The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #16  
Old 01-23-2022, 09:09 AM
Malcolm Kindnes Malcolm Kindnes is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ireland
Posts: 1,613
Default

Quote:
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 is correct, it must become second nature.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-23-2022, 09:13 AM
Twiddle Dee Twiddle Dee is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: North Western Ontario, Canada
Posts: 318
Default

Lots of great advice here. For the raw beginner I'd say practice playing a solid alternating quarter note bass with your thumb until it's all muscle memory and then work in some melody eighth notes with you middle and index fingers. Try making up a simple melody in D using a dropped D tuning so you can play an alternate bass between the 2 open D strings. Strive for developing right thumb independence. Your thumb is your bass player and even though he doesn't play fancy, he keeps things solid.
__________________
Tom

It's simply mind over matter. If I don't mind then it doesn't matter.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-23-2022, 09:24 AM
Joe Beamish Joe Beamish is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Austin
Posts: 988
Default

You can practice a basic pattern, as heard for example in John Hurtís songs, even while youíre away from your guitar.

You can tap it out on your leg whilst sitting at a stoplight: Thumb, index, thumb, middle finger.

Then add the alternating movement to your thumb: Thumb on the bass E string, index, thumb on the D string, middle finger. Repeat this pattern of movement. You can replicate this away from the guitar and practice it anywhere. Repetition is key.

I mention John Hurt because some of his numbers, such as Hey Baby Right Away, will help you to establish the basic pattern while allowing you to play and sing lovely little songs.

Then grow from there. Baby steps.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-23-2022, 09:38 AM
Jim Owen's Avatar
Jim Owen Jim Owen is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Wilkes County NC and Columbus Georgia
Posts: 6,955
Default

I recall overthinking it. But then, one day, my thumb naturally slipped into an alternating bass pattern. I’d practiced a lot with the goal of playing Travis style.

I used to compare it with driving a manual transmission. Awkward and jerky to begin with but smooth and effortless with practice.

If you practice, it will come.
__________________
Peace,
Jimmy

Optima dies, prima fugit

FOR SALE: Canadian Larrivee 0-01K
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-23-2022, 09:43 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 7,285
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooklyn Bob View Post
Travis picking is all about the thumb. Get it working like a metronome and then start filling in the blanks with the other fingers.
This is very true and to the point. I would recommend Rick Ruskin's DVD. This is his description taken from his site (http://liondogmusic.com/Products.html):

Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar; Video Progressions
Rick Ruskin's remarkable style captures all the nuances of a band/rhythm-section and transforms the parts into amazing, in-the-pocket fingerstyle grooves like you've never imagined on a single guitar! Split-screen video format covers: right- and left-hand technique, walking bass and counterpoint lines, open-voiced triads, simultaneous bass/rhythm/lead parts, pedal-steel effects, double-stop bends, harmonics and more. The techniques are immediately put to use in extraordinary instrumental versions of: Rikki Don't Lose That Number (Steely Dan), Georgia On My Mind, and four originals, each in standard tuning. His meticulous blow-by-blow analysis of each phrase is loaded with variations and insight that show how to transform the essence of any tune into dynamic arrangements of your own.

I learned a lot form that and he really focuses on that thumb early on in the DVD because you will be using it a lot in the rest of it. This DVD has been around quite some time and is just as good today as it was in its original form as a VHS tape (which apparently he also still sells.

Rick Ruskin posts around here from time to time.

Tony
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 01-23-2022, 09:54 AM
islandguitar's Avatar
islandguitar islandguitar is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 4,828
Default

I don't know if palm muting is too advanced or you haven't tried it, but I've found that with the muted lower strings it helps to bring your ear and your hands together more in sync. Many who do alternating bass also palm mute as well. It keeps the lower strings from ringing and helps separate the tones you're creating.
Hard to explain why it helps (at least for me) but you could give it a try and see if things click a little better.
__________________
1993 Bourgeois JOM
1967 Martin D12-20
2007 Vines Artisan
2014 Doerr Legacy
2013 Bamburg FSC-
2002 Flammang 000 12 fret
2000 McCollum Grand Auditorium



______________________________
Soundcloud
Spotify
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 01-23-2022, 09:56 AM
rstaight rstaight is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 1,727
Default

I KNOW that finger picking is done with the pinky on the high E, ring finger on the B, middle finger on the G, index finger on the D, and thumb on the A and low E strings.

But for some reason keep channeling Doc Watson, Just my thumb and index finger.

Maybe it's because I grew up as a flat picker.
__________________
2007 Indiana Scout
2018 Indiana Madison Quilt Elite
2018 Takamine GJ72CE 12-String
2019 Takamine GD93
2022 Takamine GJ72CE 6-String
1963 Gibson SG
2016 Kala uke
Dean A style mandolin. (Year unknown)
Lotus L80 (1984ish)
Plus a few lower end I have had for years
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 01-23-2022, 10:01 AM
815C 815C is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: The Hills Of Tennessee
Posts: 3,907
Default

1. Memorize the arrangement

2. Play it SLOWLY with your hands TOTALLY RELAXED a thousand times until it is burned into your muscle memory

3. Turn up the tempo gradually until you hit your target speed. Sometime try leapfrogging to a much faster tempo, just to see if you can do it. I call this being a test pilot - seeing how fast you can go before you crash.

