Fingerstyle is a method of playing stringed instruments. In fingerstyle, the fingers and/or fingernails are used to pluck and strum the strings of the instrument instead of using a bow or pick. Fingerstyle guitar has often been associated with the country and bluegrass genres, but the technique can be found in just about every type of music. Today is a great time to learn to play, because the internet makes finding quality fingerstyle guitar instruction a simple task. Having a computer is almost as good as having a real live teacher.
Fingerstyle guitar playing is often associated with acoustic guitars, but anything that can be played on an acoustic guitar can also be played on an electric guitar. Certain pieces may be designed for one or the other, however. You can find some great fingerstyle guitar instruction at AcousticFingerstyle.com . This site has plenty of fingerstyle resources such as books, videos, and computer software. There are also plenty of articles that give helpful tips and advice, software and guitar reviews, and occasionally guitar song tablature.
There are individual pages for some particularly notable fingerstyle guitar players such as Laurance Juber, Muriel Anderson, and Mike Dowling. These pages have some information about the musician, some notes about their musical style, and videos of the players giving fingerstyle guitar instruction. These videos are wonderful because the musicians are experts and they take the time to carefully explain how to play guitar and what to practice.
Learn-Fingerstyle-Guitar.com is a site dedicated to teaching you how to play the guitar with your fingers. The fingerstyle guitar instruction starts easy, such as how to hold the guitar and where to place your hands, and gets progressively more complicated. After learning how to tune the guitar and read guitar tablature, you will learn some finger picking exercises for your left hand, then your right hand. Then you will combine the hands and begin to play scales and simple melodies. You will learn to pick various chord shapes and move those chords around the fretboard. Finally, you will learn to play classic fingerstyle songs such as 'Buffalo Gals' and 'You are my Sunshine.'
There are also a series of more advanced fingerstyle guitar instruction. These lessons include how to create your own guitar tablature for recording songs, some complicated exercises to practice, and articles about specific aspects of guitar playing. These can go a long way to adding some emotion and spice to your playing. Learn how to create artificial harmonics, design a good walking bass line, and find out how and why guitar chords are constructed the way they are.
If you are still in need of more fingerstyle guitar instruction, you may want to consider buying some professional guitar instruction DVDs. You can find plenty of these at GuitarGalleryMusic.com . Many of these instructional videos are by some of the greatest players like Tommy Emmanuel and Chet Atkins. If you still can't find what you're looking for, try doing a Google or Yahoo! search with keywords of whatever you need help with. Youtube is also a great place to look, because many accomplished musicians will post invaluable information and demonstration tutorials there that you can watch and listen to completely for free.
Photo Credit: Larry Jacobsen