30 Hot Bluegrass Flatpicking Licks

Genre and Style Guitar Course from Tyler Grant

You've been spending some time working up your flatpicking chops, but where do you go from here? A cornerstone of the Bluegrass flatpicking style, the hot lick originated with the genre and runs through present day songs and tunes. This lesson set of 30 hot Bluegrass licks is a great place to start in learning the vocabulary necessary to excel in this style!

31 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


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Full Course Breakdown

Tyler Grant offers up 30 unique Bluegrass licks to get under your fingers. Paired with his Bluegrass course offerings, this material dots the I's and crosses the T's of your Bluegrass genre journey!


30 Hot Bluegrass Flatpicking Licks You Should Know Introduction

To kick off this series of 30 hot bluegrass licks for your repertoire, Tyler gives you a couple examples of what will be taught and what you need to be successful with this course.

4:41 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Happy in the Country

This lick has a descending line that has just enough pep to earn its name.

6:16 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

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Tumbling Down the Hill

This descending G minor pentatonic lick borrows from blues in the open G position.

6:24 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Look Up Here

This bluesy, bluegrass lick in G uses a combination of the minor and major pentatonic scales.

6:58 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Blues in the Grass

This bluesy lick in G takes some standard pentatonic notes and grasses them up with repetition and loops.

8:41 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Fiddlin' Around

Bluegrass licks often take inspiration from fiddle tunes. As a result, lots of flatpicking method mimics fiddle movement. This is certainly true of this lick in G.

6:21 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Crosspicking Shuffle Lick in G

Crosspicking is a technique that uses a consecutive picking pattern on three adjacent strings. This at times leaves them ringing and sounding like a harp. Tyler uses this concept in this shuffle lick in G

7:32 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


The Big Run

A "run" in bluegrass is a lick that travels through a scale in a steady rhythm. This big run in G works all the way from the bottom to the top of the strings.

6:40 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Fiddlin' Along

This is another fiddling mixture lick, this time in the key of C. This one has shades of C6 in it.

7:58 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Big Run in C

There's a lot of action in this C major lick! Take this string of notes and run them around the fretboard.

6:50 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Position Shifting Lick in C

This lick in C shifts postions using an open E string, sometimes called a drop string technique.

6:40 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Floaty Lick in C

Sometimes cross string playing is called "floaties." Here is a floaty lick in C that will challenge you for a while.

7:41 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Rollin' it Up

You'll find more crosspicking in this C lick which leans heavily on the three note forward roll.

9:37 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Rollin' it Down

Now we're going to use that three note forward roll to descend in another C lick.

6:28 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Bluesy Dog

This lick uses some classic bluesy language in the key of D, for dog.

6:56 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Flying Dog

This bluesy lick in D descends into a D run.

5:49 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Floating Dog

Here's a lick in D that uses cross string techniques that Tyler affectionately calls "Floating Dog."

6:47 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Chuggin' On Home

This lick is all about being able to navigate the IV to I chord. In the key of G, this lick uses a chugging rhythmic figure to help drive you home.

7:33 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Lifting it up on the Shelf

This lick is an uplifting lick that gradually builds up then gently rests back down.

5:34 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Bringin' it Home

Lick 19 takes a look at navigating the crucial V to I chord change at the end of a guitar break.

6:03 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Really Bringin' it Home

Like the previous lick, this one again navigates the V to I chord change. This time we're gonna go harder with a chuggin', driving rhtyhm and alternate picking.

5:22 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Sailin' On Home

This lick in the key of G is designed to help traverse from up the neck and down into open position on the V to I chord.

6:50 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Sailin' 'Round the Hornpipe

This lick uses the same technique as the last lick, but this time travels around a Hornpipe progression.

5:27 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Chuggin' 'Round the Hornpipe

This lick again uses the Hornpipe changes, but is centered around the chuggin' style.

5:55 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Make it Snappy

Lick 24 is a quick and "snappy" Bluegrass lick in the key of A.

4:40 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Big Run in A

Much like "Big Run" and "Big Run in C" this lick is all about that large run that traverses the guitar's register, this time in the key of A.

4:58 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Easy Breezy

"Easy Breezy" is a bluegrass lick designed for the key of E, or more specifically an E chord.

7:04 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Tag 1 in G

To wrap up the licks in this series, Tyler covers several "tag" figures that are often used as licks to end a song or tune. He starts with a tag in the key of G.

6:07 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Tag 2 in G

The second tag in the key of G is a standard Appalachian fiddle tune tag, that also has a G run in it.

6:22 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Tag 1 in C

Lick 29 is another run style tag, this time in the key of C.

4:29 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Tag 2 in C

To wrap up this lick series, Tyler provides a tag in the key of C that includes a beefed up version of the venerable "Shave and a Haircut" ending.

4:50 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty

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  • Fort Collins, CO
  • Playing since 1980
  • 461 lessons at JamPlay

Reviews & Feedback 98/100 with 85 ratings

Amiable fellow, he's easy to understand and quality dude.


Brilliant as always from Tyler.....just got to practise it now. But so clear to understand and follow


Great stuff!


Tyler, I'm really enjoying learning all of these. I'm just not checking them all. You are a good teacher. Thank you!

Mike LeBleu

Tyler has a great way of instructing that keeps your interest and is very clear.