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Fingerpicking
(For guitar, not noses!)
(By Tyson and Grant)
 

You want to be able to play beautifully huh?  You want to be able to pick with the best of them?  This lesson is for you!  Now is your chance!  Hold your axe in your arms!  Finger pick like you've never picked before!  (At first it will sound liked you've never picked before anyway.) :0)  So get out your guitar and follow me here.

Ok, above is a hand.  It may not be your hand but I promise you it's a hand.  As you observe the average hand has 5 fingers.  In fingerpicking all of them but the pinky will be used so go ahead and chop it off so it won't get in the way... I'm just joking!  You can leave it there if you want.   In general rhythm guitar one uses a pick to strum several coinciding notes which go together to make a chord but in fingerpicking you use your thumb, index finger, ring finger and that finger next to the pinky to pick individual notes which when put together form a chord.

Let's focus on a chord for a moment... um- Am!  Yeah!  It's

but hopefully you'd know that by this lesson, if you don't you may wanna view some earlier ones 'cause you'll get lost.
Here's an artist rendition of the correct hand posture

Note that the thumb should be placed on the base note, the ring finger should be on the third string from the high E, (it's the alternating finger because it's sometimes needed on the 4'th string too.)  The temptation at first will be to do all the picking with one finger which will never be as good because you can't get places hit as fast as when your fingers are planted in the correct position.  I made the pinky lighter to emphasize it's insignificance.

Now for you first finger pattern, it's the first one I learned and it was taught to me by my guitar master Grant who had learned it from his guitar master Timothy.

  It is illustrated below with Am but you can use it with other chords too, like if you were to use it on G it would be the same fingering except for the base note which would shift to the low E string.

Here is an example of that pattern walking between Am and C.

(Click Here For An MP3 example)


e-----0-------0-----------0-------0-------
B-------1-------1-----------1-------1-----
G---2-------2-------0---0-------0-------0-
D-----------------------------------------
A-0-------0-------2---3-------3-------2---
E-----------------------------------------

So do that for a while and then make up your own patterns like the one my friend Grant gave me to do on E but you can use it on any chord in the whole wide world!

(Click Here For An MP3 example)

e|---------------------------0-|
B|----------------0-------0----|
G|------1------1-------1-------|
D|----2-------2-----2----------|
A|--2-------2------------------|
E|0----------------------------|
then work back down

There's options out there!  Have a fun time finding them.



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