View Full Version : How do you keep rhythm fingerpicking?

09-17-2011, 05:23 AM
While I find keeping rhythm while strumming quite natural, I would like to find advice on keeping rhythm while fingerpicking. I find it is pretty easy to lose the rhythm while being focused on hitting the right notes. I still tap my foot, etc..., but when strumming it just happens. If I fingerpick, I have to make effort to keep rhythm.

I keep making progress on the fingerpicking front. Here are a few different songs I have recorded. I am a long way from where I want to be and there are mistakes, but overall the progress is occurring.

Stagolee by Mississippi John Hurt- http://soundcloud.com/elisdad/stagolee-1

Here comes the sun by the Beatles - http://soundcloud.com/elisdad/here-comes-the-sun-1

Any advice is appreciated.


09-17-2011, 06:03 AM
Try playing very soft/quiet and I think you'll find the rhythm is easier to keep. Also try slowing down the tempo of the song.

Then once you've improved on the rhythm, try increasing your volume and speed slightly - and slowly do this across your practice sessions until you can play it at the speed and volume you want.

I'm not a teacher - but this seems to work.

09-17-2011, 06:38 AM
agree on the slow to start,, have played classical guitar for many years and any new piece would be played several times VERY SLOW to get the fingers accustom to the pattern as well as the mind,, even use a metronome to slow you down if needed but go slow,,


09-17-2011, 08:57 AM
Thanks for the responses. That makes me feel like I am approaching everything appropriately. I suspect the more fingerpicking I do, the more natural it will become.

09-17-2011, 10:18 AM
Sometimes, it helps to silently count out the beats in your head while you play, like "one and two and three and four and".


09-17-2011, 10:30 AM
What seems to work for me is to also vary the techniques that I'm using as I go along at the various points where I might otherwise lose the rhythmic thread. Some pinching, some strums, up or down, fan strokes, whatever the song needs me to do to keep things on track and pick up a beat or half I may be losing. It also keeps things a little more interesting and after a while has become mostly automatic in my playing.