Mudcat Café message #530646 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #37885   Message #530646
Posted By: Marion
18-Aug-01 - 01:31 AM
Thread Name: Flat picking + two fingers. for Marion
Subject: RE: Flat picking + two fingers. for Marion
Thanks, this is very interesting. Here is the Doc Watson thread that the discussion of picking styles springs from.

I'm still trying to figure out when and why the flatpick+fingers approach is used - you're right, the how isn't that tough.

I tried it out by playing a fiddle tune on the higher strings with my fingers while hitting alternating bass notes with the flatpick, and while it wasn't that hard to produce the right notes, it didn't seem very sensible; the bass notes ended up dominating the melody notes. I suppose with practice I could balance the volume better, but it's not clear that there would be much point to doing so. I mean, why volunteer to lose the use of a finger and make the volume balance a challenge when the same thing could be played more naturally with a thumbpick?

Sure, combining the flatpicking and fingerpicking would make you look cool - but what advantages does it offer to make up for its disadvantages?

(Don't get me wrong - looking cool is more than enough reason for me to want to learn this - but I'd still like to know what the loftier reasons are.)

More questions resulting from this thread:

- I would have called the things Rick spelled out above picking patterns - is there a difference between a "roll" and a "pattern"? What are these "single, double, or triple finger rolls" that M.Ted speaks of - patterns that involve 1, 2, or 3 fingers respectively?

- I take it that "flatpicking with the thumb and index" doesn't have the obvious meaning of holding a flatpick with thumb and index. So what does it mean?