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  #1  
Old 05-13-2009, 09:35 PM
leftycajun leftycajun is offline
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Default Good fingerstyle book?

Title says it all. Can anyone recommend a good, readily available fingerstyle book? I'm a beginner at fingerstyle but not a beginner at guitar, if that makes sense. Just trying to learn the fundamentals.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:42 PM
leftync leftync is offline
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I don't play fingerstyle, but I know Bruce Emery has written a book and he's fun to read and very good. Try Fingerstyle Guitar From Scratch. http://www.skepticalguitarist.com/books.htm
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2009, 09:49 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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BIg fan of Bruce Emery's books, in particular his "Skeptical Guitarist" theory books.
For acutally learning some fingerstyle, I prefer Mark Hanson's two book/CD series,
"The Art of Contemporary Travis Picking";
http://www.accentonmusic.com/book_detail.asp?qID=5
and
"The Art of Solo Fingerpicking"
http://www.accentonmusic.com/book_detail.asp?qID=7

I have a whole library of music books, and these are the best I've come across for beginning/intermediate fingerstyle instrucion.
Very well written...starts off each section introducing a new technique/topic with some simple exercises, incorporates what you just learned into a song (and there are some very good songs here.)
By the time you get to the end of book 2, you are well on your way to finger/thumb independence.
Excellent tab, good tunes, laid out logically, good CD.
Great, inexpensive series.
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  #4  
Old 05-13-2009, 10:16 PM
Jesse_Dylan Jesse_Dylan is offline
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I'm in the same boat, not a beginning guitarist but am a beginning fingerstylist.

For me, I bought Acoustic Guitar Magazine's Fingerstyle Method book. Hasn't arrived yet! I also got Beginning Fingerstyle Blues Guitar, a Beatles Solo Guitar book (seem to be good arrangements for beginners, and hey, we know the songs), Acoustic Guitar Solo Fingerstyle Basics (from AG Magazine's Private Lessons series), and finally Steve James' Roots and Blues Fingerstyle Guitar (another AG Magazine Private Lessons).

Let me know what you think of your books and I'll let you know what I think of mine! I kind of went all out.

I also noticed there was an old book that used partial capos and the Third Hand Capo to teach fingerstyle, called Duck Soup Fingerpicking, but it's currently in revision and I couldn't find any old copies.

I'm excited to learn this powerful, fun stuff. I can even entertain my grandparents with it. They don't care for my folk-rocky strum strum sing at the top of my lungs, but they'll like solo fingerstyle.
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Old 05-17-2009, 04:43 PM
Billy Boy Billy Boy is offline
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A big +1 on Mark Hanson's books...
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:05 PM
skiltrip skiltrip is offline
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+1 on Mark Hanson "Art of Contemp. Travis Picking".

I too am not new to guitar playing, I've been playing many years. But I was/am new to fingerstyle as of a few months ago. And I'm working on the above book right now. It's definitely nice and easy to get going, and doesn't feel too slow either, even if you happen to have been playing guitar for a long time.
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:51 PM
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Fingers-thumb independence is just the tip of the iceberg and Mark's books, while good, don't go near the rest of the story.
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:26 PM
Broadus Broadus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBman View Post
Fingers-thumb independence is just the tip of the iceberg and Mark's books, while good, don't go near the rest of the story.
Is there something you recommend instead of Mark's books/DVD's, Barry, or are you talking about something after one has gone through Mark's books?

Bill
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:04 PM
Idaho John Idaho John is offline
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Default Lefty

I would recommend "Beginning Fingerstyle Blues Guitar" by Arnie Berle and Mark Galbo. This book gets your thumb going back and forth and within a relatively short period of time, you are playing some material that sounds pretty good.

Then Mark Hanson's "Art of Contemporary Travis Picking."

