Download Fingerpicking country blues guitar PDF

TitleFingerpicking country blues guitar
TagsPop Culture Musical Instruments String Instruments Bass Guitar Guitar Family Instruments
File Size1.6 MB
Total Pages31
Document Text Contents
Page 2

2

EXPLANATION OF THE TAB SYSTEM

These words are most suitable for introducing the tablature
system, for tablature is just a guide and should be used in
conjunction with the recordings. Tablature is not like music
notation, however the combination of tab and music in an
arrangement forms a complete language. Used together with the
original recordings they give a total picture of the music.

The tab system does not attempt to show rhythms or accents.
These can be found on the music or heard in the recordings. Music
notation tackles these articulations to a degree, but the overall
sensations, the feel and the soul of music cannot be wholly
captured on the written page. In the words of the great Sufi Hazrat
Inayat Khan: “…The traditional ancient songs of India composed
by great Masters have been handed down from father to son. The
way music is taught is different from the Western way. It is not
always written, but is taught by imitation. The teacher sings and
the pupil imitates and the intricacies and subtleties are learned by
imitation.”

This is the theme I’ve tried to interpolate into the tablature.
Tablature is the roadmap and you are the driver. Now to the tab:

Each space indicates a string. The top space represents the first
string, second space the second string, etc. A zero means an open
string, a number in the space indicates the fretted position, for
instance a 1 in a space indicates the first fret of that string.

“…Learning from listening is unquestionably the best way, the
only way that suits this kind of music. You are setting the notes
down for a record of what happened, a record that can be studied,
preserved and so on, a necessary and useful companion to the
recordings of the actual sounds. I keep thinking of this as I
transcribe; if you could do it, it would be good to have a legend
across each page reading : ‘Listen to the record if you want to learn
the song.’”

Hally Wood (taken from the Publisher’s Foreword to the
New Lost City Ramblers Songbook.)

Copyright © 1965 Oak Publications
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

1
2
3
4
5
6

1
2
3
4
5
6

0
1

4

In the diagram below the zero is on the second string and
indicates the open second string is played. The 1 is placed on the
third string and signifies the first fret of the third string. Likewise,
the 4 is in the fourth space and indicates the fourth fret of the
fourth string.

1
2
3
4
5
6

2

0

Generally for fingerpicking styles you will be playing the thumb,
index and middle fingers of your picking hand. To indicate the
picking finger in tab the stems go up and line up down from the
numbers.

A. A stem down means that your thumb strikes the note.
B. If a stem is up, your index or middle finger strikes the note.

The choice of finger is left up to you, as your fingers will
dictate what is most comfortable, especially when playing
a song up to tempo!

C. The diagram below shows an open sixth string played with
the thumb followed by the second fret of the third string
played with the index or middle finger:

1
2
3
4
5
6

1) 2) 3) 4)

1

5) 6)

3 1
3

3 3

0 1 1

1) The open sixth string is played with the thumb.
2) The first fret of the sixth string is pinched together with the

third fret on the third string. The sixth string is played with
the thumb, the third string with the index finger.

3) The thumb strikes the third fret of the fourth string.
4) The first fret/sixth string is played with the thumb; it’s

pinched with two notes in the treble. The index and middle
fingers strike the first fret/first string and the third fret/
second string.

5) The next note is the index finger hitting the first fret/second
string.

6) Lastly, the bass note is played with the thumb on the third
fret/fourth string.

There are certain places in blues and contemporary guitar that
call for the use of either strumming techniques or accented bass
notes. The tab illustrates these as follows:

1
2
3
4
5
6

1) 2)

0

3) 4)

0

5)

0
0 0 0
1y 1 1t

2i
E

2 2
0 0

In most cases the thumb will play an alternating bass
pattern, usually on the bass strings. The index and middle
fingers play melodic notes on the first, second and third strings.
Please remember, this is not a rule; there are many exceptions.

In fingerpicking there are two “picking” styles: Regular
picking and “pinching” two notes together. A pinch is shown
in the tab by a line connecting two notes. A variation of this can
also be two treble notes pinched with a bass note. Follow the
examples below from left to right:

Page 31

31

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