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how to balance your fingerpickin' tone / bass line vs. melody

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by jagROAR_63, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Gretschie

    May 20, 2016
    Surely you know whether the guitar you are using has a balanced response with a flat pick before attempting to finger pick.

    I have been finger picking electric for close on 30 years and on acoustics for 50 odd.

    I can finger pick with bare fingers or with picks on thumb and two fingers.
    Balance is a matter of dexterity and as musicman100 said earlier - practice.

    Forget all this about amp settings and pup heights it is technique through practice.

    Without seeing your guitar I know I could pick it up and finger pick it with a balanced response. I have picked up dozens of untried guitars on shop walls and they need no special set up to finger pick. It is purely right hand technique in my experience and it takes a lot of work.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
    russmack likes this.
  2. blc45

    blc45 Country Gent

    Aug 23, 2011
    I have found using a compressor and dyna brain all but illuminated that problem for me. I do experience it if I just plug straight into the amp but I can change my finger attack and mostly do OK.
  3. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Admin Post
    I'm going to weigh in on the side of technique as the answer. In my quest to capture Chet's sound, I've found that it's almost entirely a matter of technique. The classic Chet sound (from the '60s) involves a clean guitar/amp combination, a thumbpick and very clean technique. Other fingerstyle players usually incorporate many of the same element, although not all of them are looking for the same accent as Chet used, which relies heavily on a thumbpick.

    One thing I found, after I spent considerable effort cleaning up my technique, is that I was far less finicky about equipment thereafter. I've also found that a simple rig usually gets the best sound and is the most reliable in terms of being able to reproduce a given sound at will. If you start from a good clean sound, then any effects you utilize will serve to enhance the sound, as opposed to just piling on effects to mask the fact that the basic sound is not all that good.
    russmack, jagROAR_63 and Dave-B like this.
  4. russmack

    russmack Country Gent

    May 1, 2017
    ballina australia
  5. russmack

    russmack Country Gent

    May 1, 2017
    ballina australia
    Dunno if I've messed up here, (computer-wise) but you might consider using finger-picks.

    For me, after a million hours playing the dang picks on acoustic instruments, well, it's worth a bit of effort.

    By the way, I'm sortta happy with the results I've received with my picks on my 6120. Ya just get heavier gauge strings.

    Worth a good try though.

  6. captainmur

    captainmur Electromatic

    Sep 7, 2017
    I established similar problem at my humble attempt to play like a genius Chet o_O after the lot of years of acoustic only fingerpicking. My personal solution was following :
    - to use "mixed gauge" strings, now I use at my Epi D'Addario EXL140 (Light Top/Heavy Bottom) / 010-052. It seems to be be strange, but sound balance is now
    good (at least, for my and my family's ears :)). The bass has more "density" and less loudness.
    Furthermore :
    - to play (almost) always using thumbpick, of course with palm muting
    - to play mainly at clean sound, without effects. I use sometimes Boss RE-20 "Space echo" for more slapback, but very gently
    - if you play mainly at home, try to use multiple "smaller" speaker in your combo/cab. IMHO 2x10" or 4x8" combo/ cab ist better choice than 1x12" or 1X16" thing
    for an "couch guitar player"
    But main thing (it was already posted here by memebers) ist your right hand technik : thumb independence and right hand control .
    "The right hand is playing, but the left one is pressing down only", the violinists saying ;).
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017