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Fingerpicking Guitar

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Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 31
Topic starter  

Been playing for a couple of months and really focusing on fingerpicking, I was wondering if the type of stirngs that i have on my guitar effect the sound because whenever i use a pick the tone is alot nicer but when i use fingers i get a real dull sound or is it my guitar.

I have a Johnson which i think is a Beginners guitar, the guy at my local guitar shop suggested i get it and see if im really interested in playing before spending more money on a guitar. If i have to im ready to buy a new guitar any suggestions?

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4921

The type of strings will have a big effect on the tone.

Before you go out trying a lot of strings, though - it could sound dead because of how you fingerpick. If you're using your fingertips, and your nails aren't giving them enough support, it'll sound pretty muted - two weeks ago I got deep cracks in the thumb and ring fingernails from working on a repair project, so I ended up cutting all four back. My tone just started returning today.

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8184

I had the same problem.
I am fairly new but am concentrating on fingerstyle and am taking lessons geared toward that style.
A couple of things stopped the dull sound and now everything sounds as it should.
First off is the nails. Grow them out if yours are short. I do not often pick with the nails themselfs but they do stiffen up the fingertips.
I started using clear nail polish ( Sally Hansens, Hard as Nails with nylon)to help strengthen my nails.
Technic is also important. Once I learned how to use "rest strokes" and "free strokes" that made a world of difference.
Lastly is just practice,practice,practice and practice some more.
A book I found most useful is:
Pumping Nylon by Scott Tenant. It gives good right and left hand technics and exercises. (it even shows how to shape your fingernails)
Good luck to ya :D