Paul Smith Music  Feedback Comments
 

  Introduction to tablature /  Beginning tab. 1-4 /  Beginning tab. 5-9 /  /  Patterns #10-13 /  Patterns #14-20

Have any comments like these 
about this web site or the finger picking lessons? 
      Please send them  to 
8946 Galleon Drive.  Rogers, AR. 72756
Sorry but I have removed my email address from my site
because I had 9242 (Nov. 2006) Spam emails today.  
I just can't take that kind of abuse anymore.
If you make a purchase I will send you mine.                                                               
  
Hi Paul
The picks and CDs arrived today. Many thanks.
The picks are fantastic Ė I have carefully marked them up as you suggest. CDs are great too.
I have recently been using Fred Kelly Freedom Picks which I like but yours are better!
Kind regards and thanks again.
Tim (Rothwell)


Hi Paul-
Thank you so much for your prompt service!! Canít wait to see them.
I first heard guitar picking when I was 12 and I was a goner. I have tried, haphazardly over the years to find someone who could teach me this, but it has been very hard finding someone who: knew what I was talking about and second, who could actually show me. Even in my local music store the other day, I went to see if they had Dunlop plastic finger picks and the owner, a so called guitarist, didnít even know how to wear the picks properly.
Anyhow, I look forward to practicing and to hearing your music.
Ari

Hi Paul,
I can't stop playing your CD, Alone with Integrity, I play it in the car, then move it back in the house! Back and forth again and again. The songs are so full of heartfelt messages and as usual your beautiful musical compositions. I am still practicing the finger picking tracks one and two, and the picks are becoming more comfortable to me. This summer has been so busy with outside responsibilities, but I hope the colder months will allow me more practicing time. Hope you have had a good summer. God Bless you for sharing your music and special teaching talents.
Dorothy Beasley

Thanks Paul,
I have been beating around in blue grass all my life, never good, just having fun. It's time I learned to play. I've set aside the Martins, picked up a G&L and two strats to play with. It will be cold here is a few weeks, and I will start inside stuff, and will be glad to write a review for you. Who knows?, I may install a pickup in one of the Martins. Thanks for your time. I alternate pick all the time, so the first step will be easy. I'm just tired of dealing with a flat pick.
Henry

 

Paul,
I have to tell you that I am not new to the world of finger picking, but have become increasingly frustrated with it. I have tried using thumb picks before and found that they were just too long and got in the way. But, I like to record and when I would pick with just my fingers, the volume was not only deficient, but inconsistent and the recordings really showed it. I played 5 string banjo for a few years and managed to learn some great tunes, but for some reason making the transition to guitar just didn't happen. I'm hoping my renewed interest in using picks will work out this time. I play several John Denver and Jim Croce songs and have recently discovered to my delight that Don McClean has many beautiful songs besides Vincent and American Pie.

I'm 63 and looking to retire as soon as I can, so I can spend my days picking and grinning as much as possible. I love your website and totally agree with your philosophy regarding finger picking. I'll let you know how I progress. Thanks for getting the picks out so quickly. I'm anxious to give them a try.

 

Hey Paul,
I just purchased your picks and I'm in the process getting them to fit .I would like for you to recommend one of your cd's . I have listened to some of them online and have been very impressed. I really haven't started yet but have been reading your web page from front to back and have found a tremendous amount of useful info. thanks a bunch all you've done. My son
has also been bitten by you teaching so in a day or two I'll be ordering a cd and some more picks.
 thanks for your time
   kenny

Paul Smith:
The CD arrived this AM... perfect. Thank you for your consideration and service. I do enjoy these primarily guitar-vocal oriented disks as it is the kind and type of music I played with a trio from 1960 to 1976 (within my semi pro days). Being a guitar showcase for finger picking just hit the memory spot with me.
D.S.

Paul Smith:
I have religiously started your learning  program from the web and have the following
comments:
1) You should have been a teacher as your understanding of the brain's learning
     operations is excellent.
2) you methodology is fantastic as it shows that you have been through this type of
    thing yourself, probably for many years. (been there, done that)
3) I have progressed very rapidly using the 15 minute rule, 4 times a day. Mastered
     patterns one through four in 10 days, all the way to 186 BPM. I have already used
     the method in a group practice (ballad). Worked great. Nice sounds. Good comments.
4) I think that being a two pick player
(1 F 1 T) helped some; however 3 or 4 seems the way.
D. S.

