#1
Ok. Well i kno that a lot of people ask about this but i searched the forums before submitting this new thread, and i did not find what i hoped i would. Well i really want to learn how to fingerpick and i just don't know where to start. If anyone can submit any kind of info of a website or of their own knowledge on where to start and how to place your fingers along with maybe some excersises it would be greatly appreciated. Thanx.
©Fleabass5

FreakyStyley
#3
Thumb for the 3 bottom strings, index for the G string, middle for the B string and ring for the E string. That's all I can do for you, I'm still getting used to it myself.
#4
What about the pinky??? One question that is bothering me. Is it necessary to use the pinky?
©Fleabass5

FreakyStyley
#5
Only if you want to play flamenco.
Using the pinky effectively usually requires you to use long acrylic nails or grow out your natural nail. Which is sorta wierd.
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#6
Good riddance by Green day. I used this song to learn fingerpicking (most people play this by pick). It was actually a pretty good tool to get your hands and fingers used to classical.
#7
Quote by Zach_F
Only if you want to play flamenco.
Using the pinky effectively usually requires you to use long acrylic nails or grow out your natural nail. Which is sorta wierd.


O okay. Well i would like to play a little flamenco cuz i really want to expand on genres. Thanx for clearing that up for me. And yea growing out my nail is sorta wierd, i can just use my fingertip though right? I mean it shouldn't harm anything.
©Fleabass5

FreakyStyley
#8
To put it simply, classical music uses 4 fingers. Thumb through ring. Classical style is used for almost all finger picking. A very small amount of music ueses the pinky. I strongly suggest you learn to finger pick using your thumb for the 3 lowest strings, and then one finger per string respectivly. You can use your pinky as an anchor by resting it on the scratch guard if you wish to.

Learning using your pinky makes it hard to play the majoirty of other music. I had a really ahrd time switching between styles when I first learned to finger pick. So I emphasize, learn the classical style first. Not all 5 fingers first. Leave the pinky out of it.


Edit: Also, growing your nails out is worth it. Just grow out all 5 nails on your right hand, and only your thumb on your left hand. It doesn't look creepy, so long as if people ask you just tell them you play guitar. Believe me...it's worth it. Playing with your nails makes a much much nicer sound than your finger tips.


Also, Classical Gas is a great song to learn to finger pick to. It has nice beat, and it's fun. It's what I learned to. http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/m/mason_williams/classical_gas_power_tab.htm
Last edited by Metatron at Jun 30, 2006,
#9
Ok this probably isnt much help but anyways..

I play alot of acoustic and quite a bit is finger picked, all my finger picking was self taught.. just trying out different types of songs and figuring out the easiest way to play the song youre playing. And i also never use my pinky.

I dont always stick by the guideline of "using your thumb for the 3 lowest strings, and then one finger per string respectivly"

I noticed you like RHCP so id recommend learning the intro of Under the Bridge.
#10
Well if you're just starting to learn fingerpicking, here's a few exercises


Nothing Else Matters intro       Some country-style riff
e|-------0-----------0------|    e|---------------------------------------------|
B|-----0---0-------0---0----|    B|----1-----1-----1-----1-----1-----1----------|
G|---0-------0---0-------0--|    G|----0-----0-----0-----0-----0-----0----------|
D|--------------------------|    D|---------------------------------------------|
A|--------------------------|    A|-3-----------3-----------3-----------3---0-2-|
E|-0-----------0------------|    E|-------3-----------3-----------3-------3-----|

    C             G            Am            Am7            F             E
e|--0------0------3------3------0------0------0------0------1------1------0------0------|
B|----1------1------3------3------1------1------1------1------1------1------0------0----|
G|------0------0------0------0------2------2------0------0------2------2------1------1--|
D|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|--3------3------2------2------0------0------------------------------------------------|
E|--------------------------------------------3------3------1------1------0------0------|
#11
How long do your nails need to be for fingerpicking?

Until recently I've always bitten my nails, but because I want to play acoustic so badly (not badly as in rubbish!) I stopped. Problem is they seem to have grown to the end of my fingers and stopped!

So back to the question, how long do I need them to be for finger picking? Surely not as long as John Butler's. If you don't know what I mean see search this forum for John Butler and watch the video. Even if you do know what I mean watch the video again!!!!

