Author Topic: a question for fingerstyle players  (Read 178 times)

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Offline akazero

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a question for fingerstyle players
« on: March 24, 2020, 03:48:37 pm »

I've decided to put this quarantine to good use and break some technical barriers i've been struggling with for years.

i never use a pick and i'm mostly an electric guitar player. so i end up playing a lot of minor pent solos with my fingers. the inspiration for chosing not to use a pick was of course matk knophler.

But, my technique is pretty sloppy : i only ever use my thumb and index finger.
I know that if i involved my middle finger, my playing would benefit greatly.
So, that's exactly what i'm working on now.

To do so i'm using these lessons :

I think when i'll have mastered these i'll be in a pretty good spot.

here's my actual question :
When i play as i'm used to (just thumb & index) my 3 remaining fingers are resting on the guitar body which gives me great stability and accuracy. like this :

When i play with the middle finger it's almost impossible to keep the remaining fingers rested on the guitar and i and up playing like this :

So, fingerstyle players, how do you play? fingers rested on the guitar or not? which position should i practice in?


Online DavidP

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Re: a question for fingerstyle players
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2020, 05:16:06 am »
akazero, sounds like a good plan. 

I have done those lessons and am working on using thumb and the other three fingers.  I anchor with my pinky and it works fine for me. 

"to anchor or not to anchor, that is the question"

And the general consensus seems to be there is no hard and fast right or wrong on this one.

I think maybe in the long run, using the anchor may become restrictive on some techniques. But I have a long run before I reach that point :)

Offline DarrellW

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Re: a question for fingerstyle players
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2020, 09:32:46 am »
Mark Knopfler plays with his thumb, index and middle fingers mostly so what you’re trying to get to is good if you want to play in his style BUT it could leave you as a bit of a one trick pony! The best way forward really is to use your pinkie as the anchor and use your thumb and the rest of your fingers. If you practice using the method with less fingers you’re going to find it harder further down the road as you’re already finding out! The only other way is to take a break and do some classical guitar tuition starting at the very beginning, that’s the best way forward if you really want to play proper finger style in any genre!
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 07:35:43 am by DarrellW »
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Offline sairfingers

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Re: a question for fingerstyle players
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2020, 12:26:37 pm »
Hi akazero

I started with fingerstyle at the beginning of the year so I’m clearly no expert! I’m also following Justin’s F0-101/102 lessons and I use my little finger as an anchor. I’ve experimented without the anchor but found it too difficult to maintain finger position accuracy that way.

I also found that the position of the anchor finger is important. In lesson F0-101 you don’t pick the high e string. When I moved to lesson F0-102 and the high e string comes into play, I found that my little finger had been resting inadvertently against the string and was muting it. The answer of course was to move my finger a tiny bit but I found this moved my other fingers so I had to start again and relearn things. As a more experienced player you’ll probably not find this an issue.
Started with JG Feb 2018. BC completed, now on IM and Folk Fingerstyle (and a little Blues impro 😎).
Martin D28 : Gibson SG : Boss Katana 50.

Offline stitch101

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Re: a question for fingerstyle players
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2020, 02:33:06 pm »
So, fingerstyle players, how do you play? fingers rested on the guitar or not? which position should i practice in?

Dependson the style of fingerstyle you're trying to play. People seem to lump fingerstyle
into one style where it is many styles.
I use different positions to play different style.

Acoustic Blues requires you to mute the bass strings with the ball of your thumb
making a good anchor for you hand and almost impossible to use the pinky as an
Simple songs like Sublime's What I Got is a simple 2 chord song and the high e string
isn't played. So I rest my ring finger on the e string to keep it muted and as an anchor.
If your looking to play more classic 60's style songs no anchor or pinky anchor is a
personal choice.
I myself don't pinky anchor but you are already anchor so switching to just pinky shouldn't
be much of an adjustment.

Justin's lesson on Landslide give some good tip on anchor or not to anchor.


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