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Basic Guitar Fingerpicking Patterns

Learn basic guitar fingerpicking patterns from guitarist Adam Smale in this online guitar lesson from Howcast.


I'd like to show you some finger picking patterns here. One of the things that I would like to start off with here is what I refer to as planting, and we're going to plant your fingers on the string. So we're going to designate your A finger, your ring finger, on the first string, your M finger on the second string, and your I finger on the third string. For now, with your thumb let's play the fifth string. We're just going to do this. We're going to kind of plant our fingers on those strings and pick them at the same time, and then come back and pick again. That's going to help your fingers remember where to go.

Then the next thing to do is to break it up. So we're going to do this. We're going to go, but then come back and plant. Every time I come back I plant my fingers on the strings so they find their proper place. In other words you're not playing the wrong string by mistake.

And then you can try creating different patterns by mixing it up. I'm going to go thumb, A, M, I, thumb, A, M, I.

Those are great patterns to work out. You can get used to moving your thumb around to different base strings. But, usually in finger style guitar your fingers are matched up for I on the third string, your M finger on the second string, and your A finger on the first string.

So those are some very basic patterns to get you started.

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