Finger Picking Practice

Some small tabs including practices for finger picking.

6
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!!!

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    alex73191
    lol antei69, wont work? anyways, good lesson thanks, i got the hang of this quick
    bestr32
    Oh sorry. Guys. Antei69 what won't work :O Anyway good lesson. I am learning Hotel California arranged by Tomi Paldanius. The intro HARD :S.
    Antei69
    e|---3-3----3-3---|---0-0----0-0---| B|---0-0----0-0---|--- 1-1----1-1---| G|---0-0----0-0---|---0-0----0-0---| D|---- -|-----| A|-----|-3-----3-----| E|-3-----3-----|-----|
    Antei69
    When i was learning fingerpicking Pink Floyd's Is There Anybody Out There was the on that did the trick. I also reccomend some waltz-type picking: e|---3-3----3-3---| B|---0-0----0-0---| G|---0-0----0-0---| D|-----| A|---- -| E|-3-----3-----| This should sound like a ballad or vienniese waltz Use thumb for bass note and index, middle and fore finger for rest. I reccommend this chord progression : G, C, Am and sometimes throw in an Em between G and C. Then you can mix that with the arpeggios of the same chords, makes a nice ballad doesnt it? just needs some good lyrics and Voila!
    Antei69
    wow, that tab failed, anyways, you get what im talking about,kay. ... dum da-da, dum da-da, now i got a waltz stuck in my head. Great -.-
    Vrstone87
    Very, very simple exercises to start with. Won't get you too far. I'd check out the classical guitar parts of the acoustic version of Hotel California and Pink Floyd's Is There Anybody Out There?