#1
Whats the best way to compose a song into fingerstyle? Like i mean a song you already know the chords to and then convert it into fingerstyle because ive tried and i suck
any advice and help is welcome
please
#2
I designate a finger per string when going fingerstyle on acoustic.

E pinky
B ring
G middle
D index
A thumb
E thumb

The order of which finger I choose isn't predetermined though, like say I will pluck the A then the G, next The D and then the low E. Just an example really,I would suggest to play around with it and experiment to find what you like and what works best for you. I hope I was any help.
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Last edited by drunkseph at Oct 1, 2015,
#3
The use of the pinky in fingerstyle is quite rare, and I mostly use the thumb on the three bass strings, and index and middle on the others, ring finger only for arpeggios. Also, you sometimes need to use two fingers in rapid succession on the same string, eg thumb and index or index and middle. I'm practicing that at the moment, but in broad terms it means that while thumb-to-bass and other fingers-to-high strings is is useful guide, it isn't hard and fast by any means.

In terms of composition, I look for the melody in the chords. This means that you have to find chord voicings that emphasise the melody notes you are looking for. I have the melody in my head, then hunt around for the chords that fit it. Often they vary a bit from the standard cheat sheet versions, usually involving a lot more changes and/or added notes.
#4
I find what you're trying to do very difficult on acoustic a lot of the time. When I do that sort of thing, is where I'd whip out Transcribe!. It's software that lets you loop parts, and slow it down keeping the pitch the same.

It's really tough because sometimes the chords and melodies you need to play are very physically difficult to play. There are shortcuts you can take, like just playing the melody a bit and doing stabs on the chords, or just playing chords a bit or what have you, but really playing the chords and also the melody can be tough.

Theory always helps a bit also, but really all you can do is tough it out and practice.

FWIW I use similar left hand designation as previously posted. The fingers I use the most are middle and ring. I usually only ever use pinky on high E, but use it quite a bit. I also use thumb and index or middle alternating sometimes, and sometimes only thumb on down and up strokes.

But what's really the tough part for doing this, imo, is the left hand with barres etcetera. You can get pretty nice sounding stuff though with more sparse voicings. Even just the bass note of the chord and the melody can sound pretty sweet, but if you really want to get nice full chords, some of those voicings are pretty demanding.

Usually the highest note you play is best suited for the melody, so often times the melody will dictate which voicing you should use. There is a bit less opportunity for hiding behind what is easy for you, when you play that style.

Some guys that effortlessly drift through tunes like that, are actually doing physically mind boggling things, as easily as strolling in the park.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Oct 1, 2015,
#5
Quote by ainetreacy
Whats the best way to compose a song into fingerstyle? Like i mean a song you already know the chords to and then convert it into fingerstyle because ive tried and i suck
any advice and help is welcome
please


Fake it.

Seriously, if you know the chord progression you should be able to fingerpick any song. Whether it sounds good is another story.

My play improved dramatically after I watched a video of Mark Knopfler demonstrating alternating bass while fingerpicking. It just seemed to click..his explanation was perfect. Once I incorporated that simple thing into my play it started to click.

Toby's Hilariously Bad Beginner Guide to Sloppy Cowboy Fingerstyle Guitar

Thumb pick the root note and the next string up 2 beats later (sorry, I'm not musically trained) in an alternating bass pattern and alternate pick the treble strings with the index and middle finger. I only use the ring finger occasionally. On the 4 string chords (D, F, etc) I freely pick the "A" string as a root note, even though it's technically not correct (sounds okay though!). You'll be surprised at how easily you can train yourself to do that alternating bass pattern, and it will improve your sound dramatically.

Example: Amaj is the chord.....pluck the 5th string (A string), pluck the 2nd string (B string), pluck the 4th string (D string), then the 3rd string (G). That's just an example. I've found there is an amazing amount of variability....if I feel the song needs more "highs" I'll pick the high E string instead of the 2nd string, maybe. Anyway you can see it's all very unscientific. BUT....just picking on the guitar you'll notice some patterns sound better than others.Trial and error has improved my play a bit...switching up the order in which I play the treble, or bass, strings has given me a better "feel" for what might sound good. Learning the Pentatonic Scale has helped in that regard.
#6
Quote by Tony Done
The use of the pinky in fingerstyle is quite rare, and I mostly use the thumb on the three bass strings, and index and middle on the others, ring finger only for arpeggios. Also, you sometimes need to use two fingers in rapid succession on the same string, eg thumb and index or index and middle. I'm practicing that at the moment, but in broad terms it means that while thumb-to-bass and other fingers-to-high strings is is useful guide, it isn't hard and fast by any means.

In terms of composition, I look for the melody in the chords. This means that you have to find chord voicings that emphasise the melody notes you are looking for. I have the melody in my head, then hunt around for the chords that fit it. Often they vary a bit from the standard cheat sheet versions, usually involving a lot more changes and/or added notes.



The only song I use the ring finger on is "House of the Rising Sun", Animals version. What amazes me is how incredible some guys sound who only use their index finger and thumb, like Merle Travis. Incredible skill.
#8
If you want to use arpeggios, which is probably the simplest method, a good rule of thumb (oops...) is to keep time with bass notes. Especially if there are fairly frequent (every two beats or so) chord changes, using inversions you can construct a pleasant bass melody that you can then build arpeggios over. Think Stairway, only not as dull and not written/plagiarised by a pedophile.
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#9
Quote by Tony Done
I do HOTRS as a more ragtimey version, like Chet Atkins, so it is PIM rather than PIMA; I'm not the arpeggio type. Other famous PI pickers I know of are Doc Watson, though he mostly flatpicks, and Gary Davis.


Doc is amazing. I'll have to check out Chet Atkins version.