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Learning to finger pick

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WyoWoman 14 Aug 99 - 06:20 PM
mountain tyme 14 Aug 99 - 06:53 PM
Bugsy 14 Aug 99 - 08:11 PM
Roger in Baltimore 14 Aug 99 - 09:23 PM
WyoWoman 14 Aug 99 - 10:17 PM
CarlZen 14 Aug 99 - 10:28 PM
Big Mick 15 Aug 99 - 12:45 AM
dwditty 15 Aug 99 - 06:43 AM
Art Thieme 15 Aug 99 - 07:45 AM
WyoWoman 15 Aug 99 - 01:50 PM
dwditty 15 Aug 99 - 02:03 PM
Rick Fielding 15 Aug 99 - 02:33 PM
DonMeixner 15 Aug 99 - 03:45 PM
WyoWoman 15 Aug 99 - 07:13 PM
Peter T. 15 Aug 99 - 07:24 PM
Rick Fielding 15 Aug 99 - 09:15 PM
Easy Rider 16 Aug 99 - 10:35 AM
Fadac 16 Aug 99 - 10:40 AM
Easy Rider 16 Aug 99 - 10:43 AM
Mark Clark 16 Aug 99 - 01:05 PM
WyoWoman 16 Aug 99 - 06:43 PM
Roger in Baltimore 16 Aug 99 - 07:58 PM
WyoWoman 17 Aug 99 - 04:09 AM
Rick Fielding 17 Aug 99 - 12:13 PM
Bob Landry 17 Aug 99 - 12:39 PM
Tiger 17 Aug 99 - 04:07 PM
Rick Fielding 17 Aug 99 - 04:36 PM
WyoWoman 17 Aug 99 - 06:25 PM
Bryant 17 Aug 99 - 07:39 PM
Rick Fielding 17 Aug 99 - 08:44 PM
BK 18 Aug 99 - 12:09 AM
JedMarum 18 Aug 99 - 03:01 PM
Margo 18 Aug 99 - 06:03 PM
WyoWoman 18 Aug 99 - 09:57 PM
Margo 19 Aug 99 - 08:29 PM
Michael K. 19 Aug 99 - 11:39 PM
Michael K. 19 Aug 99 - 11:40 PM
WyoWoman 19 Aug 99 - 11:58 PM
Peter T. 20 Aug 99 - 10:41 AM
Dani 20 Aug 99 - 12:10 PM
Margo 20 Aug 99 - 12:59 PM
Bryant 20 Aug 99 - 03:34 PM
Stefan Grossmans Website - the correct URL 20 Aug 99 - 04:00 PM
Rick Fielding 21 Aug 99 - 01:14 AM
catspaw49 21 Aug 99 - 01:31 AM
Rick Fielding 21 Aug 99 - 03:02 AM
BK 21 Aug 99 - 10:40 AM
CarlZen 21 Aug 99 - 12:49 PM
Margo 21 Aug 99 - 01:08 PM
j0_77 21 Aug 99 - 01:38 PM
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Subject: Learning to finger pick
From: WyoWoman
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 06:20 PM

Ok, now that I've learned enough chords to actually play a song on my guitar, I want to learn to finger pick. Unfortunately, my friend who's been teaching me to play (casually) has run off with his wife to Canada until the end of September (the CAD!)

So -- does anyone know of any videos on finger picking that might be helpful? I can pick some stuff out by ear, just listening to CDs, but I'd like something a bit more direct.

I'm all earz...

WW


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: mountain tyme
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 06:53 PM

Several videos are available from
http://www.homespuntapes.com
Practice in the dark and you'll be great in no time!


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Bugsy
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 08:11 PM

There's a fantastic book by John Pearse (whatever happended to him...) called "frets and fingers" it's worth buying as I believe it to be about the only guitar tutorbook I've ever tried that actually makes sense and doesn't presuppose that you know how to read music.

Bugsy.


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 09:23 PM

Wyowoman,

If you go to Homespun Tapes, check out Happy Traum's "Learning to Fingerpick". It requires only some basic chord knowledge so it should be right up your alley. The two video set should be just up your alley. They'll keep you plenty busy.

