28 May Mastering Elegant Fingerstyle On The Guitar – 5 Best Tips
If you’ve always been on the hunt for acoustic music on YouTube, you’ve probably come across some videos of the famous guitar player Sungha Jung. But if you haven’t, Sungha Jung is a South Korean musician who is widely known for his unique fingerstyle techniques! And fingerstyle, also commonly known as fingerpicking, is playing the guitar where you pluck the strings directly with the fingertips, fingernails, or a guitar pick.
But as charming as it looks, learning how to play fingerstyle on a guitar is not easy. As a playing style that many acoustic players highly regard, it takes a lot of practice to master the intricacies of this guitar technique. And if you want to learn how to do this, signing up for a guitar course is the best way to start. Following this, to speed up your learning process, couple your guitar lessons with these tips – you’ll soon be mastering the art of fingerstyle!
1. Keep your fingernails short
Fingerpicking or playing the guitar in general, has many subtleties. Just a millimetre can make the difference between a mellow sound to a smooth sounding melody. And to master the fingerstyle, you need to be aware of the small nuances that come with fingerpicking. For instance, keeping your fingernails short or at a consistent length helps in playing notes and chords more cleanly.
2. Focus on your groove and rhythm
Groove is one of the most important parts of playing a quality finger-picked sound. As abstract as it sounds, the groove is essentially the effect that the changing pattern in a propulsive rhythm offers listeners. So, if you’re looking to sharpen how your songs sound on a guitar, you need to work on your groove. One way to go about this is to play familiar notes with the fingers you feel the most comfortable with and then aim for accuracy as you go on.
3. Enhance the bass lines and melody
Bass lines and melody parts are crucial in songs. More often than not, they are the elements that ‘make’ the song. So, being able to recognise and enhance them as you play can certainly improve your fingerstyle technique. To do this, practice hitting the bass notes a little bit harder to give the piece more power and consider practising melodic parts as if they stood alone. Constantly adjust your technique so that you can execute every single stroke in a controlled fashion.
4. Work on your muscle memory
When you take music courses, you will often hear teachers talking about muscle memory. Indeed, developing muscle memory is an crucial aspect of improving the way you play an instrument. When learning the fingerstyle, in particular, working on both your fretting hand and picking hand’s muscle memory is necessary to enhance your sound quality. But to achieve this, you need to put in the hours and play picking patterns until you master them
5. Do a couple of warmup exercises
Warming up is essential in preparing your muscles for playing an instrument. But, you don’t necessarily have to follow any manual or instruction when it comes to warming up. Sometimes, creating your own exercises can help you improve the way you prepare and play your guitar. Be creative in your warmup: strum several open strings or tapping techniques – whichever exercises you choose to do, be sure that it will leave you more comfortable for the rest of the session.
Enhancing your fingerstyle technique takes some time and effort. But for that extra boost, why not enrol in Studio72’s comprehensive guitar lessons to give you the right head-start in fingerpicking! And to follow the steps of fingerstyle legend Sungha Jung, it’s time to put in the hours and make practising part of your daily routine!