A Great Fingerpicking Pattern for Guitar


This fingerpicking pattern is one of my favorites. It sounds good played slow or fast and can be used as an accompanyment for songs or played for solo pieces.

I learned this fingerpicking pattern when I was 12, in conjunction with the piece "Freight Train." It is a close second to the popular Travis fingerpicking style as heard in Dust in the Wind, but this one, in my estimation is somewhat easier, while still sounding incredibly good.

Finger Key

P = thumb

I = index

M = middle

A = ring

Base = lower string, either 6th, 5th, or 4th string (this alternates depending on which chord you play).

Fingerpicking Pattern

P-5th string--M-2nd string (these two strings are played together), I-3rd string, A-1st string, M-2nd string, I-3rd string.

Here's what it looks like on the guitar:







Practice this a few times on open strings, then try it using C, Am, Dm, G-7. Use 5th string for C and Am, 4th string for Dm, 6th string for G-7.

So, it should be: C (P-5), Am (P-5), Dm (P-4), G-7 (P-6).

Practice this slowly until you've got a feel for the pattern, then speed it up for impressive-sounding fingerpicking. If you find this easier, you can use this for a knock-off of Dust in the Wind. The two patterns sound similar.

I've included the video below to demonstrate how good fingerpicking can sound and to help readers to feel motivated to learn the pattern above. It is well worth the effort. The fingerpicking pattern he's playing, while not the one in this Hub, sounds similar.

© 2010 Athlyn Green

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Comments 2 comments

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Athlyn Green 4 years ago from West Kootenays Author

Follow the visual guide in this Hub and you should not have any problems.

Arhur 5 years ago

I just was confused about 5 note per par figure, what is time signature here?

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