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How to Play Folk Patterns in Fingerstyle Guitar

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


Folk finger style basically comes from a lot of the same background. It's country music, bluegrass music, but it's a little more subtle. So a lot of the same techniques that we've already explored, you can use. But when you think about folk, usually there's not any flashy playing, you're not playing super fast, super loud. It's always in support of vocals. Usually you have a singer/songwriter who's accompanying themselves, so you're always underneath the vocal. So you don't want to play too loud, or too flashy. So let's explore some of the same finger patterns, but just apply it to a more folk-y type of thing. I'm going to use the C chord here again. And kind of like the Travis picking, you can move your thumb around, but usually you're not doing that alternating thing. [playing guitar] I guess you could say it's kind of like in between classical and the Travis picking. [playing guitar] So you can explore different patterns, but usually it's a repetitive pattern over and over again. Again, not too flashy, and stay under the radar of the vocals, keep yourself nice and quiet, and in a nutshell, that is finger style for folk.

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