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Thread: Giving up the pick!!!

  1. #1
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    Cool Giving up the pick!!!

    So, lately Ive foudn myself playing more and more without a pick, no doubt influenced by my recent obsession with bluegrass banjo. Though I think I will always use the pick for certain aspects of my playing (mostly bluesy soloing, I dont play metal), playign with just my bare fingers seems so much more natural and just feels a lot better in general.

    Anyways, I was looking for suggestions for a beginning finger picker. Any exercises/lessons/songs you would recommend? Any suggestions are appreciated!

  2. #2
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    I started to develop some form of finger picking about 6 months ago. I had no idea what to do so I just started messing around with any technique idea that popped into my head.

    after a lot of experimentation I found that it worked quite well if I always use the same finger order, regardless of what I play with my left hand. So I start with my pinky (we'll give that number 4, index will be 1) and just continuosly play using 4, 3, 2, 1, regardless of rhythm and what my left hand is doing. Takes a while to properly coordinate things because the right hand often wants to follow the left instead of moving independantly. I haven't worked a lot on it, but I figure if I really put in the hours it would work very well because you are only ever using that one movement...kind of like a constant four finger tremolo in the right hand. It seems to work for pretty much everything, except I can still roll arpeggios much faster by reversing the finger order, but that might change with practice.

    anyways, I've never researched finger picking, so I don't know how common a technique like that is and I don't know if that is at all what you are looking for...but experimentation always pays off.

  3. #3
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    Im not sure I understand that completely. What if you're picking a chord, and starting with a bass note and then going up and bouncing around the upper strings? Would you pick the bass note with your pinky then the high E with your ring?

    It just seems like, with all the possibilities finger picking opens up, strictly using one pattern would restrict you. But maybe Im not really understanding you...

  4. #4
    Hacked Account widdly widdly's Avatar
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    If you like classical, I recommend you try the Julio S. Sagreras Book or the Frederick Noad books. If you don't want to learn to read sheet music then you could try "The Dummies guide to Guitar" also by Fred Noad. It has lots of advice for getting good finger style technique. Don't let the title put you off, this is a good book from a fantastic teacher.

    From studying classical guitar, the approach seems to be to first master free-strokes and rest-strokes. Usually there are heaps of arpeggio patterns using free-strokes and heaps of scales using rest-strokes. Then some peices so you can mix the two together. This site (http://www.eythorsson.com/en/?id=mus...en&category=04) has loads of good simple tunes for finger style but you will need to be able to read music.

    A free stroke is when the finger plucks the string and curls where as a rest-stroke is when the finger plucks the string and comes to rest and the next string. It's worth getting someone to show these to you as they are hard to explain. It is very unusual to use you pinky finger in classical guitar although in flamenco it's more common.

    After free-strokes and rest-strokes, you can attempt tremelo picking which sounds like what silent-storm is describing. In flamenco the tremelo is grouped in 5's, thumb, pinky,ring,middle,pointer. In classical its 4 since the pinky isn't used. Have a listen to "Recuerdos de la Alhambra" to get a feeling for it. The sheet music is here http://www.eythorsson.com/music/1027.pdf

    There are all sorts of other techniques for fingerpicking too, especially from the flamenco world. Golpe, rasguadoes, and all sorts of other crazy stuff.
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    Last edited by widdly widdly; 04-11-2011 at 07:30 AM.

  5. #5
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    I was talking more about just playing single notes. In my oppinion it would be pretty easy to build speed if you only need to perfect one motion for 90% of single note playing. Tone would come easier too, with only having to think about a few motions. Chords can be done in a similar fashion if you want, or in the exact opposite. You could switch back for more single note stuff at the top, or not. Incorporating your thumb for chords seems pretty logical and natural, or just thumb, or with some other combination I haven't thought of...the key is to experiment, that's all.

  6. #6
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    try reading around here: http://www.tuckandpatti.com/pick-finger_tech.html
    tuck is an amazing fingerstyle player.

    err.. it seems i cant get the link to work. so do a search on tuck andress. go to their official page, click tucks corner, scroll down a bit, and click pick and fingerstyle technique. et voila!
    Last edited by ghandi234; 07-28-2006 at 12:11 AM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the replies guys.

    Silent - I see what youre saying, but I cant imagine playing like that. If Im just playing on a single string, Im just going back and forth between my index and thumb, which works pretty well and can get some speed. But I cant imagine including my pinky in this, since it is my anchor in almost everything i do! Isnt it terribly difficult to fingerpick wiht the 'floating hand'? I know the flamenco guys can do it but it just seems so hard.

    I think Ive just taken the technique I learned from plkaying bluegrass banjo and have been implementing it on the 6 string. So, 95% of the time im using my Thumb Index and middle, occasio nally the ring, and never using the same finger twice in a row. Ive only been fooling around with it for a few weeks but so far I am really digging it. It seems to work really well when playing folky type stuff, using mostly open chords with lots of hammer ons and POs.

    I am not too interested in playing classical guitar, though I can read music (albeit very very poorly). Im thinking of leaning more in the direction of flamenco, but that would not be for at least a year or two.

    Ill check out those links. Any more suggestions will be pprectiated!

  8. #8
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    Well, if you want to learn some chickin picken, quick country-like stuff, check this out. http://troygrady.com/page.php?id=20 it is a lesson by Troy Grady playing some Albert Lee style chiken picken, its pretty cool. You might need a thumb pick though. check it out.

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