#1
I want to eventually get into finger style playing. I have seen people play songs from chord sheets and they just seem to know which strings to pick and in what order. They fret the chord and pick individual strings and it sounds amazing.

Is there a formula to it or does that just come with experience?
#3
I have no formal knowledge of technique

that being said, I started out doing the most basic which was the every other string kind of thing...think very early iron and wine. Basic, 4:4 time, develops finger movement.

With enough time and practice your fingers will be natural on the freeboard and you'll be mixing it up and doing alternative rhythms. Listening to other music helps too for becoming aware of the endless possibilities.

Listen to Elliot smiths "angeles", listen to some tallest man on earth, some ben howard, some blues and jazz, heck even some Rodrigo y gabriela.

Reason I point them out specifically, is because when you listen and watch...they are using several different methods and "formulas" at once. That is what makes a good fingerstyle player.
#4
classical fingerpicking is probably the first place to start. it consists of using the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers (called by their Latin names of Pulgar, Indice, Medio and Annularis respectively) and assigning to a specific string the E, A and D strings are played with P (the thumb), G is played with I (index finger), B is played using M (middle finger) and the high E is played with A so it kind of looks like this:

e-A
B-M
G-I
D-P
A-P
E-P

You fret your chord and you pluck the root note of the chord with your thumb and pluck the G, B, and high E strings in an order that makes you happy and voilà! You've started fingerstyle.

Of course there's infinite variations on this, especially when leaving classical music e.g. flamenco guitarists tend to also use their little finger, jazz and blues don't usually stick to the whole "one string, one finger" thing, etc.


and finally.
@ buzzard - Rodrigo y Gabriella is not a great example of fingerstyle, Rodrigo is a pick user and Gabriella uses traditional flamenco strumming most of the time
Last edited by Pastafarian96 at Dec 17, 2014,
#5
Quote by Pastafarian96


and finally.
@ buzzard - Rodrigo y Gabriella is not a great example of fingerstyle, Rodrigo is a pick user and Gabriella uses traditional flamenco strumming most of the time


OH SHOOT! I totally missed that in all the videos that blatantly prove your point

The point wasn't that they use fingers, the point was the styling. If you happened to miss it...I'll volunteer for your search party.

Many finger style players learn or emulate styles that are not necessarily done by finger, and the styling of the duo references a culture of music that uses finger style but the duo is accessible, and lastly, they use plenty of fingerpicking...just because it doesn't comprise 100%, or even 75%, does not imply they aren't a good reference. My reasoning is, when they happen to use it, they are using such varied technique that it's interesting.

Your point is like saying "Metallica is a bad example of acoustic playing" when really it isn't.

cheers
#6
Quote by Pastafarian96
classical fingerpicking is probably the first place to start. it consists of using the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers (called by their Latin names of Pulgar, Indice, Medio and Annularis respectively) and assigning to a specific string the E, A and D strings are played with P (the thumb), G is played with I (index finger), B is played using M (middle finger) and the high E is played with A so it kind of looks like this:

e-A
B-M
G-I
D-P
A-P
E-P

You fret your chord and you pluck the root note of the chord with your thumb and pluck the G, B, and high E strings in an order that makes you happy and voilà! You've started fingerstyle.

Of course there's infinite variations on this, especially when leaving classical music e.g. flamenco guitarists tend to also use their little finger, jazz and blues don't usually stick to the whole "one string, one finger" thing, etc.


and finally.
@ buzzard - Rodrigo y Gabriella is not a great example of fingerstyle, Rodrigo is a pick user and Gabriella uses traditional flamenco strumming most of the time


Thanks

Is the little finger anchored in place the whole time?

Can I use a steel string acoustic for picking?
#7
Quote by u6s68
Thanks

Is the little finger anchored in place the whole time?

Can I use a steel string acoustic for picking?


Honestly you can use anything. People fingerpick steel and nylon string guitars, ukuleles, mandolins, electric guitars, 12 string electric guitars. It's a technique not defined by a genre or instrument.

Watch some vids, seriously. I think you'd benefit.

as for the little finger, some anchor it to complete the chord and some omit it completely. Advanced pickers can utilize all five fingers equally.

Myself, I primarily use my thumb, middle, and ring 100%, my index 50%, and my pinky about 25%. I'm always using it but it's usually just completing the chord, I don't use it for anything fancy.
Last edited by BUZZARD__ at Dec 17, 2014,
#8
There is no formula. You can't really go wrong if you're playing the right chord. There are limited numbers of common chord shapes. Players get used to them and know exactly what to expect.

There are never directions recipes for any music, except for notation of course.

The rest is just names of things. It is always up to the player what to play. Good players can do much more than just arpeggiate the chords on a sheet also. This is possible because they know their instrument very well and have a sort of understanding of music, an implicit one, which means most pieces are sort of telegraphed. For music that isn't that way, players can still cope with just the chord sequence because they can just sort of treat it like each as a separate entity. I don't much like that, but it has a sound lots of people interpret as exotic, or advanced.

TL;DR They know they instrument and music. There are a number of ways to do this. None of those ways are directions, or secret methods, or rules, or recipes.
#9
Quote by BUZZARD__
OH SHOOT! I totally missed that in all the videos that blatantly prove your point

The point wasn't that they use fingers, the point was the styling. If you happened to miss it...I'll volunteer for your search party.

Many finger style players learn or emulate styles that are not necessarily done by finger, and the styling of the duo references a culture of music that uses finger style but the duo is accessible, and lastly, they use plenty of fingerpicking...just because it doesn't comprise 100%, or even 75%, does not imply they aren't a good reference. My reasoning is, when they happen to use it, they are using such varied technique that it's interesting.

Your point is like saying "Metallica is a bad example of acoustic playing" when really it isn't.

cheers

Whoa calm down man!

Yeah I get your point, what I meant was, for fingerpicking technique, they aren't the best example. For phrasing, musical style and fretting hand technique however, they are an excellent example if you're into flamenco and metal influenced rock.

It really is a matter of how you want to do things, listen to some songs with fingerpicking, look for tabs, work out what's going on in the parts you like and try to incorporate them into your playing. Before you know it, you'll be picking away at a guitar (any guitar, I only use a flatpick on songs I learned before moving to finger style on all my fretted instruments except the mandolin and twelve string because double courses are too hard to play w/o a plectrum) like Andrés Segovia, Mark Knopfler or even Robert Johnson.
#10
Just play around as you wish... I'm beginning with my acoustic guitar and sometimes I play around as my mind goes boom with the imagination (free of rules) then I'm able to compose simple but nice sounding solos ^^
Sometimes a person learns quick when just playing around, well, I think
>>>>Colossus Projects<<<<
#11
Quote by u6s68
I want to eventually get into finger style playing. I have seen people play songs from chord sheets and they just seem to know which strings to pick and in what order. They fret the chord and pick individual strings and it sounds amazing.

Is there a formula to it or does that just come with experience?


Fortunately no. There's no formula to it. Finger style though will definitely open you up musically to a whole new world. But if you want an awesome way of playing finger style, look at AlterBridge Ghost of Days Gone By and watch Mark Tremonti's style of playing.