A big "Hello There"
I received  the 3 CD set as well as the custom picks in the AM mail delivery.  
  Your CD's are GREAT and easy to listen to.
I couldn't wait to try the custom picks as your hype said they would work.  Guess what----  They work far better than the stock Dunlap picks. Hands down! I am a two pick player  (1 F 1 T) right now. Learned the Maybelle Carter style in the early 60's when I was stationed down at Maryville Tenn., near the Smokey Mountains and the Smokey Mountain National Park. Learned right from the horses' mouth (so to speak); those mountain people certainly know how to play Blue Grass. Since I had brought my guitar along I was right at home until I saw how good they played. WOW  I switched from an accomplished big band and jazz musician (since 1952) to a rank amateur in minutes. I had never seen any thing like it before. Enough said. I fully intend to switch to four pick playing as soon as I can learn patterns. I play Martin guitars and have three of them , a 1965 DH28 (recently sold), a spectacular 1976 D35 and a 2006 DC Aura. All of them in pristine condition. 
By now you should have guessed that I am no spring chicken, 70 years old this Feb. Been playing guitar for 60 years. Semi-pro musician from 1956 till 1976. I am a Mechanical Engineer by profession and have been retired since 1997 and have lots of time to play.  
D. S.

Hi Paul
Thanks for shipping my items and Iíll be sure to let you know how I like your CDís and when I do you are more than welcome to add my comments to your website. Iím 54 years old and Iím a self taught flat pick guitar player of country, southern rock, and some of my own songs that Iíve wrote. Iím now learning to read music and also will be trying to learn the finger picking style as soon as I purchase an acoustic, currently Iím playing a Fender Stratocaster. I plan on ordering one from Dennis Zager and here is a link to his website. He has some great guitars and info on his site and he is also a famous finger style picker. Check him out I think you will like him.
Take Care
Danny

 
Hi Paul,
 Thanks for the quick response, if you get pictures send them on it would be a great idea especially someone like myself who is a complete rookie at this finger pick stuff.
 Thanks again
Danny

Hi Paul,

   Thanks for your e-mail and coupons for the other 2 Cd's. I think your Dec special of all 3 CD's for $27 is the best deal, however, and I will be ordering them in a few days. (I'm going to give the extra "Relax & Reminisce" to a friend).
  The reason my order won't be for a few days is because I just opened a Pay Pal account, and it takes 3-5 days to get an initial deposit in there. So, If you would be so kind as to hold the December special price for me until my deposit is confirmed, I'd appreciate it.
   I've decided that getting a 6-string right now is not quite in the budget, so I'm practicing the 1st 4 picking patterns with the 12-string (I've re-tuned it to an open D per your suggestion). It's a little difficult, but I'm making progress. Most difficult part right now is getting my thumb & fingers to move perpendicular to the strings, to get a nice clean sound rather than the scratchy sound of sliding the picks at a slight angle, but it's coming.
   Judging from the R&R disc, I think your music sounds terrific. I'll give you some quotable reviews on all 3 after I've heard them all.
   Happy Holidays & best regards,
 Dave
 
Hi Paul
   Im really looking forward to listen to your cd, and try out this method for myself, i have for a long time wanted to play like this, it is somehow so whole and amazing to play guitar and it sounds like two guitars or more, and sometimes like a whole band, i would like to, one day, to sit on the stage all by myself and play my guitars and play my song, but ill listen to your cd and let you know what i think, and my favorite songs and other things I think about your music, and I promise ill be honest.
  Thank you, for quick service and nice attitude, god bless you, best regards from Iceland, 
Karl Sigtryggsson.
Hello Paul
   Great site BTW. I would most appreciate you sending me the customized picks you personally adjust. Can wait for them to arrive with your instructions and cd. 
   Best regards.
 Kirk Ballantine 
Paul,
Received my picks and cd. Have fited the picks and now would like to start picking. I like Ribbon of Darkness. Your download shoes the cords to the song but not the picking method. How do I get started with Ribbon of Darkness?
Jim

Dear Paul,

    I have been practicing with the finger picks and I must tell you I am very happy with them. I am still getting used but I feel more and more confident with them.  You warned me so much that I thought it was going to be nearly impossible. And it is not. It is hard, it takes time, but it is possible. I think it is very important to have them quite tight, so in the end you feel as if they are part of your fingers. The first times it took me at least half an hour to reach something vaguely similar to that feeling. And now I still need a time to really forget about them and concentrate on the music.  
    Anyway, the sound you get with finger picks is so good that it encourages you to carry on practicing. I do not want to play anymore with bare fingers!!........Thanks a lot for your time and patience.
 Santiago

