Fingerstyle volume

I can play fingerstyle fairly well but I just don’t seem to get much volume, is especially at higher speeds where you can’t spend as much time really plucking each string and need a lighter touch.

Does anyone have any advice? I know nails help but I don’t want long nails. Although perhaps I am cutting them too short

I use the fleshy bits for finger style too. I have opted for a mic and amp.

Technique wise though I find that it’s more important to get a ‘clean’ pluck than a ‘strong’ one. Hard to put into words, but if you try and apply a big twang to the strings the finger will tend to mute the note as it’s leaving the string. Try instead to accurately use the very tip of your fingers (where the calluses form) to allow the string to ring out.

1 Like

Use fingerpicks. They take getting used to, but they will definitely increase the volume.

1 Like

I do have a thumpick but it can sound weird. You see people with thumpicks but rarely on all fingers like with a banjo

Yeah, I think it’s mostly the old timers that use picks on their fingers. And actually, many only used the index finger (along with thumb), so in practice they only wore two picks.

I think nowadays, people either grow their nails out or use fake nails. You’re definitely going to have trouble getting any volume if only the fleshy part of your finger is picking the string.

1 Like

I’d imagine that reduces your ability to control tone and volume a lot too?

1 Like

Mostly I play fingerstyle. Several things that help. One is your choice of guitar, the volume it makes can make quite a difference.

Another thing is a thumb pick. It took me a while to get used to it, and mostly I’m trying to done it’s volume down so it doesn’t override the fleshy sound from my fingers.

1 Like

I just bit the bullet and have fingernails on my right hand. Super short left hand, long enough to do fingerstyle on right. And file them regularly.

Couldn’t really get a good sound without at least having some fingernail to play the string with.

1 Like