65 votes
Accepted

Why does string strummed with finger sound different from the one strummed with pick?

Per a suggestion, I am converting my comment into an answer. WARNING: math ahead (uh-oh, it looks like Music.SE doesn't support MathJAX -- I am going to go ahead and post the TeX code anyway and try ...
Tristan's user avatar
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21 votes

Why does string strummed with finger sound different from the one strummed with pick?

The reason for the difference in sound is that the release of the string from the pick is faster than with fingers, which means that fewer of the upper harmonics are damped as the string is released. ...
Scott Wallace's user avatar
19 votes

Do I have to learn chords?

Well... Obviously if you hate chords, there's no one to force you to learn them. If you play just for your enjoyment, then you're the only one who gets to decide what you play. However, there are some ...
Ramillies's user avatar
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17 votes

Why does string strummed with finger sound different from the one strummed with pick?

The difference is caused by the different shape of the plucking implement. One easy way to verify this at home is to take your pick (same material and thickness), and pluck the strings with the back ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
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13 votes

Why does string strummed with finger sound different from the one strummed with pick?

As an addition to the other answers, here's the frequency spectrum of an open low E string of an electric guitar (a Squier strat with a bridge humbucker), strummed with the fleshy part of the finger, ...
Your Uncle Bob's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Can I become a good guitarist by just playing other's arrangements?

Exactly what constitutes a good guitarist? If it's someone who can play like some other guitarists, then maybe yes. If it's someone who can play just about everything, and put his own slant on new ...
Tim's user avatar
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9 votes

Struggling to switch chords when fingerstyle / arpeggio

There are a lot of good answers here but I didn't see what I was primarily looking for in them, so I will add it. In addition to patience and practice, there is a technique for making the chord ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
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9 votes

Struggling to switch chords when fingerstyle / arpeggio

Okay so if I understand you correctly you are not having any trouble with chord changes when using a pick (presumably to strum) but if you are playing fingerstyle one string at a time with a pattern ...
Rockin Cowboy's user avatar
8 votes

What are the uses of inverted chords?

I think you have outlined two of the uses of inversions in your questions already. To add a bass line to the chords that are not just all roots. To put the melody note "up on top" so it is the ...
b3ko's user avatar
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7 votes

Fingerstyle for a COMPLETE beginner

Yes, it's reasonable to start with fingerstyle. If you are completely new to the guitar then you'll have several other things to work on as well like fretting-hand technique, posture, basic theory ...
user37496's user avatar
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7 votes

Guitar tab symbol

Tim does surely have more expertise in this style of music, but I suppose this might be a notion of a tie. Both cases here are in place where a tie would make some sense, that is between the last 16th ...
Lazy's user avatar
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6 votes

Struggling to switch chords when fingerstyle / arpeggio

This sounds to me like you do not have the picking technique down yet. This makes you focus on the right hand which leads to you struggling with the left-hand chord changes. My advice for you would ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
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6 votes

Struggling to switch chords when fingerstyle / arpeggio

You need to reduce your cognitive load. The other answers have some good ideas, but here is another quick one: Simplify the picking pattern you are practicing with. So instead of practicing an ...
Whelkaholism's user avatar
6 votes

How do I know which position to use when I'm playing by ear

It's so difficult because there is more than one way to play each note. I would look at it from another angle: it's so easy because there is more than one way to play each note! Whenever one way to ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
6 votes

Fingerpicking Barre chords: What bass string to use?

Barre chords are transpositions of open chords; the root note stays on the same string: An open E chord has the root on the 6th string, and so does any E-shape barre chord. An open A chord has ...
Your Uncle Bob's user avatar
6 votes

What's the reasoning behind discouraging the use of the pinky finger by some schools of finger-style guitar?

I don't think I can pinpoint a single reason, but I can add some ideas. I started learning classical guitar, and then moved off to other pastures. Most of the pieces I played made use of just 4 ...
mkorman's user avatar
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6 votes

Do I have to learn chords?

There's no rule saying you have to learn or play chords! It's just that you have an instrument that can! There is a paucity of instruments on which chords can be easily played - piano, organ, harp ...
Tim's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

Problem with choosing the right string gauge - switch from medium to extra light?

The short answer is that lighter gauge strings will be easier to play and easier to get clear tone when you fret the notes. Most beginners and even many seasoned guitarist prefer lighter gauge ...
Rockin Cowboy's user avatar
5 votes

Is playing fingerstyle really hard?

The best resource I have found to develop the right-hand finger picking technique is the 120 Arpeggio study from Giuliani. Here is a link. This is a collection of arpeggio's that are an excellent way ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
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5 votes

How to lower the key of a song WITHOUT changing chord shapes

You can make use of drop tuning. This is a very popular method used by rock and metal bands to accomodate the vocal range of the singer. This also accomodates the guitar player. By dropping your ...
rock-on's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

Fingerstyle - Alternating Bass, Pinch or Bass Alone?

Traditionally, alternating bass is played in quarter notes, as in the example in your question. So, if the melody note happens to fall on the beat, it will be played simultaneously with the bass note, ...
Matt L.'s user avatar
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5 votes

What are the uses of inverted chords?

You ask many questions in one post, so I will try to re-word them: What are the uses of chord inversions? Shall I learn all chord inversions? Is it OK to find my own voicings? And shall try to ...
avi.elkharrat's user avatar
5 votes

Finger Picking Chords - Beats per bar

If the time signature is 4/4, there are always 4 beats in every bar. But that doesn't have necessarily anything to do with how many "actions" you perform per bar, i.e. how many times you pick/finger a ...
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar
5 votes

Classical Guitar I and M alternation

In my opinion, if you're playing it as fast as you want and your hand does not hurt, then it's absolutely okay. (I think that when I played this piece (a couple of years ago), I actually used only one ...
Ramillies's user avatar
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5 votes

Fingerstyle: what's the angle I should use for plucking?

Both, and everything in between. Each person will develop their own angle, and will vary that depending what sound they want. And again, depending on whether it's fingers or fingernails (and the way ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 188k
5 votes

Do I have to learn chords?

You don't need to, but eventually, you'll do it When I started to play guitar, I didn't learn the chord shapes. I've always been into metal and I didn't really see the point. Also, I never cared for ...
Thomas's user avatar
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