Fingerpicked blues guitar, with it's classic open-string sounds and it's interesting bass-lines - played under blues licks & riffs, is without a doubt a very cool sound. However, if you're not very well studied in finger-style this technique might be somewhat difficult at first.
The technique blends much of the traditional finger-style concepts (from classical guitar technique) along-side the blues harmony. With the practice of finger-style technique, (using thumb, index, middle and ring fingers instead of using a pick), your coordination will slowly come together.
Accuracy between the fretting and picking hands is the key to control. Once you can learn to control your thumb and fingers in a consistent manner, (even if it's only with a few ideas at first), the technique will slowly grow on you.
As your confidence with finger-style technique improves, you can begin attempting any number of blues based melodic lines and blues style chord riffs. By incorporating a blend of major and minor pentatonic, as well as, the blues scale's diminished 5th, (and the shifts between major and minor 3rds), you'll start to hear the blues influence slowly come through in your playing. Over time you will slowly start developing your own unique style. However, it goes without saying that there is a great deal of good that comes from the study of players who are proficient at this technique. Some of these players include James Burton
, Tommy Emmanuel
and Doyle Dykes
. Further research should be done on pieces by Chet Atkins
, Jerry Reed
, and others evolved the Piedmont and rockabilly styles, as well as, more sophisticated finger-style approaches, (often incorporating jazz chords, walking bass, and other more intricate musical concepts).
In the video I zoom in on the guitar, and run through a few ideas that include on-screen TAB to help get you started in the world of Fingerpicked Blues Technique. Enjoy!
Video lesson: About the Author: You can watch hundreds more guitar lessons with Andrew Wasson, including; video masterclasses, Q&A articles and Jam-Tracks at author's GuitarBlog website.