Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar 

These pages are dedicated to the art of Fingerstyle Guitar.   If you're new to Fingerstyle Guitar, read the Wikipedia definitions below.  You are also invited to read the essays "American Fingerstyle Guitar" by John Schroeter and "The Guitar Place" by Will Schmid to understand why Fingerstyle Guitar is growing in popularity.

On this site you will find collections of Compositions and Arrangements for Fingerstyle Guitar.  There are numerous Articles, Reviews, and Interviews.  The Open Tuning Reference has information on Open D and Open G tuning.  There is a collection of Frequently Asked Guitar Questions and a collection of Guitar Player Jokes (all in good fun!).

Used with permission
 from Dave King and
Gillazilla Music

Fingerstyle Defined: 
Fingerpicking, or playing fingerstyle, is a technique for playing the guitar, or some other stringed instrument using the fingertips and/or fingernails, rather than with a plectrum (or "pick"). It is used for classical guitar, and some other acoustic styles, but it has found its way into other genres as well.

American Fingerstyle Defined: 
American fingerstyle guitar is a style of fingerpicking. It includes elements of blues, ragtime, country, gospel, jazz, and many regional music traditions.

American fingerstyle guitar is commonly played on steel string acoustic guitars with 6 or 12 strings. While it is played on just about every type of guitar, these are most common and characteristic. Music arranged for American fingerstyle playing can include chords, arpeggios and other elements such as artificial harmonics, hammering on and pulling off with the fretting hand, using the body of the guitar percussively, and many other techniques.

Though not commonly used today, the term "Travis picking" was once widely understood to describe the common style of alternating-bass fingerpicking used by American fingerpickers from the 1950s into the 1970s, after the great country guitarist and songwriter Merle Travis.

American primitive guitar defined:
American primitive guitar
is a subset of American fingerstyle guitar. It originated with John Fahey, whose first record album Blind Joe Death (1959) inspired many guitarists such as Leo Kottke, who made his debut recording of 6 and 12 String Guitar on Fahey's Takoma label in 1969. American primitive guitar can be characterized by the use of folk music or folk-like material, driving alternating-bass fingerpicking with a good deal of repetitious ostinato patterns, and the use of alternative tunings (scordatura) such as open D and drop D

A brief History of the Steel String Guitar

An example of the true beauty of fingerstyle guitar

Order this CD

Featured Fingerstyle Music
Selections drawn from tab files

Stars And Stripes Forever
Guy Van Duser
Snowy Morning Blues
Guy Van Duser
No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus
Jonathan Burchfield
Downtown Stomp
Pat Donohue

Featured TAB

Song for a Rainy Day
Tommy Emmanuel

The Shadow Of Your Smile
J. Mandel

Pu, Uana, Hulu
Chet Atkins

The Wide Ocean
Tommy Emmanuel

Girl from Ipanema
A. C. Jobim

Smokey Mountain Lullaby
Chet Atkins

Georgia On My Mind
Hoagy Carmichael

When I'm Sixtyfour
Lennon & McCartney

California Dreamin'
Mamas & Papas

Cry Me A River
A. Hamilton

Articles or Reviews

bullet Mike Dowling Interview
by Paul Kucharski
bullet Resonators Explained
by Paul Kucharski
bullet Which Taylor Guitar is Right for You?
by Jules Fitzgerald
bullet Nail Care
by Ciaran Elster
bullet Art of Gospel Guitar Review
by Paul Kucharski
bullet The CAGED Guitar System Made Easy Video Review
by Paul Kucharski 
bullet Easy Steps to Guitar Fingerpicking Video Review
by Paul Kucharski 
bullet Princess Royal - Arranging Celtic Music in Orkney Tuning
by Anton Emory 
bullet Shortnin' Bread
by Vincent Sadovsky
bullet The Art of Dropped D Guitar Review
by Paul Kucharski
bullet Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar
Workshop Review
by Paul Kucharski
bullet Mike Dowling - Book/CD & DVD Review
by Paul Kucharski
bullet and more...
see complete article index


Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar, copyright 1998 Paul Kucharski.

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