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What is Fingerpicking Guitar - Fingerstyle History

Hello friends, the longer the technique of playing fingerpicking guitar, the more enthusiasts it will be. New YouTubers have appeared and don't want to be outdone by their seniors. So here I will explain a little about the history of the birth of the fingerstyle. I quote this history from the Fingerstyle History FAQ chat show on the See N See Guitar Youtube Channel, one of my places to learn fingerstyle hehe.

History and origins of the Fingerstyle Technique

What is Fingerpicking Guitar

Ok first, we have to know what fingerstyle means ?. Fingerstyle in the language is finger-picking-style or in English, it is strumming the guitar using the fingers.

History of Fingerstyle

Well, he said this history was taken from a thesis of a student in Kentucky, United States. In 1863 a female musician was born named Elise De Armond John. He is a Fiddle, Mandolin, and Banjo player.

One time Elise bought a parlor guitar at her place of birth in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, United States. In those days, every time we buy a guitar, we will get a guide book or guitar learning method in the guitar package. And it turns out that the book was adopted from classical guitar playing in Europe. Perhaps it was from this book that classical guitar playing appeared in the United States.

Elise de Armond John has a son named Kenny de John. His guitar playing is similar to that of his mother who adopted from Banjo and Mandolin. Sometime in 1916, Kenny de John appeared at a dance show. He played his guitar so seriously, and so hard, that his thumbs were injured or swollen. Even though the next day Kenny has to perform again, it's stressful for Kenny.


Kenny de John went into town and entered a musical instrument shop, and found a Thumbpick. This thumb pick is a tool that is attached to the finger when we play a Hawaiian guitar instrument (like the lute). Kenny de John bought this thumb pick in hopes of strumming his guitar without pain.

It turned out that when Kenny de John tried it, the resulting sound color was different and unique, Kenny was happy to play his guitar using Thumbpick. From there, there is a term that is more famous than fingerpicking, namely Kentucky Thumbpicking.

Merle Travis - Fingerstyle History
Merle Travis

One time Kenny de John met a guitar named Mose Rager. Mose Rager is a friend of Merle Travis. Do you know Merle Travis? one of the guitarist figures, especially the fingerstyle who is famous for the most identical technique. Why is Merle Travis only famous? The reason is that in the 1940s he had made an album in Hollywood, then was recruited by Capitol Records. Since then the name Merle Travis has skyrocketed.

Well, maybe that's it, the ins and outs of the ancestors of the birth of the fingerpicking style or fingerstyle technique. Along with the development of the fingerstyle technique began to increase and vary, such as percussion techniques (hitting guitar), harmonics, bending, and others. If there are friends who want to correct or add questions to the history of fingerstyle, you can comment below.

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