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How to Play Advanced Fingerpicking Patterns

Learn how to play advanced guitar fingerpicking patterns from guitarist Adam Smale in this online guitar lesson from Howcast.


I'd like to show you some more finger picking patterns; very, very common in finger-style guitar, coming from the Merle Travis, Chet Adkins way of playing finger-style guitar. First off, we're going to start off with the thumb. The thumb does an alternating pattern. Let's do this first. Let's start; 5, 4, 6, back to 4. It's going to be four notes played; 5, 4, 6, 4. 5, 4 ,6 4 over and over again.

[plays guitar]

Then, now what Chet and Merle used to do is they used to mute those strings and then once they start playing chords, it'll create a harmony and a bass line thrown in there at the same time. You can throw in melody. Sometimes this is referred to as stride guitar, because I guess that comes from stride piano where the left hand used to do this bouncing back and forth, and you're mimicking that same approach on guitar with your thumb. There you go. There's another pattern that you can use. Your playing will come to some... more in-depth later.

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