I’ve been thinking about left hand technique.
On guitar and bass I just naturally want to use my fingers and not a pick. Granted, it might be because I’ve never really taken the time to be comfortable with one. But there’s something else, the pick seems so definite and mechanical from both a physical and aural perspective. Obviously considering how many people use this tool this aspect is considered as an asset.
Having said that, at this point I feel that it puts an unnecessary mechanical barrier between me and the instrument. Also I can see how can be a way to play faster but I’m not really interested in speed.
I need to know more about how classical guitar and flamenco players use their left hand.
There’s a great Spanish guitar player named Javier Pereira.
I saw him accompany Mariola Membrives who is this astounding singer who uses the conventions of Flamenco as a point from which to explore.
Pereira uses many left hand techniques from all the disciplines.
For the moment I’m going to focus on playing without a pick.
Me too. When I started out with guitar (not much over a year ago) I used a pick & pretty much expected to stay that way. When I started the IFR Chord Melody Workshop it happened to be about a month after I’d got a bass on which I was using fingers (as it’s ‘the usual thing’). Whilst I’m sure it’s possible to do the Chord Melody stuff with a pick, I decided to give finger picking a try.
I’m now a total convert. In addition to the flexibility & multi-string pluck opportunities I seem to prefer the tone (& range of tones) it provides.
Musical tastes vary of course, but a finger picker I admire is Justin Johnson. He’s much inspired by ‘roots’ & early Blues musicians & it shows in his playing. My favourite pieces by him are where he does solo arrangements of songs, using a range of techniques to provide the melody, harmony and rhythm, something that maps well onto the IFR ‘bass, choir & singer’ analogy for chord melody on guitar.
Edit to add: If you happen to search for Justin (he has many videos on youtube) you may land on one where he’s using a thumb pick. That’s not a fundamental part of his style, just something he uses on occasion if he wishes to give the bass line a bit more bite.
Something too about skin being in direct contact that makes things much more varied and variable.
Still there’s lots of people that I respect like Bill Frisell that are hybrid players.
So much to explore.
Justin is awesome. He does some really good tutorials too.
@niborsilliw I forgot to ask if you’d noticed that David has done a video on 'Improvising with Right Hand Classical Fingering on the Guitar?
If not, you can find it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kl-3EvpP08
No, but I’m checking it out now. Thanks.
Have you tried hybrid picking, where you hold and use a pick between thumb and index finger, but also use middle, ring and pinky on upper strings?
I can see advantages to being able to get a strong sound with the pick if needed.
Or you can try a thumb pick (or the hybrid ‘Sharktooth’ arrangement http://www.sharktoothpicks.com/).
As a beginner too I been trying out various things. For the present I’m happiest with just my fingers, but will probably continue to experiment.
I’ve seen those picks. Pretty interesting. So many paths, so little time.
I’ll report back.
Have you seen ‘Alaska Piks’ https://alaskapik.com/ too? They look to be an interesting alternative to ‘cultivating’ perfect finger nails? I guess different things suit different people, but as you say so many possible paths!
you are all talking about right hand techniques, I suppose? Or do you all play left handed like Hendrix?
Left handed… but play righty.
Unlike Mono Neon who’s left handed and plays it that way but with the strings flopped.
Interesting to compare using a plectrum to a bow. Never thought of it that way.