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  #61  
Old 01-24-2022, 02:45 PM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Best way to learn fingerstyle is to play fingerstyle music.

Pick some tunes you like (probably with tab to look at both for speed of learning and something to look at later to refresh your memory of earlier tunes you may have forgotten). Learn to play very well and memorize the tunes you pick out to work on. Pick tunes around your level so you don't get discouraged and some other tunes a little more advanced so you can keep building skills.
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  #62  
Old 01-24-2022, 05:15 PM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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I did it (back in 1966) by recording the track on to a 2-speed tape deck and playing it back at half-speed. Then working through beat by beat, bar by bar. Slicing the pattern into individual beats, or 2 beats at a time.
I.e. not starting with the thumb, but always the whole pattern, with thumb and fingers interlocked - just at half-speed. Practising each bar over and over until thumb and fingers ticked along together, gradually speeding up to full speed.

I can't remember the first tune I learned, but it was probably a Bert Jansch one, either Running From Home, or Angie. I cracked both of them (and a few more) within a year of first picking up a guitar. I couldn't play Angie with quite such reckless abandon as Bert did, but I could play it.
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  #63  
Old 01-24-2022, 06:02 PM
TRose TRose is offline
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Originally Posted by dadio917 View Post
John Prine is my song writing hero. Besides his lyrics that i find enjoyable, i find his tunes easy to finger pick and sing. "Crazy As A Loon" may be the easiest of any song to start finger picking. C, G and D. You can just do the bass line with your thumb and sing to it easily. Then add some index finger once old momma thumb gets a mind of her own. Then graduate to "Summers End" and then "Souvenirs". I've got them and others tabbed out.

Send me a private message with your email and i'll send. At least if i see the message. Don't log on that often.


This is a great thread for a relative beginner. I appreciate everyone’s input.

Dadio917 I’ve messaged you.

Thanks,
Tom
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  #64  
Old 01-25-2022, 03:50 AM
WmHulme WmHulme is offline
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Start with the thumb playing quarter notes, alternate bass notes in a chord. I started with the index and middle playing the top three strings, and added the ring finger in later (over a year later). The ring and index will play eighth notes (not all eight of them!). It is much easier to read tab of simple patterns and learn those first, than it is to just play what you think you should from your head.

I count "Even-even-even-even" out loud for 4/4, with each "Ev" being the thumb. A finger will then go on either the "Ev" or the "ven", or eventually both, etc. Practice simple, monotonous patterns first, and then eventually you will go from one to the other, with the end goal of being able to improvise and keep your thumb steady. Say the "Even-even......" out loud in a steady beat. Try with a metronome and saying out loud. Start saying the "evens" before you even start playing. Play with just the thumb on the "evens" and then bring in a finger on a "ven". The drills are endless.

I am sure there are I IV V patterns out there on the internet to use.
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  #65  
Old 01-25-2022, 09:05 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
I did it (back in 1966) by recording the track on to a 2-speed tape deck and playing it back at half-speed. Then working through beat by beat, bar by bar. Slicing the pattern into individual beats, or 2 beats at a time.
I.e. not starting with the thumb, but always the whole pattern, with thumb and fingers interlocked - just at half-speed. Practising each bar over and over until thumb and fingers ticked along together, gradually speeding up to full speed.

I can't remember the first tune I learned, but it was probably a Bert Jansch one, either Running From Home, or Angie. I cracked both of them (and a few more) within a year of first picking up a guitar. I couldn't play Angie with quite such reckless abandon as Bert did, but I could play it.
I did a similar thing with an old Oak Publications Happy Traum book "Fingerpicking Styles For Guitar". I just did it in vertical slices so that at each event in the music, I put my fingers where they needed to be and then did the same for the next one and the next. Playing ever slowly at first and then slightly picking up speed, the tune came into being much like drawing stick figures on cards, each slightly moved from the previous card so flipping through them created a sense of motion.

Doing this by ear came a bit later for me after I had gotten my fingers moving.