4. Once you get it up to performance tempo with no mistakes, then focus on playing with FEELING
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 01-23-2022, 10:13 AM
pszy22 pszy22 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,055
Default

It took me many months before I could somewhat rely on my thumb to keep the beat going. The investment is worth it.

If you are interested in the blues, I suggest you google lessons by David Hamburger. For me, he plays the type of music I want to play, and there is no better educator that I have found.

Have fun, keep the faith.
__________________
It never moves any faster than it's supposed to go - Taj Mahal
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 01-23-2022, 10:15 AM
E-OM E-OM is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 250
Default

This fellow has a fingerpicking course that would be great for you.

https://my.bluesguitarinstitute.com/

He has helped me improve and is a great teacher.
__________________
Bob
Life is grand with a guitar in hand....

Enjoying:

Webber RB (Eng/Rosewd)
Eastman AC 722 CE (Eurospruce/Rosewd)
Larrivee LS-03 Forum VI (Moon spruce/Black Walnut)

A few Electrics
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 01-23-2022, 10:17 AM
Bob from Brooklyn Bob from Brooklyn is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Hamilton Square, NJ
Posts: 2,971
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rstaight View Post
I KNOW that finger picking is done with the pinky on the high E, ring finger on the B, middle finger on the G, index finger on the D, and thumb on the A and low E strings.
Not necessarily. You can play a ton of songs using only your thumb and index finger. For some reason I actually prefer doing that when I play 'The Boxer'.
__________________
Formerly known as Brooklyn Bob.

Martin D18
Gibson J45
Martin 00015sm
Gibson J200
Breedlove AD25/SR Plus
Guild G212
Eastman E2OM-CD
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 01-23-2022, 10:23 AM
boppy99 boppy99 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Toronto
Posts: 24
Default

Practice, practice, practice.

Also, throw away your flatpicks
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 01-23-2022, 10:47 AM
RJack RJack is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 13
Default

OP here. Thank you all for the advice!! Lot's of really good suggestions and they are much appreciated. I'll keep going and I like the metronome idea as well as slowing down and sticking to it.

Saw that someone had mentioned Brian from Active Melody on youtube. I really enjoy his lessons and those are the ones I find most helpful.

Especially glad that folks other than me have found this thread and also watching for suggestions.

Cheers all
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 01-23-2022, 11:04 AM
Bob from Brooklyn Bob from Brooklyn is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Hamilton Square, NJ
Posts: 2,971
Default

I've used this before as my idea of a great starter song. Notice how the first half of the verse is only thumb and how he adds to it as the song progresses. It actually would not be a bad idea to run thru the entire song with just the thumb and build from there.

__________________
Formerly known as Brooklyn Bob.

Martin D18
Gibson J45
Martin 00015sm
Gibson J200
Breedlove AD25/SR Plus
Guild G212
Eastman E2OM-CD
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 01-23-2022, 11:05 AM
birkenweg42's Avatar
birkenweg42 birkenweg42 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: California
Posts: 1,651
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by buddyhu View Post
Take lessons!!!

There are lots of world class players giving lessons via Zoom. IMO, getting lessons from a good (or great) teacher is much more effective than trying to pick videos that you think will give you what you need. making your own curriculum cant work very well, because you donít really know what you need to learn, and you donít know what is the best order for your learning. A good teacher will watch and listen to what you are doing, and make the right suggestion at the right time. AND, there are some tricks and secrets that the top players/teachers know, but that they donít give away for free, or for the price of a video. They offer them when they know you, know your playing, and know you are ready to make use of a particular bit of input.

A good teacher will teach you how to practice well, will show you how to use a metronome in a way that works (just turning on a metronome and trying to play along with it is a recipe for discouragement), will help you with right hand technique and left hand technique, will help you to use your eyes to enhance your learning and playing, will help you to listen to your own playing more preciselyÖ.all this and more.

I am taking lessons from Richard Gilewitz, and I recommend him highly. I have also taken workshops from Toby Walker, and recommend him highly. My first teacher, Jim Steinke, isnít teaching anymore, but he was very good.

Find someone who plays what you want to play, (and who communicates/teaches in a way that works for you), and take a yearís worth of individual lessons! You wonít regret it.
This is great advice, especially for a beginner. Starting off learning the basics from a teacher will lessen frustrations and speed up the learning process. Youtube videos are great for intermediate players but as a beginner, you don't even know what to learn and how to separate the useful from the useless.

Richard Gilewitz is an incredible musician and teacher. I have not taken lessons from him but I have seen him perform a couple of times and own most of his books and music.
__________________
https://youtube.com/user/birkenweg42
___________________________________________
Christian
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Thread Tools





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=