The Acoustic Guitar Forum

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 04-08-2010, 07:58 AM
BULLSPRIG BULLSPRIG is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 888
Default fingerstyle muscle memory

Let me ask you fingerstyle players a question about hands and fingers.

Suppose your left hand feels pretty reliable on the guitar neck. Your fingers are adept enough to do most of what you want to do. You've played for several years.

But with a pick.

The question would be:

Would you say fingerstyle technique requires a comparable investment of time to train your right hand to be as proficient as your left? Assuming you're right-handed?

Please say no.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-08-2010, 08:12 AM
Larry Pattis's Avatar
Larry Pattis Larry Pattis is offline
Humanist
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 11,806
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BULLSPRIG View Post
Let me ask you fingerstyle players a question about hands and fingers.

Suppose your left hand feels pretty reliable on the guitar neck. Your fingers are adept enough to do most of what you want to do. You've played for several years.

But with a pick.

The question would be:

Would you say fingerstyle technique requires a comparable investment of time to train your right hand to be as proficient as your left? Assuming you're right-handed?

Please say no.

Sorry, can't say "no."

Developing proper technique on the right-hand (with fingerstyle/classical technique) is rather demanding, and requires a very studied approach...if you want to do it right (no pun).
__________________
Larry Pattis on Spotify and Pandora
LarryPattis.com
American Guitar Masters
100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists

Steel-string guitars by Tom Rein and Simon Fay
Classical guitars by Anders Sterner
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-08-2010, 08:24 AM
BULLSPRIG BULLSPRIG is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 888
Default

That's not the answer I was looking for, Larry.

I know. Don't shoot the messenger, right?

Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-08-2010, 08:24 AM
grampa grampa is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,500
Default

Gotta say yes, sorry.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-08-2010, 08:28 AM
werkout52 werkout52 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Westminster Colorado
Posts: 652
Default

I totally agree that training the right hand is demanding. I've been strumming and basic finger picking for years. Fretting chords is a breeze compared to trying complex finger picking. Now I'm using Acoustic magazine lessons that start out simple and work up to a more complex pattern. I know I'll get it but it's not going to be easy.
__________________
1974 Aria 9400
2011 Eastman E20om
2013 Taylor 514e FLTD
2015 Martin D-28A 1937
2016 Taylor 458e-r
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-08-2010, 08:32 AM
sidneystreet sidneystreet is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 170
Default

Fingerstyle guitar is just a whole different animal from flat-picking. It will take a great deal of disciplined practice.

But, the reward will be access to an entire new world of acoustic guitar music.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-08-2010, 08:35 AM
RevGeo RevGeo is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 298
Default

If you are starting on 'fingerpicking' which is pattern-based it's very much a matter of muscle memory. Thumb-index, thumb-middle etc. etc. The best way to learn it is to learn some established tunes like Freight Train or John Henry or something like that.
What worked for me many years ago was to not think about that thumb going back and forth and trying to stick the finger notes in between, but to learn one bar at a time as a pattern, then learn the next bar as a pattern and so on and so forth. Some folks don't like that manner of learning, but it worked for me.
I have my students work on picking hand finger drills -I-M-I-M (I only use thumb and two fingers) and teach them a melody on the high strings using the fingers (no thumb) to get used to the feel of the fingers on the strings.

If you are interested in fingerpicking the old American styles I would recommend getting Stefan Grossman's 'Fingerpicking Guitar Techniques' CD/Audio lesson. www.guitarvideos.com.
It's available on DVD as well. I don't like the DVDs as well as the book/CD lessons but lots of folks like them.
Personally I can't think of any techniques on the guitar that don't require considerable effort and considerable investment of time.

Rev George
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-08-2010, 08:58 AM
Ed C. Ed C. is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 582
Default

I started learning Travis picking in college way back in the 70's. It took over 9 months of practice before any of the songs were even close to musical. And proficiency happened like the turning of a switch, one day I could got it.

My recommendation is to mix easier songs with hard songs. It's demoralizing to be clunking songs for months. Hopefully, you're learning curve will be shorter than mine.

