Tuesday 2 November 2010

Fingerstyle Database

Go straight to JAW's Fingerstyle Database!

Realised that there are now hundreds of great fingerstyle guitarists posting videos on youtube, but don't know how to find them? Have we got a solution for you! :)

Since a brief exchange of comments on this blog, Roman and I discussed creating a "fingerstyle database", which would contain all the fingerstyle guitarists that we have got something out of listening to, so that we could share our discoveries with others.

The criteria was simply fingerstyle guitarists actively posting videos that the average person would take something away with after listening to. That is a subjective point of contention - what I take away from listening and watching a fingerstyler won't be the same as you. Broad examples would be a fingerstyle guitarist producing their own arrangements - even if they aren't that great - because the next person might be inspired to take the work further. Someone playing a tremendous cover of someone else's arrangement, just for the pure listening enjoyment - that would also be a keeper.

However someone playing a poor video/audio/rendition cover of someone else's tab, well we'd have to say no. We want the database to be punchy, quick and full of great surprise findings - we don't want to wade through hundreds of players that although sure they can play a tune, they aren't adding value to us visiting them.

I'm sure it will be a point of contention, but I think you know what I mean, so let's see how it goes!

What does the database give us? Name, website (usually youtube because it is so prevalent, but doesn't have to be), the style of fingerstyle (on the left extreme is the nylon string classical player, on the right extreme is the percussive tappin' steel string player), whether they are an arranger, whether they have tabs, and a quick description.

What can you do? Everyone who visits can give a thumb up to a player! This way "the public can decide" who is the pick of bunch worth listening to. If you are really excited by this and would love to be a part of it, email me and I will make you an administrator - with the ability to add, edit or delete players.

Features? Aside from the aforementioned "public opinion" with thumbs, and administrator access if you'd love to be a moderator...well, you can sort any column by clicking on the column heading. There'll be a "new" icon next to any players that have been added in the past 90 days, so you only have to check four times a year to keep up :)

Now I'm not really a programmer; this is all hacky perl scripts and the database itself is an imitation XML text file, so the features are limited. On the plus side, if you have some great ideas that Roman and I didn't think of, and it doesn't require too much effort, I can probably hack it in!

Go there: JAW's Fingerstyle Database - feedback and bug reports appreciated!



  1. Hey jAW,

    Good idea. May I suggest Fran├žois Sciortino http://www.youtube.com/user/Ourco

    He's one of the best fingerstyler, and a great entertainer too !

    Take care,


  2. Hi!

    I like the idea! I will call it JFD :D
    One thing I miss: it would be good to write "comments" for players: why they are good, what to particularly watch, best performances, (((debates, disagreements,))) links for tabs, etc., something that occasionally works like a forum, or a message board.

    I understand it doesn't have a real database, so here is an easy way to make it work: the JFD could have a side-blog, something like "jawmunji-fingerstlye-database dot wordpress dot com", and every player could have an entry on it. A link would lead to this blog entry from the JFD main screen.
    It's a quick idea, maybe I didn't think it through well, but seems effective for me. What do you think?

    ps: Tony plays steel too!

  3. Maybe it wasn't clear at the end... so the players in JFD would have only one blog entry and could be "commented" by blog entry responses.

  4. Hi, I just wanted to add that each of us who plays fingerstyle guitar can expect to be added to the database soon or later, including myself, as explained above we don't have to be professional, all it takes is being committed enough about it and the videos we record, and having more than a handful of videos out there, just for a bit of substance, already that's added value in my opinion.

    That was Jaw's idea, I only shared my views about the information that the database should contain.
    Personally, I think it is all the more interesting that it includes amateur guitarists, who are not perfect, but who have at least something that we like or find useful to get inspired from. Most guitarists (if not all) who are serious enough about playing will show some personal characteristics that are valuable. I like the idea that the list should be always changing, and that at any moment it is like a snapshot of fingerstyle guitar today as played by the people.
    Yes it should also include the greats, but all together with the not-so great in the same list ('thumbs' should reward the better/most popular ones).


  5. Yep, as Roman says this isn't an "exclusive" club, this is for all of us. As you've all probably experienced it is great to "discover" a little-known fingerstyle player that really inspires you, like he/she is "your own" special fingerstyle player that is playing "your" music. If we can collectively combine that into this database then I'm calling it a success!

    So far Roman and I have only entered just a few of the more obvious players, I'm looking forward to seeing more little gems being uncovered. In fact we haven't got around to adding the commercial kings of fingerstyle like Tommy, McKee, Hedges, Chapdelaine...probably because Roman and I get more excited by the little gems :)

    Fear not, this is just the start of the list and by no means exhaustive. I hope I haven't upset anyone, I probably should have spelled out louder that "this is just the start of it!" :)

    To everyone who sends of a suggestion; I'll get them in once I've had a look (or Roman will, or anyone else who volunteers for moderation duty) - if you give me the full details (all the database fields) then I'll put them in straight away ;)

    L3fty - great ideas, I did think about making a page per player (although not with user comments - I like it). But then I thought about the amount of work it would entail, and decided to leave it and see if the project gets life or falls in a hole first...

  6. This is a great idea. I am always on the lookout for artists to listen to.

    I think that the list should definitely continue to have the players, not just people that arrange (or compose) music themselves. I get inspiration and enjoyment from many amateur players that are just covering other peoples arrangements... in fact, Sungha Jung up until recently was a great example of this... all he played were other peoples arrangements. Now, he has a few original compositions... but most are still other peoples songs.

  7. Yep, agree Cory. And hey thanks for the submission form you knocked up, I've added it to the database page - hopefully it will make it easier for us all to add new players!

  8. Hey, JAW, maybe you can help me. I'm looking for tabs of fingerstlye songs, but with one condition: they should be for 2 guitars.

    So far, the only guitarist I've seen with some tabs for 2 guitars is Soymartino.

    Can you suggest me some tabs/artists or just plain songs?

    Thanks you and keep going!

  9. ...arrangements for _two_ guitars? Whatcha talking about, you can't play two guitars at once? (Well, Zack Kim can) :)

    Seriously though, I can't remember the last time I played in a two part fingerstyle song. It's very social of you though, I'm a bit anti-social when it comes to arrangements!

    Sorry, can't help, but I bet google can :) http://www.google.com.au/search?q=tab+arrangement+for+two+guitars

  10. Oh thanks Jaw. Sadly google isn't of much help to be honest.

    Luckily there are quite a few chet atkins arrangements for 2 guitars, I'll find material there