I've asked a question similar to this on a guitar forum and got dissapointing results, so I've decided to take it to the Mefi hivemind where most people tend to be much more eloquent/thorough in their answers. Anyway, I've played guitar for a little over two years and I'm really starting to delve into fingerpicking as I'd like to be more self-sufficient as far as playing/performing goes. In the past, I've already gotten comfortable playing basic fingerpicking patterns (We Are Going to Be Friends by the White Stripes, Street Spirit by Radiohead, Lullaby by Emitt Rhodes, etc.).
Specifically, what I'm having trouble with now is playing more complex rhythms. Even more specifically and as an example, I'm looking at the beginning of Clapton's Unplugged version of Before You Accuse Me (I'm hoping most people know it or have a recording of it, but if not I found this
, which you can use to play the song, though you have to download a plugin first). Everything I've read says this song is played using fingerstyle. My initial question is: How does he (or how would you/should I) play, for example, that first series of chords so quickly with his fingers? It's easy to do with a pick using alternate strumming (down, up, down, up, down), but how is it done with the fingers? Do you use all three finger to pluck the strings successively (if this is the case, I guess it would just be a matter of building dexterity, since I can't seem to pick the chord multiple times in a row that fast at the moment)? Do you strum with one of your fingers or your whole hand (if this is the case, what is the technique to use, e.g. finger position and such and how do you avoid accidentally playing other strings not in the chord)? Or is there another, more correct or better way to do this that I haven't thought of?
I guess the heart of this question is how do I do what sounds to me like "strumming-type" rhythms while fingerpicking? (Another example might be certain parts of Blackbird by the Beatles or (this may not be as apt) Somebody I Used to Know by Elliott Smith where he's fingerpicking the intro but apparently switches to strumming during the verses, though I suppose the answer might be different from song to song).
Also, when fingerpicking is it more preferrable to use a thumb pick or just use your thumbnail?
: If it helps at all, although I'd like to be able to play a variety of styles of music, I'm most interested in the styles of artists like Elliott Smith, Nick Drake, and Bob Dylan.
Also, as a bonus question: Any excellent fingerstyle resources that you would recommend (i.e. books, websites, etc.)?
Anyway, sorry for the length; I really appreciate any help.