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I was reading through this and i was almost about to get angry until i saw one or two posted Tears In Heaven-Eric Clapton

Is that song not completely perfect for what the post is about?
Anything by Mississippi John Hurt
Gibson Les Paul Traditional - 11
Fender Stratocaster MIM - 04
Fender Mustang - 04
Taylor 214ce - 10
Angeles - Elliot Smith. The timing is a bitch but if you can get it Kudos. Great tune. Washboard Lisa - Grayson Capps is a great one.
When I die, want you to dress me in straght laced shoes
A box back coat and a Stetson hat;
like the beatles said...

LOVE all you need!

Arthur Lee & Bryan Mclean's guitar work is gorgeous!

(also giving a big second to Nick Drake)
I didn't read through the thread but I think you should make sure you check out Chet Atkins (anything by him), Jerry Reed (try Jerry's Breakdown) also look into Lenny Breau (anything by him). Hope this helps, I have been working on stuff by Chet especially and it is very difficult to get, will definitely improve your fingerpicking since most of the stuff they play is at what I would consider a somewhat expert level.
about finger picking practice. I mostly learn by actually playing songs or just screwing around with chords and speeding it up. For me my major fingerpicking epiphany was with blackbird (beatles) and then for finger-picking while singing Broken (seether)
You could also try The intro for under the bridge RHCP. I used that to try and bridge some acoustic an electric techniques together and had some fun playing around with that song.
Closer to the Sun - Slightly Stoopid

If you master this song... I... will do something ridiculous. Not sure yet, but that song is impossible.
Quote by TeenWolf
I've never tried fingerpicking exercises...IMO, they're kind of pointless. I'd rather skip the middle man and just start practicing the actual song.

You obviously cant be very good. Though with and attitude like this there isnt much room for improvement. Playing music is 80% practice. Thats like making an omlette without cracking the eggs. I dosnt work very well.

Fingerpicking exercises are a fantastic idea. You don't even need a guitar to do it. You can do it with nothing in your hands at all. Find a couple exercises that are mildly difficult for you and just play them for an hour.. or three. Do that for a couple weeks ( i know its kind of boring but Mark Knopfler didnt just pick up a guitar one day and write Romeo and Juliette without practicing how to pick properly first).

Scales and Arpeggios are a great place to start. Ive been playing for going on 15 years now and i still do scales, arpeggios, chord progressions and other exercises. You can never practice enough, and you will never be the master at everything.

Practice Practice Practice
The Boxer - Simon and Garfunkel.
You might need a tab. Check UG's tabs.
I like Chet Atkins - Yankee doodle Dixie. It's pretty much a novelty song where you play both at the same time.
Windy and warm

Also Mombosa by Tommy emannuel.
Classical gas

And this one, chicks will love you for it because it's from twilight. Originally for piano.

I would link the tabs, but I'm lazy. They can all be found on this site.
Last edited by Casuist at Jul 28, 2011,
Can someone find me a decent your song - elton john fingerpicking tab? :S cant seem to find one
If a player wants to get a "real" fingerpicking sound, meaning a melody line played against a bass line, then the BEST musician to learn from is Mississippi John Hurt. His music is not so difficult that it's impossible to play, and once someone masters the basic alternating thumb technique, most of his tunes are relatively easy for an intermediate level guitarist.

There's instruction videos for Mississippi John Hurt's style of fingerpicking at
If you want to really challenge yourself, look up Ocean, by John Butler. Blew my mind how good this guy was.

Ocean, John Butler
Blue Smoke, Gareth Pearson
Dust in the Wind, Kansas
Babe im gonna leave you - Led Zeppelin

Classical Gas - Tommy Emmanuel
Here are my favorite fingerstyle songs;
Here comes the sun
City of New Orleans
Time in a bottle
Helplessly hoping
You've got a friend
Fire and rain
Danny's Song
Leaving on a jet plane
Vincent (Starry starry night)
Come monday
A pirate looks at 40
Tears in heaven
Colours (Donovan)
Dont think twice, its alright
Just like a woman
The wind
You can close your eyes
If I were a carpenter
The Boxer
Puff the magic dragon
Circle game
Imagine (listen to Jack Johnson version)

Reccomend learning the Travis Pick pattern; once you learn that, you can vary it on all these songs easily.

Great picks everyone. Jim Croce's Time in a Bottle. Mentioned? May have missed it. And You've got a Friend by James Taylor. Good stuff.
embryonic journey - jorma kaukonen
Last edited by Rakmin at Nov 20, 2011,
here is what I learned from and I can play pretty much any song now"

-Blackbird - The Beatles (Introduces good bass notes and coordination)
-Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin (absolutley beautiful and get you used to quick changes)
-Dust in the Wind - kansas(This will get you used to a travis picking pattern)
-Michelle - The Beatles (Something totally different)
-Under the Bridge -RHCP (Awesome use of barre chords and bass notes)
-Mother Nature's Son - the beatles (This one is ESSENTIAL. It i unknown but i think it is a very beautiful song. Its on the white album and it has an interesting and amazing pattern that you will love)
-Blackwater- The Doobie Brothers(An AMAZING and very hard song to do. It is very hard to find the tabs so it makes it challenging and if you look up the chords and learn the others parts by ear its awesome. Remember its tuned in DADGBD.)

