Because of online streaming platforms like YouTube, song covers are now all over the place. When a popular artist releases a new song, tons of covers are almost instantly available online. And more often than not, these covers are done on or with the help of the acoustic guitar. Which isn’t surprising actually — after all, the musical instrument is as accessible and easy to use as the streaming tools.
That’s not to say though that playing an acoustic guitar is as easy as clicking “Share” on streaming platforms. And indeed, so-so covers are a dime a dozen. But every now and then, you probably stumble upon a few guitarists that are obviously a cut above the rest. And more often than not, these musicians are using what is called “Fingerstyle Guitar.”
What the Heck is Fingerstyle Guitar?
Fingerstyle guitar refers to a style of playing, not to some sort of musical instrument. According to Wikipedia, it is a technique of playing a guitar wherein the strings are plucked directly by fingertips, fingernails, or picks attached to fingers. But a more comprehensive definition is that it’s a technique wherein each finger is used independently to play the multiple parts of a musical arrangement (e.g. bass, melody, percussion, etc.). Think one man band.
If there’s a good example of someone using fingerstyle guitar, it would be the late Chet Atkins. When people first heard Chet Atkins, most of them thought that there is a backup guitarist, or that parts of the song were pre-recorded. Imagine their awe when they finally saw Chet Atkins performing the same song live by himself! And from then on, the number of players employing the technique have exploded in the last several years.
What is Toronto Fingerstyle Guitar?
TorontoFingerstyleGuitar.com (TFG) is an online resource about fingerstyle guitar. It is a labor of love of fans of the technique who are based in the Greater Toronto Area. But besides being a handy reference, TFG also aims to promote the fingerstyle technique to a wider audience. More importantly, TFG aspires to establish a close knit community of fingerpickers, not only in Toronto, but in other parts of the entire world as well.