After these two - I would evaluate where I wanted to go with fingerstyle guitar - if blues, then Stefan Grossmans' material is highly recommended, also Happy Traum's series on fingerstyle blues guitar from Homespun (also check out Taylor clinician - Artie Traum - good stuff on Homespun tapes). I have enjoyed Kenny Sultan's lessons on CD and performances on DVD. My favorite dvd series has been "Blues by the Book - parts I & II" by Roy Book Binder, simply great stuff also on Homespun. And I am old enough to remember Merle Travis and Chet Atkins - and I still like them, they do not get "too old" for me. There is some nice material from Stefan Grossman's company on how to play fingerstyle in the Travis/Atkins style.

If you are interested in another style of music - I cannot give good recommendations.

I am not much of a fan of contemporary fingerpicking with the exception of Alex de Grassi and Michael Hedges. But...these two players changed my ideas about what was possible with acoustic guitar.

Good luck
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  #10  
Old 05-18-2009, 04:29 AM
3rd_harmonic 3rd_harmonic is offline
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Books, CDs, and DVDs. I never found just one. But a little from this one and a little from that one seemed to be what I did. I learned a little. But after decades of doing that, I finally take weekly lessons. That's the better way for me to learn right now. I confess, 'practicing' isn't as fun as just playing and exploring the guitar. But I still do that too.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broadus View Post
Is there something you recommend instead of Mark's books/DVD's, Barry, or are you talking about something after one has gone through Mark's books?

Bill
Actually while doing Mark's books or other travis stuff I would recommend doing chromatic scales up and down the neck alternating right hand fingers, doing i m a i m a i m a (i = index; m = middle; a = ring); and other drills using i m then m a. It really isn't necessary to buy any particular book, as all you need is imagination, but Pumping Nylon would be a good one to get.

One of the drills I do is a reverse partial chromatic on the first, second and third strings. I just play the following frets on each string = 7 6 5 4 and use the following right hand sequence

1st string = a m i a
2nd string = m i a m
3rd string = i m a i

The left hand is simply 4 3 2 1 for each string. When I first started doing this is felt like I was rubbing my stomach and patting my head at the same time, but now it's easy.

Also doing arpeggios is good too.
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  #12  
Old 01-20-2019, 03:32 AM
Gregg Hermetech Gregg Hermetech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBman View Post
Actually while doing Mark's books or other travis stuff I would recommend doing chromatic scales up and down the neck alternating right hand fingers, doing i m a i m a i m a (i = index; m = middle; a = ring); and other drills using i m then m a. It really isn't necessary to buy any particular book, as all you need is imagination, but Pumping Nylon would be a good one to get.

One of the drills I do is a reverse partial chromatic on the first, second and third strings. I just play the following frets on each string = 7 6 5 4 and use the following right hand sequence

1st string = a m i a
2nd string = m i a m
3rd string = i m a i

The left hand is simply 4 3 2 1 for each string. When I first started doing this is felt like I was rubbing my stomach and patting my head at the same time, but now it's easy.

Also doing arpeggios is good too.
Sorry for the decade thread necromancy, and thanks for this exercise, but do you mean:

"3rd string = i a m i" instead of:
"3rd string = i m a i"

to keep the "a m i" pattern all the way through, or do you actually swap it about on the 3rd string?

Just working my way through the first Mark Hanson book at the mo, and loving it. But looking to work towards a bit more finger independence right now, if possible.
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:52 PM
why2 why2 is offline
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Gregg, I believe you are right with your question. That means sticking to the symmetry of the pattern. Then you can advance to making the pattern complex and repeating that complexity which is a challenge. Applying that to arpeggios, which are musical, can really be fun with the ear as the guide.
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:26 PM
Gregg Hermetech Gregg Hermetech is offline
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Thanks, I'll start adding this exercise into my daily practise routine!
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:50 AM
Gregg Hermetech Gregg Hermetech is offline
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I've been practising this every day, it's great, so thanks once again! I started at 40 bpm and am now at 65 bpm, inching it up there slowly!

The only difference I made was that after going up, I also come down, reversing the pattern, so it looks like this:

1st string = a m i a
2nd string = m i a m
3rd string = i a m i
3rd string = i m a i
2nd string = m a i m
1st string = a i m a

I have already noticed my picking fingers seem to be "doing what I want them to more naturally" since practising this, when doing the regular 'one finger per string patterns' from the Hanson book.
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