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Watch the Parisian Blues online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from Essentials: Fingerstyle Blues

By playing higher up the neck on the middle strings and leaving one or two of the top strings open, you can get various notes to ring out against each other. You can use this to get chord voicing that might not be possible any other way, and it also allows you to play melodies where the notes overlap, creating a sort of cascading or harp-like effect. Chet Atkins was a master of this idea, and you can hear how musicians as different as Stefan Grossman, Lenny Breau and Redd Volkaert have all found ways to employ this technique.