Can You Play Fingerpicking songs on Electric Guitar?Easy Or Difficult?

Fingerpick guitar playing style is one of the most essential skills one guitar player should have at his disposal. Most of the time, beginner players would think that this should be done only on acoustic guitar, which is far from the truth.

Acoustic and electric guitar are the same thing in a nutshell. The only difference is that the electric guitar is, well guitar that needs electricity to be played the way it is meant to be played. The answer is that everything you play on acoustic can be played on electric and vice versa. The same goes for fingerpicking.

Most of the time, guitarists will jump straight to playing with a guitar pick and usually stick with that for a long time. The Fingerpicking technique should be learned early on and taking the time to practice it will improve your guitar playing significantly.

Like with many things when it comes to guitar, there are always pros and cons of playing different types of instruments. Usually, they are insignificant. Throughout this article, I will do my best to answer some of the more common questions regarding fingerpicking on electric guitar.

Is Fingerpicking Harder on Electric Guitar?

As we already mentioned, everything played on acoustic guitar can be played on electric guitar, most of the time it is even easier to play it on electric guitar. Considering this, if you do not own an acoustic but only an electric one and want to learn how to play fingerpicking songs, your chances for success are the same as with the acoustic guitar.

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Apart from the reason mentioned above, fingerpicking on an electric guitar can be easier since you do not need to introduce too much force to get a loud sound from the guitar. This can also be a flaw compared to practicing on the acoustic since it will take you more time to learn how to play dynamically.

Best Electric Guitars for fingerpicking

Choosing the correct instrument for your style of playing is one of the key elements for success. Today, the world of guitar is massive. There are millions of types of guitars and choosing the correct one is a difficult task, but a rather enjoyable one. These are some of the electric guitars that make fingerpicking sound great.

Fender Stratocaster

There is hardly any guitar in the world today that can be compared to Fender Stratocaster. This guitar is truly unique and every guitarist should have one model in his arsenal. This guitar is considered to be one of the most versatile guitars ever created.

Fingerpicking Fender Stratocaster will result in a great, punchy tone that will cut through the mix with ease, especially when soloing. Among the electric guitar, Stratocaster is the number one choice for guitar fingerpicking.

Gibson Les Paul

Standing right next to Fender Stratocaster is the Gibson Les Paul. Like Stratocaster, this guitar model is one of the most important guitar models ever manufactured. Since its creation, it has been in continuous production.

What is great about Les Paul is its sustained and full tone. This comes in great with a fingerpicking technique and will make your notes last rather long. Many great guitar songs have been recorded using this guitar, with the usage of the pick and fingerpicking technique.

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Gretsch G2420T Streamliner

The Gretsch G2420t is a hollow-body guitar. If you have never heard about hollow-body guitars, these guitars have chambered bodies combined with electric guitar pickups. Some people may refer to them as “Jazz” guitars since most of the time you will Jazz players use them.

Considering they are used by Jazz players usually, they are quite often seen playing with fingerpicking technique. This guitar truly has a full tone which has an accent on the low end. This a great choice for fingerpicking style. Although not as versatile as the models above but a rather good option.

Should I Play The Electric Guitar With A Pick Or Fingers?

The electric guitar can be played using both techniques, with pick or fingers. The answer depends on the type of genre or does the song you are playing requires you to play using your fingers.

Playing with fingers gives you the opportunity to play softer than playing using a pick. As an example, this can come in handy while playing the verse of the song where you do not stand out too much but rather let the singer stand out. Of course, this is completely dependent on the song and type of genre.

In case you tried googling the term fingerpicking, you may come across a term called hybrid fingerpicking. This technique requires you to use both, your guitar pick and your fingers at the same time. This is a great technique that can be used in many instances and can help you play faster. You can see this technique used in many country songs.

Famous Fingerstyle Songs Recorded On Electric Guitar

Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing

Combining Mark Knopfler with Fender Stratocaster will result in one of the greatest guitar solos and songs ever recorded. He is known for his unique finger-picking guitar style and you will be surprised how fast he can play. He never uses a pick in any of his guitar recordings or live situations which further contributed to his unique tone.

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Mr. Sandman – Chet Atkins

Mr. Sandman is one of the classic songs that every guitarist will come across in his career at some point. Chet Atkins is one of the most amazing and well know guitarists for his fingerpicking. Chet is one of the rare guitarists who can play solo and chords at the same time. He is the man who inspired guitarists such as Tommy Emmanuel and many more.

Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers – Jeff Beck

Among the great guitarists who have great fingerpicking techniques is Jeff Beck. He is well known for his versatility and for playing many different genres during his performance. The Fingerpicking technique is always at his disposal to aid him in the goal. The song “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers” is a great example.

Final Thoughts

The Fingerpicking guitar technique is one of the most essential guitar skills one guitarist should have. In my experience, the best way to master this skill is to learn how to play songs that require this skill.

I use this guitar technique on a daily basis while playing electric guitar. I find it great for parts that require soft and emotional playing, almost as if someone is singing a ballad. The song that helped me master this skill is Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits. That is a great starting point since it combines soloing and rhythm playing by using only your fingers. Using every finger of your right hand will make you a much better player and widen up your tonal versatility, especially on the electric guitar.

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