"Hello my friends,
Sorry, I've been off for a while.Between Hospice minstry and a bad case of shingles (not the roofing kind) I haven't been as faithful to the group as I'd like to be. Had a wonderful Christmas Eve service and had the…"
I got a chance to take a look at Mr. Hamburger's material, primarily the table of contents, to get a sense of the method. It looks like it focuses on the primary understanding of fingerstyle today, three finger picking, which, in my view, covers both Travis picking, an alternating bass style, and the steady bass style. It would be a good investment. I also think you should look at the other leg that fingerstyle/fingerpicking stands on, that of the use of varied arpeggio patterns. This approach is primarily used in some older folk styles, certainly classical and to some degree fingerstyle jazz. When melded with the traditional fingerpicking/American primitive style recognized today as Fingerstyle it can give an additional dimension to your playing. I don't know of many "methods " that focus on this other than some of the traditional, and very dry, classical methods. I do have a couple of resources from my files that will introduce to some fundamental patterns. If you're interested let me know.
I saw your question to Chris Proctor. Hope you don't mind if I chime in. I learned of Alaska Pics at one of Proctor's workshops. I really like them and still use them. The plastic ones. I tried the metal ones, but I didn't like the sound. I started out using large ones without success and then discovered I should have been using the mediums which I don't modify at all. You can modify them by cutting and filing on them.
The only gripe I have is that I wear out a set pretty quickly. I have searched for alternatives that last longer. Fred Kelly came out with some that are OK, but I think they are a little big and clunky.
Lately I have been experimenting with the raw nail, but I keep them pretty short. I like that feel, but there are issues there too. That way is ok for some things, but so far I think I get better volume and articulation with the pics.
I am familiar with the AlaskaPicks. Investigated them but, since I've been blessed with exceptionally strong nails and play with a combination of flesh and nail leaning heavily on the warmer sound of fingertip, I didn't find them useful/needful. I tend to keep my nails shorter also, developed over the years that I actively practiced chiropractic where longer nails were an issue, and developed a technique that relied on fingertip with a slight nail backup. The AlaskaPicks seemed to work well, probably better than most, but since using fingerpicks was not an issue with me I didn't pursue them. Chris Proctor, a member of this community and a former National Fingerpicking Champion, uses and endorses them. You can contact him though my page here as he is one of my Friends. I'm sure he would give you a good perspective, remembering that he is an endorser of the product, if you contacted him. BTW I did start a group, Gospel Guitar, here, it's awaiting approval right now. But I did want to open a forum where those who love to minister in "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" could share. You might like to look for it when it becomes active.
Thanks for getting back. I do understand the demands of your ministry. I was in the ministry myself for a number of years (you never really leave it though ... I ministered in music on Sunday and lead a Bible study on Monday eve) and, being a recovering health care practitioner ... Doc is not just a nickname, I do understand the demands/needs of the patients, especially in Hospice. It is a grand work you do. Keep up the work on fingerstyle guitar. Your banjo experience, rather than generating "wrong" habits may actually give you some different/unique approaches to guitar that most fingerstyle players don't address. I picked up some ideas from the "flaying" technique on banjo that when married with some flamenco stylings gives some nice percussive qualities to my own playing. I've been toying with the idea of starting a group on the site that would be for those interested in ministering with guitar, leading worship, etc., or playing arrangements of traditional and contemporary hymns and choruses. Perhaps called something like Gospel Guitar or Sacred Guitar group. Let me know if you might be interested in such a group to share ideas and experiences.
Pleased to see you on this site. I do love to minister in song also. Though primarily a jazz player, the gentlemen in the jazz trio I perform with, believers all, also share that same delight in using the music to open doors to others who may be seeking answers and point them to our Lord. Had the opportunity this morning to minister, in addition to the worship time, with a wonderful Hall and Knockel's song "Captivate Us". Hope to share more with you on this site