Re: stellar guitar?

Posted by Max on Tue, 10/26/04 - 12:04:01.

I have owned my Stellar Mercury 002 for about 4 months now and I have nothing but good things to say about this guitar. Your gonna love it!


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Re: Classical/Fingerstyle

Having played fingerstyle for twenty-eight years prior to making the switch two years ago I know that there are major differences between it and the classical technique. I forced myself to adopt the classical approach because of the advanced techniques it employs. I compare fingerstyle to driving an automatic with two feet, a hard habit to break. Why should you if you've got a good driving record? Here are just a few reasons.

Fingerstylists assign the thumb to the bass two strings and each finger to its own string: the first finger to the 4th string the second finger to the 3rd string, the third finger to the second string and the pinky to the first string. If working out of a four note chord such as a D-chord the thumb will move to the fourth string and the fingers will shift accordingly, leaving the pinky off of the strings. Melody is played by the finger assigned to the string. This hampers speed, as one has no way to alternate pick like a flat picker uses up and down strokes. It is indeed like riding the brake. Classical players use this type of technique for arpeggios, but when it comes time to play melody the first two fingers will alternate, allowing for lightning fast playing. Classical players will even use three fingers on the same string to obtain a tremolo. Occasionally the thumb will interplay on the same string as the three tremolo notes.

I struggled off and on for many years before finally throwing off the pinky. I had always thought the more fingers the better. Traditional fingerstyle allows for the pinky of the right hand. The only time it is used in classical is for rasquedo, which is actually a flamenco technique.

The "rest stroke" is one of the most basic techniques for the classical player. Most classical methods cover this before tuning. Tone is king in more than the blues. I had been playing for twenty-five years before I heard of a mysterious technique that fingerstylist Michael Hedges was using. Francisco Tarrega is accredited with bringing this rest stroke into the mainstream over one hundred years ago. As opposed to the free stroke the rest stroke comes to rest on the next string after follow through. The angle of the attack is somewhat different, as is the volume one is able to achieve for the notes that are executed correctly. By mixing these strokes with free strokes in arpeggios or chord melodies this allows voices to stand out.

These are just a few of the many differences. This sounds simple enough, but it separates amateurs from seasoned professionals. I implore you to seriously consider the more disciplined classical approach. Things will be much easier in the end, no matter what the repertoire. You can also check out my site at for an occasional free lesson, score or tab. Pleasant picking.

John Francis

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