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plucking hand fingering

Discussion in 'Ask Adam Nitti' started by noam, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. noam

    noam

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    Hi Adam,

    I'm currently practicing things like scales and arpeggios using different combinations of alternating right hand fingering: 1-2,
    1-3, 3-2-1, 3-2-1-2, etc. It all adds up to a lot of time, but in performance it seems that sticking to 1-2 results in better tone for just about everything... do you think that working with all finger permutations is still a good idea, or maybe a waste of practice time? I don't know if my 3rd finger will ever get strong and facile enough to be preferred for use in single note lines, plus perhaps by its natural position of contacting the string farther toward the bridge, it results in tonal inconsistency no matter how developed it might become.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!

    Thanks
  2. adamnitti

    adamnitti

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    hi noam-

    i can try to answer your question based on my own personal experience. your results may vary... my fundamental approach for plucking is based around 1-2 and 2-1... i spent a lot of time practicing with multiple fingers years ago trying to gain various advantages, and although i was able to equalize the dynamics between the 3 fingers, truthfully i wasn't able to measurably increase my speed or dexterity over the 2 fingered approach that i had worked so hard to refine. so, i stuck with it. i do use my 3rd finger regularly, but it's more in the context of a hybrid slapping technique that i use for groove building and soloing. i would never call it a waste of time to work on those permutations. however, you may find that it's just more efficient to stick with the 2 fingered approach when it comes to practical application. the bottom line is that with enough practice you can get the 3 fingers even enough in dynamics and dexterity to make it work if you really want to; it just takes some serious time and patience. fwiw, i worked on the 3 finger hybrid approach i mentioned for a whole year before i thought it was 'performance ready...' hope that helps somewhat!
  3. noam

    noam

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    Thanks Adam, yes that is helpful... I appreciate your perspective. I think in my case that working on 3 finger permutations will be worthwhile, even if I only end up using them in chords rather than as a linear monophonic technique.
  4. preside

    preside

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    I use my ring finger quite a bit but only in a hybrid fingerstyle with thumb and 3 fingers. I'm kind of a big Bobby Vega fan and coped this style from him. Getting the volume and tone to be the same was a bear so I opted to work the tonal and volume variation into the style instead of fighting it.

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