Mudcat Café message #1067649 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #64982   Message #1067649
Posted By: GUEST
08-Dec-03 - 01:21 AM
Thread Name: The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking
Subject: RE: The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking
It could be argued and debated from now 'til doomsday whether the Kentucky thumbpicking style has more in common with jazz or folk. Or both. Or neither one. Or a conglomeration of many styles. Just like in psychology when researchers debate whether such and such behavior is due to biological or environmental causes. Usually the answer everyone somewhat agrees on is, "a combination of the two."

The article Picker posted at the outset pretty much nails it. What makes the style unique is the thumb keeping constant accompaniment on the bass strings while the fingers pluck the melody. As that style evolved, I think it got more sophisticated as jazzy influences crept in with the addition of more complicated chords - adding 6ths, 9ths, 11ths, 13ths, and sharping and flatting all these intervals, etc. These embellishments, of course, came from the players themselves as they incorporated the music that influenced them into their own efforts. Some sort of recombinant process may be at play in the realm of creativity.