Fingerstyle Part I: Malaguena

author: Rock Prodigy date: 11/16/2012 category: guitar techniques
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Fingerstyle Part I: Malaguena
"Tone is in your fingers"- I'm sure you've heard this idea before, especially when talking about masters of tone such as Van Halen or Billy Gibbons. This idea enters another deeper dimension when it's applied to fingerstyle on a nylon string guitar. Here is our video explaining the basics of fingerstyle technique applied to the song "Malaguena". The example features a melody that is played in the lower strings while alternating open strings in the higher register.
Most of my guitar students have gone through a phase of being curious about fingerstyle/fingerpicking. As cool as it is to scrape your pick with the amp cranked to 11 - still there is something very organic about producing the sound with only your fingers, shaping your own voice manually. As you learn the basics of fingerstyle from our video, keep in mind that finger - picking is not only a guitar technique but also a different kind of relationship between you and your instrument. The different technique variables, like the position, nails, angle of attack, amount of pressure, distance from your hands to the bridge etc... are going to affect the sound radically, and you will use all of them to channel your voice through the guitar. There are many points of view about each of the variables mentioned earlier. For example, a trained classical guitarist positions the instrument differently than does a strict Flamenco artist. Another difference of technique concerns the use of the finger nail or finger tip to pick the strings. Here's a brief history of the fingernails versus fingers debate which mentions masters such as Fernando Sor, Andres Segovia, and Francisco Tarrega. Though we don't discuss these theories in our video, we do give you a general approach to the techniques by learning a music example that will also help you tap into one of the main roots of guitar playing. The piece is Malaguena in Flamenco style. Malaguena evokes the beautiful Spanish coastal city Malaga, a town rich with traditional dances that became a source of inspiration for classical compositions such as Malaguena by Ernesto Lecuona, Issac Albeniz's Asturias or Francisco Tarrega's Malaguena. Enjoy and check out some more free tips and articles at Jose Hernandez
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