Enjoy the music.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: WyoWoman
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 10:17 PM

Great! Will do.

Thanks, y'all.

WW


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: CarlZen
Date: 14 Aug 99 - 10:28 PM

I'd second the Happy Traum set. Also, a good starting point is to learn to arpeggiate the chords. Simply use the thumb to play the bass note of the chord, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd finger each separately pluck 3rd, 2nd and 1st string. This can keep you busy until the videos arrive and/or "the cad" gets back from Canada.


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 12:45 AM

WW,
I really like Happy Traum's stuff, but the best I have seen is put out by Progressive. It is titled "Fingerpicking Guitar" by Gary Turner and Brenton White. It comes with a CD. The thing I like is that it is great for beginner, but it will take you as far as you want to go. Well laid out with great exercises.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: dwditty
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 06:43 AM

I learned from a 6 tape lesson by Dave Van Ronk. The set is still avaiable fron Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop. The series is unique as DVR takes you through sting by string, fret by fret, finger by finger to teach about 15 of his songs. Many of the techniques are transferrable to other songs and genres.

Also, just practice creating fingerpicking rythms using simple chord progressions. Try to synchopate, alternate bass, etc. You will soon find that the muscles actually start to cooperate.

DW


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 07:45 AM

John Pearce is probably busy making his "John Pierce Guitar Strings".


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: WyoWoman
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 01:50 PM

Mick -- Is the one you mentioned a book, or audio or video tape? Any idea where to snag one? DW -- is that audio tapes or video? How do I contact Grossman's guitar workshop? I love DVR's music...

Yes, Art -- my learning curve is exceedingly slight right now, given that I have a very hectic day gig. But I keep the guitar on my sofa at the ready and grab 15 minutes here and there at least once a day. I'm getting callouses on my fingers, and suddenly last week as I was noodling around, it actually sounded like music. It was the first time there's been any fluidity to it, or anything but just an obvious novice plunking from string to string. And then, just for a few minutes, I actually sang along while I made chords with my fingers. It was simply wonderful. All my life I've been a singer, and all my life I"ve been dependent on other people to play guitar for me. I've tried to play a few times before, but simply couldn't get through the being-terrible part (perfectionism, a terrible curse. Plagues my writing, too...). But this time I just decided to be awful and that I would never have to play outside my own home. I only wanted to learn to play so I can sit down with accompanists and say, "It goes from A to A7 there," instead of "No, no. I think it goes up a little there." But the upshot has been that I now have this little, tiny glimmer that someday, I might actually be able to sit down in the company of other musicians and strum along... WOW!

WoW


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: dwditty
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 02:03 PM

WW
My favorite DVR lessons are on audio tape (www.guitarvideos.com/grossman/audio/nfaudioguitar.htm). I got this set of tapes when I was first getting into fingerpicking and I highle recommend them - particularly in light of the fact that you are probably familiar with most of the material. The video lesson (www.guitarvideos.com/grossman/videos/nfronk.htm)has much of the same material, but spends much less time on each song.
DW


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 02:33 PM

Hi Wyo, if ya wanna get in gear before the videos and tapes get there, try this: It's a simple alternating thumb pattern. (If you get through it without serious physical or emotional damage, I'll give you the double thumbing pattern, and you'll swing like crazy!)

Strings number 1 to 6 (thin to thick)
Fingers designated by: T = thumb, I = index. M =middle.

Play an "Em" chord (using the middle and ring finger of your left hand.) Proper chord fingering is the most crucial element in becoming a smooth and fluid player.
Right hand picks T6,..I3,..T4,..M2.
Play it over and over again til it rolls and flows!
Play a "C" chord. Right hand picks T5,I3,T4,M2.
Play a "D7" chord. Right hand picks T4,I3,T5,M2.

Watch TV, stare out a window, or meditate, but keep playing the patterns til they feel right.
Good luck!
Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: DonMeixner
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 03:45 PM

Wyo,

I would second Rick's suggestion as its the way I learned to play originally. As you learn this movement by constant playing while watching TV, listening to the radio, et al. you will eventually tune out everything that sounds normal. When you make a mistake, or better still when you do something inspired it will jump out at you and you can search out what you did that was wrong, or neat as the case may be.

