You may be surprised, but learning fingerstyle guitar takes about as long as learning a regular chord progression in a major key. Just like every other musical skill in our lives, learning the fundamentals is an art and we all have to practice a lot. Here’s the basic guide for the basics of fretting, picking, and playing your first chord to get you started.
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What is fingerstyle guitar?
This guitar playing technique involves tapping your fingers on the neck with your free hand. Fingerstyle involves tapping two fingers on the neck and playing them together, the exact same way you can tap a guitar string when you’re picking it out of tune – by just holding down the two fingers on that string as they are going up and down.
How does fingerstyle guitar work and why is it good for beginners?
Practically, fingerstyle guitar has the same benefit that scales have, they open up our fingers to the fretboard and allow us to play faster so we can find and connect notes more easily. The reason why it works for beginners is because it allows them to play faster and keep up with music better. We like to imagine a guitar, with all fingers and the strings going along with the chords and scales, and we say “It’s amazing to play like that, what a good idea”.
How do you learn fingerstyle guitar?
The best thing for learning fingerstyle guitar is to get out a fingerpick and have two or three of them. As we’ll continue, we’ll show you the basics of hand-picking and what you need to practice to start playing fingerstyle.
Hand-picking is the act of picking a note at its root, or the smallest possible number of clicks out of your fingers and going back to a higher position or fret. There are really only four different fingerpicking exercises, as there are only two different positions for each finger on the bottom of the guitar.
First, you start out with your index finger resting against or near the peg. You can also play just the middle finger on your left hand, but do remember to go up from there if you need to.
Now, you play the note at the root, or on the top of the fret, by tapping your fingers against the peg. If you need to play the finger you’re playing along with the pattern, just play it with just one finger and tap it back down.
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