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  #46  
Old 01-23-2022, 04:21 PM
roadbiker roadbiker is offline
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Start by learning Freight Train.
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  #47  
Old 01-23-2022, 04:32 PM
rollypolly rollypolly is online now
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Quote:
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
I was struggling to gain that independence of the thumb for a long time , but once I intentionally practiced only Travis picking, I eventually got it. I'm no professional now , but I have to agree that once it clicks , you'll have it.

Not sure if this will help you, but when it finally clicked for me, I was practicing a single C7 chord in first position and was just alternating the thumb from the A to the D to the E string as I plucked that chord (with ring finger hitting the third fret to get the G and C notes). Once I got the thumb pattern down I could then pay melody for songs like Freight Train. It's not easy!
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  #48  
Old 01-23-2022, 06:21 PM
Ryan51 Ryan51 is offline
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I take a song section by section. Starting with the intro practicing slowly at first putting in time on it every day for weeks if necessary. After mastering the intro I move on to the next section. The technique you learn in the intro will usually recur throughout a piece making it much quicker to master the following sections.
For Travis Picking a couple of my favorite practice pieces are "Helplessly Hoping" and "Dust in the Wind".
Work on developing your ear. When I start working on a piece I often start by watching a few YouTube tutorials. Very often these tutorials are not quite faithful to the recording but are good enough to get started. After practicing from tutorials my next step is to work from the original recording. I start by listening at .75 speed on YouTube. Always listen through good headphones and see how well the tutorial version matches up with the original. Try to correct any discrepancies you might hear.
As an example I watched a few tutorials on how to play "If You Could Read My Mind". When I tried to play it with the original it didn't match up at all. The tutorials showed it as using Travis Picking but it turned out to be a different Pattern with the thumb playing the bass root note on each beat while using the first three fingers to play the B G and D strings (or E B and G strings for some chords) mostly in that order but varying occasionally.
Another piece I tackled was "Angie" by Davy Graham. Tutorials were pretty close on the first section but nobody got the second section right. After listening slowed down through headphones I finally figured out what was really going and now after weeks of practicing everyday I can play it up to speed.
Have been working intensively on "Classical Gas" for months, if not years, and am finally closing in on the last section. There are a lot of tutorials on this one which helped with some parts but I still put in a lot of listening and trial and error to get to where I'm mostly happy with it.
The main thing about learning fingerstyle is to start with something fairly simple and stick with it practicing every day until you have it mastered. Then find other pieces that you really like and keep advancing.
One thing I stress to all my students on guitar and piano is legato playing. Legato is smoothly connecting notes with little or no space between each note. It's not too difficult on piano but guitar takes some concentration initially as you are not just connecting notes but often full chords. For fingerstyle guitar this means making smooth chord changes and keeping the notes ringing as long as possible before moving to the next chord. Practice this slowly at first and gradually build up speed. Mastering legato will greatly enhance the sound of your playing.
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  #49  
Old 01-23-2022, 06:47 PM
sloar sloar is offline
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Learning Dust in the Wind really helped me. There are a ton of songs using the same pattern. Plus it’s easy enough to do that you can start adding in your own chords and notes.
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  #50  
Old 01-23-2022, 06:56 PM
Shortfinger Shortfinger is offline
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I do the YouTube Daddy Stovepipe blues things, mostly his lessons that include a (for pay) TAB, and when learning, use the YouTube control to slow down the speed to 1/2 or even 1/4, and the loop feature to loop certain licks that I need to do many reps to get the rhythm and syncopation right.

Some of those loops, for me, are only 4 to 6 seconds long.

For me, watching and listening and trying to play just from that, comes first, and when I am close, then go to the TAB to cement it all in place and get the song sections all understood for start-to-finish practice.
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  #51  
Old 01-23-2022, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warfrat73 View Post
Practice with a metronome to help lock in the bass/rhythm.
I saw the title of the thread and thought this immediately - can’t stress this enough…
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  #52  
Old 01-23-2022, 07:54 PM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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Mark Hanson’s into to Travis picking book, then a bunch of John Hurt songs, and I was able to fingerpick. Took a few years for it to really click.
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  #53  
Old 01-23-2022, 08:52 PM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan51 View Post
For fingerstyle guitar this means making smooth chord changes and keeping the notes ringing as long as possible before moving to the next chord. Practice this slowly at first and gradually build up speed. Mastering legato will greatly enhance the sound of your playing.
This entire post contains excellent advice. I am about four months into my fingerstyle journey, and take weekly lessons. The path has focused on "on the job" training, if you will pardon the pun. Started with Freight Train, then Angie, Keep it Clean, Deep River Blues, Bicycle Built for Two (in three) and Baby, Please Don't Go. Teacher plays it. Then we work on it together. After the lesson he sends a vid of the portion we worked on, as well as tabs. Having the tabs are very helpful.
I highlighted the above portion, which I think is excellent advice. Much of what you read about fingerstyle training focuses on the mechanical. Ryan's comments encourage moving beyond note-making to music-making. I will incorporate that into my own work.Good luck on your journey. It ain't easy. But it is fulfulling.
David
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  #54  
Old 01-23-2022, 09:26 PM
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I’m really thankful for this thread. I’m just dipping my toes into the water of fingerstyle playing and have been more than a little confused as to where to start…and who to start with. Lots of good info here! Thanks again, RJack…and best of luck in your own journey!
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  #55  
Old 01-24-2022, 12:58 AM
dadio917 dadio917 is offline
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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.
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  #56  
Old 01-24-2022, 01:24 AM
tonyo tonyo is offline
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When I started playing ten years ago all I was interested in was fingerstyle.

I started just with bass, index, middle, index. After a while I changed that to bass, index, pluck middle and ring, back to index.

Then worked on alternating bass if the chord when for 2 measures.

After a while I started doing more complex rhythms and eventually came across this lesson

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

After a while I watched lessons on travis picking and was a bit confused as to whether I had thumb independence because I didn't start with just the thumb like many have said.

Then I learned to play Guy Clarke's song The Cape and that convinced me I did have true thumb independence.

What I like about how I went about it is I have many and varied fingerstyle patterns as well as travis style picking. Oh and I use a pick now for certain songs.
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  #57  
Old 01-24-2022, 04:20 AM
Malcolm Kindnes Malcolm Kindnes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadbiker View Post
Start by learning Freight Train.
This is a good suggestion.
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  #58  
Old 01-24-2022, 05:53 AM
EZYPIKINS EZYPIKINS is offline
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The fingerpicker I set on a pedestal, when I was a kid was Paul Simon.

I read an article once where he said, he approached the guitar like a piano.

Have played allot of his music over the years.

What I could not stress enough is practice, practice, practice.

Once you get the bassline down smooth, the rest will fall into place fairly easily.

But it does take repetition. Allot of repetition.

And yes, a metronome is a good idea.

Especially if you are used to not worrying about timing so much.

And check out different chord inversions.
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  #59  
Old 01-24-2022, 01:02 PM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm Kindnes View Post
This is a good suggestion.
Agree. That was my first tune, which I started about four months ago. Within a couple months, I had it down, except for F thumb wrap. Within the last week or so, I even have that down pretty consistently. Ain't no shortcuts. Practice. Practice. Practice.
David
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  #60  
Old 01-24-2022, 02:02 PM
Bob from Brooklyn Bob from Brooklyn is online now
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This was a breakthrough song for me. It has a strong and steady thumb throughout. Once I finally worked out the first measure it was off to the races.

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