Help transcribing/fingerstyle question

Good morning,

I am taking some advice from Justin to try out transcription. I was listening to a great song by The White Buffalo named Black and Blue. I started by hearing the C and F transition and worked out the other chords (I think) which are actually just Am and a three finger G, so an easy song. The fingerwork is also quite simple. I started by only using my thumb on strings 4, 5, and 6 and index, middle and ring on the 3, 2, and 1 string, respectively. However, that felt off. I had to admit defeat on this part because I have not yet learned fingerstyle completely (I am good at making House of the Rising Sun, What a wonderful World, Hallelujah, and Can’t Help Falling in Love ring out clearly with little mistakes but more complicated picking like Dust in the Wind or Thinking About You is still a little difficult for me. I am also trying some alternating base note stuff like cowboy music does.) There are no clear instructions which I could find online, so I looked at a video of him playing this song. Much to my surprise, he uses his thumb the whole time. I tried it and it FELT right but if I went by that, I probably would have quit way back at the Dm chord.

So, to put it more clearly. The basic chorus is plucking out the C chord stings, 5-4-3 and the F chord 4-3-2. Then it completes with another C chord with a few more plucks on the 5-4-3-2-3-4. He uses his right thumb to pick the other chords too. My question is if it would be proper to use my thumb on all of this? I have stopped practicing this until I hear from someone because I am trying hard not to learn wrong. “Practice makes permanent, so practice perfectly”

Also, I have found that I have a little pain in my right wrist (the pinky side) when I do some fingerstyle. In particular, Dust in the Wind is where I first noticed it. I set my little finger doen to anchor and I believe this is the issue for me. I am at a point where I am considering some in-person guitar lessons to flesh out my online learning but wondered if I could maybe post a video in the future or some critical review of my technique. If so, would I put it in the videos of us playing section? Maybe with an explaination as to why it is so unpolished? :laughing: I actually need to get back to posting videos since I am missing seeing my progress and any corrections that could be made, early.

Thank you all for your constant support and encouragement.

Have a great weekend!

Start your own learning log #community-hub:learning-logs this way you can keep all your videos about techniques in one spot so you can review them anytime you’d like. It makes it easier to find them. You can also tag you learning log under your avitar making it easy to find.

As for the White Buffalo song you can play it with just your thumb or you thumb and fingers. Which ever feels more comfortable.

As for the pinky discomfort a video would help to see if it’s technique or just your pinky needing stretching out. Have you tried not anchoring your pinky?

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Thank you. I need to create a learning log and will do that.

I will need to post a video of me trying to pluck out a few chords of what is botherimg me and the other picking songs that I can play for hours with no pain. I did months of the easier stuff with no pain.

I have long fingers and figured that I was probably good with using an anchor, plus I had already done it naturally on my own. I tried to use no anchor but my accuracy suffered a but, but I could re-learn it with time. My thoughts are that it is because my ring, middle and index are more involved with pinches with the more complicated picking but I am not sure. Hopefully I can get it worked out without losing the anchor but I will do what I gotta do.

Thanks for the advice with the White Buffalo song! I will use the thumb to avoid any pain until I get everything figured out. Is it also okay to use the index to sweep the last three sting notes on the F (the upward 2-3-4 after the thumb went down?

Thanks again!

If using the little finger it is a guide not an anchor. It should be free to glide along the pick guard and under no tension.


Oh, this is totally my issue, if that is the case. I heard it called an anchor and I planted that sucker down near the soundhole. I think that maybe watching some live performances might help me to better see what I need to change. Thank you!