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Thread: Is fingerstyle shred possible?

  1. #1
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    Is fingerstyle shred possible?

    Hi guys,

    I'm really confused? I'm reasonably good at using a pick and not bad with fingerpicking. What I'm finding is that because most of the gigs I do are mainly duos with vocalists playing covers, I'm relying more and more on fingerpicking to get a fuller sound. So, I was wondering is it possible to develop good shredding skills without a pick? I went looking on youtube for examples and couldn't find much. I did come across this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUm33_8ZKaQ and even though he's a little rough, I thought he's fingerpicking chops are pretty good and the closet I've seen to shred. Any one have suggestions or opinions?

    Scott

  2. #2
    Artistically Bankrupt
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    I am not certain what "shred" is, but Jeff Beck does okay without a pick when playing hard rock riffs.
    "If a child learns which is jay and which is sparrow, he'll no longer see birds nor hear them sing."

  3. #3
    I talk to spiders... CaptainCaveman's Avatar
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    Check out some flamenco players! They play fingerstyle and very fast indeed.

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    I don't know how much you can do on an electric guitar but classical and flamenco players can play insanely fast. Check out Paco de Lucia. He plays fingerstyle and is every bit as fast as John McLaughlin and Al DiMeola, two of the fastest alternate pickers around. Check it out:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cadbYIzhqQ

    Also, this is one of the most insane classical pieces I have come across:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54txdiTofxs
    "I second-hand smoke two packs of cigarettes a day." -- Jerry Seinfeld

  5. #5
    He's dark. He's a man. Darkman's Avatar
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    In theory, finger picking should be a lot faster than using a plectrum. I believe flamenco players use three fingers for that fast tremelo picking. Imagine alternating three picking fingers, perhaps especially for 3nps. Bound to faster than a plectrum really, but no one has bothered to really do it in rock, apart from Jeff Beck I suppose. Plus you may lose some attack.

  6. #6
    I talk to spiders... CaptainCaveman's Avatar
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    OMFG, that classical guy out-shreds all the shredders.

  7. #7
    Registered User Revenant's Avatar
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    I recently bought Jack Zucker's book "Sheets of Sound for guitar". He demonstrates a new approach to playing fast lines no matter if you use pick or fingers. Basically, you alternate with your thumb and first finger for alternate picking. A while back he decided to stop using a pick entirely because he likes the sound of fingers better. He can alternate pick, economy pick and sweep pick with fingers, if you can believe that!

    So yes, it is very possible. But I suspect it requires much more dedication and effort than using a pick.
    The Young Apprentice

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    I disagree. Finger picking and using a pick are totally different motions and there is no way that you can say that just because you use more fingers while fingerpicking you can pick faster than you could using a pick. Even with fingerpicking using more fingers will not necessarily let you pick faster because you need to coordinate the fingers. Personally I can pick faster using i-m than i-m-a and I know that Paco uses i-m for his fast runs (which are porbably around 16th notes at 200bpm).
    "I second-hand smoke two packs of cigarettes a day." -- Jerry Seinfeld

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCaveman
    OMFG, that classical guy out-shreds all the shredders.
    Yep. Check this out as well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEfFbuT3I6A
    "I second-hand smoke two packs of cigarettes a day." -- Jerry Seinfeld

  10. #10
    He's dark. He's a man. Darkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graypianoflying
    I disagree. Finger picking and using a pick are totally different motions and there is no way that you can say that just because you use more fingers while fingerpicking you can pick faster than you could using a pick. Even with fingerpicking using more fingers will not necessarily let you pick faster because you need to coordinate the fingers. Personally I can pick faster using i-m than i-m-a and I know that Paco uses i-m for his fast runs (which are porbably around 16th notes at 200bpm).
    Yes, you'd need to learn to co-ordinate the fingers, just as you had to learn how to alternate pick when first starting. That's not a negative, it just means people who have learnt a technique already would have to learn a new one from scratch.
    Put it this way, imagine three picks instead of one, and all the more economy of movement this would allow. Each finger (or fingernail) would act as a pick. I think it's pretty logical to say three fingers would be quicker than one pick. Try fretting each note with one finger, and then compare it to one finger per fret as most do now with 3nps. It's the same principle applied to the picking hand.

    Just MO of course

  11. #11
    right coast, wrong coast starslight's Avatar
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    these guys all use thumbpicks, but a hard callous on your thumb will work just as well:

    brent mason:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYSLx...eature=related

    scotty anderson:
    http://www.troygrady.com/mov/scotty.mov

    tommy emmanuel:
    http://www.troygrady.com/mov/tommy.mov

    and DO NOT sleep on lindsey buckingham:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdXbiB354us
    Last edited by starslight; 12-08-2007 at 07:57 PM.

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    Thanks guys for responding. Im not familiar with fingerpicking players but I checked out Scotty Anderson and he is unbelievable. I dont think I want to incorporate a thumbpick though, there's something about playing totally barehanded that appeals to me. The youtube url I posted of the guy shredding has another clip which I missed. This to me is quite nice, a lot better than the shredding clip. This is the sort of soloing I would like to do without a pick http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqB42o5iAvc it's not exactly shredding but it's not slow either. What do some of you guys think of this type of playing?


    Scott

  13. #13
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    Bernd Steidl http://www.mp3.com/artist/bernd-steidl/summary/
    Brett Garsed http://www.brettgarsed.com/lessons/a...7/ausgtr47.php

    I am not sure if he shows it on his site but he uses fingers to pick fast sweep type arpeggios without sweeping
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
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  14. #14
    He's dark. He's a man. Darkman's Avatar
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    Well that Steidl guy can certainly play

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