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Berklee Modern Method 1 - fingerstyle vs pick

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 pab
(@pab)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 103
Topic starter  

i really like the book berklee modern method 1. it's well done and starts slowly. i've been working my way through it (very slowly) but am noticing that the emphasis is on picking rather than fingerstyle. it talks about alternate picking and seems that this is referenced for a while and worked on for a while.

i first bought this book to help with my reading, not my picking skills (I am 99% fingerstyle). while i decided to work on it with a pick, and i still might continue to do this, i was hoping to just work on one thing at a time here (reading and not reading & picking which is really slowing me down).

for those who have gone through this book, would you say that it would be possible to go through it with a fingerstyle approach (p,i or i,m) or is the picking a big part of this book throughout? if not, any recommendations on going through this book fingerstyle would be appreciated as i do like it (and the DVD is great)! thanks.

paul


   
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(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2736
 

You can learn by fingerpicking also. You just have to follow the music written on the staff and play it on your guitar.

How you do it is of little consequence.

Good Luck !


   
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 pab
(@pab)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 103
Topic starter  

Thanks Rahul. One of the reasons i've asked is b/c the last two exercises are strictly on alternate picking. In the DVD he discusses how important it is to pick down on the beat and up in between beats (1/4 notes) and that is stressed over at least the next two exercises. If it is stressed throughout then I'm wondering, if you were in my position (based on my first post), would you just ignore these exercises or is there a way to do this fingerstyle that i am not aware of.

Come to think of it, noteboat once wrote before (his posts seem to stick out in my mind) that he practices sight reading by (if i remember correctly) going down the page rather than across since he already knew the music. in that light maybe it doesn't matter the technique (as you are saying) but that i am practicing reading. still, it doesn't hurt to know if there is a proper way of doing it.

Thanks.

Paul


   
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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

Paul,

The Berklee drills are to develop pick skills. You can still use them as a fingerstyle guitarist, but they're not going to be targeted at developing the same skills.

Fingerstyle (classical) guitarists usually use alternating finger drills: I-M-I-M, M-A-M-A, etc. to develop the same sort of technique. You can use the Berklee drills for that, or you could get a book that develops classical guitar technique - I've heard good things about "Pumping Nylon", but I haven't used it, so that's a hearsay endorsement :) There are also some good drills in Aaron Shearer's "Classical Guitar Technique vol. 1" and a few in Frederick Noad's "Solo Guitar Playing vol 1" (I do use both of those). There are also plenty of classical guitar studies by Sor, Carcassi and others which specifically develop fingerstyle skills.

The important thing in a drill isn't the melody used, it's what it targets. For example, you can get books of Hanon exercises arranged for guitar... I find them useless. On the piano, the Hanon drills (and others, like Czerny's works) are designed to promote specific stretches, finger-crossings, etc. that are specific for the instrument. They're not doing that when you transfer the melodies away from the piano.

So when you come to an exercise that's geared towards a non-fingerstyle technique, ask yourself if there's anything to be gained from adapting it. Sometimes there is... sometimes there isn't.

Personally, I'd do some of the Berklee studies on classical guitar, but I wouldn't spend that much time on them - they're simply too easy on classical guitar!

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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 pab
(@pab)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 103
Topic starter  

thanks noteboat. that's good information to know. i do own Noad's book (not the CD though as I bought it used) so I've pulled that one out and taken a look at it. What's nice is that time spent on Berklee's was not wasted as i can skip through some of the lessons. As my ultimate goal is to be able to learn a fingerstyle piece quickly, i think this might be more in line with what my goal is. i wished though that it had a dvd that is as helpful as is with the berklee method. obviously it is meant to be done with a teacher.

thanks!

paul


   
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