#1
I've just started learning how to fingerpick correctly, and I've noticed whenever I pluck a string my fingers tend to pull the string away and the fingers move away from the sound hole a little bit, with the string I'm plucking. Is this normal, or should I try to pluck the string without moving my hand at all, and only moving my finger to pluck?
#2
Im not really sure what your saying, but just go and look at a video of some musician that you like doing it and see what's happening. This question begs the answer of "just go and do what works." You're not a robot, you can move your hand a tiny bit.
#3
Oh, right, check out videos. How could I forget to do that? I knew there was something stupid question-like about the post!

Anyways, if you guys have any tips on fingerpicking I would love to hear them
#4
im not 100% sure what you're trying to say either but if you have nails, try and play through the string almost as if you're going to hit the string below it. it takes practice but you'll get a louder/better sound..... but if you dont have nails then idk how you should pluck
#5
Quote by blacksurgeband
I've just started learning how to fingerpick correctly, and I've noticed whenever I pluck a string my fingers tend to pull the string away and the fingers move away from the sound hole a little bit, with the string I'm plucking. Is this normal, or should I try to pluck the string without moving my hand at all, and only moving my finger to pluck?

You should avoid plucking the string in a manner that pulls the string out from the guitar.
Superior tone and volume is obtained by imparting an inward motion to the string as the finger passes through it on its stroke. This is very important in classical playing and the physics behind it applies to steel string as well.
To test this advice for yourself pull a string, at the soundhole, about a centimeter from its rest point and let it go. Do this is three directions: into the guitar, away from the guitar, and parallel to the guitar face. Note the results.
Highly recommend the book "Tone production on the classical guitar" by John Taylor Published 1978 for further information, it's probably out of print but some libraries may hold it.
#6
All picking should be done in a motion that is perfectly parallel to the top of the guitar.
#7
Quote by i_don't_know
All picking should be done in a motion that is perfectly parallel to the top of the guitar.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Excitation of string in plane perfectly parallel to the guitar top produces the weakest tone and volume.
Best tone produced when the finger pushes the string into the guitar as the finger tip passes, broadly speaking as it travels in an arc.
This is a consequence of the physics of how the saddle and bridge assemblies work to transfer energy to the guitar top.

Edit, notice how a rest stroke, produced by players with undeveloped free stroke action (- i.e. the parallel pluckers), sounds much louder than their free stroke, it is because the rest strike imparts greater displacement of the string inward, toward the soundhole.
Last edited by R.Christie at Aug 21, 2009,
#8
Wow that made perfect sense, thanks Christie!

I've also got another question - I got sheet music for Bach's Violin Concerto in A Minor from a friend and I've been playing it, but it's all single notes - there aren't any chords. Should I not use my thumb for that? I've been using my m i a fingers but the m and i more often. I guess the question is... is this right? :P
#9
Quote by R.Christie
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Excitation of string in plane perfectly parallel to the guitar top produces the weakest tone and volume.
Best tone produced when the finger pushes the string into the guitar as the finger tip passes, broadly speaking as it travels in an arc.
This is a consequence of the physics of how the saddle and bridge assemblies work to transfer energy to the guitar top.

Edit, notice how a rest stroke, produced by players with undeveloped free stroke action (- i.e. the parallel pluckers), sounds much louder than their free stroke, it is because the rest strike imparts greater displacement of the string inward, toward the soundhole.


ah yes yes, those were the words i was looking forrrr
#10
Quote by blacksurgeband
Wow that made perfect sense, thanks Christie!

I've also got another question - I got sheet music for Bach's Violin Concerto in A Minor from a friend and I've been playing it, but it's all single notes - there aren't any chords. Should I not use my thumb for that? I've been using my m i a fingers but the m and i more often. I guess the question is... is this right? :P

It would depend on musical context and personal preference. You might for instance decide to play it entirely with fingers for a uniformity of attack, on the other hand passages such as arpeggio sections might strongly suggest using the thumb and fingers for reasons of technical simplification. So it's very difficult to lay down absolute rules.
#11
Quote by R.Christie
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Excitation of string in plane perfectly parallel to the guitar top produces the weakest tone and volume.
Best tone produced when the finger pushes the string into the guitar as the finger tip passes, broadly speaking as it travels in an arc.
This is a consequence of the physics of how the saddle and bridge assemblies work to transfer energy to the guitar top.

Edit, notice how a rest stroke, produced by players with undeveloped free stroke action (- i.e. the parallel pluckers), sounds much louder than their free stroke, it is because the rest strike imparts greater displacement of the string inward, toward the soundhole.

I thought it was a given that a parallel stroke pushes the string slightly inward due to the natural motion of your fingers - I didn't know we were getting that specific.