I would add this tho' practice before a mirror and watch what your fingers do. This will help in learning economy of motion with yours hands. That will add to the fluidity that Rick mentioned.

Don


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: WyoWoman
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 07:13 PM

I love you guys.

ww


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Peter T.
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 07:24 PM

My suggestion is to phone up Rick. An hour of his time even remotely is certainly worth a video or two. A little kinky perhaps, but he will certainly be worth your while (know what I mean? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink)
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 09:15 PM

Kinky? EXCUSE ME!! .
Thanks for agreeing Don. I try to get folks to carry on a conversation while they're practicing a pattern. It sounds weird but it really works. The mirror idea is excellent as well. My mantra remains : USE CORRECT FINGERING ON YOUR CHORDS, AND YOU WILL LEARN MUCH FASTER AND PLAY SMOOTHER.

I know I sound like a broken record on this but: use your middle, ring, and pinky to play your "G" chord. (think of it as a "G7" with a high G note in it. practice by lifting the pinky on and off the first string (at the 3rd fret).

Rick (nudge, nudge)


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Easy Rider
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 10:35 AM

WyoWoman:

The very first fingerpicking song most of us learned, thirty-six years ago, was "Freight Train", by Elisabeth Cotton. The very next song I learned was "buck Dancer's Choice". These are easy places to start with, and they are excellent for developing that steady alternating bass, with the Right thumb, that is so essential to fingerstyle guitar. You can get the TAB, for "Freight Train", free, off Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop web site:

Guitar Workshop

Look for the page featuring TABs of the month. I can send you TAB for "buck Dancer's Choice", if you send me email with your snailmail address or a fax number.

Stefan is an excellent teacher, but he concentrates on traditional acoustic country blues. If that is what you are interested in, his GW901 and GW931 videos, "Fingerpicking Country Blues Guitar", are the place to start, AFTER learning "Freight Train". I love Dave Van Ronk, and I play some of his material, but I would save the Dave Van Ronk audio lessons for later. You need a good foundation in the basics first.

Stefan also sells two videos, by Fred Sokolow, featuring the music of Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. These are both very easy and excellent for beginners. Fred is a good teacher too. He makes you feel at ease, and it should be fun to learn songs you already know.

I have all the videos I've mentioned, so my "reviews" are first hand. I'm into country blues, and Stefan's material is the best source for me. If you go through GW901 and GW931, you will have learned a few Mississippi John Hurt songs, and if you are like me, you will want to learn much more of his material. His music is lyrical and beautiful and not too difficult to learn.

Have fun, EZR


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Fadac
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 10:40 AM

WW, Didn't your mother tell you, that if you don't stop picking at it, it won't ever get well. :o)

-Fadac


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Easy Rider
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 10:43 AM

This URL might work better:

http:// Guitar Workshop

EZR


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Mark Clark
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 01:05 PM

Art

You once gave me a copy of a computer generated list of all possible finger-picking patterns. A friend of yours had worked out the program and you were busily trying to see which ones had any merit. Do you think your friend could generate a machine-readable copy? I think I still have the paper copy but I don't think I'll have time to re-type it any time soon.

- Mark


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: WyoWoman
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 06:43 PM

Rick -- I simply cannot make my pinky hold down that string. So you're saying DON'T make the G with Mr. Middle Finger on the fattest string?

This, along with F and B, may be the end of a budding career...

E.R. -- thanks for the suggestions. I also love country blues and would be thrilled hugely to learn some Mississippi John Hurt (even though just SAYING that right now seems pretty pie-in-the-sky! But, hey, everyone's bad in the beginning, right?)

WW


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 07:58 PM

WyoWoman,

If you could do it right away WW, everyone would play guitar. What a mess that would be. Guitar playing is reserved for those who try harder: for those who will casually engage you in conversation while repeating the same chord and fingerpicking pattern until you go nuts; who can while away hours watching TV, studying chemistry, and gazing at thunderstorms with a guitar in the arms while practicing John Hurt's thumb picking patterns; and for those who think finger tip callouses are kind of neat. Guitar playing is not for those who seek the easy path.

