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Whats your primary playing style ?



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I was just wondering what's your PRIMARY playing style when picking up your Gibbys and other acoustic guitars ?

 

Im sure that many would say, well I play a number of styles, depending on song, mood etc ... but if you had to think about the style that you most play, percentage wise what would it be out of strumming, flatpicking or fingerstyle ?

 

Im probably around 70% hack strumming but do a bit of flatpicking and starting out fingerstyle.

 

Im asking this for a reason as Im testing a bit of a hypothesis, which I'll explain later.

 

ps: dont worry, there is absolutely no right or wrong answer here, its not about that.

 

cheers.

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Fingerstyle about 80% of the time. Would be even higher, but I've been doing the Thomann thing with a big fat pick whenever I get to play during the daytime and don't have to think about my sleeping family! On acoustic as on electric, I do like to keep my flatpicking up to scratch, even if it's only 10% of the time. That 10% of playing time is important to me. Fortunately the playability of the Gibsons makes it easy to keep basically up to scratch without spending hours on that skills set. One thing I don't do a lot of is strumming (and especially not with a pick). Funny, since alongside the blues, it is rhythm guitar which originally really got me into the instrument. Still like a strum, but always feel as though I'll disturb somebody.

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Mix of all three, really.... A jack of all, master of none dry.gif

 

At home I'm primarily playing fingerstyle (Mississippi John Hurt, rev Gary Davis, Mance Lipscomb type stuff) as it's my latest phase I'm going through, but with others it's strumming and the trills and widdley-diddley bits.

 

If pushed to say a pimary I'd say strumming/flatpicking about 75/25, as I was always an electric player in the past. Fingerstyle is pretty new to me so I spend more of my time playing that than what I would normally play.

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Ok, thanks guys.

 

I asked because on the AGF there was a similar poll and the fast majority of members identified themselves as fingersylists.

 

Which made me think whether that is the reason why there such a strong dislike towards Gibson, because as I imagined Gibson would not be a fingerpickers first choice. I was under the impression Taylors, Goodalls, H&D's would be more favoured by the fingerpicker and hence the negativity towards Gibson.

 

Hence I tried this poll here to see if more Gibby fans fall into the strumming / flatpicking category, but alas Im wrong.

 

Majority of folks here are also fingerstylists, so my theory goes into the waste basket.

 

Oh well, back to the drawing board ... [blink]

 

btw: im only getting into fingerstyle and learnign from a book / cd (and enjoying it vastly) and have to say the SJ is fantastic ffor fingerstyle. It actually seems to have a lot of overtone, sustain and just generally brilliant tone and delivery fingerpicked - no wonder its the great allrounder !

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That's an interesting theory and interesting results. I always tended toward Martins, and I kinda thought the same thing. But, it seems to me that the TAYLORS are chosen more often by strummers. I bet that is wrong as well.

 

The trend I am seeing here is that it whatever camp you fall under (if you have one) it is the others guys that are the strummers.

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I mostly fingerpick.........and again I'd like to offer absolute proof that Gibsons are not good for fingerpicking. Again, the unbiased and knowledge-filled opionionaters on the AGF have based their view on proven fact. Enjoy!!!!!!

 

You don't need more proof what of what a good fingerpicker can do with a big box Gibson than Rev. Gary Davis.

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Interesting theory, EA. I think it is hard to generate a really hard and fast rule here, but I don't think that you should totally give up on trying to pinpoint trends and rationalize them. There are always and will always be exceptions to any such hypotheses, and a good guitarist can usually produce good work in their chosen style on most anything that will stay in tune, but these observations need not invalidate the hypotheses completely.

 

In scanning forums I have noticed two basic schools of thought among fingerstylists: those who hold that Gibsons are worst for fingerstyle and those who hold that Gibsons are best for fingerstyle. There are of course fence-sitters too. Within those two basic groups, though, the non-Gibsonites seem to like a clear treble and reasonable mids, and can live without heavy bass. I surmise that either they have really heavy thumb technique, they use thumbpicks for added definition and volume on the lows, or they like a very mobile bass line and find that strong bass response threatens to drown out the movement. My impression is that these players tend to like smaller bodied Martins (OOs, OOOs, OMs), and GC-style Taylors. The Gibsonites meanwhile seem to fall into two main groups: those who like the small-bodied Gibsons (LOs, L1s, L2s), and those who like the slope-shoulders (weirdly and presumably quite extraneously I note more SJ players than J45 players in this group). I sense that the small-body lovers ultimately define their primary style as blues fingerstyle (obvious references to Robert Johnson), while the slopers fall into bluesers who like a bit more depth, and more general fingerstylists. The latter group clearly favour strong middles and more bass to counterbalance the treble on their guitars. They seem to find that only Gibby slopes have that sort of balance. I still have to work out what it is about the sound of the small bodies which particularly appeals to their fans. I love the sound of those Gibsons too (some really stunning clips of L1s on Youtube, including the current RJ model). They don't sound like smaller Martins to me, but I can't quite put my finger on what it is. The small Gibsons do seem to have almost electric trebles though. What is that small-body lovers? How would you describe the sound?