Dear Paul Smith,
Your site is excellent! Thank you so much. My fingerpicking skills have increased a great amount. I can play several fingerpicking songs now, such as Bron-Yr-Aur (Led Zeppelin), Can't You See (Marshall Tucker Band), Hotel California (Eagles), etc. I am also learning Early Morning Rain. 
Your cd's are excellent.   
Thanks again!
Eric

Paul,
I appreciate the info. I am just beginning fingerpicking and you website looks like it will be very helpful. I look forward to your CD and the picks.
 Thanks,
Chuck

Paul,
I shall take you advice on listening to the music.  I found my way to your site by a weird road.  I have been playing guitar now for about 18 months -- all self taught.  I can read music and believed that the best way to learn was the classical route but found that to be rather dreary.  I coupled the classical exercises with chord exercises learning all the chord progressions by key  -- I have not learned them all but these progressions are fun because I can do it idly while watching TV or pretending to listen to my daughter.  This I have found to be really fun because in this I have begun to understand music.  In fact, learning a bit about chords (how they are grouped, how they are built, etc.) had a funny impact on me.  I recently sat down at my piano (usually never touched -- it was my wife's and she passed away four years ago) and simply started to play.  That had never happened before.  About a week ago I was clicking through the free on demand stuff on my cable and visited some guitar lessons.  On one I saw this thing called Travis Fingerpicking demonstrated.  I had never heard of it before.  A light bulb for me -- much of the great finger sound comes through practiced patterns.  I googled 'Travis Finger Picking' and found you (among other great stuff).  That day I learned your first three patterns.  I thought it only fair to send you an order.  I'm laughing while writing this because my left fingers are sore on the keyboard from so much playing even though I have been using the guitar almost daily for so long.  So now I am jumping ahead of your advice because I am now working chord progressions through your patterns.  Because I have learned a little about chords, I have an idea where I need to move my right hand to start the pick on the root.  You are right too, if I focus on just my thumb the rest takes care of itself.  What I get a kick out of is these patterns sound like sophisticated music quickly.  I won't tell my family members the secret at Christmas.  They will just think I'm good.
 I am also going to follow your advice on the finger picks -- I don't have a steel string guitar yet but will be getting one soon.  My play is really only for my own enjoyment so the sound is not particularly important but what the hell...I'll try to do it right for good habit's sake.
 I'll be glad to provide you with some feedback.  Oh, and one other thing I learned today...rather than thinking about how my fingers are moving I have been using my ears to follow the pattern...they tell me when it is not right.  I think that will help me listen to your music.
 Jack
Dear Paul,
I got the package, with the fingerpicks and the CD. 
    Your music sounds great. 
I think its very well done: the kind of guitar sound that I would like to achieve. And also I think it is useful and very convenient for the purpose of learning because the sound is extremely clean and you can follow easily the patterns (normally, I go mad trying to listen to the guitar through all the arrangements).
A pity you could not include Kathyīs Song. I play it too and is one of my favorites ever, along with For Emily (though never found a good tab of that one). But the Lightfoot classics are really good, and your own songs too sound great.  As for your warning, I know it is going to be hard. As soon as I put on the finger picks I realize what you are saying. But I am quite stubborn (as I get a basic skill I go on and on while watching TV...) So I am going to make a try, starting from the beginning (I am just practicing again The House of the Rising Sun, after so many years!).
If in the end is going to sound more or less like your CD, it is worth it!  
Thanks a lot for everything, and I will keep you posted on all this.
 Santiago

Paul
 I am 13 and have been playing for about a year. I just got into finger picking a few months ago and I am glad I found your website to assist me. I hope to become a musician when l grow up.

Paul,
    Thanks for the order, the finger picks arrived and fit great Ė thanks for sending large.  I listened to Relax and Reminisce Ė very good music.  Just a little about me, I live in Gilbert , AZ and play Guitar for those individuals in assisted living homes.  It is very rewarding and I find myself, at times, feeling very sorry for those in that type of situation.  If I can bring just a little happiness to them, through music, then I have made their day just a little better. 
   Looking to listening to the rest of the CDís, your music is great.
Thanks again,
Ron

Paul,
   It has been a while since we have corresponded, but I just wanted to send you a sample of my progress.  The sample is the first time I've ever recorded myself, so forgive the numerous mistakes.  It's
amazing what that record button does to your fingers!  : )  This sample is just some runs in E7-A7-B7 capoed on the first fret.  I use a thumbpick and bare fingers.  I'm pleased with my progress at
this point (about 9 months), but please make any suggestions for improvement.  It is definitely a "work in progress"!  Again, I appreciate your help and resources that you provide.  The information you have on your website is an excellent foundation for fingerstyle guitar.
   If you have any ideas on improvement, please share them!
Sincerly,
Aaron Miller

  Paul,
   I Like the way you form the custom picks. I assume I still have to put them in water to fit my fingers.  Bought an amp today from www.musicianfriends.com. It's a Fenderģ Acoustasonic Jr DSP Combo Amp with Effects
Paul G.

