#1
I just posted a video of me playing a nice acoustic song called To a Sunny Place of the Street, I've been playing fingerstyle for a while, but what are some tips to improve any technique im faltering at, or suggestions would be helpful, or if you like it, give it a thumbs up! Video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cr3zGy4JRM
Appreciate Music.
#2
Fingerstyle isn't an easy area of play to be blunt. It takes a lot of practice and dedication, and I mean a lot. It takes commitment. I've pretty much dedicated the last 4 years of my playing career into fingerstyle guitar, and never looked back.

If you havent already done so, make sure to grow out your I, M, and A fingernails (Index, middle, ring). Bare fingers on string sounds muddy and unclear, but nails allow for a crisp and clear tone.

Also, put a lot of emotion into the songs rather than just regurgitating them. I've learned to do that over the past little while, and it really helps the sound of the piece. Covers are hard to replicate, so I find that after I find my own meaning in a song and I start feeling it when I play, it sounds so much better. I find it hard to do on recordings, Im no good infront of a mic or camera just yet. Thats a whole other problem.

Lastly, the most important thing to do to improve technique and skill: PRACTICE! Seriously, you have to put in hours upon hours of practice to get better at it, just like anything. If you're really serious about playing fingerstyle, then dedicate yourself to it. I hadnt played with a pick for years until recently. Im not saying stop playing other styles of song, but you have to be focused on fingerstyle to make progress.

Good luck
Last edited by Silverstein14 at May 22, 2010,
#3
Yep You'll need some nails on your three picking fingers and even your thumb, depending how you pick the strings. I don't personally like too long nails as sometimes you want a mellow tone from the flesh instead of the sharp tone from the nail.

I've watched you playing and see that you play steel string acoustic (whereas I play classical) but can give you some tips. Firstly (and this is purely from this video) your ima fingers are very clawed, they should be straighter. I'm not talking locked out, they should be bent slightly but not as much as yours are.

This leads on to the next point, because your fingers are `clawed' you pick the strings like a plectrum would, flicking your finger up afterwards. This is inefficient and slow. So my first tip is to practice `rest strokes', which is where you stroke the string e.g. A string with your I finger and then finish the move resting on the D string (without playing it). Thus the only movement is parallel to the guitar surface and not perpendicular (if that makes sense?).

You'll find this gives a much clearer and stronger sound (it does on nylon strings anyway). Note that you don't always use this technique (especially in very fast runs) and other times when you use free strokes but it'll help your overall hand posture, which looks too tense.

Nevertheless the song was very good, and your playing was good, if you would like any more tips or techniques to practice just ask. I've found playing classical guitar helps my electric playing!
Long live the legends of rock!