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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Neil Lowe Right hand help /fingerstyle (36) RE: Help: Right hand help /fingerstyle 02 Feb 00


For what it's worth, I heartily endorse Amos' method above for learning how to fingerpick - it's essentially the same way I taught myself: get the thumb action down, then work the fingers in between the notes the thumb plays.

Once the thumb pattern is down pat and operating independently, it's not too hard to work the other fingers in, and patterns of picking notes with the fingers present themselves, either by playing notes in between the notes plucked by the thumb, or playing notes on the downbeat with the thumb, or a combination of the two.

Once the fingerpicking pattern is fixed in your mind, then you can practice changing chords smoothly without goofing up your thumb pattern.

I apply what I learned about fingerpicking to folk music mostly, represented in songs like John Prine's Hello In There, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young's Helplessly Hoping, Blind Fiddler as it is done on John McCutcheon and Friends' How Can I Keep From Singing (previously on June Appal Records - now on Rounder), John Fahey, etc etc. Blues seems to use a different pattern, but the strategy is the same: get the thumb to do the bass line (lots of times just thumping the same string or same note), while the fingers pick a bluesy phrase.

Get used to a lonely exile in an unused closet, the garage, or the basement, if you don't want to drive others crazy. Personally, I take a certain sadistic pleasure in the cries of "No Dad, dear God please, no - not 'House of The Rising Sun' again," especially after they've tortured me mercilessly with an endless barrage of Dr. Dre and Christina Aguilera music videos.

Regards, Neil


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