Flatpick Friday is a way for me to keep my ideas fresh. The idea is to break away from the licks and lines I regularly play; come up with new stuff, and work it up well enough for it to actually be useful in a jam or performance situation. I provide a different backup track for us to practice along with each month. I came up with this challenge to help diversify my lick library, and I invite you to participate with me.

Take a video of yourself picking along with a backup track and tag me in a post to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #flatpickfriday. Please tag my Ken Chapple page on Facebook or @ken_chapple on Instagram so I can find your post.


Download or listen to the backup tracks on soundcloud.com

I think up a new backup chord progression every month, and post it here on the first Friday of the month. You can hear the progression using the Soundcloud widget to the right. You can listen to, and loop the track directly from Soundcloud using the Soundcloud Media Player. Click the Listen On Soundcloud button to listen to the backup track on Soundcloud. Here are quick instructions on how to loop the track for practicing. Alternatively, you download the backup track from Soundcloud and load it up in a computer program like iTunes,  Amazing Slow-downer, or a more advanced DAW like Audacity or Reaper to loop the backup track .


Once you have the backup track loaded up, experiment with the track and discover some different stuff. Improvise over the track for a while. Try different scales and arpeggios. Try singing along with the track rather than playing along with it. You’ll find that you come up with different rhythmic ideas and lines you don’t normally play on the guitar. Once you get something you think sounds cool, learn the lick on guitar, and nail it. Play it so you can nail it 10 times in a row! Play your new lick in different keys if you have time.


When you have your imaginative new lick nailed down, record it. You can play the backup track on your looping tool (Amazing Slowdowner, Audacity, etc.) or a CD, or iTunes, and use your mobile device, or computer to record a video of you playing along with the track. If you have other ideas for how to record, please share them on my Facebook page.


When you’ve got your Flatpick Friday lick recorded over the backup track, post it to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #flatpickfriday.

Please Tag my Ken Chapple Facebook page, or @ken_chapple on Instagram AND use the #flatpickfriday hashtag so I can find your post.

Browse other picker’s licks by searching for the hashtag #flatpickfriday. If you don’t see many SHARE with your pickin’ buddies and encourage them to participate.

#FlatpickFriday Backup Tracks