Feb. 27, 2019

Fingerstyle Guitar

The Fingerstyle technique in guitar playing refers to the manner in which the strings are sounded individually and with individual fingers, as opposed to strumming or using a single pick for each sound.  This technique allows the guitarist to play multiple aspects of the music, thus sounding much like an ensemble, bringing a bass line, a melody, and a rhythm section together in one instrument.  

In this vein, it means that notes need not always be played as arpeggiated chords, or strummed, but that each string can be played or plucked simultaneously, using all five fingers at once; it means that various intervals can be played much like a cello can bow across two strings at once; it means that more expression can be drawn out of the instrument.

There will always be discussion around who is the ‘best’ example of a fingerstyle guitarist ~ there are many!  The photo insert from www.thaliacapos.com cites Tommy Emmanuel as one to follow, if you are interested in fingerstyle technique. 

I had been messing around with playing Spanish Romance (badly) for the first few weeks of class, all on the high E string but with a bit of fingerstyle in my right hand.   Now that I have found this little tutorial video, it might give me the help I need to use a more complicated way of finding the notes.    I still have trouble with BARRE chords though!   https://youtu.be/6Z9svmmcIDg

There are quite a few wonderful videos on how to learn Barre chords too, and most of them preach stretching and patience as to two key elements.  Here is one that I have tucked away for a rainy day, to go back to! https://www.uberchord.com/blog/barre-chords-for-beginners/

Hammer On and Pull Off Technique

An important aspect of fingerstyle is the movement of the fingers on the fret board from note to note.   In using Hammer On and Pull Off, this refers to the movement up to higher notes (hammer on) and the movement down to lower notes (pull off) when moving through a scale.   In my off-campus private lessons, my instructor has taken me through these exercises in a number of different combinations, to train my fingers on how to move smoothly and easily through the notes of a scale, in both directions.   

We travel up four notes and then move to the next string, up four notes again, etc... then doing this going back down.   Another way to approach the exercise is to stay on the first four notes and do them ascending and then descending, and then move to the next string.   Long term, this practise will lead to better fluidity and speed.    This YouTube example is a fantastic on to explain the technique!  https://youtu.be/s_yasaZaCug

I tried a little bit of fingerstyle myself - here is one of my first attempts in playing the Spanish Romance <3 https://youtu.be/_p4vJ-pOAQI