Learn these songs in order and you will be amazing. You just gotta slam right into it. Also with blackbird, learn to sing with it cause it is extremely easy, fun and steals hearts! haha
dont forget good ones to practice to- "the boxer" s&g great tune (kudos if u can do the intro). I'm doing it this weekend and making a video to post

bron yr aur (not stomp) by led zep (CACGCE tuning) also on my page

I do my own fingerpicking version of "Otherside" by red hot chili peppers- check it out on my youtube (not a plug) its cool

Maybe I'm Amazed by McCartney- it's awesome picked. I havent posted my version but its coming

good luck....more picking less strumming (ANYONE can strum)

here are some unknown songs to westerners, from ex-yugoslavian artists

1. Bijelo Dugme - Uspavanka Za Radmilu M. (which can also be found on the internet as Goran Bregovic - Lullaby [as he is the author of it, he was the guitarist in "Bijelo Dugme"]. here's a link where you can check out how it sounds and ask for tabs

2. Djordje Balasevic - Lepa protina kći (literal translation: Beautiful priest's daughter) you can find the tab here and you can hear the song here
this one is fairly simple as its basically just chords picked through, but it has some tricky transitions and a few wierd chord shapes, but its fun to play

3. Goran Bregovic - Talijanska (translation: Italian) see how it sounds and the tab here
-Searches for first finger picking song to learn-
Hm, classical gas, -listens-
challenge accepted
Try "Your Hand in Mine" by Explosions in the Sky
"Always With Me, Always With You" by Satriani (the acoustic backing track is a really good piece to practice fingerpicking chords with)
I also like to take Stairway to Heaven and just impose picking patterns from other songs (doesn't have to be Stairway but any song with a long chord progression like that is good, especially if it's easy to run through, a la Stairway) and see what/how fast I can do stuff.
So many genres-so little time.

To expand your skills, check out James Taylor's tunes. His work is pianistic-a cool groove. Give you lots of good ideas on embellishing your chords-playing style for a more complex sound.
Check He takes Carter and Travis picking to new heights.
Pretty much everything i wanted to add has already been mentioned.
But these:

Leader of the Band - Dan Fogelberg
Here Comes the Sun - Beatles

Classical gas is still my favorite.

and can someone pls send me an accurate tab of Tears in Heaven? PLS PLS PM me, generous bastard!
Last edited by rolandroi at Jan 2, 2013,
a lot of the rebelution acoustic songs are fingerpicked and are great for learning, meant to be; feeling alright are to that i love to play. and slightly stoopid has closer to the sun (played with a pick) that i enjoy and find it easier to fingerpick, as well as zeplike.
Then there is blackbird, tears in heaven and classical gas. but im also looking for new fingerpicking songs to learn as well, hopefully more challenging.
Anything by Newton Faulkner will improve your fingerpicking and probably overall ability
Also, try building up from basics - blackbird by the beatles into more alternate picking like Vincent by Don McLean, build up until you're comfortable playing some really advanced stuff (Rylynn by Andy McKee is about as difficult as it gets)
Music is an art form that celebrates potential. So long as you're looking for it, you'll always find it.
I am learning "For Those Below" by Mumford & Sons. It's a nice fingerpicking song.
Nearly anything James Taylor has played or written and there is one hell of alot of material that's all good stuff.
If you want to be a serious finger picker--not a game to take on half ass-study it. While there are many variations--its all about understanding what you are really doing is playing a piano on the neck of a guitar
playing with a light touch
First finger picking song I learned was House of the Rising Sun by The Animals, I still remember it, and that damned B7 chord seemed so hard 20 years ago lol.

Truth is, Nothing Else Matters is a good beginner song but the finger picking in it is a little lame. Hunger Strike is also a great song, and a good song to for beginners, especially if you're planning on singing while playing. I think Landslide is probably not a great song to learn finger picking, the arpegios change from intro to verse to chorus and it might be confusing, although, what a great song.
Read this whole post as this is what I'm teaching myself at the moment, here's a few I've found the be good easy starters which nobody seems to have posted yet

The Body Breaks - Devendra Banhart
Oliver James - Fleet Foxes
Anji - Davy Graham/Bert Jansch/Simon & Garfunkel
Needle And The Damage Done - Neil Young (He doesn't fingerpick but it's a decent beginners exercise)

Also if you want something more challenging I suggest Jump (Van Halen cover) - Kersten Luts, have a listen and if you go to his website you can get a full tab for it
Last edited by Bobcot at Apr 4, 2013,