Beginning Fingerstyle Blues Guitar
- An Introduction To Fingerstyle Blues Guitar
- Fingerpicking The Basses Delta Blues Style
- Advanced Fingerstyle - Alternating The Basses
- Blind Blake's Syncopated Fingerpicking Style
- Lightnin' Hopkins - King Of The Texas Pickers
- Blind Boy Fuller - Piedmont Picking
- Monotonic or Alternating Bass Best For Blues?
Beginning Fingerstyle Blues Guitar - The Two Basic Fingerstyle Patterns
The Monotonic Bass Blues Fingerpicking Pattern
Alternating The Basses When Fingerpicking Blues Guitar
West Coast Blues - Blind Blake Ragtime Guitar.mp3
The Fingerstyle Technique Of Lightnin' Hopkins
Lightnin Hopkins Fingepicking 'Mary'- Blues In E.mp3
The Alternating Bass Piedmont Fingerstyle Technique Of Blind Boy Fuller
Fuller hailed from South Carolina, which was the home of some of the finest blues guitar players ever to make blues music. Blind Boy Fuller learned a lot from Reverend Gary Davis, who in turn was taught by Blind Willie Walker, who was generally acknowledged to be the 'best that ever did it'.
The staple technique he used was the alternating bass, but he could also play monotonic style as well.
In fact, a characteristic of his style, like Davis, was to move away from the standard Travis style basses and use the thumb in combination with a finger to create stunning runs on single strings, which may be the treble or bass strings, or indeed, all of them!
It takes great thumb control to do this, and it hammers home the fact that for fingerstyle blues, or any other kind of fingerpicking for that matter, the Thumb is King. Fuller was often accompanied by a second guitarist, Floyd Council, whose style was almost identical. Listen to Fuller play Screamin' and Cryin' below:
Blind Boy Fuller Fingerpicking The Blues - Screamin and Cryin.mp3
Monotonic or Alternating Bass For Fingerpicking Acoustic Blues Guitar?
My advice is to thoroughly learn both ways of playing those basses and practice them until it's a part of you, so that you can switch from one to the other at will.
Both patterns should be covered in any lesson you take and taught in a progressive way, that's to say, building on the simpler techniques using them as building blocks to more and more complex arrangements.
Inevitably, however broad you learning, you'll eventually find that you have a preference for one style or the other, and tend to focus on that one, choosing songs that use that style of playing.
If you write your own songs, then these too will reflect your fingerstyle preferences. The best way to pay homage to this great blues guitar music is to try and retain the authentic feel of the original fingerpicking techniques, but incorporate the into new and original music.
If you really love the old blues across all styles, then you will want to become proficient at both bass patterns so that you can play the old classic just like the old masters, or was near as we can! It's really important to go as slow as you need to assimilate the basic finger movements before progressing to 'higher' levels. You can't build much on weak foundations - take it easy and have fun.
Listen to the complete post here:
Jim Bruce Fingerpicking Acoustic Guitar Article - Fingerstyle Blues.mp3