Video: Trey Hensley Teaches Bluegrass Flatpicking, Lessons From Masters & More

Photo of Doc Watson by Michael Ochs Archives/Stringer/Getty Images

Trey Hensley—the Tennessee-based solo artist, Nashville session player, one-half of the great Rob and Trey, and sideman for the likes of Emmylou Harris—is such a phenomenal picker that you can't help but want to try your hand at this style of playing.

In a three-part video series with Reverb, he walks you through the lessons, patterns, and tricks he's learned from masters like Maybelle Carter, Tony Rice, and Doc Watson (below), and how he blends genres and techniques in his playing to create his own style.

What is bluegrass flatpicking?

Flatpicking, if you're uninitiated, is the predominant style of bluegrass guitar playing. At the most basic level, it means you hold the pick flat (go figure) between your thumb and pointer finger. But from there, the mix of picking patterns, C-, G-, and D-shape runs, the ability to let quick licks fly in between your rhythm playing—that's what starts to characterize the greats from the beginners.

Trey Hensley is a young master. He got his start as a teenager, appearing on the Grand Ole Opry stage alongside Marty Stuart and Earl Scruggs. Learning hands-on from country and bluegrass greats—and expanding his palette with everything from Jerry Reed to Slayer—his personal style is now a genre-blending mix.

Follow along and try to keep up. We hope you're able to bring a bit of this style into your own playing, no matter what your preferred genre might be.

Bluegrass Flatpicking Through Tony Rice & Maybelle Carter

Lessons Learned Form Doc Watson

Recognize the guitar Trey's playing? It's the first Reverb Select Martin, a never-built-before and never-to-be-replicated custom build that was only available on Reverb. While that guitar is now sold out, don't miss the upcoming special runs that will be hitting the Official Martin Guitar Reverb shop in the coming months.

comments powered by Disqus

Reverb Gives

Your purchases help youth music programs get the gear they need to make music.

Carbon-Offset Shipping

Your purchases also help protect forests, including trees traditionally used to make instruments.

Oops, looks like you forgot something. Please check the fields highlighted in red.