Hello Paul.  
    I'm Steve Brown from Havre De Grace, MD.  I just ordered your CD and a set of custom finger picks.  I appreciate the time and effort you have put into your website.  I haven't been playing long... about 3 months. But, I've got many of the major and minor chords down pretty well now and have come a long way in a short time on hand speed and moving between the chords.  I have always loved guitar music, particularly finger picking style guitar music.  I'm 57 and have wanted to take the time to learn to play
guitar and finger style for many years.... Even bought a decent Yamaha guitar 4 years ago with the best 
of intentions and then let it sit in my den without hardly ever touching it.  About 3 months ago, I got off my butt and made the time to start learning... on my own.  I practice everyday and am now spending a lot of time with it... and, having fun.  I want to learn finger picking and your site is the best of all I researched.  However, I will wait until I get the custom picks to do much else with it.  
Tx very much.
Steve Brown

Hi Paul,
I made a big mistake today and bought metal finger picks (dunlop) for learning to use on my Acoustic Guitar.....bad move. I should have done more research first and I would have found your website. I just
ordered 2 custom sets from you! I look forward to using them because I want to be more versatile in playing my Instrument. I like playing with bare fingers and also using a flat pick but these picks from you will really help me. Thanks for the information you offer on your website!!
Harvey Crow

Paul,
   First, I found your web site by looking for information on finger picking the guitar.  I have played the guitar for over 20 years, but have just in the last year gone to finger picking Ė and I love it.  It has opened a whole new demission of playing.  I have a strong influence from John Denver, James Taylor and Gordon Lightfoot. 
   Good finger picks are hard to find Ė they are just not available in local music stores so I thought I would give youíre a try and see how it goes.  Iíll let you know.
   Thanks for fill my order, looking forward to listening to your CDís.
Ron  


   Tx Paul 
for your prompt response.  I very much look forward to receiving the CD and finger picks.  I found your site with a google search for "practice finger picking".  Your site was the third on the list.  Its a small world at times.... interesting that you would be from right across the river.  Wife and I have been here in HDG for almost 3 years.  I am a military retiree now working as a government civilian on Aberdeeen Proving Ground.  I love guitar music, particularly finger picking guitar music.... I am a great fan of all of the artists you mention on your site and also of Blue Grass and some country.  I'm relatively new to the guitar only having started playing in earnest about 3 months ago.  I played abit as a youngster and was in a rock band, but I was the singer and didn't get the chance to play guitar much.  Now, I'm 57 and have decided to make the time to learn to play so that I can enjoy my own efforts and music.  I've made alot of progress over the 3 months with lots and lots of practice and am now pretty comfortable with most of the major and minor chords.  Hand speed is getting better everyday and I transition from chord to chord pretty well.  Learning my way through lots of songs.... some Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary stuff and Praise and Worship songs right now.  I have started with straight finger picking and have gotten fairly decent on songs like House of the Rising Son, etc.  I will spend the time necessary to do this and do it right.  I look forward to using your products and web site to help me with that.  Tx very much for all the time and effort that you put into the site.  I appreciate it as I'm sure others do.
   I will get back to you as requested once I've listened to your music.... and, I promise to enjoy that and the learning.  Tx again.
Steve

Paul
I'm in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Finally decided to learn fingerstyle. 
Your site is great.
Thanks,
Earl L  Dubai
Hi Paul.
   I just got my picks today as well as the cd. I really like the cd. Quite a cross over in music!
I think I will try another one.But right now I got to try the picking.
   I just practiced the first pattern after some growing pains with the picks. I got one set too hot. I learned there is quite a difference from "near boiling" to "boiling"  Being a steam engineer I should know that! I think I can salvage them. They went a little flat when they boiled. Glad I got 2 sets!  Same as a lot of things, the first time is a practice run.
   I got one question. I don't find it necessary to anchor my little finger. In fact I find it a shore. Maybe because I have played flat pick for so long. Is this a bad thing?
   Thanks, 
Hank Nason Canada

