What is fingerstyle? Fingerstyle guitar is a technique that uses the thumb and fingers to sound individual strings instead of relying on a pick. The ability to leverage individual fingers allows guitarists to play multiple parts at once, with separate bass lines, melodies, and accompaniment, often leading those who first hear a fingerstyle recording to think they are hearing more than one guitar.
The Basics: Master Monotonic Bass Fingerpicking In the Style of Mance Lipscomb and Lightnin’ Hopkins
Monotonic bass fingerpicking is a solo guitarist’s technique for improvising blues in a down-home, back-porch vein.
I met up with Doyle at a Philadelphia-area house concert where, joined by fiddler Duncan Wickel, he performed a stunning show that displayed the full range of his powers on guitar, from rollicking rhythm to beautifully melodic fingerstyle (actually played with a pick and one finger). Before the show, the easygoing virtuoso sat down with his left-handed Muiderman flattop to shed light on how he honors and stretches tradition as a guitarist and songwriter.
Natural harmonics are produced at specific locations, or nodes, that divide an open string into equal parts. The pitch is determined by the number of divisions.
This asymmetrical alternating bass groups the eighth notes into two groups of three and one group of two in what is sometimes referred to as a 3–3–2 pattern by playing the bass notes on beats one, two-and, and four of each measure.
In third position or higher, it becomes possible to combine open and fretted strings to play ascending/descending intervals on nonsequential strings.