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Thread: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    I was wondering what method you finger pickers use, thumb for the two low strings & fist & index finger for the two high strings or do you use three fingers & a thumb?
    I have sort of adapted over time and seem to use both methods but I now seem to mainly use three fingers and one thumb, to be honest I have only just realised what has be happening.
    I seem to play my tenors more than my six strings of late and as a result I picked up a six string and got really confused what my thumb was doing for a minute or so!

    (I cant edit the title but their would of been better )
    Last edited by fox; Mar-31-2017 at 9:18am.

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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    I think I am using thumb and first 2 fingers a lot, depends on the pattern though, I dug out an old one today and used thumb plus 3. I have taken to using a thumb pick a bit too, although it can be a bit too much on a pattern.
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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    Yeah I have tried using thumb picks & finger picks but that is just another skill to learn and there is not enough time in the day!
    However, using picks (or long finger nails I guess) certainly changes the tone and volume!
    If only I could start again and have a life time in front of me again then finger picks would be on my list!

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    Thumb, index and middle finger. The thumb alternates between the C and G strings, the index plays the D and the middle covers the A.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Registered User nmiller's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    All four fingers, like a guitar roll, but with the thumb sticking to the low string. Works for tenor banjo as well.
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    Registered User MdJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    Bare fingers only ... Undisciplined self taught mix of arpeggios, travis pick, cotton pick

    Playing 5 strings (FCGDA) mostly these days and have really begun to mine the 5 string potential for chord inversions.. I seem to rely on the right hand more than most players i know ...

    All the best,

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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    Bare fingers. Thumb on CG. Middle finger on DA. Varies as needed. Was originally playing with thumb and three fingers but was blessed with a short index finger so it never "flowed" right and gave up on that. Only play fingers when I'm alone. Use a pick when I am with others.

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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    On those odd, quiet playing times, I normally use my thumb and index finger only. For rhythm playing, I cluster my index and thumb and pull up an almost descant rhythm where I strum the low strings (C and G) and pull up at the same time on A or D string. This seems to make a more percussive sound. I think I picked this method up many years ago when I still played at music on a five string banjo. Odd way to do it but it does work for me.

    If you really want an inspiration and or a moment of wonder, go to You Tube and pull up virtually any of Mark Knopfler's videos. The remarkable sounds and tone he gets from either an electric or acoustic guitar is quite often due to his right hand finger style playing. I wondered for years how he got those sounds on his early Dire Straits recordings ... finger style electric guitar. There are a few vintage cuts where he is playing with Chet Atkins on either Electric and Acoustic guitars and those are amazing displays of control and fret board mastery. He normally plays with just his thumb and index but will use the middle and ring finger when it's required. There are a few close ups of his right hand and he is just so good ...
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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    It is a lot easier to impress with a six string than a four string though!
    It seems that really good six string finger pickers can really light up a room and produce a sound that feels like they have their own accompaniment in the background!

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    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    Quote Originally Posted by nmiller View Post
    All four fingers, like a guitar roll, but with the thumb sticking to the low string. Works for tenor banjo as well.
    That
    The first most complicated thing I learnt to do as a kid on guitars was fingerpicking - I learnt simple arpeggiated picking and went from there. I leave a little bit of nail on each right finger. In fact it was only when I took up mandolin that I started using a flat pick. I also occasionally finger pick my bouzouki. I just cannot get on with fingerpicks - to me it lacks the conntrol I'm used to
    Swapping between four & six course doesn't seem to faze me.
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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    Yes, thumb & fore finger for me, nails only, as with a 6 string, but of course it's more limited in scope. I think a rhythmically well played song accompaniment in CGDA (or GDAE) has a pleasing simplicity. I can't do really clever stuff, but I like moving around the fretboard, using different chord shapes, which I find far easier than on a six string. I sometimes combine finger picking and strumming.
    "What's that funny guitar thing..?"

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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    At the six-string guitar playing four fingers. On ukulele playing with three fingers. And on tenor guitar, I try again to use four fingers.
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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    I finger pick - - using fingers (!), a modified Travis picking in a folkie or Honky Tonk situation. I play a National Steel tenor tuned as an octave mando, so tend toward the "powerchords" (A= 2245) as rootless or 3 finger jazz chords can sound muddy. It adds a lot to the texture . . .
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    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    I should add that the reason I play TG is to fingerpick whereas I'd less likely fingerpick my zouk (I do though!)
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, 59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: 57 Gibson ETG-150, 80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    My nylon string tenors are a lot easier to finger pick than the higher tension steel strings guitars, especially considering I have short nails. I have a few sets of plastic finger picks, thumb picks etc , I put them on every few months but, they come off within minutes as I just find the feeling, uncomfortable and alien!
    I find double courses really difficult to finger pick, I am not really a fan of mandolins (love octaves) but I do own one, now that is difficult to finger pick without nails!

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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of the Badgers View Post
    I should add that the reason I play TG is to fingerpick whereas I'd less likely fingerpick my zouk (I do though!)
    Me too pretty much, although I am branching out into some basic chord melody stuff and also using the thumb pick for the sort of jigs, reels &c that I play on the mandolin. I have strong nails so I don't need to worry about finger picks, I am getting to like the thumb pick, and am less likely to drop it or lose it between tunes.
    - Jeremy

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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    Thumb and three fingers, one per string, GDAE.

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    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    Quote Originally Posted by derbex View Post
    Me too pretty much, although I am branching out into some basic chord melody stuff and also using the thumb pick for the sort of jigs, reels &c that I play on the mandolin. I have strong nails so I don't need to worry about finger picks, I am getting to like the thumb pick, and am less likely to drop it or lose it between tunes.
    Yeah, my nails are good too. To me, strumming a TG makes me want for an Octave/Dola.
    When I bought my zouk off Paul Shippey he was surprised to see me fingerpick it - he'd not seen it done with just nails before. But I also will do it on my mandos too.
    No for me the tenor's ace card is how great it is picked in this way. You can really emote on it. My McIlroy does sound lovely in slide tuning strummed though, and in C tuning generally.
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, 59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: 57 Gibson ETG-150, 80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    This guy.........


    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who is finger picking thier tenor?

    Ha Ha his fingers are like flexible rubber compared to my tree stumps!

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