting the finger picking down as well. Thanks!

danonwheelsdanonwheels replied on September 8th, 2015

Love your Lessons Mary Tough for me but cool

costeffcosteff replied on December 20th, 2012

Clear and simple lessons, Great!!!!!

triadbluetriadblue replied on February 26th, 2012

correction, I enjoyed listening to her lessons.

triadbluetriadblue replied on February 26th, 2012

Mary Flowers is a very good teacher.I enjoy listening to hear lessons

rogimorrogimor replied on February 6th, 2011

I enjoy all your lessons I am so glad you are back. I agree with the finger picking I think is more difficult but in the end is a big paycheck. The only question I have is regarding the fingers picking, I use my 3 fingers instead of 2. One finger for ea. high string (E, B, G strings) and my thumb for the low strings. I have not seen any teacher using 3 fingers for those 3 high strings. Is it ok to do that?

Lessons with Mary Flower

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Mary Flower is an award-winning acoustic fingerstyle blues guitarist known for her original tunes and smooth voice. With multiple albums and an impressive career, Mary strives to keep the blues alive.



Lesson 1

Chord Relationships

Mary Flower dives into the relationship of chords while looking at a piano keyboard for a better understanding.

Length: 16:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 2

The Major Scale

Mary Flower talks about the major scale, its formula, and chords. She also briefly discusses barre chords.

Length: 15:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Travis Picking

Mary Flower shares a basic lesson on Travis Picking.

Length: 15:38 Difficulty: 2.0 FREE
Lesson 4

Alternating Bass

Mary Flower talks about alternating bass patterns and how to incorporate them into your playing.

Length: 6:52 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

CAGED System & Capos

Mary Flower talks about the CAGED system, the transposition process, and how to use a capo.

Length: 6:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only

About Mary Flower View Full Biography Working in both the intricately syncopated Piedmont fingerpicking style and her own deeply bluesy lap-slide guitar, Mary has earned rave reviews from critics and audiences alike for her springwater-clear vocals and mastery of multiple guitar styles as well as her own compositions. Though she can create prewar blues and ragtime with the best of them, Mary draws on traditional, contemporary and original material to create something new: a sound uniquely her own that remains true to the timeless power of the blues.

Flower's elegant, funky and inventive playing on vintage guitars makes her one of a mere handful of women guitarists admired for their instrumental prowess. In 2000 and 2003 respectively, Mary placed in the top three at the National Fingerpicking Championship. Her career as an internationally known performer and teacher has spanned more than three decades.

A recent transplant to the Northwest, Mary cut her teeth on the Colorado music scene where she played with the likes of Katy Moffatt, Pat Donohue, the Mother Folkers and more. Mary took a detour in the 80s to raise a family, all the time woodshedding and performing locally.

Mary's CD Bywater Dance, recorded pre-Katrina in New Orleans for Yellow Dog Records, has garnered widespread acclaim. An award-winning player with seven solo cds and 5 instructional DVDs to her credit, Flower is in demand for festivals, concerts and guitar workshops on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Unassuming blues heroine Mary Flower proves one again that she's one of the nation's premier fingerstyle blues guitarists-- her technique is exceptional throughout, and in the end, serves the highest purpose, the music--unfailingly sweet, hot and sassy--every track on this album has something about it that will give you the shivers... This is one of the most satisfying albums of the year."
  - All Music Guide to Blues

"Her crisp, fluid fingerpicking sounds deceptively effortless, with flawlessly executed syncopation, the hallmark of a bouncing, upbeat Piedmont style. From casual listeners to devoted blues fans, Flower's music is accessible to everyone"
  - Blues Review

"With her immaculate guitar playing and warm contralto, Mary Flower finds the sweet spot between modern and rootsy in twelve tunes bred of back porches, parlors, street corners, juke joints and country churches...one of the best blues based singer songwriters working today."
  - Acoustic Guitar Magazine

"Mary is one of those rare artists who manages to create a tincture of the aged authentic with the freshly original."
  - Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine

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