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Thread: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

  1. #1
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    I'm unable to find a video where someone uses flatpicking(?), and plays the same notes using crosspicking. I'd really like to hear the difference. Any suggestions?

    I've been listening to lessons on crosspicking, but have yet to find one that includes a different picking style.
    Last edited by Sherry Cadenhead; Mar-13-2021 at 10:42am. Reason: Afterthought

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    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Acoustic Guitar Magazine says Flatpicking is simply playing melodic lines and rhythms with a flatpick. Crosspicking is a style of flatpicking that adds sonic fill by playing patterns across 3 or more strings. So the common practice of playing single-note lines, I would say even if some double-stops are thrown in, the way most mandolinists play most of the time, is Flatpicking. Crosspicking is a style of Flatpicking as played by Jesse McReynolds and others.

    So most mandolin videos you see are technically Flatpicking. It is just not a term mandolinist typically use. It is more of a guitarists' term. You can find videos of mandolin Crosspicking around also, but they are not as common. Then of course, there are various rhythm methods like strumming and chopping. Crosspicking can also be a type of rhythm playing also.

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    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    But you use a flat pick to do cross picking..

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  6. #4
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flynn View Post
    Acoustic Guitar Magazine says Flatpicking is simply playing melodic lines and rhythms with a flatpick. Crosspicking is a style of flatpicking that adds sonic fill by playing patterns across 3 or more strings. So the common practice of playing single-note lines, I would say even if some double-stops are thrown in, the way most mandolinists play most of the time, is Flatpicking. Crosspicking is a style of Flatpicking as played by Jesse McReynolds and others.

    So most mandolin videos you see are technically Flatpicking. It is just not a term mandolinist typically use. It is more of a guitarists' term. You can find videos of mandolin Crosspicking around also, but they are not as common. Then of course, there are various rhythm methods like strumming and chopping. Crosspicking can also be a type of rhythm playing also.
    Thanks, John. Maybe I wasn't clear in my post. I already know what you've said, although I wasn't confident as to the definition of "flatpicking." Thanks for clarifying that.

    My objective is to hear the difference between flatpicking and crosspicking, short of making my own recording. Not my first choice!

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    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Just my very opinionated $0.02.

    Crosspicking is a very specialized technique one may have time to learn after one has mastered the more general techniques. But time spent learning it is time not spent becoming proficient in other areas. Jordan Ramsey is a contemporary master, but you can be fairly sure he thoroughly mastered the conventional techniques first.

    From the questions you ask it appears you are early in your mandolin journey. Follow your heart but choose to spend your time wisely. Some things can wait.

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    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    Just my very opinionated $0.02.

    Crosspicking is a very specialized technique one may have time to learn after one has mastered the more general techniques. But time spent learning it is time not spent becoming proficient in other areas. Jordan Ramsey is a contemporary master, but you can be fairly sure he thoroughly mastered the conventional techniques first.

    From the questions you ask it appears you are early in your mandolin journey. Follow your heart but choose to spend your time wisely. Some things can wait.

    Keep having fun
    But, Bill, it's so cool! You (and Jon Hall) are right, of course, and much of my problem is jumping around in my learning. I will say, though, I don't find it difficult (2 strings, anyway). Same with tremolo. My challenges are memorization, 3 finger chords (improving) and double stops.

    In any event, I'd still like to hear the difference. I have a lesson on Thursday and can ask him to show me, although I'd rather use that time preparing for Saturday's jam. Sorry. Now I'm rambling.

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    Registered User Ky Slim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Crosspicking vs Alternate picking?

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    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Crosspicking is very cool to hear it played and I always enjoy it.

    And if it easy to you, you’re very fortunate. Most folks would spend a large amount of time gaining proficiency there.

    When you can utilize it improvising in a jam, you’ll be rocking.
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Having something to say is highly over rated.

    The entire staff
    funny....

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    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    Thanks, Jeff. This video is much like the lessons I've watched, except for the bridge comments, which I think are interesting.

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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flynn View Post
    ... most mandolin videos you see are technically Flatpicking. It is just not a term mandolinist typically use.
    ... which I've always assumed is because, as opposed to guitarists, "fingerpicking" is a term that mandolinists rarely use, and hardly ever do.

    If it helps folks to cartegorize things (which is really what this thread is trying to do), I think of cross-picking as a way to emulate guitarists' fingerpicking... using a flatpick and flatpicking technique.
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    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Crosspicking seems more like emulating five string banjo to me. Someone who wants to contrast flatpicking and crossicking on mandolin should listen to just about anything by Jessie McReynolds, and then compare that to anything by anyone else. Crosspicking= alternating strings every note, even when the melody is linear.

