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  #1  
Old 03-01-2014, 11:48 AM
Jukie Jukie is offline
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Default How difficult is finger style?

I'm still a beginner and have been working on strumming chords and picking notes. The left hand is figuring out what to do (kinda). How big of a jump is it to finger style?

The notes sound much more pleasing to my ear using that style.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:58 AM
Matt.S Matt.S is offline
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I started with fingerstyle. There are songs ranging from beginner to near impossible - find one you like and work at it.

Just my 2cents.
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:00 PM
Bucc5207 Bucc5207 is offline
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Difficult at first, coordinating your two hands to do different things. Unlike training your fretting hand, no pain is involved. Also, assuming you fret with your non-dominant hand like most people, you have the advantage of learning new skills with your more dextrous hand. The rewards are well worth it, IMO. Good luck!
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:01 PM
cpeehler7 cpeehler7 is offline
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It's no harder than learning how to flatpick. It'll seem impossible at first, just the same as when you tried changing from a G to a C chord the first time, but give it a few hours, and you'll get a pattern down. I would suggest learning how to play "correctly", focus on proper form. There are tons of youtube videos to help get started. This is the song that I personally learned first... link below.

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

The right hand technique seems hard, but it's a very regular thumb finger pinch, thumb finger thumb finger pattern. The harder stuff to me was trying to break that back and forward pattern. I still haven't really mastered it, fingestyle isn't my forte, but hopefully soon I'll have a lot more time to play and get back into it. For now I'm just focusing on getting better at strumming and pick accuracy. "Let hand is what you know, right hand is your personality"

BTW I also use these picks ... they work best if you bend them slightly to accommodate the curve of your finger, so the side of the pick doesn't scratch the coil of the strings.
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y10...c/DSC03035.jpg
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:13 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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I started out playing with my fingers 50+ years ago and agree with an above statement. No harder than learning how to play with a flatpick.

And I agree that the key is the right hand. I have always liked the statement that while your left hand is what you know your right hand is who you are. Rev. Gary Davis, who was never known to talk much about other players, once paid Blind Blake the supreme compliment when he said Blake had a sporting right hand.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:16 PM
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Toby Walker Toby Walker is offline
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Make sure you have all of your open chords down cold. Once you have those mastered I will tell you from years of teaching and playing that basic fingerstyle is much harder to learn then basic flatpicking (strumming) and having to concentrate on two things at once only adds to the difficulty.

You'll get it. Like anything else, it takes daily and focused practice.


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Old 03-01-2014, 01:19 PM
ecguitar44 ecguitar44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toby Walker View Post
Make sure you have all of your open chords down cold. Once you have those mastered I will tell you from years of teaching and playing that basic fingerstyle is much harder to learn then basic flatpicking (strumming) and having to concentrate on two things at once only adds to the difficulty.

You'll get it. Like anything else, it takes daily and focused practice.


And I'd say basic fingerstyle is easier than basic flatpicking (bluegrass style).
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:32 PM
MICHAEL MYERS MICHAEL MYERS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecguitar44 View Post
And I'd say basic fingerstyle is easier than basic flatpicking (bluegrass style).
And I'd agree with that.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:33 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Let your musical preference be your guide. If fingerstyle is what you like and what you want to play, invest the time in learning it. I prefer flatpicking, so that's what I decided to study, even though I started out with strumming and fingerpicking. I find having a clear musical goal and eyes on the prize helps me through the tough parts. I no longer care how difficult anything is - if I know I want to play it, I keep at it, even if it takes me months or years.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:38 PM
Jupiter Tarts Jupiter Tarts is offline
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I started on piano so fingerstyle was much easier for me at the start and flatpicking killed me. Now I prefer them equally. I'd say as a fellow beginner, if you have no background that gave you natural right hand dexterity, then I'd say learning curve is probably about the same.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:52 PM
Cypress Knee Cypress Knee is offline
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Learn some basic patterns first. Forty years ago John Denver sold a lot of records using

