Daniele Bazzani: The “Boom Chick” Style – ENG – Videolesson
Hi everybody. After many years of teaching I decided to put together all the things I wrote for my students while teaching them the boom-chick style, what you have in your hands is the final result of this selection. I wrote new exercises and gave an order to what I already had, trying to give students as many elements as possible to learn this charming and complex technique. We’ll see along the way which are the elements of the trip, it’s important none of them being un- der valuated, we could probably get a random page and read it, not because of this we could really understand why it’s there. I need to say that if I start to teach to a beginner I don’t immediately use this material, there’s a generic right hand technique to face first, then get to this more specific style. The alternating bass style, even called Thumbpicking or Atkins/Travis or Boom-chick style, was probably born in Kentucky and derived from Ragtime piano, it tends to split the right hand in two: the thumb plays the bass notes that a piano player would play with the left hand giving rhythmic and harmonic support, the other fingers play the rest, melodic line and chord portions. Stefan Grossman says: “Where Ragtime piano players play with two hands, we play with three”. Very focused thought, because if our right hand plays like two, we still have the left hand to handle. Our goal is to divide the route into three main phases: Using the right hand thumb who plays two basses combined only with index and middle finger (or middle and index) Right hand thumb playing three bass notes, always with just middle and index Thumb playing three basses combined with the three remaining fingers Very often the notes played by the thumb have a downward stem on the staff, look carefully; for what I know, having had a classical formation at the beginning of my musical studies, right hand index plays on the G string, middle on the B and the ring finger on the high E. Then we have excep- tions, we’ll treat them while studying, too. To complete this journey we need a few months, but in my experience to reach a complete inde- pendence of the thumb it takes years. I don’t want to scare nobody, but our brain needs time to know what to do, and do that automatically. To enrich the method I inserted different elements like scales to play with the alternating bass, hammer-ons and pull-offs combined with the bass, simple harmonic elements applied to what we play and other. I hope I have made it interesting and not too boring, unfortunately while learning new things is not always possible to have fun as when we play not didactic music. Good study.
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