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Beginner Flatpickers


Beginner Flatpickers

Dedicated to those of us who are just getting started.

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Discussion Forum

Worried Man Blues

Started by Kelley Hatlee Oct 22, 2012.

FGN's "Instructors" Page 1 Reply

Started by Martin. Last reply by Bryan Floyd Aug 11, 2011.

Hand cramping good 8 Replies

Started by Kenny. Last reply by j.Mac Jul 26, 2011.

Comment Wall

Comment by Robert Polickoski on June 1, 2011 at 1:14pm

After a twenty year hiatus, I bought an Ovation Celebrity twelve-string and was trying to teach myself finger-picking.  I cut the pad of the ring finger on my picking hand which severely hampered that.  I switched, temporarily I thought, to flat-picking.  I progressed farther in the two weeks of flat-picking while my pad healed than I had in the two years trying to learn finger-picking.  I am now a very happy flat-picker.  I have had to pick up an Ovation Balladeer six-string because my fingers are losing some dexterity necessary to navigate the twelve-string without buzzing.  I am having a wonderful time and looking forward to learning more here.

Comment by Jeffrey Glen West on June 4, 2011 at 10:07pm

I have a blog which features the baritone ukulele. I got started playing the ukulele and joined some ukulele clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area. I enjoy the deeper sound of the baritone ukulele and there's almost nothing specifically written for the instrument. I am fortunate to live within 30 minutes of Gryphon Strings in Palo Alto near Stanford University. I was looking thru their wide selection of music books and I would look thru the books for songs that were played on the treble strings DGBE. I came across Eric Thompson's book titled Fancy Fiddle Tunes for Flatpicking Guitar which included a few DGBE songs and 3-CD's of amazingly detailed instructions. Not too long after that I started picking up Flatpicking Guitar magazine. The books are very inexpensive and full of good information. They also will ocassionally have solely DGBE songs.

So coming from the ukulele background I have used my fingers for picking but using the up and down strokes like a pick would be used. I am starting to try a pick but it is still feeling a bit foreign to me. I imagine that using the pick allows for a speedier musical delivery? I like the flatpicking sound and would like to improve.

Comment by steve cunnyngham on June 26, 2011 at 12:22pm
Without having received my copy of volume 1-flatpicking essentials yet, I recognized my flatpicking skills being very weak after spending the last several years studying fingerstyle guitar. My first inclination was to do chromatic scales up and down the neck from 6th to 1st string and back. After weeks of wrestling with this, I realized I needed to maybe start back with fundamentals at square 1. That's when I found flatpicking essentials, so we'll see how it goes. Any other advice is welcome. Is the chromatic scale thing a waste of time? Is there a better way?
Comment by Ed Ball on June 26, 2011 at 8:05pm
Good evening to everyone from Ohio. @ Steve I share your pain. I previously subscribed to FGM 2001-06, built up quite a collection, but found I just couldn't focus on the one thing that was missing. By reading the tabs I knew the "how" to play, but never really grasped the "why". Like you, I too order Vol 1 (& 2) of Flatpicking Essentials. Now I find I'm progressing, while building the solid foundation before moving into more advanced pieces. But more importantly, the timing, tone, and accurracy is surprisingly falling into place and I find I'm listening to the notes more just before the change in the chords. I believe you'll be amazed with the contents of Vol 1, I've only had it for a couple weeks, but I'm forcing myself to refrain from jumping into Vol 2 before I have a solid handle on the basic foundations before I progress. Enjoy!
Comment by steve cunnyngham on June 29, 2011 at 2:54pm
Thanks for the encouragement Ed from Ohio. My copy should be arriving any day now and I'm ready to get moving forward. The plan is to stay with vol.1 start to finish before moving on to vol2. I have a bad habit of buying more books than I can handle at one time anyway. Came through your state last month on the way to Toronto Canada. It rained all the way there and again when I came back. Don't know if you are a college football fan or not, but most of us in these 'Sooner' parts are not happy about your buckeyes losing a good coach and a good man. It's a tough world out there. Looking forward to meeting the buckeyes again on the field one day.
Comment by Ed Ball on June 30, 2011 at 8:39pm
Steve, unfortunately buckeyes are bad news these days, but I'm sure one day they'll return to their glory days. Have a brother inlaw and family living in Toronto, they'll be here tomorrow. Beautiful city, never been to Sooner country, but who knows perhaps one day. Sounds like you have a good plan. I've almost made it through Vol I without the metronome, but after checking myself the other night, I found I still have some work to do. But like you I want to master Vol I before moving on. I've never work so hard on just the basics, always itching to move on to more advanced pieces, but without the solid foundation, I'm sure to fail. So here I sit pickin away and having a blast.
Comment by steve cunnyngham on July 1, 2011 at 2:09pm
Ed, you don't keep great programs down for long. The Buckeyes will be back. I have used a metronome before and its not as easy as you think it might be. I got the book yesterday and I'm finishing up the history part, which is pretty interesting. Ready to get to work. See you on the other side. Keep pickin'
Comment by steve cunnyngham on July 3, 2011 at 2:51pm
Hello everyone. Just cracked open volume 1 and started working. Wow. Simple stuff I thought I could do is pretty sloppy when I focus on doing it right, so lot's of room for improvement. Ok. Here's my question; I have a handfull of picks and my gut feeling is to throw them all out and start with one medium hard pick and stay with it. Other than a $20 red bear, how about some suggestions on size/brand/shape?
Comment by John Liston on July 3, 2011 at 4:59pm
Hi Steve. In response to your inquiry on picks, I think mediums are the way to go (73mm). There are some great pickers out there that like thicker picks but they are great pickers with medium picks as well. You can make things work just fine with mediums without putting undue strain on your wrist which happens sometimes with thicker picks. I use Dunlop tortex 73 mm picks, they are yellow. I went with them because that is what Flatpick Champ Steve Kaufman advises, and I have no complaints. Whatever you do go with though, it is probably best to stick with one thing.
Comment by Ed Ball on July 3, 2011 at 10:17pm
Steve, John makes a good point, I'm going through the pick routine myself, and as a personal preference, I find the Dunlop Big Stuby 2.0mm providing the best crisp sound, but takes some getting used to due to thickness. I also tried Dunlop Gator grips at 1.14mm, .96mm and .58mm as well as the .60mm nylon pick. I have a collection of Martin .73mm picks also that sound pretty good. My problem is the pick wants to move in my grip and I find myself readjusting, obviously throwing the timing off. As a personal preference the Big Stuby seems to have corrected that problem. I'm with you, $20 or more for a pick doesn't quite make sense at my playing level.


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