Dear Paul,
I just ordered your "Relax and Reminisce" CD as a statement of gratitude for having found your sight.  Eventually, I may look into your other CDs that contain your own material (one thing at a time).
Although I have been playing guitar, and fingerpicking, for over 35 years, I found the fingerpicking information very helpful for several reasons.
First, I did learn my fingerpicking mostly in the Travis style, and did learn a few slower picks for songs that required them, and also for the 3/4 time songs.  Hovever, I was always looking for a way to get a less structured (more fluid) thumb, namely not always alternationg bass.  Your patterns 12-17 seem to fill that need.
Second, I have over the years taught guitar, always for nothing (exactly what it's worth!).  I am teaching someone to fingerpick right now, and will find this information useful to use, with your permission, of course.
I learned to play guitar in college, where I helped run "The Moon In Virgo Coffeehouse" at Northeastern University (Boston) in the late ' 60s and ealy ' 70s.  We all learned from each other, and an occasional perfomer would allow us to tape them.  I am a big fan of Bill Staines.  Although he plays a regular right-handed guitar left-handed and upside down, his picking usually sounds very much like a regular right-handed player's.  By the way, I am left-handed, but play right-handed.  I figured that I didn't know what to do with either hand anyway, so why not.  Because of this, I have a good left hand (chording), and fingerpick fairly well with my right hand, but can't flatpick worth a ____!.
I do use only thumb plus two fingers, and have learned to shift position to get all three treble strings with those two fingers.  The third finger always seems to get in the way.  I can see that one advantage of "assigning" one finger to each treble string is that you can learn the pattern by just reading the finger numbers, and not the tablature itself.  That may make learning faster.  Of course, music teachers say never to rely in fingering alone as a substitute for reading the actual notes.
Again, my warmest thanks.
Sincerely,
David W. Bakken

Paul,
   Your first CD does just what its title says: it makes me Relax and Reminisce.  The sixties were when I first became interested in folk music, and the seventies were when I started trying to play it. I listened (or heard other people play) many of the songs that are on this CD. Ironically, "Steel Rail Blues" (I taped a friend in our folk music club playing it in 1970) was the first song where I became aware that much the melody (or in this case, train sounds) was "in between", or "just a shade after" the bass notes.
   Your treatment of all the cover songs is as I remember them, or maybe even better. Your three original songs not only "fit in", but also add variety to the period and styles represented by the other songs.  You are obviously a Gordon Lightfoot admirer, and your work is a good tribute to his.
   Your studio work and multi tracking are excellent, and leave me curious to see you perform on stage.  Iíll bet it would be different than the CD, but still make one Relax and Reminisce.
   Thanks, Dave

Howdy, Paul,
  I found your website, as I recall, when doing a Google search for "fingerpicking guitar" or a very similar
term. I was immediately impressed with the online lessons, and read through the entire fingerpicking
area, as well as downloading the sound files. Using the picks I am currently playing with, I got through
the first lesson set, and have just this evening begun the second (5-9). Great stuff! I hope you publish more lessons, although I know it is a lot of work. I am really learning a lot from you, and you have my
heartfelt thanks.

   I will get back to you on the CD, once it gets to me and I have the opportunity to listen and work with it.
I am not truly new to finger picking, having studied classical style guitar for 3-4 semesters in college,
and doing a stint of fingerpicking a steel string in my late teens. I never achieved a decent level of
comfort or proficiency though, and am seeking to rectify this at age 45, having been away from study of
the instrument for many years.
   Thanks for the idea on headphones, too. Your advice has the ring of experience to it, which I intend to
heed. I will be watching the mail like a hawk for my new picks....can't wait to get them on my paws.
   BTW- I emailed you earlier about a friend who has REALLY large fingers, and is picking up the dobro. He needs metal picks for the tinny sound his instrument calls for, but cannpt find any large enough to fit. If you are, or know of, a source for XXL metal fpicks, kindly let me know. He cannot play without
discomfort....and he has enough $$ to spend to fix the issue. It would make a nice present for him if I could get them.
                      Thanks, dude!
                      Fred from Baltimore

Hi Paul

I love '60's folk music and never hear any, so I performed a google search using the words "If you like John Denver."  Yours was the only web site that came up.  My wife is from Maryland and misses John Denver a great deal.  So I got her your CD from her birthday.  I'll let you know what she thinks, and you can certainly publish her comments.  I look forward to hearing your music.
 Nick Harmon

