Exercise is Good for Your Health…and Fingerpicking

After acquiring the best acoustic guitar for yourself, it’s tempting to immediately dive head first into fingerstyle playing. But if you do, you will quickly realize that it’s not as easy as it looks. Suddenly, it seems that your fingers have minds of their own, and that they are resisting what you want them to do.

This is were exercises come in. Exercises help relax the fingers, thereby making them adequately dextrous for the requirements of fingerpicking. Below, we present the most effective fingerstyle exercises as taught by some of the top guitar teachers online.

Very Basic Fingerstyle Exercises

We start out with a really basic lesson from JustinGuitar.com. Below is the video for the lesson, but we urge you to head over there because of the very informative transcript. If there’s a best way to start off on fingerpicking, it is with this lesson.

Additional Chords and More Patterns

If you think you are ready to move up to more exercises, then GuitarHabits.com is the place to be. It only adds two more chords to practice with, but more than makes up for it with 16 playing patterns! Drop by at the site to see all the patterns and their accompanying tabs.

Developing Finger Independence

When you’re a beginner, it will seem like your fingers are very stubborn. Usually, they’ll do what you don’t want them to do, specially when an adjacent finger is moving. So to develop finger independence, do the exercise in the video below. It’s from GuitarLessons365.com, and there’s a nice transcript and tab over there.

The Best Acoustic Guitar for Fingerstyle

You have just watched an amazing fingerstyle guitarist online, and now you’re itching to try to learn how to play an acoustic guitar. But of course, before anything else, you will need the best weapon for slaying the seemingly dragon-like task of fingerpicking.

game of dragons

Now where did that dragon went?

Now, there’s a ton of guitars and reviews accessible online, and it’s quite a daunting task to plow through all of them. So to help out, we will be discussing the nuts and bolts of how to choose the best acoustic guitar for fingerpicking.

The Best Pluck for the Buck

Anyone planning to get their first ever acoustic guitar is probably wondering how much money they would have to prepare. Prices of brand new acoustics may be grouped into three overlapping ranges:

  • budget ($200 and below)
  • mid-range ($200 to $600)
  • high end ($600 and above)

Now, while there are great guitars at the budget tier, most of the time they’re kind of hit or miss. Hence, we prefer suggesting mid-range acoustic guitars whenever we can. For recommendations that we agree with, go to Random Life Music for the best acoustic guitar under 500 (USD). Reviews and comparisons are also provided there to help you make your decision.

The Sound of Music

The most awesome thing about a fingerpicker is that he’s a one man band (check our introduction for an example). That is probably what got your attention and inspired you to learn the art. But what this means in choosing an acoustic guitar is that you should pick one that has a balanced tone. This is because fingerpickers play multiple parts of a song arrangement, so not one tone should overwhelm the others.

And so, it is best to get a guitar wherein the treble notes are projected as much as the bass notes. Furthermore, the bass shouldn’t be too boxy and the treble shouldn’t sound muffled.

The Player Should Be Center Stage

It’s easy to get caught up in the technical aspects of acoustic guitars, since they are engaging and overwhelming at the same time. However, the first and foremost consideration should actually be you, the player himself. Fingerstyle guitar is not a walk in the park. Hence, it is wise to get an axe that is most comfortable and playable for you, to help ease you into the art. Below are factors to consider to ensure that you get the acoustic that best fits you:

  • If you’re 5 feet tall or above, get a full sized guitar. Otherwise, choose a small body acoustic guitar.
  • The neck should be thin enough to grasp, yet sufficiently wide to separate the strings for easier fretting and plucking.
  • The action should be low enough for comfort, but not too low that it already causes buzzing.
  • Medium gauge strings are preferable because they feel soft enough for fingers while also having a fuller tone.