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BBegall
05-18-2019, 06:20 AM
I see some tabs described as "fingerstyle", "fingerpicking" or "chord melody" and they all seem to contain the same combination of chords and melody notes. Does chord melody mean anything different than fingerstyle?

What name is there for plucking each string rather than strumming the chords to a song? I've heard this called Travis Picking but that often appears to mean a specific pattern.

Jerryc41
05-18-2019, 07:55 AM
"Finger picking," sometimes written "fingerpicking." "Travis picking" is a particular style. I wouldn't worry too much about terminology, as long as we all know what we're talking about. Is it a "fingerboard," or a "fretboard"? Who cares?

There are lots of variations in terminology and playing style.

70sSanO
05-18-2019, 08:03 AM
This probably helps...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingerstyle_guitar

John

prb035
05-18-2019, 11:55 AM
Fingerpicking, fingerstyle & chord melody seem to fit in one category....... as far as I can tell. Travis picking utilizes the alternating bass line & string dampening techniques, but to me, it's simply fingerpicking. :D

rainbow21
05-18-2019, 11:58 AM
There may be technical distinctions between use of the terms. In the ukulele world, license is taken by many (mostly nonmusical backgrounds) to blur the distinctions and make them interchangeable. This means you need clarification if you have something specific in mind.

A similar blurring has occurred in use of the term "tablature".

janeray1940
05-18-2019, 12:13 PM
I loosely think of it this way: fingerstyle is solo/melody playing, often single note; fingerpicking is arpeggiating chords; chord melody is what it sounds like - using chords, rather than single notes, to play the melody. Not sure if any of this is technically correct, and yes, the lines seem to be quite blurred.

AQUATOPAZ
05-18-2019, 01:39 PM
I see some tabs described as "fingerstyle", "fingerpicking" or "chord melody" and they all seem to contain the same combination of chords and melody notes. Does chord melody mean anything different than fingerstyle?

What name is there for plucking each string rather than strumming the chords to a song? I've heard this called Travis Picking but that often appears to mean a specific pattern.

I think chord melody is when you strum a chord, then play out of it with finger picking, hammer-ons and pulls offs.

AQUATOPAZ
05-18-2019, 03:28 PM
Often in the world of ukulele you do not have to worry about having the same technical definition as other instruments, you can take a guitar (or other instrument) term and adjust its use to whatever you like to do with your ukulele. In the world of ukulele there is not usually a lot of need for technical accuracy in definitions. This is good if you want to be free and easy and not so good if you want to pin something down so you can find it on the internet.
For Travis style, look up the amazing guitar player Merle Travis. He used a style of guitar playing where he played the bass line with his thumb independently of the melody which he played with his other fingers. Chet Atkins and Tommy Emanuel also use a similar style. Tommy calls it Boom Chuck in his book because of the Boom Chuck sound you get. Another feature is that Merle Travis used the thumb on his fretting hand to fret the low strings so he could speed up chord changes. If you want to stick to strict definitions, its very hard to do on a ukulele because of the lack of a low E and A string. Also a lot of ukulele players are afraid to use their thumb to fret the low string. That does not stop ukulele players claiming to be playing Travis Picking, they use a low G string and sort make a similar noise and call it Travis Picking. If a ukulele player wants to really get into Travis Picking, they should start with a baritone uke and work on getting both thumbs involved in the playing and gradually move on to a thin neck acoustic guitar over time as they learn more and get better at playing.
Chord melody is another style which plays a complete tune with bass and melody parts. But it is based on a different technique that uses chord or parts of chords as well as single notes to play a complete solo tune. Basically its a style where you play a solo instrumental for the whole tune and don't need a singer or any accompaniment to make the tune sound complete. If you join James Hills Ukulele Way teaching site you can learn how to do it and you still wont be able to explain it in less than a page of text.
Finger style is playing the notes with your fretting hand fingers. Picking out arpeggios or melodies or chord melodies using your fingers instead of a pick. It is a wide ranging term.
Strumming is playing chords with a pick or making your strumming fingers into a virtual pick.
Plucking each string rather than strumming the chords can have a number of names, here are a few: fiddle tune, arpeggio, Travis picking, Finger style, single note melody, chord melody, and so on.
As stated at the beginning in the world of ukulele there is no real need to get stuck on definitions, you are free to use what ever terminology seems good at the time. So perhaps there is not going to be much success in looking for ukulele TABs arranged for a particular style? They are going to called whatever the author thought was a good idea at the time of writing, which may or may not conform to popular definitions. If you want to play a tune you like, just get as many versions as you can, including videos and TAB and Sheet music, without getting overload, and work through a few of them that look promising to find one you like. Spend some time working on it and making it yours and then if you need a label just use what seems to work at the time of arranging and let the audience work it out for themselves.

This is a simple definition of Chord Melody from a ukulele teacher -
"Chord melody is a style of playing ukulele where you strum the chords and pick the melody at the same time.
Both Jake Shimabukuro and James Hill come to mind as masters who have brought so much attention to this way of playing ukulele with chord melody songs like Hallelujah and Billie Jean."

ripock
05-18-2019, 08:54 PM
I see some tabs described as "fingerstyle", "fingerpicking" or "chord melody" and they all seem to contain the same combination of chords and melody notes. Does chord melody mean anything different than fingerstyle?

What name is there for plucking each string rather than strumming the chords to a song? I've heard this called Travis Picking but that often appears to mean a specific pattern.

BBegall,

I haven't been satisfied with this thread. People are saying a lot of true things with many words, but I don't feel they are addressing your question. I am not a musicoligist, but I will tell what these terms mean to me.

Fingerstyle/fingerpicking is just playing one note at a time.

Travis picking doesn't mean what it means in the guitar world. You will find that Travis picking means finger picking in a certain pattern (e.g. outside strings then inside strings, or vice versa, or pinching two strings at the same time and then playing inside or outside strings, etc. etc. etc.)

Chord melodies is playing a melody but instead of playing single notes to play the melody, you play chords whose high notes carry the melody. Sometimes in chord melodies, you insert individual notes between the chords when it works for the song.

You asked a simple question, and there's the simple answer. Obviously I skipped and condensed a lot, but that's for your future consideration.