Clearly if I had done my homework instead of practicing guitar, cleaned my house instead of practicing guitar, spent time with Marge instead of practicing guitar, paid my bills instead of practicing guitar, .... my life would be quite different. I have one firm rule. I don't take a guitar to work (I have thought about it though). I realize I am not ready to survive on my musical abilities, so I better keep my day job.

But if I had done all of those things instead of practicing guitar: my pinkie would just be a loose appendage on my chording hand instead of an essential part for chording and melody creation; I would still cheat by fretting only the four high strings to make an F chord; I would not be able to form a clean clear A chord by arching one finger tip across all three strings; and I wouldn't know the joy that came with learning one barre chord formation that literally means I gained 10 new chords in my repertoire.

Keep up the good work! If you need inspiration, just log on the 'Cat.

Big RiB


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: WyoWoman
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 04:09 AM

Thanks, RiB -- so far, it's working precisely that way. Plenty of inspiration and encouragement to keep me going through the hard parts.

ww


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 12:13 PM

Wyo, the reason for using the middle ring and pinky for the "G' chord is that it makes playing much smoother after a while. I've had to un-learn so many people who'd been doing the other way (and wanted to play better) that I always try and get folks to do it the right way first. Your pinky will get stronger and stronger as you play. (and it's a neccessary finger when doing things like "Freight Train" etc.

Luv, Rick. I'm with you in spirit, but you'll have to bleed on your own.


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Bob Landry
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 12:39 PM

WW, I can use my pinkie finger on a G chord even though the tendons on the inside were destroyed by an errant baseball about 8 years ago and it now looks like it lost a battle with a belligerent lobster. There is an upside, however, I can reach about 1/2 an inch further than I used to. If I can do it, you can do it!

Bob


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Tiger
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 04:07 PM

Rick....

Maybe I just got lucky when I learned, but how else WOULD you play a G? There're so many great notes underneath for your pointer and pinkie.

The guy I first watched when I was learning to play always managed to have his pinkie free when chording, so that's how I did it (easy F6 & F7).

Am I missing something here?

.....Tiger


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 04:36 PM

Tiger , that's the whole point. With proper fingering you can easily play "inner leads" which naturally is going to make your playing sound more interesting. Now I have to be careful here because I know a lot of folks learn their basic chords in the first few months and never change their accompaniments for the rest of their lives. But that would be so boring to me. I'd much rather try and learn something everytime I pick up an instrument

For example: covering 2 strings with one finger (which is not difficult to learn and doesn't require fat fingers)opens up a whole world of variety. Folks who cover the 5th and 4th with their middle finger while playing an E major chord can use their ring and pinky on the 1st and 2nd to make a glorious E9th. Use your middle finger to cover the 4th and 3rd at the second fret while playing "C" and you've got a 6th formation that you can move all over the neck.

One of the first things I try to get folks to do (if they really DO want to improve their playing is to start learning to use their thumb. Not just on the 6th string for D and F, but on the 6th AND 5th. I know it sounds impossible but if someone's willing to invest a week...well, another whole world opens up. NB. Can't do it on a classical though.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: WyoWoman
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 06:25 PM

Hey, Bob, thanks for that story. I appreciate the support! I shall discipline myself ....

ww


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Bryant
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 07:39 PM

Good for you WW. I played guitar for several years before even trying to fingerpick. It's a whole other world from strumming/flatpicking, but God can you get some pretty stuff. I'm still working at it 10 years down the line.

As for G shapes . . . I can see what you're saying, Rick, about freeing up your index finger to get to that F on the 6th string (G7) or C on the 5th (Gsus4???) and some other places, but if you shape it that way you (or at least I) can't get a finger on the 3rd fret of the 5th string (D) which is a nice note to throw in. There are also some times where you want to get to the F# on your 6th string (Gmaj7???) in which case I hold down a D shape and get to G by using my pinky on the 3rd fret/6th string and stretching my index for the low G note.

Anyway, the point is that the way you shape any chord will vary depending on what the song requires.