    There are some very cool McReynolds style crosspicking arrangements in the old Jack Tottle Bluegrass Mandolin book. Everybody oughta have that one.

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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Sherry, you won't find an example like that because you are putting the terms "flat picking" and "cross picking" vs. each other ... but they are not opposed to one another. "Cross picking" is "flat picking."

    Not all flat picking is cross picking, though. As John explained already, "crosspicking is a style of flatpicking."
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    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Thanks, all. What I was hoping for on starting this thread is that someone would know of a video of someone illustrating both styles, playing the same piece of music. If they sound the same played either way, why bother to learn the more challenging method?

    I'll ask my occasional teacher to show me the difference on Thursday.

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    Dave Sheets
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    This is a great thread, the video link is great. While people probably do us this to play melody, it looks useful to me in playing breaks, or in "comping" or accompanying other parts. The picking pattern give a very different accent, something close to a banjo roll. I'm going to work on this, because I think I can use it in band situations. I hate doing the same things all the time, so this very different sound/feel to the method seems really valuable to me. A way to alter "texture" or "feel" in a band situation.
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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Saw this mandolessons.com video: Mandolin Strum Patterns (Part 2): Cross Picking

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUuZnudaWz4

    Relevant?

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    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    Saw this mandolessons.com video: Mandolin Strum Patterns (Part 2): Cross Picking

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUuZnudaWz4

    Relevant?
    Certainly relevant, Sue! Still not what I was looking for, but I still found it interesting, especially the DUDU pattern. I'm working on 2 strings only and DUUDUUDU. I suspect there is more than one way to do this.

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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry Cadenhead View Post
    But, Bill, it's so cool! You (and Jon Hall) are right, of course, and much of my problem is jumping around in my learning. I will say, though, I don't find it difficult (2 strings, anyway). Same with tremolo. My challenges are memorization, 3 finger chords (improving) and double stops.

    In any event, I'd still like to hear the difference. I have a lesson on Thursday and can ask him to show me, although I'd rather use that time preparing for Saturday's jam. Sorry. Now I'm rambling.

    Crosspicking and alternate in general are not different ways of doing the same thing. Crosspicking usually consists of patterns where one note of three carries melodic content, alternate creates lines with lots of melodic movement, as, e.g., in fiddle tunes.

    There are players who play crosspicking patterns with alternate picking, but I believe they're very few. And,to many of us, crosspicking is just a devic, to someone like McReynolds it's a huge part of his identity.

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    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Device?
    Last edited by Sherry Cadenhead; Mar-16-2021 at 10:15am.

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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry Cadenhead View Post
    Device?

    Yes, device. As the old mathematicians' joke goes: What's the difference between a trick and a device? A device is a trick you use twice.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry Cadenhead View Post
    Device?

    Yes, device. As the old mathematicians' joke goes: What's the difference between a trick and a device? A device is a trick you use twice.

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    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph johansson View Post
    Yes, device. As the old mathematicians' joke goes: What's the difference between a trick and a device? A device is a trick you use twice.

    - - - Updated - - -




    Yes, device. As the old mathematicians' joke goes: What's the difference between a trick and a device? A device is a trick you use twice.
    I suppose that explains why I changed my major from math to accounting.

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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Grandfather's Clock played "flatpicking" style: linear, ornamented, without the arpeggiation on multiple strings:



    Grandfather's Clock played in crosspicking, a la Jack Tottle:

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    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Grandfather's Clock played "flatpicking" style: linear, ornamented, without the arpeggiation on multiple strings:



    Grandfather's Clock played in crosspicking, a la Jack Tottle:

    Thanks, Allen! That's exactly what I was looking for. Seems to me a mandolin player might want to be selective as to when he/she chooses crosspicking over flatpicking, as it won't always produce the better sound. Of course, personal preference also comes into play.

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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph johansson View Post
    Yes, device. As the old mathematicians' joke goes: What's the difference between a trick and a device? A device is a trick you use twice.

    - - - Updated - - -




    Yes, device. As the old mathematicians' joke goes: What's the difference between a trick and a device? A device is a trick you use twice.

    Correction: What is the difference between a method and a device? A method is a device you use twice.

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    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking vs "the Other Kind"

    It should also be said that crosspicking can also be a rhythm method and a fill method. You can do a crosspicking roll to arpeggiate chords without the melody either all the way through a piece, instead of strumming, or just during vocal rests. It is a specialized effect. I doesn't work on every tune, but on some it can sound very nice.

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