TEch­niquE Fo­cus

Get­ting a good tone

Guitar Techniques - - LEARN -

A com­mon prob­lem I find is that stu­dents may have the right mo­tor skills re­gard­ing note or­der and co-or­di­na­tion, but have a poor tone due to how they ad­dress the string with their pick­ing hand. A good, bal­anced tone is found by pluck­ing the string at roughly a 45° an­gle, prefer­ably with a com­bi­na­tion of well-pol­ished fin­ger­nail (for at­tack) and flesh (for warmth). Play­ing near the bridge will give a more brit­tle, tre­bly sound, while to­wards the neck will yield a mel­lower one. Hov­er­ing over the sound­hole pro­vides a good bal­ance of fre­quen­cies: ex­per­i­ment to taste and al­ways lis­ten to your sound. Read­ers of Brid­get’s ex­cel­lent Clas­si­cal col­umn will be well aware of the con­ven­tions for nam­ing the pick­ing fin­gers. Nev­er­the­less, in the in­ter­ests of com­plete­ness, they are as fol­lows: thumb: pul­gar (p), first fin­ger; in­dex (i); sec­ond fin­ger (m) midu­lar; and third fin­ger, an­nu­lar (a). This guide will help you to use the cor­rect fin­gers when read­ing the tab.

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