As for partial barres not being difficult . . . you must be double jointed. :)

Bryant


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 08:44 PM

Actually one of my favourite chords (and perhaps the most useful moveable chord of all is this Bb(6th) position.

Thumb covers both 6th and 5th at the 1st fret. Ring finger barres 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th at the third fret. If you play all six strings it's a Bb6, and if you don't play the 1st it's a Bb. Love that chord and use it all the way up to the 6th or 7th fret.


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: BK
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 12:09 AM

WW; I'd say start w/the basic concept from Rick; not sure abt the alternate varieties of G's - I ain't too fancy a fingerpicker, 'n my old indiscretions of motorcycle adventures over the handlebars, 'n tearin out transmissions & transfer cases (& dropping them on my fingers), hammering, stapling & drilling my own fingers, etc., (& the thrice-damned computor at work!!) have made me change the way I finger some chords any-way, but getting more than 1 string per finger & variations on basic chords are all worth the effort.

As for the pickin; I learned an even much more idiot-simple method from a friend who was a great picker. It goes as follows:

Thumb-

thumb-finger

thumb-finger

thumb

Works out dum/da-da/da-da/dum

pick any easy chords - like D-G-A, or C-F-G; start w/thumb & just 1 finger & choose notes from the first chord that your ear will tell you are right [base for thumb, treble for finger]; then start changing chords w/out loosing the pattern, then work in a second finger & two treble notes, then start working in little runs [base runs often come easy] & grace notes your ear will tell you fit, variations on the trebles, etc - all this over weeks & months, & like they say, do it while reading, riding an exercise bicycle, watching stupid TV shows, etc.. make it automatic.

Then your heart can go into painting pictures w/the words & tune & your guitar can fill in the background, embelish, emphasize, simply support, etc.. (in a perfect world I only glimpse sometimes, at best...)

Cheers & Good Luck [or "break a leg" when you're going up on stage - Vaudville], BK


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 03:01 PM

You may not need a book, a video or a lesson to learn - althought all of those can help. If you think about finger pickin' as a basic pinching motion; between yer thumb and index finger - you' got the basics down. It sounds too simple, but it really is the basic motion. Yer thumb hits the bass and yer index finger plucks the string/s. A simple chord progression for say Steven Still's "Helplessly Hoping" gives you an easy first target for developing a finger style; it's easy to hear what strings to pick, and easy to finger pick with two fingers. Once you're comfortable with two, and yer middle finger to the mix, and maybe yer fourth. This style probably requires you anchor your hand against the pick guard with your ring finger. Ultimately, you can pick out bass, chords and melodies with three picking fingers, and use your middle finger to brush for percussion or accent.

Try it. Experiment. You can learn a lot on your own!


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Margo
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 06:03 PM

You guys, I am overjoyed! I have been practicing the picking pattern while reading this entire thread. I never knew it was that simple! It sounds so pretty and complex, I figured it would take a long time.... thanks all,

Margarita


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: WyoWoman
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 09:57 PM

Thanks to all of you for contributing to this. At this point, I can't imagine mashing down more than one string with my wee little faingers, but I'll try. But the patterns are helpful and I'm actually starting to move from the "this sounds like hammered s**t" part of the program to "You know, this might actually work out..." part.

Blessings on your head, mazeltov, mazeltov,

WW


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Margo
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 08:29 PM

So Rick, It's been 24 hours and I've learned the first picking pattern. May I please see the double pattern you mentioned? Oh please oh please??

Margarita


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Michael K.
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 11:39 PM

I highly recommend STEFAN GROSSMAN'S Workshop. A huge array of instructional videos from beginner to very advanced. Taught by some of the best players in the world.


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Michael K.
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 11:40 PM

http://www.guitarvideos.com/grossman.html


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: WyoWoman
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 11:58 PM

Hmmm... it said "URL not found..."

