#1
Hey guys! As the title suggests, I have problems with my thumb independence.... in a way. It's a weird problem because if you said to me: "Play a pattern like
five-three-two-one ; six-three-two-one ; four-three-two-one" I don't have a problem because I don't think of my thumb doing something else than the rest of my fingers even though it is alternating between strings 5-6-4.
However if you said to me: "With your thumb alternate between 5-6-4 and with the other fingers play the strings 3-2-1" I probably couldn't do that.
Hopefully somebody gets what I mean haha. Does anyone know any exercises or something to get that thumb to move?
#2
If you can afford it, take Classical guitar lessons. The basic exercises given to first year university students would cover all of that.
#3
Quote by Baloo010
. . . . However if you said to me: "With your thumb alternate between 5-6-4 and with the other fingers play the strings 3-2-1" I probably couldn't do that. . . .


That is precisely the way I fingerpick. I think it's called the "classical" technique - essentially you are playing the bass strings (6-5-4) with your thumb and the trebles with your fingers (3-index, 2-middle, 3-ring) no matter what particular pattern you choose to play.

After that it's just a matter of practise.
#4
Justinguitar.com has a free lesson on this. Practise slowly don't try to speed up. Believe me it won't happen overnight but it will happen. Also go check out Travis finger picking. Cheers
#5
It is something that you will get with practice. I learned it by initially just using my my thumb and index finger then when I got used to that I added my middle and then my wring finger. I still don't use my pinky that much but can if I need to.
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#6
I find it simpler to not think of anything in terms of "independence". Your thumb is either hitting a note before, after, or at the same time as another note being hit by your other finger(s) - those are the only three possibilities. When learning something, its easier for me to conceptualize it that way than to think of the bass notes as being completely independent and off on their own.
#7
Quote by reverb66
I find it simpler to not think of anything in terms of "independence". Your thumb is either hitting a note before, after, or at the same time as another note being hit by your other finger(s) - those are the only three possibilities. When learning something, its easier for me to conceptualize it that way than to think of the bass notes as being completely independent and off on their own.


Absolutely, and that is how I used to teach it. Don't look at alternating bass/Travis picking as a bass line and a melody, think of it as a series of pinches and/or alternates of thumb and finger(s).

Using something like Tabledit, you can choose one chord, say E (022100 frets), and write an even quarter-note thumb line for it on the 6th and 4th strings (6-4-6-4- strings). Then put a finger line on the top three strings of quarter and eighth notes that either line up or alternate with the thumb, still only using the chord notes. Then listen to it and play it. Then progress to different chords, chord changes, non-chord notes, hammers and pulls, slides and so on.
Last edited by Tony Done at May 30, 2014,