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Flatpicking is a technique for playing the steel-stringed acoustic guitar using a plectrum or flatpick. Although the term is used in other genres, it is probably best known as the lead guitar style in bluegrass music and old-time country music. Probably starting around 1930, flatpicking was developed when guitarists began arranging old-time American fiddle tunes as featured guitar breaks, rather than using the instrument for simple rhythmic accompaniment and the occasional bass run.

The melodic style in bluegrass is often fast and dynamic, with slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, powerful strumming and rapid crosspicking. Bluegrass flatpickers often play with a medium to heavy flatpick or plectrum and usually prefer flat-top steel string guitars such as the 'Dreadnought' models made by C.F Martin & Company.

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