I typed in:
http://www.guitarvideos.com/grossman.html

ww


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 10:41 AM

What Rick didn't mention, and has beaten into my head, is that the first bass note in the pattern should virtually always be the root note of the chord (that is why you hit the 5th string first for the C and the 4th first for the D7 and so on) while the second alternative plucked is usually the 3rd or the 5th. This gives you an anchor when you start mucking around with bass runs (going from the root note of one chord to the root of another, like going from a C bass note to a G by working back down from a B, A, to G, or vice versa.). If you don't get "rock solid" on which bass note is the starter (as herr Rick says), then everything turns into mush later on when you start playing around. Right, teach?
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Dani
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 12:10 PM

OK guys - I don't want to clear the room by using this word. But when beginners have asked for *banjo* advice, they were (kindly and gently, I'll grant you) sent to videotapes that really assumed a lot of musical knowledge. Now, I am a RANK beginner, and would like to play the kind of music you all are discussing on the *banjo*. I'm not interested in bluegrass or old-time styles. Where, oh where to begin?


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Margo
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 12:59 PM

Dani, begin with bluegrass and old time styles. Sorry, I couldn't help it. Actually, technique is where beginners start, right? The marriage of technique to songs is the part you are fretting (haha). Vocal techniques start with scales and arpeggios, then which songs to sing? I don't suppose you need to sing "Ave Mai Piu" (although I like the "di vegetabile" part, makes me hungry).

I guess you need either an instruction book that doesn't use the music you're not interested in playing, or marry technique to songs yourself, which I think is a lot harder, but do-able.

Hey guys, am I all wet? anyone have better advice?

Margarita


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Bryant
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 03:34 PM

Dani, I'm not sure I follow . . . do you mean you're looking for banjo arrangements of contemporary guitar finger picking songs? I don't think I've seen anything like that really. There is another thread running named "Any Groups for Melodic Open Backed Banjo?". Maybe someone has ideas there.

Rick, last night I tried playing around with that G fingering you mentioned (ring on 6th, middle on 5th, pinky on 1st) and the biggest advantage is how smooth it makes the transition from G to C and back since your hand is already in the conventional C shape. With the way I was taught (middle on 6th, index on 5th, ring on 1st, pinky in limbo), you've gotta do a whole reconfiguration to play a C. I've gotten quick at it over the years but there is a split second of hesitation that I think will smooth out if I work on this new shape. Anyway, thanks for the tip.

(Also tried that funky, partial barred Bb and nearly had a cramp.)

Bryant


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Stefan Grossmans Website - the correct URL
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 04:00 PM

http://www.guitarvideos.com/grossman/index.html

(Sorry for the confusion.)


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 21 Aug 99 - 01:14 AM

Bryant. God bless you. YES, that's the reason for correctly fingering the "G"!

OK Margarita, are you ready to go to work? First of all there are many approaches...many of them suggested here and most of them good. This is just my personal way of gettin' folks started. Peter's right about the bass notes. Always (until you learn about the many exceptions) hit the root note first in any pattern. eg: "C" chord - first bass note is "C" and so on. Here we go.

Double thumbing pattern (it swings like a son of a gun)

1. Play G chord. (correct fingering, even if it hurts)
2. T-6
3. T-4
4. T-6
5. I-3
6. T-4
7. M-2

The rythm should sound like BUM. BUM. titty,titty. (please excuse terminology..I mean no offence!)

1. Play C chord (for the moment, don't put any finger on the 6th string. that comes a bit later)
2. T-5
3. T-4
4. T-5
5. I-3
6. T-4
7. M-2

1. Play D7 chord. This one's harder.
2. T-4
3. T-5 (backwards..ha,ha!)
4. T-4
5. I-3
6. T-5
7. M-2

To relieve the tedium of practising these suckers endlessly, here's a reward in the form of an astonishingly beautiful chord. Play it right after an "Am"chord

Index finger plays 1st string, 1st fret.
Middle plays 3rd string, 2nd fret.
Strum LOUDLY across the strings but DON'T play 6th string! (yet)...it's a D minor sixth. Play Am then Dm6. Hear those Russian Gypsies in the background!! finish with "E7". Dance, Gypsy Girl, Dance!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Aug 99 - 01:31 AM

LMAO.......I love it! Can you add in some "brrrrings" and "va-booms" or "peewows" ????

