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Secret Fingerpicker's Tone Mellowing Technique


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Acoustic Fingerpicking Step-by-Step, Level 1D

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In this lesson, we'll look at a right hand technique that can be used to alter the tonality of your fingerpicking. This technique can be used with any of the patterns we have studied so far, and with all chords except chords whose bass note is located on the fourth (D) string. These would include D, Dm, and F.

For this technique, you may play any of the fingerpicking patterns we have studies so far, but you should play it as thought the high E string were off limits. Simply move the pattern into the inner strings of the guitar, without changing the sequence of events. The bass note will remain the same as it was before.

The effect that this has is it brings out the alto tones of the chords, at the expense of the soprano tones. Think of it like a the difference between a violin, and a viola. This technique can enhance the mood and flavor of certain songs, or sections of songs, that would be well served by a slightly darker, mellower, tonality.

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