Is it possible to fingerpick on a steel string acoustic guitar?

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by sweetchick, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. sweetchick

    sweetchick New Member

    hi guys
    im new to this forum
    firstly, it is fantastic. Without this site, i probs would not have bought a guitar as i am only interested in indian music questions is:
    is it possible to fingerpick on a steel string acoustic guitar?

    thanks in advance
  2. CrYpTiC_angel

    CrYpTiC_angel Rebelle!

    Of course it is!
  3. i'm_not_neo

    i'm_not_neo el valor máximo absoluto

    ^Do you know any good (e)book for finger-picking???
  4. sweetchick

    sweetchick New Member

    brilliant thank u

    its just that most of the books ive read talk about fingerpickin on classical guitars so was a little confused

    basically, ive seen a few videos on youtube where ppl are producing one-tone melodies (if that makes sense!!) which i quite liked the sound of...they were all fingerpicking on lassical guitars so i was wondering if it was possible on fully steel strung guitar

    thanks for ur help
  5. bjr

    bjr Lady of the Evening

    It is. However, the nylon string is better adapted for finger picking with wider fretboards and broader spacing between strings. Also, each has a different tone and you'll normally want to use a nylon string for the youtube pieces you mentioned.
  6. srakshit

    srakshit New Member

    Yes, it is possible to play fingerstyle on acoustic. As a matter of fact I don't use a pick very much, only fingerstyle. I do have a nylon string but it's only for show - I mostly play my steel acoustic.

    The problem with playing fingerstyle on an acoustic is that the string spacing is much lower than a classical, and if you have wrong technique your hand will cramp up quickly. also the hand position is a little different as steel instruments may be of different sizes, so your hands will have to adapt.

    The second problem is nails. Your username leads me to believe that you're a girl, and if you are, your nails may not look pretty after you play fingerstyle. Jewel Kilcher gets over this problem (and so do a lot of other male and female guitarists) by using fake nails, which you might want to consider. Nails wear out pretty fast on this kind of playing, and if you use regular nails they may lose shape and deform.

    Of course, nylon strings are much easier on nails.

    It also depends on your personal nail strength, some people have soft nails and those don't work at all fr playing fingerstyle, the nails break and chip even on classical guitars. A light coat of cyanoacrylate (feviquik) on the playing nails helps harden them temporarily. The adhesive will peel right off the nail surface later.

    And there are guitarists like Tommy Emmanuel who don't use any nails at all, just their fingertips. The fingertips get calloused and become as hard as picks.

    If you can live with the cosmetic issues, you can play fingerstyle on a steel string. It sounds delightful.

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