|Learning Guitar - Lesson Seven|
|Part 3: Fingerpicking|
Getting in Position
Center the palm of your picking hand over the sound hole (acoustic) or pick-ups (electric) of the guitar. Curl your fingers and thumb at your second knuckle, and turn your hand so that your fingertips rest underneath the strings (so your second knuckles point towards the floor). Your hand should be in a loose claw-shape. Since we will start by playing a D major chord, we're only interested in the bottom four strings. Poise your thumb on the upper side of the fourth string. Your first finger will rest underneath the third string. Your second finger will rest underneath the second string. And your third finger will rest underneath the first string. Let your fingers settle in this position - try to make them feel as comfortable as possible.
Plucking the strings
In your fretting hand, form a D major chord. Now, using a downward
motion with the inside edge of your thumb, play the open note on the
fourth string. Your thumb should not move far, and after you play the
note, return it to it's original position. Do this several times, until
the motion feels comfortable and natural. Then, play the third string,
using an upward motion with the tip of your first finger. Again, there
should be minimal movement by the finger, and you should return it to
it's original position after playing the note. Examine the motion closely
as you do it, and repeat it until it feels natural. Then, repeat this
process with your second finger on the second string, and finally with
your third finger on the first string. Your fingers should always remain
curled, and the motion should come primarily from the second knuckle
The general concept of simple fingerpicking is this - the thumb moves to play the bass strings when the chord changes, while the three remaining fingers remain stationary - always responsible for playing the same string. We will utilize this concept as we play the following example:
First of all - the fretting hand. All that changes from the D major
to the C69 (pronounced "C six nine") chord is the second finger
moves from the second fret of the first string, to the third fret of
the fifth string.
Things to know:
Now, let's move on to learning hammer-ons.