#1
I've been playing acoustic steel-string guitar for several years, and have attempted various styles of play throughout that time. I first began with a lot of rhythm and folk type play and progressed slowly in to finger-style. I am currently attempting to play finger-style oriented music, and I feel as though I've always had a problem with my right hand technique when it comes to finger-style.

My main concern is consistency in plucking the strings I want to play when I want to play them. I find myself playing an incorrect string several times throughout songs and it pisses me off. I know what I want to play and I know how to play it, but my fingers have to disagree every once in a while. Especially in high tempo songs.

I've noticed that every time I see a classically trained guitarist play, it seems as though their hand is always using the same technique. It looks slightly bent at the wrist, relaxed and very robotic/methodical. I want to know what practices they follow, and technique they use in order to play perfectly. Are there some sort of right hand practices I can employ to help me? Any advice?

Thank you.
#2
Do you use PIMA? Thumb for 3 low strings and index, middle, and ring for the high strings respectively?
#3
Quote by outerheaven2005
Do you use PIMA? Thumb for 3 low strings and index, middle, and ring for the high strings respectively?


I am self taught, so I know nothing about music theory terms and such. I don't know what PIMA is, but I do only use my thumb for the 3 low strings and index, middle and ring for high strings respectively. I use my ring finger for the high e as well, I don't really use my pinkie finger at all. I do use my index for the D string sometimes, however.

EDIT: Actually, now that I play a song, I realize I use my middle and index for all 3 high strings. Should my index stick to G and middle stay on the B string at all times?
Last edited by wAvy at Sep 13, 2008,
#4
Yes, they should always stick to their respective strings, besides thumb, which is the 3 low strings. You typically don't use your pinky at all, as far as i know. Watch videos of people fingerpicking and you'll see how they do it. If you practice enough, your hand will know the exact spot to be over the strings to be able to play it like a robot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFoZVyUbHYQ
check that guy out, for an example. (I just picked a random video)

and check out this article about PIMA:
http://quamut.com/quamut/fingerpicking_guitar/page/understanding_pima.html

p=thumb
i=index
m=middle
a=ring
Last edited by outerheaven2005 at Sep 13, 2008,
#5
Quote by outerheaven2005
Yes, they should always stick to their respective strings, besides thumb, which is the 3 low strings. You typically don't use your pinky at all, as far as i know. Watch videos of people fingerpicking and you'll see how they do it. If you practice enough, your hand will know the exact spot to be over the strings to be able to play it like a robot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFoZVyUbHYQ
check that guy out, for an example. (I just picked a random video)

and check out this article about PIMA:
http://quamut.com/quamut/fingerpicking_guitar/page/understanding_pima.html

p=thumb
i=index
m=middle
a=ring
]

Thanks for the links, you are quite helpful.
#6
No - fingers are not bound to strings. It's all a matter of context. For example, runs are usually executed alternating i m i m etc. Chords and arpeggios are sounded with p or i sounding the bass note, and the other fingers sounding the rest. It's generally a good idea to be consistent within a song or passage with which fingers you use, for consistency of sound. Take this video for example, a piece I played for an exam yesterday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lVqrNd5FW4 He doesn't reserve fingers for strings, yet there is a consistency with his right hand.
#8
Quote by shigidab0p
No - fingers are not bound to strings. It's all a matter of context. For example, runs are usually executed alternating i m i m etc. Chords and arpeggios are sounded with p or i sounding the bass note, and the other fingers sounding the rest. It's generally a good idea to be consistent within a song or passage with which fingers you use, for consistency of sound. Take this video for example, a piece I played for an exam yesterday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lVqrNd5FW4 He doesn't reserve fingers for strings, yet there is a consistency with his right hand.


Yeah, I forgot to mention it's a matter of context. Some things just call out to picked by different fingers, but it shouldn't be hard to figure out because it'll feel natural. Starting fingerpicking, I thought it would be better to learn the basics first.