WHAT'S FINGERSTYLE ANYWAY?
The term fingerstyle is often used loosely in a broad sense to describe all manner of finger-picking on the guitar. Let me introduce an artist by which fingerstyle has become synonymous with.
In the annals of fingerstyle guitar, one name comes to mind- Michael Hedges (1953 – 1997). Known for pioneering and reinventing what the acoustic guitar can do. Michael was studying classical guitar and composition at the Peabody Conservatory of Music when he started to experiment on the acoustic steel-string guitar to create the music he had in mind. Being the visionary artist that he was, Michael weaved acoustic and electric techniques together to produce new sonic possibilities for the guitar. So began his foray into "fingerstyle". The final result was something unheard of in solo instrumental guitar music at the time. This revolutionary new sound set the tone by which all acoustic guitar music was to be measured against. In essence, Michael was a "fingerstylist"! He combined his guitar skills with his musical influences to shape a music all his own. Nothing short of a trail blazer!
Among a handful of other fingerstyle guitarists, Michael has been the most influencial with regards to my own playing style. I fondly remember my friend Dominic introducing his landmark album "Aerial Boundaries" to me back when I became interested in solo instrumental guitar. The sounds emanating from Michael's guitar, his arrangements and tone all fascinated me.
It got me inspired to write a few tunes of my own. Here's one called "Dreaming".
I hope that my fellow fingerstyle enthusiasts, as well as those who are new to the acoustic guitar, will be inspired by this very interesting style and take your guitar skills to new heights!