#1
Hey all,

I've been playing the piano and bass guitar for 4 years now. Originally I first started with an acoustic nylon guitar (mostly fingerpicking) which I played on-off for a couple of years before switching to aforementioned instruments. The reason for playing on-off was because I got easily frustrated by my poor right hand coordination skills (fingers hitting wrong strings, multiple strings or no strings at all) and then had long pauses before trying again. Now I'd like to hit guitar playing once again, but this time I'd like to take it slow and easy, so I'm asking if anyone could point me to lessons/tutorials which are for improving coordination and accuracy in fingerpicking which I could do every day for about 15-30 minutes. Pictures and other visual material for learning the correct right hand position and finger movement are also greatly welcome.

Thanks!
#2
While I don't have anything to show you that you can practice. I can guarantee you the only thing you NEED to do is take something you want to fingerplay and play it slowly until it sounds the way you want. Once you're comfortable at a slow speed, speed it up a bit more and play until it sounds how you want. Keep repeating until you're playing it the way it's supposed to sound.

There is no other secret, stay relaxed and most importantly stay patient. Patience is the number one thing you need when learning something. No one song will work better than another. Pick a song with a couple of chord shapes, learn the name, learn the shape. Just keep at it. If you really need video motivation just go on youtube and look up some hundred videos. It's all there for you.
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Last edited by Xerosnake90 at Apr 22, 2015,
#3
There's really not much I can say other than practice. You've been playing on and off, so at the end of the day it would seem like you haven't been playing all that long. Being consistent with your practice is important.

I'm trying to think of particular songs that specifically cater towards fingerpicking that serve as really good coordination exercises, but other than Nothing Else Matters I can't really think of many.

I can think of one more, but it will likely be very difficult if your fingerpicking and barre chords are sketchy. I'll link it anyways because I love it and it helped me tremendously when learning it:



EDIT: Oh, I just realized that this was for classical guitar. Maybe ignore that song then.
Last edited by vayne92 at Apr 22, 2015,
#4
Hi, I can't create a new thread so I'll post here.
I've been playing guitar for years but I've always used my thumb to pluck. This is a problem now when I'm trying to learn a new song. Any tips on how to pluck using 3 fingers (On different strings)
Thanks
#6
I've switched between pick and finger picking for around 30 years. The only thing I know of is practice.

You say you play piano. That makes this even more curious. I don't play much keyboards, left hand tendon damage makes it difficult, I can only use thumb, index and pinkie most of the time. But I thought of a routine that might help with coordination.

Get on a piano and try opposing scales. By that I mean let's say a C scale. Start an octave apart, run an ascending C scale with the right hand, and a descending scale with the left, try to keep all notes in synch with each other.

I probably couldn't do that on piano, but I'm no keyboard player.

I learned most of my finger picking in the dark. I wanted to be able to play without watching the guitar neck, and pay attention to the audience now and then, and wondered how guys like Stevie Wonder, Jose Feliciano and Ray Charles did it totally blind from the start. I started out barely able to do a few open chords, ended up after 2 years practicing in the dark able to play anything I wanted to with or without pick, start to finish, and learned a couple of finger picking songs from scratch in total darkness. One of those was Peter Frampton's "Penny For Your Thoughts".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mixQKzkgZh0

I've heard for many years if you can play piano you can play anything. I proved it in high school, I learned every instrument in the band room. Except oboe and bassoon, couldn't afford the double reeds. Already had tendon damage to the left ring finger, so I was never good at keyboards, but I at least learned to go through a couple of basic scales on every instrument, and got pretty good on a couple of them, transposing my sax parts to other instruments.

Sax, flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, tuba, xylophone, marimba, french horn, baritone, drums, tubular bells...you name it I picked it up.

All a matter of practice. Start slow, work your way up to the right tempo. It's frustrating, but it pays off.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
Last edited by Paleo Pete at Apr 24, 2015,
#7
Thank you for all of your replies,

I actually didn't read any of these replies before yesterday, since there was a two day gap between my post and the first reply, so I forgot about this whole thread... Here's what I ended up doing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UU4yMkDdBw

I took five patterns out from this video and divided them between five weeks (one pattern per week). I practice everyday 20 minutes using only right hand (open strings, occassionally using left hand's index finger as a barre to strenghten left hand) and even though I haven't been able to sacrifice more time than 20 min per day, I feel there has been a nice amount of progress. I'm now on week 5 and after this I plan on using the familiar right hand patterns with simple chord progressions.
#8
I notice he anchors with his pinky. I wouldn't recommend that if you plan to get rather advanced, not that it's against the "rules" but I certainly feel more freedom in the right hand since giving up on anchoring (though it takes significantly longer to learn to play cleanly without anchoring).
#9
First I tried anchoring my pinky, but feeling restrained I decided not to. Here's however something I do, of which I'm not sure, if this will hinder my progression with advanced playing levels. I'll try to explain this the best I can: everytime I play a bass note with my thumb, at the same time I place my IMA block (index finger, middle finger and a-finger) on the three upper strings muting the strings. I rest the fingers on the strings and pull them away when I pluck the particular strings and the let the fingers float above the strings until I pluck a new bass note and then place the fingers again on the strings, muting the strings. I'm not sure if I should practice by letting all the fingers float close above the strings all the time. I find it easier to keep my hand at the same spot, if I can anchor the IMA block on the strings even for a short while.
#10
Quote by pokeyasd
Hey all,

I've been playing the piano and bass guitar for 4 years now. Originally I first started with an acoustic nylon guitar (mostly fingerpicking) which I played on-off for a couple of years before switching to aforementioned instruments. The reason for playing on-off was because I got easily frustrated by my poor right hand coordination skills (fingers hitting wrong strings, multiple strings or no strings at all) and then had long pauses before trying again. Now I'd like to hit guitar playing once again, but this time I'd like to take it slow and easy, so I'm asking if anyone could point me to lessons/tutorials which are for improving coordination and accuracy in fingerpicking which I could do every day for about 15-30 minutes. Pictures and other visual material for learning the correct right hand position and finger movement are also greatly welcome.

Thanks!


Get a hold of some beginner classical guitar arpeggio and scale exercises ( Segovia Scales) - those are by far the most meticulous and thorough way to improve your fingerstyle skills. Play them to a metronome.

Make sure you pay special attention to right hand hand placement at the start - you tube proper classical technique.

Learn Bouree and Prelude in Dminor from Bach - The first is great for Independence, the second is all arpeggios all the time.
#11
Don't anchor your pinky at the start - you can do it later, but it is a bad habit to start off with.
#12
Avoid any video lessons with someone playing an acoustic guitar when starting out, they usually use travis picking and a poor grip, which works well on acoustic, but is ultimately bad technique in comparison to classical, which will allow you to play anything.