Simon
#12
try Dust in the wind by kansas, its a good beginner fingerpicking song, also i finger pick songs all the time and i have short nails...personally i dont think you NEED long finger nails, somepeople like certain styles, and i can play fast and clean without long nails
#13
Nails are not really needed, though long nails have a sort of pick effect, making the sound sharper and louder than with the fingers alone. The effect is different, but you should worry about the technique before you worry about the type of sound that comes out.
#14
Thanx you guyz are really helping me out. Let's keep the info comin. So i should just start off with four fingers and then when i get more experienced use my pinky right?
©Fleabass5

FreakyStyley
#15
The proper PIMA was is:
Bottom 2 strings are plucked by the thumb.
3rd is your index finger.
4th is middle finger
5th is ring finger.
6th (high E) is pinky.

At least thats the way i have it.
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#16
Yea when i had first started playing guitar i was looking through a fingerpicking book that said that. I kick myself though for not having bought it.
©Fleabass5

FreakyStyley
#17
Quote by Simon BWFC
How long do your nails need to be for fingerpicking?

Until recently I've always bitten my nails, but because I want to play acoustic so badly (not badly as in rubbish!) I stopped. Problem is they seem to have grown to the end of my fingers and stopped!

So back to the question, how long do I need them to be for finger picking? Surely not as long as John Butler's. If you don't know what I mean see search this forum for John Butler and watch the video. Even if you do know what I mean watch the video again!!!!

Simon


If you are going to grow your finger nails out, that is really up to you. No matter if you are planning not to grow them out, or to grow them out, they should be at LEAST a certain length. If you aren't going to grow them out, you should at least be able to see your nails with your palm facing your face, while you hold your finger tips level with your chin. If you can't see the tips of your nails, THEY ARE TOO SHORT.

If you are going to grow them out, it is really up to you. I grow my picking fingers out quite a bit, as I adore the sound I get. My nails are pretty long. I can see a couple of centimeters of nail if I hold my palm facing my face with my finger tips level with my eyes.

However, it is a personal choice. It also depends on the music you play. I do very very little soloing, and I rarely play electric guitar songs. As I don't use a pick, I use my nails to make up for it. If you use a pick more, maybe you want your nails shorter than mine.

One final note, it also depends on the strength of your finger nails. Some people's nails can't take being grown out. So just play around with it. Let them grow out, keep them rounded and just see what you like!

Edit: I just noticed you mentioned John Butler. My nails are probably within a few centimeters of his length. Possibly a tad longer. But like I said, it's all about personal choice.
Last edited by Metatron at Jul 1, 2006,
#18
Yeah what metatron said.

Also, when you come to cutting your nails, don't clip them, file them. This preserves their strength. John Butlers' fingernails aren't that long.. it's just his thumb nail.. wow.

My thumb nail was pretty long a while ago until I snapped it playing bball. I went back home thinking I wouldn't be able to play but I could - just. Yes there is a certain length you should grow it to but I managed with just the tiniest bit of nail. Moral of the story - once you get comfortable with playing with nails, even if you decide to make them shorter, you'll still be able to play.

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#20
Quote by Metatron
If you are going to grow your finger nails out, that is really up to you. No matter if you are planning not to grow them out, or to grow them out, they should be at LEAST a certain length. If you aren't going to grow them out, you should at least be able to see your nails with your palm facing your face, while you hold your finger tips level with your chin. If you can't see the tips of your nails, THEY ARE TOO SHORT.


><" I've been playing bout 6-7 months now and since the very beginning I've been fingerpicking but all the time with short nails..very short..u can just see a little of the white coming out. is that bad? but I play ok..just that hearing now that playing with nails sound better..should I leave mine a little longer or just stick to what I do now?
#21
I recommend House of the Rising Sun by The Animals (which is a very simple set of arpeggios) Nothing Else Matters by Metallica and Under The Bridge by RHCP to get you going. All very good songs to fingerpick which are also fun to play!

I have very short fingernails and can fingerpick just fine. Its largely down to a matter of how much you like the sound with or without long nails.
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#22
but iwas ssein this paco de lucia video how does he play so notes on the same string so fast giving it a sort of alt.picking effect.
#23
You don't need anybody telling you which fingers to pluck which strings, just play what's comfortable. Two of the best fingerpickers that ever lived didn't play in the conventional style, Rev. Gary Davis used nothing but his thumb and a pick on his index finger and Mississippi John Hurt I believe used his thumb and two fingers(like a lot of other fingerpickers), plus he never grew out his nails.
#25
Quote by Fleabass5
Thanx guys. Any more songs you recommend?

Start out with things you already know. I learned fingerpicking and only started using picks recently. Play the same songs you already do and do the same excersizes you already do just take away the pick. Once you start getting a little comfortable with it then move on to finger picking specific songs. Once you get comfortable I suggest learning the intro solo from wish you were here and tears in heaven. those songs are great for practicing the basic fingerpicking skills.