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Old 02-10-2003, 04:39 PM   #1
garett
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Weekly Technique Lesson #5

Hi all,

Well it's that time of the week again for another technique lesson. As usual, last week's lesson, wich was on
legato, has been moved to the archive thread forum and can be found here: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...&threadid=28496

Being the lazy, spur of the moment kind of guy that I am, I waited until today to decide what today's the lesson
would be about and type it up. Just like every week. Only this week I had a bit of trouble deciding what to do.
We've done pick sweeping, we've done alternate picking, we've done tapping and we've done legato. I had
some ideas but wasn't really keen on doing them this week. So I did what I do every day and grabbed my guitar
and started jamming. I began practicing my sight reading out of my fiance's classical conservatory books
and that's when it hit me. I've had some people ask me about this technique casually over the last little
while and I've seen some posts here on UG about this as well. This week we're going to do a technique that
has it's roots in classical music but is commonly used in rock and other genres as well. This week we're going
to cover finger picking.

If I were to ask you "Hey you. When we finger pick, how many picks are we using?" Your first thought might be
to say "None dufus.. we're using our fingers, remember?" That's when I would say wrong. We're using 5 picks,
and that's the advantage of finger picking. We can manipulate our strings with great speed, accuracy and most
importantly as many strings simultaneously as we want.

To teach finger picking, classical music assigns each finger (including the thumb) a letter. The letters
are P I M A and C. P is your thumb, I is your index finger, M is your middle finger, A is your fore finger
and C is your pinky. Though your pinky is assigned a letter it's actually very rarely used. The most common
fingers you will use are just P, I, M, and A.

It's important to remember the letters for the excersises because I'm going to be using them to indicate
what fingers to use for your picking. Just remember, Poor Idiots Memories Are Crap.

The most common convention in finger picking is to have P play the bass notes and I, M, A and occasionally C to
play the high notes.

Let's get to an excersise. The following is an arpeggio of C and G major and is to get your fingers used to
moving.
Code:
E|------------------------------------- B|-------1----------1------------------ G|-----0---------0----0------0--------- D|---2---------0--------2------0------- A|-3---------2------------3------2----- E|---------3-----------------------3--- p i m a p i m a a m i p a m i p

Now we'll do a similar excersie but we'll throw in 2 string plucking.
Code:
E|---------------------------------- B|-1-----1---------1-----1-3-----3-- G|-----0---0-----0-----0-------0---- D|---2---------0-----2-------0------ A|-3---------2-----3-------2-------- E|---------3------------------------ a i m a a p i m a i m a a i m a p p p p

Notice that when we play the G followed by the B on the low E string and A string we restrict the picking
to our thumbs to play the two bass notes.

The next excersise is going to focus on bass notes and is a preparation for the one after it.
Code:
E|----------------------------------------------------------------- B|----------------------------------------------------------------- G|---0---0---0---0---0---0---0---0---0---0---0---0---0---0---0---0- D|-----2-------2-------3-------3-------2-------2-------0-------3--- A|-3-------3-------3-------3-------3-------3-------2-------2------- E|----------------------------------------------------------------- p m i m p m i m .....

Practice this until you get the pattern at a very comfortable level. In other words where you can play it
very rapidly while remaining crisp clean. The next examples I've actually recorded at their appropriate speeds.
Don't try to play them as fast as the recordings right away, unless of course it comes very easy to you and you can
do it clean. These are just meant to be examples of what you should aim for and to make sure they sound right. But do
them at whatever speed is comfortable for you.

I've included all the examples in a single zip file wich you can extract and play. If you don't have Windows XP or can't
extract zip files then you will need to download WinZIP or a similar program to extract them for you. You can download
them here: http://www.geocities.com/gspencley/lesson5.zip (971k)

The excersise above is intro.mp3.

Now we get a little tricky. We're still arpeggiating the same chords but we'll do something that sounds
fun and familiar. This is the beginning to "Ode To Joy" by Beethoven. You can use the excersise above
as an intro to this.
Code:
E|-0----0-----1-----3-----3----1--0-----------------------------0--0---------- B|--------------------------------------3-----1-----1-----3----------0----3-3- G|---0-----0-----0-----0----0--------0-----0-----0-----0-----0---------0------ D|------2-----------2----------0--------0-----------2-----------2------------- A|-3----------3-----------2-------2-----------3-----------3-----------------2- E|-----------------------------------------------------------------3------3--- a i p i a i a ...... m i m i ..... p p p p p

For the last example we'll do a complete song. This song is called Allegretto and is by a composer named Fernando Sor
(1778-1839). This song is in 2/4 and should be played at a tempo of 120bbm
Code:
E|-------------0----------------0--------1------0-----------0-------- B|--------1-------1----------1-----1-------3------1---0-3-1---3-0---- G|---0-------0----------0------0-------0------0-------------------0-- D|------2------------------2----------------------------------------- A|-3------------------3----------------2------3---------------------- E|------------------------------------------------------------------- p i m i a m i m i m i m i E|-----------0---------------0-------1-------0------------------- B|-------1-----1--------1------1-------3-------1----3---0--1----- G|---0------0-------0------0-------0-------0----------0------0--- D|------2-------------2---------------------------3--------2----- A|-3--------------3----------------2-------3-------------------3- E|--------------------------------------------------------------- p m p i m i p p E|-------------------------------------------0----------------------- B|---0--------1------0--------1------0---3-----1------1-------------- G|-0-----0--2------0-----0--2------0-------------2------2----0------- D|-----0--------0------0--------0-------------------0-----4---------- A|-------------------------------------2---3---------------------2-3- E|-------------------------------------------------------------3----- p i p m p i p p a m i p a m i m p p p E|-----------0---------------0-------1-------0----------0----------- B|-------1-----1--------1------1-------3-------1--0-3-1---3-0------- G|---0------0-------0------0-------0-------0------------------0----- D|------2-------------2--------------------------------------------- A|-3--------------3----------------2-------3------------------------ E|------------------------------------------------------------------ E|-----------0---------------0-------1-------0------------------- B|-------1-----1--------1------1-------3-------1----3---0--1----- G|---0------0-------0------0-------0-------0----------0------0--- D|------2-------------2---------------------------3--------2----- A|-3--------------3----------------2-------3-------------------3- E|---------------------------------------------------------------

And that concludes this week's lesson. From here I hope you'll be able to apply finger picking techniques
to any style of music and to any chord progession.

Until next week,

Garett
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Old 02-10-2003, 05:23 PM   #2
benjmc
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Nice lesson...simple but still nice...and very useful for beginners.
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Old 02-10-2003, 05:42 PM   #3
socialtool
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Not just begginers. I've needed some good exercises to work on my fingerpicking. And this will definetly Help thanx garret!
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Old 02-17-2003, 07:36 AM   #4
turinbrakes
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good lesson garett, i'd just like to add that there's a great fingerpicked acoustic riff repeated in the acoustic version of.......dont be scared.......tupac shakur - thugz mansion (acoustic)..i was quite sceptical myself when somebody advised me this song but just listen to it, you'll love the guitar in it..it's great for you fingerpicking i tabbed it out, here´s te link:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/f_sh...g.php3?id=45790

Last edited by turinbrakes : 02-18-2003 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 02-23-2003, 02:10 PM   #5
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great lesson gar, a good introduction for beginners and a nice brush up exercise for the more accomplished players. Im gonna be a bit cheeky now mate, any chance you could do a lesson on string skipping, i think its a great technique to spice up your lead playing and i wanna brush up on my paul gilbert chops. Beat!
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