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Well I'm out of excuses ... If I can't learn fingerstyle through this guy's method, I just need to give up!  Never seen someone break it down so clearly and make it so easily understood.  It's SIMPLE!  All you have to do is practice.  I'm ON it!  Check it out ...

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Just a couple observations. 

I have played this same pattern for years, although I don't always use the same alternating bases that the instructor uses.  Sometimes I will use my thumb to pluck the 3rd string as the alternating bass.  (I was actually taught to do that - I didn't just make it up.)  When it comes to alternating the bass, it either works or it doesn't, so you don't have to devote a lot of brain cells to memorizing what the alternate basses for each chord.  Over time your brain will know what to do for each chord, and you'll know when it doesn't work.


For some variety, try a "pinch pick" for the first beat by picking the bass note and the 1st (highest) string simultaneously and let them ring until its time to use your thumb to pluck the bass again.


This pattern won't work for 3/4 time, but there are patterns that will work.


Although this is a fun pattern to play, there are several others that are worth learning.


I've been a flat picker/strummer all my life.  Granted that this lesson may be sort of "dumbed down" but that's what I need ... isn't this guy's method what is commonly called "Travis Picking" ??

It is similar in many ways to Travis picking, but its not actually Travis picking.


The video uses the Gordon Lightfoot song "In the early morning rain" for demonstration purposes.  I have found this song works very well for practicing this style of playing, although I think it is necessary to vary the chord fingerings and use some ornamentals in order to avoid monotony.  I noticed the instructor was getting a lot of variety out of this piece.


The song starts with A and then goes to G and then to D.  I usually fret the A by using the 4 finger F grip at the 5th fret, then I pull it down two frets and play the G with the same grip on the 3rd fret, and then I go to D.  It is a very simple transition, and it helps to avoid the monotony the song has due to having a lot of redundant chords.  It's kind of interesting to see how much variety you can bring to it.

Used to do that some 40 yrs ago. Nowadays I do 4 finger fingerstyle without the fingerpicks. The Seagull broad neck is just right for that.

Seagulls DO seem to be made to accommodate fingerstyle don't they??

My Seagull Artist Folk is perfect for fingerstyle with "bare hands", also for blues hand picking (like the late Josh White style). I use Silk and Steels in the Artist Folk, they are very good for barefinger picking. My new (second hand) Artist Studio cw has just (according to the net follow-up) arrived in Finland, hopefully get it on Monday. I'll report my feelings of that after I played it for a while.

Yep ... Arlie, at my age, I just want to play!  Show me the easiest route and I'll take it.  Not trying to become Tommy Emmanuel or anything!  :-)

What I was trying to describe as a "pinch pick" can be used in a lot of situations.  But in the video, the player divides the rhythm into 8 counts, with the thumb strum on the 1 and the 5.  I would suggest playing the "pinch pick" on the 1, letting the strings ring for 2,3,4 and then playing it normally for 5678.  It's not something you want to use too much.  There are some other fingerstyle techniques that use the pinch pick as well. 


I really don't play these patterns so much anymore, and my recollection and execution is a little hazy right now.  I have to say it would be hard to find a guitar better suited for this kind of playing than a Seagull with the wide nut.


No offense taken.  I know just what you are describing.  It's kind of a quirky thing - playing successive chord patterns with a variety of pinch picks.  But one thing you can do with it is you can use the treble string to play the melody.  I used it on the old blues standard "Cocaine" (although I modified the lyrics and substituted Rogaine for Cocaine).  It's sort of a ragtime rhythm.

Yes this is what I was talking about.  And you play beautifully.  I think this is the Piedmont blues style. 

For the basic fingerstyle strum we were discusing on this forum, I simply substitute one pinch pick for a single thumb pluck  up and down up finger strum.  I use it sparingly in this kind of a finger strum pattern, but it is a nice way to change up the rhythm.

Thanks, Arlie. I really enjoyed that. Am I mistaken, or are you only using the thumb and index finger of your right hand to play melody and harmony? That's what it looked like to me.
That's amazing. Fingerpicking has always been a challenge to me. Thanks for the speedy reply.


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