 

For me, my SJ simply has the warmth and balance that I used to get from a classical, but the greater definition, sustain, volume and air-moving power that I would get from a big steel-string. It just works perfectly for me in that it sounds nice for a wide range of fingerstyle material, from Villa Lobos Preludes, through jazz standards like 'Autumn Leaves', to old country classics like 'The Wildwood Flower', taking in accompaniments to folky songs like 'Suzanne' or 'Who Knows Where the Time Goes?'. The one thing I don't quite feel like playing on it at the moment is fingerstyle blues. This may just be a mood thing, as I'm finding it more exciting and fresher to improvise with bluegrassy and jazzy runs at the moment than to play old blues licks that I had down years ago. Or it might be to do with the fact that unlike you I've not replaced the 12s with 13s yet, and they don't resist or generate volume in the way that would inspire me to play harder with my fingers and so to play more blues. Or it may be that the natural compression of the SJ, which makes it so beautiful for most fingerstyle playing, actually makes it difficult for me to emphasize the highs in a way which I would like to for blues. We'll see what 13s bring in time. And for blues fingerstyle, I've always got the electric, which can do cutting highs...

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I asked because on the AGF there was a similar poll and (the majority identified themselves as fingersylists) there such a strong dislike towards Gibson,

 

Well, EA, there is fingerpicking and then there are fingerstylists. The former are from American traditional and folk music out of the Piedmont and southwest. They love their Gibsons just fine. They pluck em and thump 'em. Fingersylists, oth, play pulsing sensitive new-age instrumentals on ever-so exquisite Goodalls and Taylors and Breedloves with select woods and s.o.a. electronics to lovingly capture every last nuance, and, well, you get the picture.

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Yes, good point,fingerpickers vs fingerstylists .... and I think we know which of those two falls the Gibson haters club into.

 

I remember once making a comment on the AGF to a youtube piece which was one of those new age instrumentals that yeah, this is nice but will put me to sleep within 30 mins and I was almost banished to hell for such a comment, there such a senistive lot out there ..lol. Actually part of the reason why I stay there, just to stir em sometimes .. ;-)

 

 

Well, EA, there is fingerpicking and then there are fingerstylists. The former are from American traditional and folk music out of the Piedmont and southwest. They love their Gibsons just fine. They pluck em and thump 'em. Fingersylists, oth, play pulsing sensitive new-age instrumentals on ever-so exquisite Goodalls and Taylors and Breedloves with select woods and s.o.a. electronics to lovingly capture every last nuance, and, well, you get the picture.

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Well, EA, there is fingerpicking and then there are fingerstylists. The former are from American traditional and folk music out of the Piedmont and southwest. They love their Gibsons just fine. They pluck em and thump 'em. Fingersylists, oth, play pulsing sensitive new-age instrumentals on ever-so exquisite Goodalls and Taylors and Breedloves with select woods and s.o.a. electronics to lovingly capture every last nuance, and, well, you get the picture.

So..kinda like a fiddle player and a violinist?

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I voted strumming. But I strum with my fingers. I also play finger.....er...I mean I also fingerpick [thumbup] about 30%.

I have never gotten the hang of a pick. I usually do a combo strum-melody-alternating bass, using my thumbnail for everything except strums.

 

However....I have always felt it was hard to hear me play my J100. It sounds wonderful if someone else even bumps a string accidentally, but its so bog its hard for ME to hear it. I have been playing it mostly with a pick lately-kind old timey strumming interspersed with picked melody, pretty much the same way I play with my fingers. I'm not good at it yet but I think this guitar sounds best to me when played with a pick. Its just clearer that way when you are behind it. For someone on the other side of it, I dont think the style matters, it always sounds amazing.

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However....I have always felt it was hard to hear me play my J100. .. its so big its hard for ME to hear it. I'm not good at it yet but I think this guitar sounds best to me when played with a pick.

 

Doesnt surprise me. That's a lot of top surface you need to energize in order to drive the bridge and get a sound. So yeh, a flatpick. Or, thumb-fingerpicks. And medium strings.

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