E ----------------------------------------------------------
B----------------m--------------------------m----------------
G-------i-------------------------i--------------------------
D-----------p--------------------------p---------------------
A---p-------------------------------------------------------
E----------------------------p------------------------------
Take Me Home Country Roads, Leaving on a Jet Plane etc
Kansas - Dust in the Wind

E -----------r---------------------------r--------------------
B-----------------m---------------------------m---------------
G-------i--------------------------i-------------------------
D---------------------------p-------------------------------
A----------------------------------------------------------
E----p------------------------------------------------------
Sunshine on my shoulders, My Sweet Lady etc

You have to learn basic patterns first. Off this site, I like #4, #14 and #15
http://www.guitarhabits.com/16-legen...king-patterns/

Get them down so that you can do the right hand roll effortlessly. That website uses A and E for chords, when you get bored with the sound use G or C or D or minor chords, but keep the right hand pattern going.

This part is not that difficult, it just takes a lot of practice to get the muscle memory into your fingers so they are used to working that way.

When you get that part finished, then you can DVD lessons from Toby or others who may make you try to think in terms of maybe playing a melody with bass runs and grooves and actually thinking about the music instead of just letting your fingers do the walking. That is the hard part.

CK
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:58 PM
Nailpicker Nailpicker is offline
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Default How difficult is finger style?

"How difficult is finger style?"

I suppose as with most things in life, as difficult or as easy as you want to make it.
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:00 PM
Oldguy64 Oldguy64 is offline
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I went thru the Hal Leonard Beginning Fingerstyle book nearly 20 years ago.
It came with a CD of what the lessons were supposed to sound like, and the TAB, which was pretty easy for me to figure out.
But just like in the movie "Hannie Caulder" when she was learning to draw and shoot. Do it slowly. First you learn how to do it right, then you learn to do it fast.

That said, I flew thru the first few lessons in no time at all.
Then I got to Travis picking. That slowed me down for a couple of weeks, as my right hand had to learn something COMPLETELY different.

I still fingerpick most of the time I play at home. But my technique is sort of a "*******ized" Travis picking, where I only used P-I-M locking my ring finger and pinky to the pickguard to stabilize my right hand.

Be patient. Keep after it, it will come. Just keep it slow till you have it down cold. Then work on speed.
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2014, 02:01 PM
MBE MBE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecguitar44 View Post
And I'd say basic fingerstyle is easier than basic flatpicking (bluegrass style).
I say that's a fair way of looking at it.

I'd elaborate a bit.

Beginner Travis picking/basic repeating patterns are to fingerstyle what strumming is to flat picking - a rhythmic, repetitive right hand movement used to cycle through chords, which can be expanded upon with extra notes and flourishes. I'd say that Travis picking is marginally harder to learn than basic strumming patterns.

But to equate Travis picking (or similar repeating patterns) to fingerstyle would be like equating strumming to flatpicking - there can be so much more to it. While distinctly different from bluegrass flatpicking runs, a good example of equivalently varied and challenging right hand technique would be flamenco or classical guitar, where the sky is the limit in terms of right hand technical challenges (for example, it takes many years of diligent practice to achieve a steady and fast tremolo technique).

Just my long-winded 2 cents.
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toby Walker View Post
Make sure you have all of your open chords down cold. Once you have those mastered I will tell you from years of teaching and playing that basic fingerstyle is much harder to learn then basic flatpicking (strumming) and having to concentrate on two things at once only adds to the difficulty.

You'll get it. Like anything else, it takes daily and focused practice.
Toby is right - get your basic chords well under your fingers (with strumming) and THEN go for fingerpicking. Once your fretting hand dexterity is fairly solid, then I would suggest that you look into buying Toby's beginning finger picking lessons. You can find them on his website. They're fantastic. BUT you'll get more out of it if you're not still trying to form a C chord successfully.

BTW, I am not related to Toby - I just admire his lessons.
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