Paul,
   Thought I would give you an update on my picking. I started on your first picking pattern and you are right. It is getting easier.
   I play 15 minutes at a time. I am still having trouble with my middle finger hitting the High "E" string sometimes but I am working through this and figure with practice it will pass.  The Picking Patterns   Slow , medium and fast. What is the speed to set my metronome to? I can get to about 108 on the metronome without making mistakes. I use my Alverez to pick and that has also improved my picking.
   I know that I will learn to Fingerpick because I won't give up.
Thank for all you help
You will defintely be seeing an order for all three of your CD's once I get this picking down. I do have a paypal account.
Paul W. Guilmette


HI PAUL 
MY NAME IS MARC WATSON AND I'M REALLY INTERESTED IN LEARNIG FINGERPICKING LIKE THE STYLE OF JAMES TAYLOR. I'VE SEARCHED ONLINE AND I CANNOT FIND ANY HELP. I'VE BEEN PLAYING FOR ABOUT TWO MONTHS NOW. I'VE LEARNED BASIC TYPES OF FINGERPICKING SUCH AS THE SONG HOUSE OF THE RISEING SUN. MY GOAL IS TO BE ABLE TO PLAY FIRE AND RAIN AND  IN MY MIND IM GONE
TO CAROLINA. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE  FOR THIS TYPE OF FINGERING?  ANY  HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED !!
   THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME
          SINCERLY MARC

(Marc Replies)
THANK YOU VERY MUCH PAUL FOR YOUR TIME AND FOR RESPONDING TO MY QUESTION!
  MARC WATSON

Hey Paul,

Found you on a yahoo search looking for "guitar finger picking".   Picked my guitar up after, oh..   some 20 years and thought I might like to see how far off i am on the pickin'.   Liked what i saw, liked what i  heard and wanted to add you, your music,  to my collection. 
The personal note was a real nice touch. 
Thanks

....who has some of the FATTEST fingers you ever saw.  He has taken up the dobro at the age of 45, and
purchased the largest set of picks (metal) he could find. They are STILL too tight, even at full extension, and he said they hurt his fingers after a session of playing. I would like to snoop out a set of big picks for him....can you help?  If necessary, I could measure his paws...but I was hoping to suprise him with them, if possible. I will be buying a set as well, normal sized, as I am going to work through yer online f-picking lessons, then the CDs you are featuring. I am really starting to like finger styles....heard Mississippi John Hurt for the first time this AM. DAMN, could that old guy pick!!!

Thanks for sharing your knowledge, dude. I can't help but feel that that is how the music world should work.  Man, I would love to stop down there on my way fishing or something to take a lesson or 2 from you. Pity you live so far from Baltimore. (Pity for me, that is....I bet you like it just fine!)
               Take care,
                     Baltimore Fred 

Hey Paul,
I picked up the guitar 2 years ago when I turned 45 years old.  Why did I wait (kick self here)?
Thought fingerpicking might be cool because a lot of the blues players used their fingers so in searching on the 'net, I found your site.
  Man....BIG THANKS!  I just started learning your first pattern and I think I'm going to do okay with it...(in time).  I have writtne some of my own funny songs (I'm a speaker/comedian/trainer), but with just strumming, they sound kind of basic.  I know if I work on what you have on the site, then it should take my guitar playing to another level.
I just also got a book called, Beginning fingerstyle Blues...it's tough.
  Just wanted to say thank you for helping me.  
Love your site...and thanks for giving of your talents to show others the way.
Tim Steed
Nashville, TN

Hi Paul:
   Just wanted to let you know I got the finger picks this afternoon. You're right about the large picks. I'm 5'6" and about 140 lbs with small hands and fingers and the picks fit perfect. They aren't tight at all and they stay on without getting loose. I think I might "size" one of the finger picks for my third finger, its just a little bit loose but doesn't move around or fall off, it just isn't a perfect fit like the thumb pick and the 2 other finger picks. As far as getting use to finger picks I thought the first 5 minutes I would never be able to get use to them but I kept picking pattern #1 very slowly and could play it after 5 or 10 minutes. I did turn the picks to the left side of my fingers slightly as you suggest on your site and now the tongues are striking the strings "flat." The best part is the volume. When I was picking with the meat of my fingers there was no volume at all. My guitar is a big Washburn jumbo, (bigger than a dreadnought) and there was very little volume. Since my guitar is an acoustic/electric I was practicing through a 30 watt acoustic amp, not any more. Now I just practice unplugged since I would estimate the picks have doubled the volume of my picking. Buying your picks will actually save me money as I was burning through a 9 volt battery in my guitar about once a week.
   I'll leave you alone now, I'm sure you're busy. There's not much more for me to do except learn all the patterns and practice everyday. Thanks for teaching me about finger picking with picks, I definitely prefer the sound of picks over bare fingers.
  John

Hi Paul,  
   I've referred several of my friends to your site in hopes they can pick up some (if not all) of your finger picking techniques.

