Flat picking…

Great programme the other day on Radio 4 about Richard Thompson.

If you like skilfully played guitar, it simply does not get much better than when played by Richard Thompson. Not so mention his song writing.

In the programme he talks about his guitar style- typically using ‘flat picking’- a combination of strumming and finger style. For the non guitar players, finger style guitar is usually the soft mellow arpeggio stuff, whereas strumming is much more rhythmic.  He will hold a plectrum between two fingers, and use his other fingers to play dazzling riffs at the same time. What Thompson achieves, on electric or acoustic guitar is to imbue everything he does with power and subtlety. It often sounds simple and understated- the signs of real virtuosity.