What about playing two consecutive notes on the same string? I'm thinking of the lick in West Coast Blues (where Blake reaches the G chord) which has two notes on the third, two on the second and two on the first. One way to play it would be index followed by middle on each string, but that would break your rule of only playing the first string with the middle. Dave --Previous Message--
Still, I'm greatly relieved to hear that the ring finger is not needed!
: I never use my right-hand ring finger, just
: thumb, index and middle fingers. In order
: to play more than just two strings with the
: two fingers (index and middle), I use what I
: call "the moveable team". The
: idea is that when two consecutive treble
: strings are played, the higher-pitched of
: the two is played by the middle finger and
: the lower-pitched by the index finger. The
: fingers lie naturally in this relationship.
: If you don't assign one finger to a
: particular string but instead allow the two
: fingers to move where they're needed, you
: don't need the ring finger.
: Examples: 1) Two consecutive notes, the
: first on the first string (highest pitch)
: and the second on the second string: play
: the first note with the middle finger and
: the second with the index finger.
: 2) Two consecutive notes, the first on the
: second string and the second on the third
: string: again play the first note with the
: middle finger and the second with the index
: finger (but note that you've moved both
: fingers from their positions in example 1).
: 3) Two consecutive notes, the first on the
: third string and the second on the first
: string: play the first note with the index
: and the second with the middle.
: The general idea is not to reverse the
: RELATIVE positions of the index and middle
: finger, but to allow the actual position of
: both to shift to where they're needed.
: (The high string is always played with the
: middle finger, but this is the only fixed
: assignment of string to finger.)
: That's how I do it. The reason I do it this
: way is that I find it extremely awkward to
: use my ring finger, and it's almost never
: As for Blake and Lemon, I really can't say.
: There are only a couple of licks in all of
: Blake's recordings and none in Lemon's
: recordings which I think MIGHT require the
: use of the ring finger. However, they of
: course could be using the ring finger even
: if/when it's not required to play what
: they're playing.
: Thanks for your comments!
: --Previous Message--
: Mine just arrived today. Wonderful! Worth
: the wait! I've been playing a lot of these
: tunes for many years, and I'm anxious to try
: some of the tricks and nuances that Ari
: Ari, I'm curious: do you routinely use the
: ring finger of your picking hand. I'm most
: comfortable doing that, and generally use it
: for nearly all of my first-string picking.
: But some of my favorite players used only
: the index and middle, or even just the
: index, (like Rev. Davis). What's your
: standard approach? Did Blake use the ring?
: Charlie Gravel
: --Previous Message--
: I'm very pleased to announce that my second
: album of blues from the 1920s and 1930s has
: just been released. It's called "That
: Will Never Happen No More" and contains
: my renditions of the following fourteen
: songs and tunes.
: -- One Dime Blues (Blind Lemon Jefferson)
: -- Frankie (Mississippi John Hurt)
: -- Piney Woods Money Mama (Blind Lemon
: -- Hard Pushing Papa (Blind Blake)
: -- Chump Man Blues (Blind Blake)
: -- Oozin' You Off My Mind (Blind Boy Fuller)
: -- When The Levee Breaks (Memphis Minnie
: & Kansas Joe McCoy)
: -- To Do This It Would Help To Know How
: (Eisinger, inspired by Lonnie Johnson)
: -- Church Bells (Kid Prince Moore)
: -- Rope Stretchin' Blues - Part I (Blind
: -- That Will Never Happen No More (Blind
: -- Match Box Blues (Blind Lemon Jefferson)
: -- Guitar Crimes (Eisinger, inspired by
: Blind Blake)
: -- Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed (Josh
: To order, go to my website at
What about playing two consecutive notes on the same string? I'm thinking of the lick in West Coast Blues (where Blake reaches the G chord) which has two notes on the third, two on the second and two on the first. One way to play it would be index followed by middle on each string, but that would break your rule of only playing the first string with the middle.