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A technique question for a beginning flatpicker

che-vuoiche-vuoi New YorkNew
edited October 2009 in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 4
I've been playing fingerstyle guitar for years and I'd been following the recommendation of many guitarists to anchor the picking hand by resting my pinky on the guitar top. However, this doesn't seem to be the preferred technique for flatpicking: I notice most flatpicking guitarists let their picking hand float over the strings without keeping any fingers anchored to the guitar top. My difficulty: in attempting to mimic this technique my picking hand feels a bit too "free", and I have trouble with accuracy as I speed up. Is this just a question of needing to practice more until I get more used to it? Or is there some way I should be resting my arm or wrist on the guitar that would make my picking hand feel more secure?


  • RicardoRicardo Cornwall UKNew
    Posts: 41
    If you brush your curled fingers -around the tops of your fingernails - over the strings, it will give you a sense of position. Other than this, practice will pay off in the end. Try practising tremelo chords to get the knack and feel for the new positioning. Remember to keep the wrist loose and relaxed.
    Not now dear, I have a terrible Djangover.
  • che-vuoiche-vuoi New YorkNew
    Posts: 4
    Thanks, I'll give it a try...
  • pmgpmg Atherton, CANew Dupont MD50R, Shelley Park Custom, Super 400, 68 Les Paul Deluxe, Stevie Ray Strat
    Posts: 140
    Here's a great tip that got me going in the right direction:

    - Get a 9 volt battery and grasp it in the last three fingers of the right hand. Hold the pick between the thumb and forefinger. Practice picking while holding the battery in this manner using simple patterns moving from string to string i.e., starting on the 6th string, pick open, first fret, second fret, third fret - then go to the next string. Use all down strokes to begin with and make sure your pick ends up resting on the string below with the point of the pick pointing towards the top of the guitar (not out way from the top). Do this slowly at first for 10 minutes a day. You will quickly gain control of the floating right hand - plus develop a nice "rest stroke" gypsy picking style.
    I'm always interested in jamming with experienced jazz and gypsy jazz players in the San Francisco - San Jose area. Drop me a line. Bass players welcome!
  • che-vuoiche-vuoi New YorkNew
    Posts: 4
    Thanks for the replies, I've been trying out both of your suggestions which have been quite helpful.
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