Finger Picking Acoustic - Do You Need Fingernails to Finger Pick?

Finger-picking acoustic guitar is considered a very refined style of playing the acoustic guitar since people had been playing guitar (or an earlier version of the instrument) without picks (just their fingers) for decades. The acoustic guitar resonates very personal and intimate sounds when finger-picked. Consider finger-picking acoustic guitars for a change to your guitar-playing skills.

So, do you need fingernails to finger-pick the acoustic guitar? I've heard this question many times. At one point, I asked this question myself.

The answer however is no. You don't need to have long, strong fingernails to finger-pick on a guitar. I'm not simply talking about using those plastic finger-picks that are similar to standard guitar picks that you slide on your fingers either. Those are a simple alternative, if you would like a very distinct and strong string strike. (check out that awesome alliteration)

I'm talking about finger-picking with only the bare skin on the tips of your fingers. Yes, it's done more than you think and it's more of a skill adopted by more contemporary folk musicians and acoustic guitar players. Just check out this musician (William Fitzsimmons) and his very fluent finger-picking style with just his bare fingers.

I know what you're all thinking right now. Well, if he's not using a pick or anything like it, does he need to have callouses on his fingers? Yes, that's the idea. Finger-picking will become very fluid and easy once you have developed callouses on your finger tips just like the ones on your opposite hand used for forming your guitar chords.

If you're looking for a great place to start with learning finger-picking, consider Jamorama Acoustic Guitar. You can gain a lot of free information that will start you on the way to very refined acoustic guitar playing methods.

So, go out there and get those callouses on your fingers. I want to hear everyone finger-picking very soon.


Shane said...

I remember playing the guitar for the first time, and getting those callouses on my fingers.
But they do go away not long after you get them, and they don't come back.

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