Guitar Fingerpicking Patterns

Learning guitar fingerpicking patterns is an excellent way to add new dimension to your playing applying them to the chord progressions. Unlike the strumming patterns, where you hit a number of strings simultaneously, here most of the patterns are played with "string by string method" (similar to arpeggios), this makes smooth and gentle feel.

Moreover you can also play fingerpicking patterns with a plectrum, instead of fingers.
In the diagrams I included notations for both: fingers and pick directions, watch the legend on the right bar.

  Pattern 1     

 

  Pattern 2     

The dotted lines in the diagrams represent relative positions of the strings, and the lowest line wouldn't necessarily be the low E string. For example for the open C chord it would be the 5th string, for the open D chord is the 4th string.

  Pattern 3     

Diagram of Guitar Finger Picking Pattern
 

  Pattern 4     

Note that you "can't" just put the pattern 2 and 3 let's say on the D open chord because you'd need 5 strings and chord is played using just 4, be flexible to adjust patterns to your situation, you can skip skipping the string before the 2nd note (pattern 3) and move the rest of the notes one string lower.

By the way this new formation sounds better for some songs, so don't be bound by the diagrams, feel free to exchange notes, alternate bass note from one string to the next on each second bar and so on...

  Pattern 5     

 

  Pattern 6     

Arpeggiato

 

  Pattern 7     

 

  Pattern 8     

 

  Pattern 9     

Diagram of Guitar Fingerpicking Pattern
 

  Pattern 10     

 

  Pattern 11     

 

  Pattern 12     

 

  Pattern 13     

 

  Pattern 14     

 

  Pattern 15     

In this finger picking pattern the thumb alternately switch between two bass strings.

 

 

  Pattern 16 - Traditional Waltz     

waltz fingerpicking pattern

Pay attention that waltz has 3/4 time signature, it means that duration of 1 bar is equal 3 quarter notes, and not 4 as with 4/4.

 

 

  Pattern 17     

 

 

  Pattern 18
good for intros and bridges     

guitar finger-picking pattern for intros

 

 

  Pattern 19     

 

 

  Pattern 20     

 

If you want to learn some easy to play finger picking tunes, check out:
Classical Guitar Sheet Music and Tabs for Beginners Page

 

Go to Guitar Chord Progressions

Return to Guitar Strumming Patterns

Return to Basic Guitar Chord Charts

Return from Guitar Fingerpicking Patterns to How to Play Electric Guitar Home

 

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Related Articles:

      Legend

fingerstyle notation:

p - thumb

i - index finger

m - middle finger

a - ring finger

 

picking notation:

- downstroke

- upstroke