Tonefiend Forum

Welcome Guest 

Show/Hide Header

Welcome Guest, posting in this forum requires registration.





Pages: [1]
Author Topic: Fingerstyle Frustrations?
joe
Administrator
Posts: 224
Permalink
Post Fingerstyle Frustrations?
on: December 15, 2012, 15:56
Quote

Okay, this one has always been a serious mental block for me!

I usually play electric with sort of a bastardized classical picking hand. But there are two techniques that are a) rarely used in classical, and b) would be pretty awesome to incorporate into a modern electric fingerstyle technique, if only I could make my hands do them!

First: Downstrokes with the fingers. In classical, pretty much the only time you pluck a string with a finger down toward the floor is when playing rasgeuado — basically, a form of strumming in which the fingers fan down across the strings, like flamenco players do.

But it's theoretically possible to produce good tones with both up and downstrokes. In fact, some bass players do that (Chuck Rainey, for example). But I've never been able to incorporate that technique convincingly into my playing.

Second: Developing the little finger of the picking hand. Ironically, I was pretty good picking with my little finger as a kid, because I learned to Travis-pick gripping a flatpick between my thumb and index finger, and picking the three top strings with the other three fingers. I didn't do the octave jump with my thumb/pick — I just kept it near the lowest string, and moored my middle, ring, and pinky fingers on the top three. It's not a great technique — the bouncy Travis groove owes a lot to the "inefficient" leaping of the thumb. Now I kind of wish I could use the pinky as fluidly as the other fingers. But NOOOOOOO.....

mwseniff

Posts: 149
Permalink
Post Re: Fingerstyle Frustrations?
on: December 15, 2012, 21:31
Quote

When I picked up guitar seriously in the mid 70's I actually started playing bass and I was heavily influenced by Jack Casady so I emulated his style. That came across to guitar rather readily for me. So I sort of naturally had that sort of hand position and angle when I began fingerpicking guitar. As for downstrokes I started by doing power chords using all my fingers together to strum across the strings giving a rather large sound. I never really did a lot of Travis picking except for a short while when I used a thumbpick but gave up the thumb pick due to the volume and tonal differences with the fingers. When I finally settled in to fingers only approach on guitar both of those techniques sort of gave me a leg up that allowed my full use of my fingers. Another thing that I believe really helped me was that my day job (and side job) were very demanding of manual dexterity (repair and maintenance of electronic and mechanical devices). When I am doing repairs I always use both hands equally and do some fairly small parts manipulation while also holding screw drivers, cutters, pliers or probes. I have had people watching me be amazed that I am able to do close work like that but for me it is second nature. My suggestion is to find another activity that requires deftness in the hands and fingers to do along with playing guitar as for me at least it really accelerated my capabilities. Once you develop manual dexterity in a variety of things it increase the muscle memory many times. I would also recommend playing bass with an exaggerated fingerstyle as it really helps develop those same muscles. One technique I also found to help the pinky finger is to practice playing chords fingerstyle and trying to pluck all the strings simultaneously as close as possible. If you do that with a distorted tone you can hear it readily because if you hit the strings exactly at the same time it minimizes the breakup of the notes and gives a cleaner sound. Then practice playing all those notes one after another in as perfect a rhythm as possible using the thumb and all four fingers. For me at least those two things really cleaned up my fingerstyle. I also think playing slide fingerstyle with those exercises helped me even more. I am not nor never will be a guitar teacher but those thing seemed to work well for me. I also use all parts of my fingers when playing but I don't use my nails as picks for plucking but rather use the nail on downstrokes for a different texture sort of flicking the strings with the nail rather than plucking them. I am sure that would put a classical guitar teacher on the ceiling but I always strove to be different rather than emulate others. I am sure others will have far better suggestions than this but I think really developing dexterity and strength in the picking hand is vital.

smgear

Posts: 170
Permalink
Post Re: Fingerstyle Frustrations?
on: January 1, 2013, 04:39
Quote

My personal organically evolved style (meaning probably 'inadvisable' for others) is that I use the back of my ring and thumb nails as a sort of utility claw - mostly rotating on the elbow axis for down-ups or independently in a sort of backwards banjo roll for other rhythms. So that lets me move pretty seamlessly from picking to chording while leaving me the first two fingers and pinky to pick up stray notes along the way. To make that work though, I always cut my thumb nail at an asymmetrical downward angle so I've got about a mm of rounded nail sticking out that gives me a nice bit of 'concentrated force'. So a minute adjustment of the angle can let me find the appropriate contact/pressure. Conversely, I alternate the inside nails of the thumb/ring finger to get a pretty rapid lead 'picking', if need be. Not sure if that would work for anyone else, but it seams to be the most fluid approach for my hands.

NicPic

Posts: 25
Permalink
Post Re: Fingerstyle Frustrations?
on: November 22, 2013, 21:10
Quote

ok I dont know I couldnt start a topic but,I'll ask here...All My life I've been a Chet Atkins fan. And I've always had trouble tryining to get the jist of his fingerpicking technique...Anyone got any ideas your willing to share?

Oinkus

Posts: 236
Permalink
Post Re: Fingerstyle Frustrations?
on: November 23, 2013, 04:27
Quote

When I met Chet at a meet and greet before a show they (Chet, Leo Kottke,Albert Lee) did a nice hour long chat. He does a ton of thumb and finger harmonics off of chords, as in he does the entire chord one note at a time quickly.That whole 5 finger string assault thing requires actual dexterity and a TON of practice,think it might be the whole 60 years of playing that makes it seem so smooth and difficult. Practice makes perfect. Watch some serious banjo players , Chet was based in country music but opened up to many different styles . Django was surely one of his guitar heroes. Hands down a phenomenal player with a great head on his shoulders for music.

NicPic

Posts: 25
Permalink
Post Re: Fingerstyle Frustrations?
on: November 23, 2013, 05:13
Quote

Quote from Oinkus on November 23, 2013, 04:27
When I met Chet at a meet and greet before a show they (Chet, Leo Kottke,Albert Lee) did a nice hour long chat. He does a ton of thumb and finger harmonics off of chords, as in he does the entire chord one note at a time quickly.That whole 5 finger string assault thing requires actual dexterity and a TON of practice,think it might be the whole 60 years of playing that makes it seem so smooth and difficult. Practice makes perfect. Watch some serious banjo players , Chet was based in country music but opened up to many different styles . Django was surely one of his guitar heroes. Hands down a phenomenal player with a great head on his shoulders for music.

Thank you,Oinkus. Im a pretty decent finger picker, My dynamics are very natural and Im quite melodic,I think anyway. Id say a split between technique and honest feel. I just have always admired that style and people like Joe, (the Boss) here. who articulate it so well. I'm totally thrilled by the fact the natives here are friendly and, help out the other natives so to speak. I've run out of thoughts or questions. Ive been up all night and I'm cashed LOL...thanks!...

Pages: [1]
Mingle Forum by cartpauj
Version: 1.0.34 ; Page loaded in: 0.022 seconds.

Comments are closed.