Gospel School: Pickups


Pickups are a great way to build momentum and anticipation for the arrival of the target chord on the downbeat. Here are three for your consideration…

Pickup #1

Emphasizing the “6” of the chord is very characteristic of Gospel. Don’t forget to swing the eighth notes…

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Study-Practice Notes

  • Don’t rush the pickup notes. Allow them to flow naturally with the time.
  • Don’t overplay the pickups. Allow them to embellish and set the stage for, not to compete with or overshadow, the target note.

Pickup #2

Same notes as Pickup #1, emphasizing the 6, but in a different rhythm. Again, swing the eighth notes…

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Pickup #3

Another common pickup… but this time to be played in straight eighths…

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