A few years ago, I started losing full use of my hands due to stenosis. My style started changing to accommodate the physical restrictions. Eventually I couldn't even open the middle and ring fingers on both hands, and so I had surgery. (During that period, I also had one or two topics closed by the mods, created on pain meds, about a guy who had written a book about his personal experiences with dolphin sex, and about how I had explosive diarrhea at the same time as I was vomiting, collapsed on the floor of my kitchen. It was good times. Thanks, pain meds! *laugh*) Anyway, once my physical therapist and my surgeon signed off on it, I started working electric 8-string again, but I never really went back to where I had started on guitar, acoustic six-string in a variety of fingerpicking styles. So over the holidays, I started working my way through the excellent Art of Ragtime Guitar by Richard Saslow, working things with a metronome and really paying attention to strong and efficient technique. After this I'll be working through the Homespun Tapes course Advanced Fingerpicking (also known as Ragtime Guitar) by John James. After that, I have some Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges books to remaster. Then, Chris Proctor, another excellent and extremely tasteful player and composer on six- and 12-string. That will be followed by the Pierre Bensusan books, which are in DADGAD. And then, I'll be working on playing 12-string while incorporating ideas from kantele/kokle, plucking individual strings of the octave courses to get more legato arpeggios. ---- This doesn't mean that I won't do other music when it appeals to me. I do love playing other instruments, including ERG, and experimenting with different combinations of effects to get new textures and voices, exploring what can be found. And, of course, I always love when friends get together and when we just play an acoustic guitar and sing whatever someone calls out. Instant karaoke accompaniment is a joy and a challenge, getting some reasonable facsimile out there at a moment's notice, and people get drawn into singing and sharing, something which guitar playing alone rare does. ---- It's funny to be recapitulating my acoustic journey after so many years. It's my hope that my perspective has broadened, and that I'll not only regain my previous knowledge and ability, but will find different parts coming together in new ways and sparking new discoveries. Although I play out when pressured by friends who want me to do something with them, I no longer make a living through music, so this is going to be a journey and expedition motivated purely by my love of how these strings ring. There's no defined end point, no motivation to make a name or to gain attention, just the joy of exploration. I just turned off the metronome for the night, having been absorbed in the playing until way too late, and wanted to post these thoughts. Maybe some of you have stood in this same place. If any of you *have* been through the whole fingerstyle journey, I'll be interested in hearing about it. I know there's a whole crop of folks who now occupy the niche started by Hedges, although I don't know if I've heard any compositional works at his level. I'll be interested in hearing of any players who not only bring the style, but the substance. Greetings to you, fellow explorers!