Leading with your middle finger

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by stroggnoy, Jul 18, 2002.

  1. stroggnoy

    stroggnoy Guest

    Jul 11, 2002
    I'm pretty sure it's standard to lead with your index finger when picking, correct? How "horribly improper" would it be for someone to lead with his middle? And, on a side note, do you know of any "pros" that play in this manner?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    It's not improper but pretty much personal preference. Actually you should practice both.
    I usually begin with my index finger, but there are lots of situations where you have to start with your middle finger, e.g. when you play a repetitive figure that requires, let's say 5 plucks per figure. When you start the first run on index, the second one will start on middle and vice versa.
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    What JMX said. I practice both, and it pays dividends because you never know where you are going to find yourself when you begin a phrase. Remember, technique is just a tool to get the sounds in your head to come out of your instrument with as little degradation as possible. As regards fingerstyle playing, the ability to ALTERNATE AT WILL is what's important. Patterns made of of even numbers will result in the same finger providing the accent each time, while patterns made of odd numbers will require accenting with alternating fingers, especially at higher tempos.
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    What Ed said-

    BTW, if I hadda be honest, I'd say I'm more comfortable leading with my middle(it didn't used to be that way, either).

    Your opinions, please-
    Say you're playing whole notes at a slow tempo & you really want them to ring out & sustain...I have noticed my middle finger does a "better" job of getting the tone I want. More flesh per inch? ;)

    And that displacement "etude" is a killer, too...
  5. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    What Jim said.
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    What Jazzbo said.
  7. stroggnoy

    stroggnoy Guest

    Jul 11, 2002
    I've decided to use my middle finger exclusively.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

  8. Ahh, it's a smiley bomb even Embellisher would love.

  9. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    I lead with my middle finger most of the time, but I'm comfortable starting a phrase with any of the first three fingers. For the record, I sort of swap between 2 and 3 finger pluck patterns interchangeably (and subconciously) depending on what I'm playing. But the middle is usually my lead.
  10. stroggnoy

    stroggnoy Guest

    Jul 11, 2002
    It's too bad there's a limit on the images per post - I had some really good ones I found (and when deleting them off one by one, I didn't check to see which ones).