Styles of Picking
Two schools of acoustic guitar picking have developed: the flatpickers, who use small
plastic picks; and the fingerpickers, who use their fingers without a pick.
I fall into the latter category, because I find fingerpicking to be much more liberating
than using a pick. I even have a page of
which you might want to check out.
You may also hear of a technique called "fingerstyle,"
which is very similar to fingerpicking. Basically, fingerpicking is defined as playing
only one string at a time, while fingerstyle players sometimes play two- or three-note chords
using their fingers. However, the distinction between these two styles is rather worthless
because most guitarists, including Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, James Taylor,
John Denver, Jim Croce, and myself,
play both styles at different times or even during the same song.
Most players use both styles, flatpicking and fingerpicking, at different times.
Both have advantages and disadvantages depending on what sound you want to get,
so it is all up to you. Even if you don't fingerpick much, it is very helpful
to know how to do it in case the need ever arises.
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© 1997 Daniel E. Smith. Last updated 6-5-97