How To Play Fingerstyle Guitar – Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Getting Started: How To Play Fingerstyle Guitar The Right Way

In this lesson, we will learn how to play fingerstyle guitar PROPERLY. There is something very important that you need to know… I want to show you that it’s not about memorizing finger picking patterns. Once you learn these key elements of fingerpicking, you’ll be able to play any fingerstyle tune with ease.

Something that always comes up, every time one of my students asks me about fingerstyle… They’ll show me the song they’re working on (Dust In The Wind, Blackbird, something like that) and they’ll talk about the pattern, about how they memorized it, got everything in the right order. And then when I ask them to play it… even though everything is “correct” it doesn’t sound right. Why is that?

Start With The Basics

The first thing is having your fingers fall into position. That’s very simple, you just learn where to put your fingers and get used to having them in those spots.

To get comfortable with fingerpicking, start with the most basic component of a finger picking pattern: ascending and descending. We need to be comfortable and be able to ascend and descend smoothly, hopefully with a metronome.

Once we have those two components. We have to figure out how to integrate chord switching. I don’t want to have to do this step later when my pattern is twice as hard. Let’s do it right now with these basic motions!

Finally, once we’ve worked on positioning, comfort, the basic motions, switching chords while doing those basic patterns, we’re ready to learn the most common finger picking pattern ever. This requires our thumb to change strings and to learn the roots of each chord.

It’s a pretty big topic for something so simple, but if you approach it this way, you’ll have a better idea of what to do in any fingerpicking situation because there are certain patterns that just must be followed. From there, it’s just a matter of working things out slowly.

Beginner Fingerpicking Songs:

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

Did you get your copy of my FREE eBook?

Did you get your copy of my FREE eBook?