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Gibsons for f-picking ?


E-minor7

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What Gibson could be considered the ideal fingerpicker.

 

Which one do you recommend ? ?

 

A few years back I went to see Mr Gibson to ask him to make me a guitar and he suggested making me a signature model, which I agreed to of course.

 

After a number of prototypes they released my guitar - perfect for fingerpicking blues - the Gibson Blues King.

 

No, seriously, I like anything I have tried with a G so far, so it would be better to ask Rambler or some of the other more knowledgeable and 'pickier pickers'.

 

BluesKing777.

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To bring one in from left field, look at some of the youtube lesson/interview videos with Jorma Kaukonen. Despite his association with rock, Kaukonen is a superb fingerpicking stylist, as well as an excellent teacher in a most unassuming way. He uses a variety of guitars--both Martin and Gibson.

 

One lengthy interview video (runs 19+ minutes) shows him playing a modern AJ, which sounds perfect both for fingerpicking, and to display the Gibson bottom-end "thump" that we talk to much about.

 

Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to embed the link to that particular video, but it's worth seeking out, depsite the horrible video and audio quality.

 

Kaukonen's fingerpicking style, using both thumbpick and fingerpicks, grew out of the need to get a lot of volume during the rock years. Man, does he make that AJ sing!

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Yep, thats is one fine sounding J-45 picked, thanks for sharing, wish i could pick like that !

 

btw; what is it with Gibson and trucker hats ? Ive seen a few folks here perform with their trucker hats, is that Yankee thing or a Gibson thing ? Maybe i should get rid of my cowboy hat ? ;-)

 

 

 

My J-45 works just fine for fingerpicking. Plenty of volume, tone and "character."

 

This is one of my YouTube clips where I fingerpick my '45. Excuse the voice:

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Thanks for the kind words. The DeKalb soybeans gimme cap is a nod to my rural origins, as well as the fact that soybeans are the big crop in the part of East Central Illinois that I'm from. DeKalb is usually known for corn, but this cap says "soybeans" on it.

 

I used to live in Texas and soon after moving there I discovered I'm one of that small percentage of people who look particularly stupid in a cowboy hat. Not that I look any better in a gimme cap, mind you. But better than in a cowboy hat.

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I only play with my fingers and gig with everything from a 1932 National Duolian to a grand concert size Kay Kraft round soundhole archtop to a couple of Gibsons. I am just finishing fixing up a bashed up 1972 Guild mahagony top flatback which I am enamored with at the moment probably because it is the new kid and the only all-mahogany guitar I own. Just a big, warm voice on this thing.

 

But if you can palm mute the bass strings and play the high end and hear them both the guitar will work.

 

Gibsons - I play both a J-200 and SJ. Of the two though, the SJ gets a bit more time out of the case probably because I like the feel of the 24.75 neck and sound of the mahogany back and sides.

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To bring one in from left field, look at some of the youtube lesson/interview videos with Jorma Kaukonen. Despite his association with rock, Kaukonen is a superb fingerpicking stylist, as well as an excellent teacher in a most unassuming way. He uses a variety of guitars--both Martin and Gibson.

 

One lengthy interview video (runs 19+ minutes) shows him playing a modern AJ, which sounds perfect both for fingerpicking, and to display the Gibson bottom-end "thump" that we talk to much about.

 

Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to embed the link to that particular video, but it's worth seeking out, depsite the horrible video and audio quality.

 

Kaukonen's fingerpicking style, using both thumbpick and fingerpicks, grew out of the need to get a lot of volume during the rock years. Man, does he make that AJ sing!

Fine insight – Surprising he only uses 3 fingers. The AJ is a good shot – big and lots of space for each note. I'd prefer a J-45. My Standards strongest side is fingerpicking.

 

Embryonic Journey forever !

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Yep, thats is one fine sounding J-45 picked, thanks for sharing, wish i could pick like that !

