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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:24 am 
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In his book "Scottish Traditional Music for Guitar in DADGAD and Open G Tunings", Rob MacKillop recommends using the thumb and middle finger for strong beats, and the index finger (and the ring finger, when necessary) for weak beats. This is based on the natural strength of each finger.

He says classical guitarists do exercises striving to make all fingers equally capable of strong and weak playing.

(When looking for further info, I also saw that MacKillop plays fingerstyle without long nails, also contrary to classical practice. I've been doing that anyway, since I play keyboard as well and can't stand playing keyboard with long nails.)

Comments? Objections? Anyone else tried it both ways?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:28 pm 
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Hmmm ... I think it's a bit pointless to generalize about finger patterns like that, because the pattern depends entirely on whatever musical figure you're playing.

For example, for |CGcd EGcd| you're going to use p-i-m-a. For |[CG]c [EG]c| you'll use [pi]-m [pi]-m, with the index on the strong beats. And you'll end up using the same fingering that a classical guitarist would use.

Some players favor a two-finger approach using i and m whenever possible, some a three-finger i, m and a. It's all fine, and has little to do with fingernails or DADGAD tuning IMO. The goal of finger independence and flexibility is no different if your playing Tárrega or trad.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:43 am 
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MTGuru wrote:
I think it's a bit pointless to generalize about finger patterns like that, because the pattern depends entirely on whatever musical figure you're playing.
I agree with that thinking.

I am mostly a finger picker on guitars, banjo, lap steels, etc. I grow my own picks at the ends of the fingers (and I do play keyborards too, so I hear you on that). I use all four fingers and thumb. I've spent nearly fifty years getting all the fingers equally strong and independent. That's what God gave me, so I might as well put 'em to use. I tend to use the thumb, index and pinky most (don't know how that happened and don't care). I don't analyze or dwell on prescribed techniques. I feel it gets in the way of playing. I teach the " do what works for you and feels comfortable" method. Concentrate on the tunes and it all works out.

Now, to be fair, I play lots of music on different instrument and in different styles. So it is in my interest not to concentrate on a particular technique related to a single style. In the case of what you have posted it seems to me that keeping the strong beats strong is what matters.

Feadoggie

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:54 am 
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Also coming from a strong guitar, banjo, and keyboard background I also agree. Finger independence is something I've worked decades to achieve. While I'm interested to hear MacKillop's ideas and preferences, I feel no burning need to study his technique.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:55 pm 
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Makes much sense (Rob's a lutenist among many other fretted stringed instruments) and there are of course pedagogic traditions for each. There are many useful applications for such idiomatic approaches; as you've all stated--depending on the music and what one is attempting to accomplish

FWIW, I'm also a classical/flamenco player for some 30 years


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