Why learn to finger pick? Guitar is an instrument that has traditionally been used to accompany story telling and singing. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly why this is true but IT IS TRUE! It’s been going on and on for generations of time. Guitar and voice just go together like a hand in a glove. They have always been a natural combination. There is something about playing guitar that just invites singing just like peanut butter invites jelly.
Perhaps you feel a little timid when it comes to singing. You need not be! (At first, singing was a concern of mine, perhaps it is of yours too). I’m of the opinion that just about anyone who can talk can also sing – that is, if they really put their mind to it (of course, there are always exceptions). Singing is simply a verbal way of expression feelings, that most anyone can do. Keep in mind that there are many styles of singing just as there are many styles of guitar playing. It’s true, some people’s voices may be more pleasing than others. Of course personal taste comes in here too. However, I believe that people in general are more tolerant of a person’s singing style and vocal abilities if they see in the artist real talent. This brings us around to another reason why you should be finger picking your guitar.
Take for example, Bob Dylan! Singing has never been Bob Dylan’s strong point, but in no way has that ever hindered his talented expressions. His talent, is not only in the performing but especially in the writing of the songs themselves. His lyrics and poems are considered by many to be masterpieces of a very high order, and rightly so, because that’s just what some of them are. He is like a “king of the hill” in contemporary song writing. I believe that the public in general is more accepting of his singing style, because they can see in him REAL talent. They see and admire his outstanding creativity and lyrical genius.
Here is the point I’m getting to – When you stand out as a talented musician, you don’t have to shy away from singing.
It is similar with finger picking guitar. Learning to finger pick, and learning to do it well, will quickly lift your guitar work above the rest of the crowd and show off your musical talents. Your guitar work will enhance and add variety to your overall sound, and it will also impress people very much with your abilities. Also your voice will never have sounded so good, because it will be backed up with beautiful finger picking guitar. Talent is what is appealing to people, it is what people love to see and hear. If you learn to finger pick guitar, you will have added to your over all talents and so you will have added to your appeal.
Most people who begin to play the guitar concentrate mostly on the left hand (assuming they are right handed) learning to play chords and scales and things like that. Very little time is spent on the right hand skills. More than likely that’s true of you too. When I first started, I know it was true for me. All through my high school years, I played only with a flat pick. Occasionally, I would attempt to pick a song or two with bare fingers (like Black Bird) but very awkwardly. However, when I began to really concentrate on the “other hand,” that is, my “right hand,” a whole new world of guitar playing opened up to me. Once I entered that “world” I’ve never looked back. I continued to work on finger style guitar playing not just because of the challenge, but because I love it.
If you learn how to finger pick your guitar you will learn to love it too. Of that I’m certain!