I know what you’re thinking.
Did he just put ‘easy’ and ‘fingerstyle’ in the same sentence? This has to be a trick.
That’s what I would’ve thought if I had seen this myself just a few months ago.
Before you write me off as crazy, though, let make myself clear: fingerstyle guitar is hard.
However, I found a way to learn fingerstyle guitar that makes it way easier than you might think.
And now, I’d like to show you how.
I Learned How To Play Fingerstyle Guitar In 27 Days And Had Fun Doing It!
I didn’t realize how intimidated I was of the guitar until I picked it up for the first time and tried to play.
The sounds that came out could hardly be called music.
I’m sure you had a similar feeling, this gnawing in your stomach that whispered the question: Can I really do this? Can I really learn how to play this instrument?
My journey with the guitar began in college, and it would be another 20 years or so until I actually learned how to play the guitar.
But even then, I would still struggle with fingerstyle guitar.
Playing Guitar Was Intimidating Enough, But I Was Sure That Fingerstyle Was Beyond Me
Those days in college, I ignored the whisper of doubt and flung myself into learning the guitar with a buddy of mine. I watched as he deftly mastered the entire fretboard, and played beautiful melodies using fingerstyle guitar.
I wanted to play like that.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t a very good teacher and I was a particularly good student. When we parted ways after college, life got busy, and it wasn’t until I was 40 years old that I finally decided I would learn the guitar properly.
But that isn’t the happy ending to this story. Even after deciding to learn guitar, things proved to be difficult.
I had decided to take in-person lessons, but found myself floundering.
The basics of the guitar were difficult for me, never mind the more complex things that I had once dreamed of learning.
Later on, though, I found a fantastic way to learn the guitar that was much easier than in-person lessons (we’ll talk more about that below).
But even after I felt confident on the guitar, something was still missing.
No Matter How Hard I Tried, I Kept Losing The Rhythm And Making Mistakes
With the basics under my belt, I once again tried to take up fingerstyle guitar.
However, just practicing on my own got me nowhere.
A friend even sent me a video on YouTube that he said was useful, and I watched with rapt attention. However, it only explained parts of what I needed to know.
The problem with YouTube videos is that there is no structure and no feedback.
That one video led me down a rat hole of different YouTube videos that still weren’t what I needed.
I kept trying, but I was feeling discouraged and frustrated.
My fingers felt like fat sausages that wouldn’t move where I wanted them to. And even when I did pluck the right notes, my timing was completely off.
My hopes of learning how to play fingerstyle guitar started once again to wane.
In fact, after some time trying to learn fingerstyle guitar on my own, I decided that it just wasn’t for me.
I Had Given Up On Fingerstyle Guitar Until I Found This Incredibly Easy Way To Learn
Thankfully, that is not the end of this story!
The tool that I had used to learn the basics of the guitar actually included other facets that I hadn’t noticed at first.
Most importantly, it included a complete and simple way to learn fingerstyle guitar.
With my interest piqued and my hopes renewed, I dove in to this excellent learning tool and finally started seeing the results I was hoping for.
In just 27 days, I had completely turned around my story.
Gone were the days of fumbling for the right strings, or struggling to keep up with the tempo.
No longer was I spending hours watching YouTube videos that didn’t help me learn what I needed to know.
After just 27 days, I was able to play songs with fingerstyle guitar. The sound that came out was fluid and melodic. I had good rhythm, and my fingers were able to act independently from each other to hit the right strings.
I recorded myself and sent the tape to my old college buddy; it took some time to convince him that it was actually me playing!
That’s how much I’d changed since I had picked up a guitar for the first time back in college.
7 Easy Tricks To Help You Learn Fingerstyle Guitar Faster
If you want to learn fingerstyle guitar fast and easy, here are my top 7 tricks for doing so:
- 1. Know Exactly Where Your Fingers Should Be
When you play fingerstyle guitar, it’s essential that you start by placing your fingers in the right position.
This will affect how you play fingerstyle for the rest of your life, and if you get used to the wrong positions you’ll always be limited in speed and ability.
First, fingerstyle picking is usually done with the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers (T, 1, 2, 3).
So, start by placing your fingers:
- Thumb on the 6th string
- Index finger on the 3rd string
- Middle finger on the 2nd string
- Ring finger on the 1st string
You’ll notice that there is a gap of two strings between the thumb and the index. Whenever you need to hit these two strings, you’ll be using the thumb to get to them.
That means that your index, middle, and ring fingers will not move from their positions. Ever.
Once you have these positions locked in your mind, you have the perfect foundation for learning fingerstyle guitar.
- 2. Minimize Mistakes By Slowing It Down
My biggest complaint when I was trying to learn fingerstyle guitar was that I was constantly making mistakes. When I was trying to play my favorite fingerstyle guitar songs, I found it impossible to keep up and was left feeling frustrated.
I’m guessing you’ve felt the same at some point.
Here’s what I learned to combat this problem: lower your speed.
For example, if you see that you are making consistent mistakes when trying to play at the speed of the original song, then slow it down.
Slow it down all the way to where you can play the song straight through without making any mistakes.
And yes, that’s probably going to be very slow.