 

btw; what is it with Gibson and trucker hats ? Ive seen a few folks here perform with their trucker hats, is that Yankee thing or a Gibson thing ? Maybe i should get rid of my cowboy hat ? ;-)

 

 

Glad to hear you're gettin' ready for f-picking. It's a whole other world and your life won't be the same once you get a hold of it. Did you check the Jorma Kaukonen interview -

 

 

For H's sake don't change your hat. . .

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My '63 Southern Jumbo* with rather old DR Sunbeams tuned one step down and capoed on first fret, sounded absolutely stunning when fingerpicked last midnight. Velvet heaven.

 

Has the humidity of the season done magic to this old Ohioan 6-string, , , it is its first summer here. . .

 

 

*The avatar -

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[My '63 Southern Jumbo* with rather old DR Sunbeams tuned one step down and capoed on first fret, sounded absolutely stunning when fingerpicked last midnight.

 

 

Explain the full step down, half step up reasoning. Not being snarky, just trying to understand.

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Explain the full step down, half step up reasoning. Not being snarky, just trying to understand.

Should have said one tone down – D fingerposition is now C, G is F and so forth.

With capo on first fret the SJ then is half a tone down, , , like most of my other guitars. Not the D-35 though – it's also a full tone down.

 

Btw. it means I have to pick an F harp when playing something like Heart of Gold - But I got the wrong F-harp (the high) need to know about the low F-harps which are new to me. I mailed Hohner but they failed to answer. How disappointing. I been breathing through their little metal-boxes my entire life. . . .

 

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Kaukonen is a superb fingerpicking stylist,. He uses a variety of guitars--both Martin and Gibson. One video shows him playing a modern AJ.

 

The AJ was a passing phase for JK. His most enduring gits have been his 60s J50 (retired, more or less) and Martin M-series (M42, M30) which he now uses "exclusively." The latter have a quick response, bright top and punchy bass which works well for f/s.

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Generally speaking, any guit for f/s is going to need good response (sound for r/h energy) and balance. Any number of Gibson models will have that to a degree, best being the J45 template (Jorma K, Paul Geremia, Lightnin Hopkins, Jack Johnson) or J185. Smaller units are (relatively) weaker on the low end, although that can a + for some traditional music. Bigger boxes tend to be too much with the low end (spec. rw models and sq. shoulder dreads). The J200 has the balance but is at its best played with picks to get the best response, ala Gary Davis/Ernie Hawkins.

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I like a bit wider string spacing for this than most Gibbys have, esp my J-50 which has the tiniest nut width I've seen on an acoustic.

 

Good call. Need the space to dig in with the r/h. My J50 is like that. I make a go of it but it's not optimal. The units coming out of now Bozeman mostly have wider spacing. The J200s are on the narrow side.

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Thaks a lot for this Em7 - been addes to my favourites !

 

This is something to really aspire to, and thats a good thing. Im literally just at the moment focusing on relatively basic fingerstyle exercises, just to get into the flow of hitting right strings and letting my thumb work independently. Not easy but getting there. Started to learn Babe Im Gonna Leave You as Mrs EA wants to have a go at the vocals so we can try it out at a pub gig.

 

btw: I just dont know where to beging with the thumbpick, find it really hard to get my head (and fingers) around it .... feels very unnatural at the moment, but i guess its just all part of the process !

 

Glad to hear you're gettin' ready for f-picking. It's a whole other world and your life won't be the same once you get a hold of it. Did you check the Jorma Kaukonen interview -

 

 

For H's sake don't change your hat. . .

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btw: I just dont know where to beging with the thumbpick, find it really hard to get my head (and fingers) around it .... feels very unnatural at the moment, but i guess its just all part of the process !

 

 

Some of the best fingerpickers don't use thumbpicks or fingerpicks. MJH didn't have any trouble getting volume out of guitar without them, and neither does Stefan Grossman.

 

As a dedicated flatpicker, the transition to fingerpicking for me is about as counterintuitive as it gets. It really is like playing a totally different instrument. I would love for some fingerpicker here to point out some good exercises for those of us who would like to begin to learn. And I do mean "begin". I started out fingerpicking, but that was a long time ago.

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