Anyone into this technique? I like some of it, but most of it is only played in certain tempos and always has the same sound and feel. I think it's a waste of time. Yes its cool that people can do that, but it's also so stupid that some wasted their time learning the guitar that way because it limits your playing. Yes, I know there are some amazing players who can play both ways so dont start in.
Just wondered what other players thought about the style. I liked Stanley Jordan for about 6 months, but then I was done.
I like it, but ever since that movie everyone is all OMG RITUAL DANCE BY KAKI KING

which, first off Ritual Dance (the main thing you see played in August Rush) is by Michael Hedges.

2nd, everyone plays Drifting by Andy Mckee, which isnt even stylisticially like most of his material, it's just flashy so people like it.

Personally I'm a big fan of Michael Hedges (who was also an accomplished singer and songwriter)
and Antoine Dufour.

Solo acoustic guitar music is very impressive, but too mmany people now rely on all the slap/tap overhand stuff, and less about melody and actual musical structure.

which is why people like Tommy Emannuel, Michael Hedges (who used the overhand technique sparingly, but still used it quite often and did it very well)

basically I think the style is awesome for people who do it well, but I'm tired of seeing Drifting covers on youtube and have no concept of melody in their music.


tl:dr I love the style but so few people do it well enough for me to care about them specifically.
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Yup, it's fantastic (although, I haven't seen the movie, I get it). I've been to workshops with Don Ross, Antoine Dufour, and Thomas Leeb - all phenomenal fingerstyle players (yes, it's called fingerstyle, not August Rush style haha)...I'd agree that Drifting has become the Freebird of fingerstyle.

There's a lot of fun to be had playing this kind of music, and a lot of great people playing it. Go out and find it.
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kaki king isnt very good

You gonna justify that?
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I think its more fret tapping technique and not fingerstyle myself. Thanks for the replies.
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You gonna justify that?

I won't say she's not a good player, but her version of Ritual Dance is woeful in comparison to the original. Her version is very bland, little focus on dynamics and nuance. Michael's sounds like a completely different piece to me.

Also, I love Michael Hedges' music (playing and vocals), and I do enjoy quite alot of modern fingerstyle. I've noticed though that most guitarists in the style may have strong tapping teachnique, but their fingerpicking is actually quite poor. The players who are really worth listening to (guys like Michael, Eric Roche, Willy Porter, Antoine Dufour, Craig D'Andrea, Don Ross, etc) are all excellent fingerpickers also.

Fret tapping is a technique used in modern fingerstyle. Fingerstyle is a style of guitar playing, fret tapping is a particular technique.

I'm fairly heavily influenced by Michael when it comes to acoustic playing, that includes a small amount of tapping. There are many other techniques for the acoustic that he pioneer, some of which I find much more difficult.

EDIT: Adding some links of Michael's playing (and, and equally important, his singing)

Ritual Dance - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO5lzjDw87Q

Aerial Boundaries - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLXBABH2JuY

Because It's There - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k035v_7dClE

Woman Of The World - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNMUdV5IzAc

All Along The Watchtower - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTDNG8puHF0

and again... - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MdgMm7Ey9A
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Last edited by Prophet of Page at Aug 19, 2009,
Stanley Jordan really doesn't play like the acoustic percussive fingerstyle troupe. Yes, he plays by tapping, but it's really extremely different.
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I liked it. The techique I though was pretty good. I love all the tapping that is put into the songs, you don't here a lot of songs that sound like that.