   It's taken me a little over 3 months but I've pretty much mastered all 20 of your patterns, though I don't necessarily use them all equally as much.  It's allot of work as you said but many people have commented how good my guitar sounds and wonder what I'm doing different (better).  It's weird, but every day is a bit different and I find myself using different thumb picks on different days and times.  One thing for sure though, it sure is loud and clear.  My friends who flat pick are amazed.  I've also learned to control myself a bit more and have developed a real good feel for the strings  i.e., I have not popped out any more bridge pins.  If you develop any more patterns, or know of something I should do to "take it to the next level" I sure would be interested in knowing and learning.
   Your web site and e-mails provided me with the motivation to learn this and I am most appreciative of your lessons.  Thanks Paul.  Hope we get to keep in touch.  
   Dennis

Paul,
  I just wanted to let you know I have really enjoyed your website and your material on finger picking.  I also like the picks off your website much better than the nickel ones I started out with.  Thank you for taking the time to provide this information for people just learning the technique.  I do have a couple of questions.  What patterns do you use for slow, ballad type songs?  Also, which of these patterns would you recommend for Bluegrass style music? 
   I have enjoyed learning this technique.  I just started playing the guitar in October of last year, and I agree with you that this style really stands out above others.  Iíve got a Seagull S6 cedar  guitar, and I will say it is perfectly suited for this style.  I love the way it blends with vocals as well.  Again, thank you for providing such a valuable resource to those just learning this technique.  You have been instrumental (no pun intended) in adding another dimension to my guitar playing.
Thanks,
Aaron Miller

Paul,
Thanks for the quick service, looking forward to the picks and working with the lessons/exercises .Appreciate your approach to instruction and marketing, seems like a very great plan. 
 Mark Colvin

Dear Paul 
Very good site...just received your 3 CDs and am enjoying them very much...if you have not done so
you need to write a book on finger picking for us who want to learn a number of songs using the various variations and other patterns that you have on the web...CD would be good to go with the info...I WILL BE IN LINE TO PURCHASE
AM on YOUR #5,6,7 pattern now...
THANKs
JOHN LEWIS

Hi Paul,
   Just a note from a guy in the UK to let you know how much the time and effort you put into your finger picking section is appreciated. I've only just stared learning, but you've already been more use to me in a
few clicks than a whole load of books have been. What can I say except thank you, and the best of luck with your musical career!
      Best wishes,
Adam Mulvey


Hi Paul,
    I am looking forward to receiving the custom picks I just ordered.... Thank you for putting so much time and effort into your website.. You did a real nice job and what a great service!!  I have been playing for about 45 years and just within the past 5 years started to finger pick using bare fingers. I enjoy it very much. Now it is time to expand into using finger picks and learn a few more picking  styles.
     Robert

Hi Paul,  
   Great job on your web site.  You have motivated me to learn to fingerpick.  I pretty much have the first 4 lessons down and am now ready to move on.  The finger picks I have however...are killing my fingers.  Too tight!  I want to order two sets from you but am not sure whether to go with the customized sets or not or maybe even one set of each. (one customized and one not)  But I could use your advice before I order.  If it matters, I'm a dreadnaught sort of guy and finger picking is brand new to me but I now love it.  Sure appreciate your advice and again, terrific job on your web site.  I'm going to learn all 20 patterns for sure.  
  Thanks.  Dennis

Hello Sir Paul,
   That is why I've got into your website is that I just want to improve my finger-picking skills........I really appreciate your advice.
  Thank you
Jonas Tabang

Paul
   I can't thank you enough for the lessons.  Do you mind if I put a link to your page on my web page?  I have a few free lesson sites on there but yours is my favorite. allthingsmusic.0catch.com
   Catherine

HI Paul,
 Finally got the picks adjusted for my fingers.. I think.. and am starting from the beginning with your lessons. Very well done and easy to follow.  Thank you again Paul for taking the time to put the web site together. I know from experience that there is a lot of work involved.

