proper fingerstyle tech


New member
ok im kinda interested in playing using finger, i read my guitar for dummies, what they teach was, thumb to pluck 1 2 3 string, and so on, and didnt use the pinky. is that the correct way? i always tot fingerstyle make use of all the fingers including pinky, and izzit that each finger is incharge of only certain strings? like pinky only pluck last string? or it depends on the feeling?
It depends - what type of fingerstyle? There are a number of different styles.

Do you mean classical technique to play classical repertoire? If so, the PIMA designations of P for the lowest 3 strings are loose guidelines at best and entirely depend on the note sequence being played. If I am playing a full chord from 6th to 1st string, I might use, PPPIMA, but if there is a scalar run from low E going up to D string, then I won't restrict myself to only the thumb (you can do this, but harder to get up to speed) - I would use an alternating IM sequence. Some guitarists use IM, MI, IA whatever, even IMA for 3 note per string runs. Generally speaking, classical technique advises against playing two consecutive notes with the same finger for runs (the thumb is an exception - you can play any number of notes with the thumb where it makes sense and where designated the down-stemmed notes) but this differs for chordal playing. It's a big subject - if you want to learn this, you need a teacher and/or discipline.

For other types, there are fewer rules. Mark Knopfler plays fingerstyle and only uses his thumb, index and middle. Jeff Beck only uses fingers - as does Joe Pass - and his technique is almost an 'anti-technique' - he uses whatever finger is most convenient.

For folk styles this is more akin to classical technique - thumb keeps a bassine going and fingers are generally responsible for melody and chording.
i think i can answer this ques... gee... if u are choosing fingertsyle playing... first identify how is it different from picking.... i am a classical player thus i like fingerstlye more... as u can control the tone and how it going to be sound... in classical training.. we need to learn free and rest stroke from the beginning... a free stroke gives a thinner and lighter tone while the rest stroke gives a rounder and stable tone i shud say, thus it is very suitable if u wan to emphasize the note...overall to say.. fingerstyle guitar is unique in the way as it gives weight and density to the song(as in the dynamics) very clearly and musically....PIMA is not fixed... it may seems fixed in the early stage but when u become better... it depends on the musician on wad kind of tone he wans to produced... i have played songs that i use thumb on the 1st and 2nd string...most flamenco songs have lots of thumb runs as thumb can produce very storng and aggressive tones...however though IMA gives lighter tones... but if u wan to bring out the song musically, light tones stil got to have weight(its very hard), thus cuz the pinky mostly produce very light tone, its very hard to control the weight of the note, thus i think this is the reason why fingerstyle playing dun use the pinky...........................however if u are toking about pop song aspect... the pinky is use togehter with the pick...using ur thumb and index finger to hold the pick and the last 3 fingers tp play as pop songs are alot lighter den any calssical, blues, jazz etc songs...
at the end of the day. its all abt wad tone u wanna produce , there isnt a right answer