Fingerstyle Guitar For Beginners and Beyond – Your Journey Starts Here!

Basic Fingerpicking Concept + Exercises

There are several ways to play fingerstyle on guitar, but it all starts with two basic patterns. Ascending (going up) and descending (going down). I want to start by showing you the correct positioning for your hand, a simple warmup, how to add chord switches and some useful fingerstyle pattern that you can use to play songs.

Easy Fingerpicking Songs

Now that we have the basics covered, let’s practice these fingerstyle patterns with some simple tunes:

  • All of Me
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love With You
  • Unchained Melody
  • Hallelujah
  • Everybody Hurts
  • Sea of Love

How To Build Your Own Fingerpicking Patterns

Let’s step away from the usual pattern and do something fun!

I want to show you something I call the “creative chord shape.” I call it that because it does a lot of work for how easy it is. It leaves a lot of room in your brain to be creative instead of stressing about the technique. It’s movable, and it’s also very easy to play and use all over the fretboard.

It also gives us an opportunity to play a different type of fingerstyle, like you’d find in tunes like Blackbird (The Beatles) or Love Yourself (Justin Bieber).

Travis Picking Patterns

Travis picking is the de facto fingerstyle pattern for so many tunes. It requires a lot of thumb independence and provides a solid bassline for our songs. All those SUPER famous fingerpicking songs you know and love (see below)? They probably use some type of travis picking pattern.

Intermediate Fingerpicking Songs

With all of these patterns at our disposal, it’s time to tackle some of the most popular fingerstyle songs on guitar!

  • Tears In Heaven
  • Landslide
  • Country Roads
  • Blackbird
  • Yesterday
  • Dust In The Wind
  • Fast Car
  • Say You Won’t Let Go
  • Thinking Out Loud
  • Love Yourself
  • Let Her Go
  • Hey There Delilah
  • I See Fire
  • I Will Follow You Into The Dark
  • Honey
  • Happier
  • Lego House
  • Someone Like You
  • More Than Words
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