Sorry folks....take Rick's advice and lessons to heart. He is one hell of a picker and learning the "right" way is very important.

Could we substitute DUM for BUM on the second beat???

Spaw-Seaweed Keeper


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 21 Aug 99 - 03:02 AM

Hi Dani. I think I know what you mean. There's a style of banjo playing that is neither Old Tyme nor bluegrass. For want of a better term, lets go back to the 1880s and call it "Parlour" style. That was a little bit of classical with a little bit of ragtime and a little bit of Marching(yep) music.

So, a couple of questions first. Can you tune your banjo yet? Can you put it in "C" tuning, or "G" tuning?
If you can, I'll give you a couple of patterns that'll get you going. Videos can be almost as confusing as tabliture when you're first starting. I prefer the "spell it out" approach for a while.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: BK
Date: 21 Aug 99 - 10:40 AM

Rick: I'll be real interested in the (5-string) banjo info; been putzing mostly ineffectually for years, just dabbling at C tuning for a few, mainly Irish, folk songs; I cheat & adapt a bit of guitar 3-finger or use arpeggio's etc. I would like to start using G tuning. Still think the banjo is a great choice for many folk ballads & I know some Irish singers have often used it so, as opposed to the plectrum - 4-string - used for bold lead playing, (and sometimes relentlessly aggressive drown-out-the-competition instrumentals) at some "sessions."

Not always brash songs either; "Coulter's Candy" is a natural, but so is "Plasir D'Amour." Some others I use banjo with include "Gilgarry Mountain," "Marvellous Toy," "Danny Boy" (if I really feel vocally brave!) and "Last Thing On My Mind."

While you're at it - do tou know any source for the mandolin chords I see bluegrasser's using that look easier than those in my simple book? Their chords are compact - not the finger-stretches that my book's chords require.

Anyway, thanks for all the info.

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: CarlZen
Date: 21 Aug 99 - 12:49 PM

WyoWom. -

This may help with the pinkie thing. It is the principle of 'muscle memory' (and really has very little to do with a thread of the same name which rambles 'round this place). The more you use that pinkie in that chord, the more you develop the muscle and it integrates into your memory so it becomes a natural thing to do. I try to keep that in mind when I'm learning or teaching new chords. It doesn't ease the pain, but it does help with the persistence. Knowing that its only a matter of time.

One of the best things I've learned from some bluegrass guitarists is the 4-finger Gchord. Middle finger 6th str. 3rd fr.; first finger 5th str. 2nd fr.; Ring finger 2nd str. 3rd fr.; Pinkie 1st str. 3rd fret.

It gives (to me) a richer voicing of the first position g chord. It also gives you a real fun lick by sliding or hammering the second string from second to third fret. (This is probably not for beginners, but try it anyway.)


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: Margo
Date: 21 Aug 99 - 01:08 PM

Yhis is so unbelievable great! Thanks Rick. I have been practicing the G chord that way, too. It is amazing how much smoother the transition is to other chords. I'm converted, like rice.

Margarita


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Subject: RE: Help: Learning to finger pick
From: j0_77
Date: 21 Aug 99 - 01:38 PM

Rick you can teach me any time :) BTW The 4 finger G maj chord is one of 3 - These are the 'modal' chords so popular in the 50's and 60's. The C Modal is got by moving 2 fingers off the Bass E and A string and putting them back down on the A and D string. The D Modal is made by moving one finger onto the G string 2nd fret - AND a thumb or the other free finger onto BASS E 2nd fret. AT ALL TIMES THE PINKY AND 3RD REMAIN ON FRET 3 TREBLE E AND BM STRING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Information - you could make a lil capo for the Treble E and B strings and lock them down at fret 3. Then playing any song that I know (quite a few) can be accompanied with just two fingers - *get this* - the sound is very credible, most audiences think the sound is very good. It enables the Guitar to 'ring' sorta hummm.

I used this system to teach beginners for many years and all eventualy got to sing with the system - It is great fun to sing Old Mc Donald with these chords. Add some humorous verses like 'old Mc Donald had a LearJet' etc ...

Enjoy


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