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Fingerpicking exercises

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(@lunchmeat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 153
Topic starter  

Anybody know any good ones? IF not, where I can find them? I have realized, today, that I like the sound of arpeggios more than flat chords...I like chords in motion, if you will. Expresses my mind better, I guess. However, I'm more used to playing with a pick than I am with my fingers, and I'd like to change that.

I've realized that most of the chord progressions I play would sound a lot more interesting (and captivating) if they were fingerpicked. However, I don't use my nails, since I don't really have nails to use. IS this a bad thing, or should I not worry about it? I've always fingerpicked without nails, but I know that the sound can be clearer with nails. Is it worth it?

-lunchmeat


   
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(@olive)
Estimable Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 126
 

Acoustic Guitar has a few lessons that might get you started. There's even a lesson called Fingerpicking For Flatpickers. Finding a few fingerpicked songs that you like is also a good way to get started. It's certainly more interesting than just playing exercises.

As for nails, you don't have to have long nails to play fingerstyle. Just a bit longer than the fingertip will work. You can also opt for fingerpicks. Alaska picks are a popular option.

Happy pickin'!

"My ex-boyfriend can't tell me I've sold out, because he's in a cult, and he's not allowed to talk to me." --Dar Williams


   
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(@lunchmeat)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 153
Topic starter  

Sweet...thanks.

Yeah, I might find a few songs (notably Kaki king), but I'll really be focusing on making my own compositions. I might look into buying a set of fingerpicks, as well. I'm not so sure how those will do, though, as I'll probably be playing my telecaster; mine has super-low action. I might also play the classical a bit, but it really depends on how I feel, and whether I feel like dealing with intonation problems.

Another thing - with fingerpicking, you generally have a stop stroke, where your finger plucks a string and rests on another, effectively muting it, and then you have an open stroke, where you let all strings ring. I've never muted a string in this way...is it something worth learning? I've always liked the sound of my ringing chords while I'm fingerpicking them. It'll take a while to learn a new technique like that, which I should have learned when I first started.

Guess that's about it. Thanks for the link.

-lunchmeat


   
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(@hummerlein)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 168
 

As a classical guitarist...(Hmm, can I call myself that?) Well, I play classical guitar probably 90% of the time and probably about 50% of that is spent on classical tunes and the other 50% would be spent on my songwriting trying to combine rock and classical.

I would say that both are important. Commonly you will be arpeggiating a chord, so you need to let the strings ring out. Also very common will be scalar passages or other instances of 2 notes that are very close together. If you have 4th string F# and then 3rd string open G for example, you don't want these two notes only a minor second apart ringing against eachother (usually) as it is very dissonant and jarring. Most tunes will want you to have that F# muted. You can do this by letting up the pressure on your fretting hand or doing the type of stroke you described. You will not have the option of letting up the pressure when it is an open string that needs to be muted, unfortunately. For example, open D against open G or G# or something. A fourth or an augmented fourth are both dissonant and you won't usually want to have these ringing against eachother. Here it is important to use the "stop stroke".

As a side note, I have had zero intonation problems with my classical guitar. I love it. Just put on new strings today 8)


   
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(@lunchmeat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 153
Topic starter  

Yeah, I usually use my fretting hand to mute notes. When i'm muting chords, I'll mute the entire guitar with my picking hand. I guess I'll work on the stop technique.

Fourths aren't dissonant...augmented fourths, yeah, but regular fourths? Nah.

The strings on my classical are hella old...they've been on there for like, years. Except for the A and D strings...those are steel strings, and they're about a year old, a little older, I think. My guitar is definintely, uh, unique. It was missing two strings for a couple of years, so the neck's probably warped a bit. I'm pretty sure it is...it looks warped, when you sight down the neck, ever so slightly. I mean, don't get me wrong...I still love the guitar, but yeah...it's bound to have issues. I'm not sure the bridge can handle the steel strings either. But hey, it works.

-lunchmeat


   
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 tmac
(@tmac)
Eminent Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 13
 

Here's a question: Why don't you just change the strings on your classical? Or, if you don't know how, have someone that does do it for you? You can find a good tutorial here -
http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Musician/Guitar/Setup/Classical/ClassicStr/classicstr1.html

And if you love it, do not put steel strings on it. That'll damage a guitar that's built for nylon strings. Try a set of normal tension strings, like D'Addario EJ45.

If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.
- Audre Lorde


   
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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

As a side note, I have had zero intonation problems with my classical guitar. I love it. Just put on new strings today 8)

I have a classical guitar too though i don't play 'classical' on it. (if you call beatles and john denver as classical ... :wink: )

No intonation problems , nothing of that sort...i don't even know what these eletric or flat top guys keep talking about tone and so on...

And yes i did reverse strings on the classical to make it lefty..still it plays like a gem(action's high though :oops: )

Hail yamaha ...hail classical (and galli strings too :D )

Rahul


   
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(@lunchmeat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 153
Topic starter  

It's really too late for that guitar...if it's not already messed up, I'll be pretty surprised. Missing two strings for near two years...and then, I replaced those strings with steel strings. Back then, I didn't know the implications...I learned after a while, but I never did anything about it. Changing the strings now probably wouldn't do much good...but I might do it anyway.

-lunchmeat


   
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