Finger Picking Practice

author: BaBaBoeGaH date: 04/07/2009 category: guitar techniques
rating: 8.4 / votes: 7 
Everyone who only plays an acoustic guitar must know how to finger pick. Finger picking is often used synonymously with fingerstyle guitar play. However fingerpicking indicated that the thumb keep following a steady rythm. So actually I'm more teaching you how to play fingerstyle guitar. But if you can do fingerstyle, you can do fingerpicking as well. Fingerpicking is a way of being capable of picking string very fast and accurate and so increasing your playing speed. You just use one finger for every string on your guitar. All you need is a little finger strength, and finger picking is very easy once you get the trick. Always keep in mind that under a (proper) tab for finger picking stuff, there is a small letter indicating which finger to use. This are the letters used: p (thumb), I (index finger), m (middle finger), a (fore finger) and the c (pink). You can practice finger picking by holding a chord and then use 1 finger for every string like this. Pick along!
E|---------|---------|---------|-----------|
B|-------1-|---------|-1-------|-----------|
G|-----0---|-------1-|---0-----|-1---------|
D|---2-----|-----0---|-----2---|---0-------|
A|-3-------|---2-----|-------3-|-----2-----|
E|---------|-3-------|---------|-------3---|
   p i m a   p i m a   a m i p   a m i p
As you might have noticed, this tab is made up of the C-chord. You can fill in your own chords if you want. Now I give you an exercise in using more chords:
E|---------|---------|-------2-|-------2---|
B|-------0-|-------2-|-----3---|-----0-----|
G|-----1---|-----0---|---2-----|-----------|
D|---2-----|---2-----|-0-------|-----------|
A|-2-------|-0-------|---------|---2-------|
E|---------|---------|---------|-3---------|
   p i m a   p i m a   p i m a   p i m a 
The chords used here are the E, A7, D and G Try these as well:
E|-----0-----0-----0--------|----0-----0-------|-2-----2-------|
B|-------0-----0--------0---|------2-----2-----|---3-----3-----|
G|---------1-----1----1---1-|--------2-----2---|-----2-----2---|
D|--------------------------|----------------0-|---------------|
A|--------------------------|--0---------------|---------------|
E|--0-----------------------|------------------|---------------|
    p  a m i a m i a  i m i    p a m i a m i p   a i m a i m

E|---2-----|---0-----|---0-----|---2-------|
B|-------0-|-------0-|-------2-|-------3---|
G|---------|---------|---------|-----2-----|
D|---------|-----2---|-----2---|-0---------|
A|-----2---|-2-------|-0-------|-----------|
E|-3-------|---------|---------|-----------|
   p c i a   i c m a   i c m a   i c m a

E|---------|---------|---------|-----------|
B|-1-----1-|---------|-0-------|-0---------|
G|-----0---|-0-----0-|-----1---|---1---1---|
D|---2-----|----0----|---2---2-|-----2-----|
A|-3-------|--2------|-2-------|-2---------|
E|---------|-3-------|---------|-----------|
   a i m a   a p i m  a i m a  a a m a
   p         p        p        p

E|-3----3-|--7----7-|-12----12-|--7----7---|
B|---0----|----0----|----0-----|----0------|
G|-----0--|------0--|------0---|------0----|
D|-2------|--5------|-10-------|--5--------|
A|--------|---------|----------|-----------|
E|--------|---------|----------|-----------|
   a m i a   a m i a   a m i a    a m i a
   p         p         p          p

E|--------------|-------------|--------------|---------------|
B|--------1-----|-------1-----|------3-------|-----3-----3---|
G|------2---2---|-----0---0---|----0---0---0-|---0---0-------|
D|----2---------|-----------0-|--------------|---------------|
A|--0---------0-|-0-3---------|--------------|---------------|
E|--------------|-------------|-3--------3---|-3-------3-----|
    p i m a m i   p p m a m i   p  m a m p m   p m a m p a
  
E|------------|------------|-------------------|
B|------1-----|-----3------|-------3-------3---|
G|----2---2---|---2---2----|-----0---0---0-----|
D|------------|------------|-------------------|
A|--0-------0-|------------|-------------------|
E|------------|-2-------2--|-3-3-------3-------|
    p m a m p   p m a m p    p p m a m p m a

E|------3---|-----3-----|------3---|-----3-------|
B|----1---1-|---1---1---|----0---0-|---0---0-----|
G|----------|-----------|----------|-------------|
D|--3-------|-----------|----------|-------------|
A|----------|-3-------3-|----------|-------------|
E|----------|-----------|--3-------|-3-------3---|
    p m a m   p m a m p    p m a m   p m a m p
 
   And now a small but nice song to end it:
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-------1---------------1------------0--------0---------0---------|
G|-----2-----2---------2---2--------0---0---------0----------0-----|
D|---2---------2-----0-------0----0-------0----------0---------0---|
A|-0---------------------------------------------------------------|2x
E|----------------2-------------3----------------------------------|
   p i m a   m i  p  i m a i m  p i m a m i    a  m  i   a   m i
You can also try and find nice combinations of ways to fingerpick chords yourself, try it out. And to build up more finger strength there are several guides in practicing you fingers to become faster and stronger. Have fun fingerpicking!!!
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