For one thing you’re basically just playing with the strings. Then you just have to choose the way of the fretboard. It’s not so complicated! You can pick an instrument that plays the same notes to the same octaves on the fretboard and still play it in many different keys. This makes your fingerpicking skills much more versatile! So why are so many teachers and musicians giving you advice on how to play a particular fingering? Well, there can be a few different reasons. Sometimes it’s because a teacher sees you playing a lot of different types of music and thinks you need to keep playing a certain way to keep up. Sometimes you’re just afraid of using your fingers and the other hand so much that you want to save that for a harder instrument.
Other times the teacher might just be teaching fingerpicking using the wrong techniques. Fingerpicking may be a part of a band’s repertoire, but if they don’t know you well enough, they might just be trying to play their own playing. They might be trying to take away your enjoyment of the instrument. And finally, you might have your fingerpicking skills down pat, but your teachers wouldn’t give you the proper techniques for fingerpicking because they are afraid that you’ll get all flustered in their playing.
All of this is why you need to make sure your fingers are as comfortable playing as possible. Start learning the correct techniques so that when they try to give you advice on fingerpicking (or any other jazz instrument) it doesn’t come across as if they are forcing you to do something they don’t feel confident doing. Make sure your fingerpicking technique is sound, feel good and easy to learn, and let your teacher play in a way that makes you feel confident playing it without any hesitation. Your teacher might be more comfortable playing by hand, but they don’t need a hand to teach them so make sure you can make your teacher play in a way that lets you play the same fretboard while still having a lot of fun. And don’t forget to practice on that same fretboard!
Do you have any question about fingerpicking? Do you have any tips about how to improve your fingerpicking technique? What are the most important things that you can do to get better at fingerpicking? Let me know in the comments below or drop me an email to learn more about finger picking. Thank you!
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