Jeff Troxel - Flatpicking Up The Neck

Jeff Troxel - Flatpicking Up The Neck

Jeff Troxel
Mel Bay Presents: Flatpicking Up The Neck
Mel Bay 9780786679386. One accompanying CD, 55 pp., $17.99. (Mel Bay Publications, #4 Industrial Dr., Pacific, MO 63069, www.melbay.com.)

I’ve heard it attributed to country comedian and banjo player Stringbean that “there’s no money past the fifth fret.” So, if Stringbean is your spiritual guide (as he is mine), you can assume that this book will not make you rich. After working through it, however, I can say that it will make you a better flatpicker.

Jeff Troxel is a 2003 National Flatpicking Champion, columnist for Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, Berklee College of Music graduate, and a performer, songwriter, and composer. He’s put together a concise, clear, and valuable guide to flatpicking guitar—both up the neck and down. It’s based on the simple, yet powerful, idea that you can play melodies, scales, and arpeggios out of partial chord positions that are easily movable up (and down) the neck of the guitar.

Both the book and accompanying CD follow a coherent path in teaching this concept. Jeff takes you through 25 figures (exercises), before getting to the songs: “The Girl I Left Behind,” “Billy In The Low Ground,” “Arkansas Traveler,” “Flowers Of Edinburgh,” “Bill Cheatham,” “The Cuckoo’s Nest,” and “Over The Waterfall.”

If all that territory above the fifth fret seems like a foreign land, then this book is a great road map and guidebook for new or wary travelers. Recommended for intermediate to advanced flatpickers. CVS