Paul:
    I look forward to receiving the picks and CD's I ordered a few days ago. In the mean time I've been learning the patterns on your web site. I been practicing patterns 1-4. I can play all of them without 
mistakes at the slow and medium tempos (keep in mind I'm been playing guitar for about 2 1/2 years and I've been learning finger picking for about a month.) I can't play any of them at the fast tempo. I 
just don't have the muscle memory or practice time in yet. I'm not discouraged. I know its harder to play guitar at speed and in time than it is to simply learn how to play something very slow and out of 
tempo......I really prefer the sound of picks over fingers, there's just more volume and clarity. I would hate to give up playing with picks because I thought its just too hard to learn as compared with my fingers.
Thanks for everything,
   John

Hi Paul,
    I received my custom finger picks in the mail today!!  I quickly unwrapped them and marveled at the small compact size. At first I thought that perhaps a page of instructions was missing. There was no
 explanation of how to turn them on, select which picking pattern that  I wanted to play or how to replace the batteries.  Being a bit of an electronics nut It dawned on me that maybe they automatically turn on when they get close to metal. I quickly put them on my fingers following your easy to read instructions 
and put my hand next to the stings..  Nothing.  They didn't move my fingers at all.    Then it occurred to me that they must be voice activated. Talking directly into my fingers I tried several different voice commands.. On...Turn on...... Begin.....Then I thought maybe louder... TURN ON....TURN ON... This was about the time my wife walked into the room.  She took one look at me, muttered something that sounded very much like "idiot", turned around, left the room, packed a suitcase and left.  Don't feel bad. It wasn't your finger picks. I think it all started when I purchased my fourth, and very expensive guitar.
    After exhausting every possibility I concluded that there is no missing page of instructions, no batteries, no on and off switch or picking pattern dial.. These are manual fingerpicks.
     That's ok... I have a manual flat pick that works the same way.  I started manually moving my fingers and... very cool... This is going to be great. Awkward at first but having finger picked with bare fingers for a while things started falling into place.. Then I remembered I was violating 
rule number one... follow the lesson plan..  So, I am boiling water at the moment and warming up the computer. Going to start from the beginning on your web site. Yup,, clicking on all the banners as
 I go to show my appreciation... and purchasing your three CD's.

I'll let you know how it's going..
     Robert

Hello Paul,  
   Thanks for writing back to me.  Let me say that you're writing back is indeed part of the motivation I have to learn to finger pick.  You asked about my motivation and it's kind of a long story but I'll give you the Readers Digest version.  I've been playing for over 30 years.  I don't consider myself to be very good but I do enjoy the heck out of it.  Got a few nice guitars to boot.  Like you, I was impressed with Blackbird and wanted to play it was able to stumble through a close version.  Same with songs like Puff the Magic Dragon, If I had a Hammer and some Dylan things.  I grew old loving the Beatles but also was always impressed with an acoustic duo called Aztec Two-Step.  They do a Grenwich village folk style like no other.  And boy can they play the guitars.  I didn't realize until I saw them in concert up close (front row) that they were both using fingerpicks. I always wish I could do it but had no real clue as to how, until I ran across your site.   They say there is nothing more beautiful than the sound of a guitar, except maybe two.  Seems you captured that in allot of your stuff.  Anyway, when I read (about 4 times) your intro about finger picking, plastic finger picks and the need to want to to it and that I would have to practice well.....that sort of did it for me.  Not to mention, your lessons are outstanding.  I just have to control not going right to pattern # 20.  I'm an anal sort so the step by step patterns work great for me.  I don't really know what else you could do to motivate someone, but it's these combinations of things that have motivated me.  I must say, your writing back to me and offering additional advice is very motivational as it shows you care about my progress.  I would have not clue how to motivate others except, if you have the time, to follow up on any pick orders to check on your customers progress.  But for me, if you'd just continue writing back, and offering your insight that would do it for me.  Hope
 this answers your question. 
   Thanks again for writing.  Dennis


Good morning Paul,
    Always nice to hear from you.  I listened to some of the outtakes on your web site and there is no way I can do any of that just yet.  I'm wearing through these picks pretty good and with my re-order of picks I may be ready to buy your CD.  I'm working pattern 6 and 7 but am having quite a time switching between all patterns and keeping things smooth and more important accurate.  (I 've never fingered the "C" chord using the bass "g" note and that may be part of my problem) At this point it seems as though I know what I'm supposed to play but don't always hit the right notes or transition to the correct pattern.  I'm working at it though.  
    Dennis