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Basic Fingerpicking Patterns

Christopher Sung (9641) · [archive]
Style: Acoustic/Folk · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 80
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

OK, in this lesson, we'll look at a very basic approach to fingerpicking and some patterns that you can apply to your favorite tunes. After absorbing this lesson, you'll be able to look at the chord charts for tunes that you like to play and use some basic fingerpicking to make them come to life.

For fingerpicking, I generally like to use 4 note patterns and play them with my thumb (t), index finger (i), middle finger (m), and ring finger (r). For simplicity, I'll use the t, i, m, and r abbreviations when referring to what picking fingers you should use, though these are not formal abbreviations. In each case, we'll play 4 notes on 4 different strings for each chord and use one picking finger per note/string.

Let's look at the example below. It's our familiar C major chord. For the 5th string, let's pick it with our thumb. For the 4th string, we use our index finger. For the third string, we use the middle finger, and for the 2nd string, we use the ring. Set your loop preferences in the bottom frame to "Forever" and play through the example. If it's too fast, set the tempo in the bottom frame to a lower value and re-play the example. Try to make each note ring continuously until the next time you strike it. We're going for a kind of "wash" in sound, where the notes just keep ringing all the time...
Basic Fingerpicking Patterns