As an aside, getting my right thumb independent from my fingers learning tough passages is still the hardest thing for me. Larry Pattis is great at this.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-08-2010, 09:20 AM
Aaron Smith Aaron Smith is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 3,301
Default

I agree with the other posters. I have been a dedicated fingerstyle player for 10 years, and I'm still learning new right hand techniques all the time. Different musical styles demand different approaches- sometimes I use thumbpicks and fingerpicks, sometimes not. Sometimes I use 1, 2, 3, or 4 fingers depending upon the style that I'm emulating. I've worked hard at developing free strokes, rest strokes, arpeggios, rasgueado, false harmonics, etc.
The good news is that you can play some pretty cool things without a lot of advanced technique. If your only goal is to get through "Freight Train" cleanly, then you won't need a lot of this stuff. However, one of the best parts about fingerstyle guitar is the number of different tones and techniques at your disposal to express music.
__________________

1943 Gibson J-45
2005 Martin HD-28v
Voyage Air VAOM-4
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-08-2010, 09:40 AM
Bryan T Bryan T is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,442
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BULLSPRIG View Post
Would you say fingerstyle technique requires a comparable investment of time to train your right hand to be as proficient as your left? Assuming you're right-handed?

Please say no.
It absolutely does. One of the greatest compliments a fingerstyle or classical player can give another is 'great picking hand.' The picking hand can control timing, timbre, note duration, muting, volume, . . .

There are some great books out there that really get into picking hand technique. "Pumping Nylon" is a good place to start.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-08-2010, 09:41 AM
Fred Fred is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,776
Default

I was going to say, "Hey, nothing to it." Then I thought how I'd feel if someone gave me a pick. No way! I'd be totally flummoxed. But give it a try..try some pattern picking and find what patterns feel more "natural" to you than others. Maybe it will come easily for you.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-08-2010, 09:44 AM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,158
Default

For me, it was less about learning patterns than developing a nice feel for syncopation and things like how to use my thumb to rush the root of a chord 1/8 before the downbeat.
__________________
"You start off playing guitars to get girls & end up talking with middle-aged men about your fingernails" - Ed Gerhard
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-08-2010, 10:06 AM
fatt-dad fatt-dad is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 2,253
Default

See, I think it's all in the right hand whether you're strumming, flatpicking or fingerpicking. So, if you don't have a musical right hand, then it's a lot of effort to get one. If you do, then I bet you'll do just fine. Is it harder? Well, it's different.

I started my lessons and used DVDs and about 6 months later I was playing a few fingerstyle pieces (acoustic blues). I use thumb and index fingers only, so all my music can be reduced (conceptually) to pinches or alternating rhythm. It's really not that simple, but that's it in concept. Making it musical (and something that folks want to hear) is the struggle no matter what the style and that is the right hand if you ask me!

f-d
__________________
'30 L-1, '73 FG-180, '98 914-C, '06 000-15S, '08 000-28NB, '11 GA3-12, '14 OM28A
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-08-2010, 10:09 AM
Larry Pattis's Avatar
Larry Pattis Larry Pattis is offline
Humanist
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 11,806
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BULLSPRIG View Post
That's not the answer I was looking for, Larry.

I know. Don't shoot the messenger, right?

Okay, to accommodate your desires, I change my answer to "yes."

Anyone can develop and learn the right hand techniques of Segovia or Bensusan or Towner with about 10 minutes of practice.

__________________
Larry Pattis on Spotify and Pandora
LarryPattis.com
American Guitar Masters
100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists

Steel-string guitars by Tom Rein and Simon Fay
Classical guitars by Anders Sterner
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-08-2010, 10:29 AM
gitnoob gitnoob is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Emerald City
Posts: 4,327
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed C. View Post
As an aside, getting my right thumb independent from my fingers learning tough passages is still the hardest thing for me.
Ditto. I thought I had it for a while, and then I tried Mississippi John Hurt's Stagger Lee (aka Stack O' Lee). The melody line and bass line are both simple, but the melody line needs to be truly independent.

I can do syncopated, unsyncopated, pinch, etc, but that simple melody line is driving me (and my thumb) nuts.
__________________

gits: good and plenty
chops: snickers
Reply With Quote
Reply

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

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=