Tony
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  #66  
Old 01-25-2022, 10:39 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Originally Posted by tbeltrans View Post
I did a similar thing with an old Oak Publications Happy Traum book "Fingerpicking Styles For Guitar". I just did it in vertical slices so that at each event in the music, I put my fingers where they needed to be and then did the same for the next one and the next. Playing ever slowly at first and then slightly picking up speed, the tune came into being much like drawing stick figures on cards, each slightly moved from the previous card so flipping through them created a sense of motion.
Exactly! IMO that's the way it has work. "Vertical slices" - precisely how I see it.

The "independent thumb" idea is a misunderstanding. That's how it feels once you've conquered it, but it's not the way to learn it. I tried teaching that method to students and failed, until I remembered how I'd taught myself (decades earlier).
It's easy enough to get the thumb picking on the beat - they could all do that - but as soon as they'd add a finger the thumb movement would get disrupted. You have to start by interlocking thumb from the beginning - but slow.

I was glad to see that Mark Hanson's books essentially start that way, with complete patterns.
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  #67  
Old 01-26-2022, 07:59 PM
dbvirago dbvirago is offline
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Originally Posted by pickinray View Post
This is excellent advice. When I started Travis picking, I found that keeping my thumb going was the key. This video was helpful to me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6b371mNkCw

Good luck!
This video is excellent. I have been working through it step by step for a couple of weeks.
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  #68  
Old 01-27-2022, 12:54 AM
tbirdman tbirdman is offline
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Originally Posted by roadbiker View Post
Start by learning Freight Train.


When I play Freight Train, it sounds like Train Wreck. I need to go back to it. I can play a three string alternating Travis Pick on the open chords very good, but struggle with Freight Train because the need to use the pinky. I should go back to it as my pinky use has gotten much better.
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  #69  
Old 01-27-2022, 05:03 AM
latentaudio latentaudio is offline
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Learn songs one note at a time. This is a great tool to help with that: https://www.audiostretch.com/
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  #70  
Old 02-02-2022, 07:21 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Originally Posted by RJack View Post
I've been more intentional about practicing finger style done the correct way. I'm talking John Prine style and blues, playing a melody while maintaining a steady bass. This is brutal. I keep reading things like, once it clicks, you got it. Well, for me it clicks, then it doesn't, then it does then it doesn't. I think I have some old bad habits that's hindering my progress.

Please share with me some encouraging tips. Best way to practice? a mental approach that helps you? I'm not using a thumb pick.

Thank you all
RJ,
What are the chances you'd share a video of you playing, warts & all?

I understand if it's uncomfortable. I go through it all the time with students of mine, except that they're now willing to spend money in order to get better, so they swallow their pride, and ignore the red light.

It's basically the same while I'm Facetiming with them, demonstrating the song sections, etc.

They ALWAYS do it correctly right after we hang up. In any case......

Short of you posting a video, I'll impart this: I taught myself how to fingerpick while cutting class at Berklee School of Music, which was only a ploy to avoid being drafted, but I digress.......

When I was first asked to teach fingerstyle in 1970, I was faced with a real dilemma: How to verbalize what I had intuitively internalized?

I didn't read music or tablature. I was just headstrong and determined, and I was a frustrated drummer, so I needed to be able to play with my own beat.

My epiphany was this: Fingerstyle/fingerpicking is nothing more than Notes-In-Order, or if you like: It's like a string of code.

After that it was easy; way easier & effective than 'Just watch what I'm doing' or play the thumb part until it's locked in.

It is often learned in a very mechanical/mathematical way, the aim of which is to prove to the student that it's really not magic. It can be done by just about anyone.

BUT THEN.......it has to be made to feel musical so that the magic is back!

You can keep trying to do it yourself, but at least record yourself while you're practicing. Then put the guitar down, hit play, and deal with it, honestly.

Perhaps you can give yourself the kind of feedback that an experienced outsider would give you.

Best regards,
Howard Emerson
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