However, once you get the song down at this lower speed, you can start to increase your speed little by little.
Using this method helped me to learn many fingerstyle guitar songs in less time.
- 3. Let Your Right-Hand Movements Become Second Nature
Muscle memory is just as important for the right hand as it is for the left hand when playing guitar.
So, it’s time to work up that muscle memory!
Once you’ve learned at least one fingerstyle guitar pattern, it’s time to just sit and practice.
No, I’m not talking about practicing songs. I’m talking about just practicing those patterns on your right hand.
You can try playing simple, open chords and fingerstyle picking from there. Practicing these patterns over and over again will imprint them in your muscle memory, making them easier and easier to repeat later.
Use the method we described above and play as slow as possible until you can play the pattern through repeatedly without making mistakes. When you are relaxed, this repetitive motion will stick in your mind.
Once you do this with a few fingerstyle patterns, the rest will become very easy.
- 4. Highlight The Root Notes
This is a simple trick that will make your fingerstyle guitar sound even better. Get ready to watch some jaws drop!
When you’re playing fingerstyle solo, it’s easy to get lost in the melody and lose those deeper root notes. These bass notes are like the undercurrent of the song, and without them the fingerstyle can sound a bit shallow or disconnected.
That’s why we’re going to highlight those root notes.
Normally, these will be the notes that you’re playing with the thumb.
All you need to do is pluck a little bit harder on this bass notes, letting them ring out nice and clear while you continue with your other fingers on the melody.
- 5. Make The Melody Sing
Now that we know what to do with the bass notes, how can we make our melody notes really stand out?
Basically, you’ll have to take it one step at a time. While the root notes are very important, the melody notes are the ones that people usually recognize and remember. So, if your timing or tone is off with these melody notes, the sound just won’t be the same.
So, when you’re first starting out, try practicing these two parts (the melody and the bass) separately. Once you’ve got both of them down, you can try combining them to create that full, resonating fingerstyle song.
- 6. Stay "In The Pocket"
Fingerstyle guitar is difficult to learn, and there are many tricks and techniques that are used to create fun and different sounds.
However, all of these licks and riffs can get lost if you don’t keep a solid rhythm.
Keeping your rhythm (or playing in the pocket) is one of the most essential parts of playing fingerstyle guitar. Without rhythm, you’re lost.
So, how can you make sure that you’re playing in the pocket?
I recommend trying play with a metronome. While this tool may haunt your memories of music classes at school, it’s actually quite useful when you’re trying to build up your rhythmic skills.
Like we mentioned above, you can start the metronome as slow as you need it to be. But, using this tool, you can make sure that your fingerstyle playing stays with the perfect rhythm.
- 7. Get Faster By Learning With The Masters
Of course, these tips can only get you so far. And honestly, I’m still no expert. However, I found that the best way to learn fingerstyle guitar is by learning it from someone who has years’ worth of experience both in playing and in teaching.
You see, that was part of my problem with in-person classes: these people might have been experts at playing, but many of them had very little teaching experience.
Thankfully, I found a way to study with the masters and allowed me to learn fingerstyle guitar in just 27 days!
Online Guitar Lessons Allowed Me To Learn Faster While Having Fun
I was introduced to online guitar lessons and immediately became hooked. This incredible tool allowed me to learn guitar faster, and I actually enjoyed the process!
It took me just one month to learn all of the basics that I had been missing, and to really start playing the guitar. The online guitar learning program that I was using, called JamPlay, gave me everything that I needed to start, as well as the flexibility to fit the guitar around my busy schedule.
I finally felt like I was accomplishing something!
But I wanted more. I had already given up on fingerstyle guitar playing when I saw a special course designed to teach you everything you need to know about fingerstyle guitar.
I knew that this was my chance to finally learn fingerstyle guitar.
This video course, called Fingerstyle Foundation, was exactly what I had been searching for, and it was included in the online guitar learning program I was already using!
The 10-week course had been produced as a live video conference for students to learn from.
But, when I joined the JamPlay program, the course had already finished. Lucky for me (and for you as well) the live videos are recorded and posted on the JamPlay website for easy and flexible access.
I was able to watch these videos in the comfort of my own home, and adjust the time to my own schedule.
They gave me easy explanations of the complicated concepts that I had struggled to understand.
Best of all, this video course actually made learning fingerstyle guitar fun!
I watched the archived video course in 27 days, and by the end of this series, I felt that I was really able to play fingerstyle guitar.
Start Your Free Trial Of Online Guitar Lessons And You’ll See Exactly What I’m Talking About
This video course is still available on the JamPlay website, and is included in the price of this incredible guitar learning program.
And guess what: You can get started with their free trial!
That’s right, you can test out their video lessons for free, during the trial period.
And after that? Well, I’m paying for the program now, and each month I pay half of what I used to pay for 1 hour of in-person instruction!
More than that, this program takes you straight from the very basics all the way to complex guitar techniques. It can take someone who has never picked up a guitar and turn them into a rock star.
Isn’t it time that you really learn how to play the guitar?
I took the plunge and have not regretted it for a second. Simply hit the button below, and you’ll see firsthand how great online guitar learning really is.