Dansm's Fingerpicking Lessons

Fingerpicking a Guitar

Are you a guitarist who wants to improve your playing and broaden your knowledge of playing styles?

Do you know basic chords but want to expand the ways you can play them?

If your answer to these two questions is "yes," then fingerpicking is the technique for you! Fingerpicking will enable you to vary your sound much more than is possible with strumming. It will amaze your friends and allow you to play a wider variety of songs and types of music, including a lot of acoustic rock, folk, and country. All you need is a guitar, a knowledge of basic chords, and a little patience. In order to take advantage of these benefits, simply read on!
In order to learn the techniques and be able to apply the strategies described within, you must be willing to practice the exercises repeatedly and to spend a lot of time concentrating on your fingers. The techniques described within are not easy, but the skills will come with practice.

What Will Fingerpicking Do For Me?
If you think about a pick, you may realize that it is a very limiting tool. While it protects your fingers from the discomfort caused by your guitar strings, it can only be in one place at one time. Your fingers, on the other hand, can be in several places--one for each finger. This greater freedom allows you to play faster, more complex patterns, and create dramatically different effects. Something which would require almost inhuman motion using a pick becomes very simple when the fingers are used. So get ready to learn the most functional technique used by guitarists today!

These lessons require that you know how to read tab notation. If you do not know how to read tab notation, or are unsure about what tab notation is, click here. Otherwise, proceed with the lesson!

Now, a warning: As you may have noticed when you began playing guitar, the strings can cause painful sores and blisters on your fretting hand. You may experience the same pain on your picking hand when you begin fingerpicking. If you are experiencing pain in your picking fingers, you might want to put down the guitar until the next day. You should also try soaking your fingers in Witch Hazel, which can be found in any drug store, or wiping your fingers with rubbing alcohol to build the calluses faster.
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1997 Daniel E. Smith.