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Simple Fingerpicking Exercise

If you've been playing guitar for a few months and are curious about fingerpicking, now is your chance to practice a little. Here are some basic fingerpicking exercises for you to try out. Remember, the thumb plays the 3 bass strings (6, 5 and 4) and the index, middle and ring fingers play the treble string (3, 2 and 1). The pinky is seldom used, but can be useful at times. I often rest it on the pickguard and use it as a base to steady my hand.

C Major

e--------------------------------------------------
B-----------1-----------1-----------1-----------1--
G--------0-----------0-----------0-----------0-----
D-----2-----------2-----------2-----------2--------
A--3-----------3-----------3-----------3-----------
E--------------------------------------------------

Now try varying it up a little.

e--------------------------------------------------
B-----------1-----------------1-----------------1--
G--------0-----0-----------0-----0-----------0-----
D-----2-----------2-----2-----------2-----2--------
A--3-----------------3-----------------3-----------
E--------------------------------------------------
e--------------------------------------------------
B-----------1-----------------------1--------------
G--------0-----0-----0-----------0-----0-----0-----
D-----2-----------2-----2-----2-----------2-----2--
A--3-----------------------3-----------------------
E--------------------------------------------------

Now try another chord.

D Major

e-----------2-----------2-----------2-----------2--
B--------3-----------3-----------3-----------3-----
G-----2-----------2-----------2-----------2--------
D--0-----------0-----------0-----------0-----------
A--------------------------------------------------
E--------------------------------------------------
e-----------2-----------------2-----------------2--
B--------3-----3-----------3-----3-----------3-----
G-----2-----------2-----2-----------2-----2--------
D--0-----------------0-----------------0-----------
A--------------------------------------------------
E--------------------------------------------------
e--------------2-----------------------2-----------
B--------3--------3-----3--------3--------3-----3--
G-----2-----2--------2--------2-----2--------2-----
D--0-----------------------0-----------------------
A--------------------------------------------------
E--------------------------------------------------

Now let's try combing the two chords.

e-----------------------2-----------------------2--
B-----------1--------3--------------1-----------2--
G--------0--------2--------------0-----0-----0--3--
D-----2--------0--------------2-----------2-----0--
A--3-----------------------3-----------------------
E--------------------------------------------------
e-----------2--------------------------------------
B--------3-----3-----------------1-----------1--1--
G-----2-----------2-----------0-----0-----------0--
D--0-----------------0-----2-----------2--------2--
A-----------------------3-----------------3-----3--
E--------------------------------------------------

That's it for this tutorial. Check back for more later.

3 comments on Simple Fingerpicking Exercise

thank you! i just started

thank you! i just started playing and i figure might as well learn how to fingerpick instead of using a pick all the time. either way i still suck though, lol

nice, but what about the

nice, but what about the other open chords?!

Classtab.org contains some

Classtab.org contains some awesome exercises for getting
the hang of fingerpicking by Mauro Giuliani tabbed by Wilson
Adkison.

http://classtab.org/giuliani_op001a.txt

Make sure to definitely practice using your thumb for all
the bass notes, as thumb independance is incredibly
important imo.