Confused fingerpicker help

Guitar Tricks Forum > Technique and Style > Confused fingerpicker help

johnv31552

Registered User

Joined: 01/05/16

Posts: 239

I am confused with fingerpicking between Lisa and Caron. Lisa shows at the beginning using thumb and two fingers. Caron shows using thumb and three fingers for bass notes on the 4th string bass root such as D or F. Which is correct, or does it matter? I really want to learn, but I don't want to mess up and not use the correct number of fingers?? Anyone have guidance or am I overthinking this?

#1

I am confused with fingerpicking between Lisa and Caron. Lisa shows at the beginning using thumb and two fingers. Caron shows using thumb and three fingers for bass notes on the 4th string bass root such as D or F. Which is correct, or does it matter? I really want to learn, but I don't want to mess up and not use the correct number of fingers?? Anyone have guidance or am I overthinking this?

Guitar Tricks Admin

Administrator

Joined: 09/28/05

Posts: 2064

Hi johnv,

Could you link the videos you're talking about? There are different styles of fingerpicking, and different ways to fingerpick depending on the song, etc.

Three techniques to fingerpicking:

General acoustic fingerpicking by Lisa: https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=596

Simplified Travis picking by Caren: https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1774

Country style finger picking by Anders: https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2073

The way you want to think about it is that they are different techniques. There's no universal way to fingerpick a song, each song is different and requires a bit of a tweak.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.

#2

Hi johnv,

Could you link the videos you're talking about? There are different styles of fingerpicking, and different ways to fingerpick depending on the song, etc.

Three techniques to fingerpicking:

General acoustic fingerpicking by Lisa: https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=596

Simplified Travis picking by Caren: https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1774

Country style finger picking by Anders: https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2073

The way you want to think about it is that they are different techniques. There's no universal way to fingerpick a song, each song is different and requires a bit of a tweak.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.

anniemacleodmusic

Registered User

Joined: 11/22/17

Posts: 16

I was just going to ask this same question. Caren is SO adament about using three fingers on the higher string and Lisa is SO adament about using only two fingers and your thumb, it's a little confusing for those of us with less experience.

#3

I was just going to ask this same question. Caren is SO adament about using three fingers on the higher string and Lisa is SO adament about using only two fingers and your thumb, it's a little confusing for those of us with less experience.

pemman

Full Access

Joined: 02/16/14

Posts: 1

I have the same question.

On this video (What is Travis Picking?) Lisa suggests using thumb on E, A, D, G and two fingers on B, E but on this video (Physical Hand Positions) Caren suggests using thumb on E, A, D and three fingers on G, B, E.

Both are talking about Travis picking, so for a beginer this is very confusing.

#4

I have the same question.

On this video (What is Travis Picking?) Lisa suggests using thumb on E, A, D, G and two fingers on B, E but on this video (Physical Hand Positions) Caren suggests using thumb on E, A, D and three fingers on G, B, E.

Both are talking about Travis picking, so for a beginer this is very confusing.

johnspc9951

Full Access

Joined: 11/23/10

Posts: 1

I think of it as an art form. you can go outside the box, but the method is going to be usually bass with the thumb. I guess if a certain measure of a song doesn't have the bass note going, then it can be used to help the other guys out.

#5

I think of it as an art form. you can go outside the box, but the method is going to be usually bass with the thumb. I guess if a certain measure of a song doesn't have the bass note going, then it can be used to help the other guys out.

Vantage06

Registered User

Joined: 10/25/13

Posts: 1

I've been using Caren's (Travis picking simplified) technique on Lisa's (Acoustic Fingerpicking, Step-by-step) lessons because I started with Caren's first. Still have to do a lot of the same thumb pattern, chord change, speed, etc.; however, am I keeping my pinky 'off the deck' ?

And I want to get to Travis picking advanced.

#6

I've been using Caren's (Travis picking simplified) technique on Lisa's (Acoustic Fingerpicking, Step-by-step) lessons because I started with Caren's first. Still have to do a lot of the same thumb pattern, chord change, speed, etc.; however, am I keeping my pinky 'off the deck' ?

And I want to get to Travis picking advanced.

cedrics

Registered User

Joined: 05/10/18

Posts: 1

Its a stylistic choice, and comfort. Heck, there was a jazz/classical guitarist back in the 20s that only had three fingers. Django Reinhardt. Good stuff.

#7

Its a stylistic choice, and comfort. Heck, there was a jazz/classical guitarist back in the 20s that only had three fingers. Django Reinhardt. Good stuff.

LisaMcC

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 11/02/06

Posts: 2326

I’m sure it IS confusing, but the replies abov are correct: there’s more than one or two techniques options. Some of the choice you make has to do with the style of music you’d ultimately love to be able to play really well.

And some of the choice comes down to what you find feels most comfortable and natural to your own individual fingers.

To get rolling though, and get into making some fun music, I’d advise you choose one of the teachers and their path here at GT and stick with it for a while.

Then with some experience under your belt, you can decide if that path feels right for you, or if you’d like to try something different.

its all just part of the totally natural learning process, take your time and have fun with it.

-Lisa

Lisa McCormick, GT Instructor
Acoustic, Folk, Pop, Blues

Full Catalog of Lisa's Guitar Tricks Tutorials
Find Lisa on Facebook!

#8

I’m sure it IS confusing, but the replies abov are correct: there’s more than one or two techniques options. Some of the choice you make has to do with the style of music you’d ultimately love to be able to play really well.

And some of the choice comes down to what you find feels most comfortable and natural to your own individual fingers.

To get rolling though, and get into making some fun music, I’d advise you choose one of the teachers and their path here at GT and stick with it for a while.

Then with some experience under your belt, you can decide if that path feels right for you, or if you’d like to try something different.

its all just part of the totally natural learning process, take your time and have fun with it.

-Lisa

Lisa McCormick, GT Instructor
Acoustic, Folk, Pop, Blues

Full Catalog of Lisa's Guitar Tricks Tutorials
Find Lisa on Facebook!