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Thread: Thinking about learning fingerstyle on a tenor

  1. #1

    Default Thinking about learning fingerstyle on a tenor

    Never learned it before, now that I have a tenor, it seems like a thing to do. I feel like I should have a Martin though. :-)

    This latest craze is inspired by my niece singing along to "Dust in the Wind" at our xmas eve virtual family gathering.

    I can't play guitar very well, so my guitar-envy is driving me to do this. :-)

    Starting here, which seems like more than enough for a beginner:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuKzRveOV00
    Davey Stuart tenor guitar (based on his 18" mandola design).
    Eastman MD-604SB with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: THR-10, Sony XB-20.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about learning fingerstyle on a tenor

    I enjoy playing finger style on my tenor. I tune the C string up to a D for an open tuning.

    Have fun!
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  4. #3
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about learning fingerstyle on a tenor

    It's my absolute favourite way of playing, since I was 10 - with a brief pause of 10 years when I picked up guitar again (ha ha);
    I'm a relative newbie to plectrum anyways - I even play irish bouzouki fingerstyle - enjoy the learning journey!
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, ‘59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: ‘57 Gibson ETG-150, ‘80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

  5. #4

    Default Re: Thinking about learning fingerstyle on a tenor

    Thanks guys. I am watching tons of fingerpicking videos. I had no idea how much you could do with that kind of playing style. It is gradually sinking in that I just discovered a whole new world of playing. 4 strings is a bit limited compared to 6 (although easier on my aging hands and brain), still I am finding I can get a lot out of 4 strings.

    I ordered a bunch of fingerpicks (picks are like pokemon - have to try them all :-) ). Amazon prime to the rescue as usual.

    I am actually thinking about nails too, as a last resort, I am not the manicure or glue-on nails type, but if that is what works I'll have to do it.

    The marvelous custom Davey Stuart tenor is also holding it's own nicely with the new style.

    Best xmas present in years in some ways, stuck at home with Covid-19 is time I am putting to good use, as a church musician it is for His service really. :-)
    Davey Stuart tenor guitar (based on his 18" mandola design).
    Eastman MD-604SB with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: THR-10, Sony XB-20.

  6. #5
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about learning fingerstyle on a tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by kurth83 View Post
    4 strings is a bit limited compared to 6 (although easier on my aging hands and brain), still I am finding I can get a lot out of 4 strings.
    Nonsense Six strings = overkill and besides everyone plays six string

    Quote Originally Posted by kurth83 View Post
    I am actually thinking about nails too, as a last resort, I am not the manicure or glue-on nails type, but if that is what works I'll have to do it.
    That's my first resort... I leave the left corner nails of my right hand a bit longer. You don't need six inch nails - leave that to DIY
    Here's me playing a self written tune - nails only.

    ... but yeah there's the Martin Simpson route of silk wrapping... if C19 restrictions let you go to a nail bar. I don't think it's needed, and I have never needed it. Sure, they break, but my livelihood doesn't depend on it, and they grow back soon as.

    I just cannot get on with fingerpicks. My thumb always feels like it's waving in an empty auditorium!!

    Quote Originally Posted by kurth83 View Post
    The marvelous custom Davey Stuart tenor is also holding it's own nicely with the new style.
    NIIIICE - sounds like a keeper!
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, ‘59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: ‘57 Gibson ETG-150, ‘80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

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  8. #6
    Curious Observer MB-Octo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about learning fingerstyle on a tenor

    That’s really a pretty piece, Rob. Guitar is lovely, too!
    Monte

    Northfield F2S
    Weber Yellowstone Octave F

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  10. #7
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about learning fingerstyle on a tenor

    Flesh only, Travis style.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  11. #8
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about learning fingerstyle on a tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by MB-Octo View Post
    That’s really a pretty piece, Rob. Guitar is lovely, too!
    I personally thought my anti six string comment would garner more comments ha ha
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, ‘59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: ‘57 Gibson ETG-150, ‘80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

  12. #9
    Registered User Denis Kearns's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about learning fingerstyle on a tenor

    As a long-time fingertstyle guitarist, I find it more challenging to switch to four strings. I can’t just use the alternating Travis style (doesn’t sound right) and I find that I need to pay more attention to what my thumb is doing. One fun way I’ve found to mess around (i.e., learn) with my tenor guitar is to just pick a nice chord progression and see what runs I can squeeze in between the chord changes. I have a really nice Steve Parks tenor that I happened across at the beginning of the pandemic and need to spend more time with it.

    Not being able to pass up an interesting instrument, I belong to the jack of all trades, master of none school of music - with 4, 6, 8, 12, and 31 strings to play with.

    It’s true that everybody plays 6 strings, but only 3 chords and not well.. I bow to the Lord of Badgers - a very nice tune!

    - Denis

    “If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good”

  13. #10
    Barn Cat Mandolins Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about learning fingerstyle on a tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of the Badgers View Post
    I personally thought my anti six string comment would garner more comments ha ha
    I chuckled at the anti-six string comment, and really enjoyed your playing. Now is not the right time for me to give a tenor a try, but you have convinced me that when the right time arrives, I should do it. What a soothing sound your guitar has. Thanks for posting this.
    Purr more, hiss less. Barn Cat Mandolins Photo Album

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  15. #11
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about learning fingerstyle on a tenor

    [/TOPIC]
    Actually I will clarify the six string comment - even though it's off topic - I massively admire people who are comfy with six string and know their ways around all those extra intervals.
    I like the "limiting" factor. It's inspiring to me. Six strings feels like being overwhelmed with choice to my mind. I like spaces between notes too. I like how it forces me to think of approaches not just chords and familiar scales. Four courses means different inversions, different textures. Tuning to GDgd or GDad forces that even more. I like the surprises of leaving an open string or so.
    [TOPIC]
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, ‘59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: ‘57 Gibson ETG-150, ‘80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

  16. #12

    Default Re: Thinking about learning fingerstyle on a tenor

    That piece is beautiful, Rob...but what about limiting the finger aspect as well to just our distinctive opposable ally? To wit:


    Full disclosure: My first "frets" teacher tried to get me into finger-style years back on 6-string but piano playing was more important to me then. I admire finger pickers & have been fortunate to play alongside some great ones!

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