Determining fingerpicking patterns

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SusanMW

Full Access

Joined: 07/05/20

Posts: 219

What is the best way to determine what fingerpicking pattern to use when it comes to playing arpeggios? I'm not sure where to find my answer in the fingerpicking videos in Acoustic 1.

I love fingerstyle guitar, but I prefer playing arpeggio patterns as opposed to a chord melody (is that the right term?) style where your fingers have to move all over the place. I like to stay planted and just concentrate on a pattern.

I'm thinking you might look at the time signature to determine how many beats/strings to play?

Any info or pointing in the right direction would be helpful, thanks!

“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

#1

What is the best way to determine what fingerpicking pattern to use when it comes to playing arpeggios? I'm not sure where to find my answer in the fingerpicking videos in Acoustic 1.

I love fingerstyle guitar, but I prefer playing arpeggio patterns as opposed to a chord melody (is that the right term?) style where your fingers have to move all over the place. I like to stay planted and just concentrate on a pattern.

I'm thinking you might look at the time signature to determine how many beats/strings to play?

Any info or pointing in the right direction would be helpful, thanks!

“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 7356

Originally Posted by: SusanMW

What is the best way to determine what fingerpicking pattern to use when it comes to playing arpeggios?

There are a few different styles of fingerpicking. There are only a few common elements they all share:

1. Thumb plays the lower, bass notes & strings of any given chord.

2. Fingers play upper, treble notes & strings. Usually each finger is dedicated to a certain string for at least any given chord shape.

3. Notes are rhythmically separated.

There are some common styles. Lisa has a great set of lessons on what she calls the 4 step pattern in this tutorial.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=596

The distinctive features in this style are:

1. Stay on one bass note for any given chord.

2. All the notes of each chord are rhythmically separated.

If you like that you can go to her directory & scroll down the fingerpicking sections there are a ton of other tutorials that build on that one.

https://www.guitartricks.com/instructor.php?input=311296

Anders teaches the same general approach in Acoustic 1 starting here:

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=29206&s_id=2480

And then gets into alternating bass notes here:

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=29243&s_id=2484

The distinctive features here are:

1. Bass notes changing strings within a chord.

2. Playing more than one string at the same time, sometimes a bass note & treble note, sometimes 2 treble notes.

Anders gets into the more advanced Travis picking here:

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=29320&s_id=2495

This is essentially taking the simultananeous note playing & alternating bass notes to the next level.

Finally I have this fingerpicking tutorial that combines elements from the tutorials mentioned above but applying them to classical style.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1036

Originally Posted by: SusanMW
I'm thinking you might look at the time signature to determine how many beats/strings to play?

Yes, the time signature will be a factor to consider. But it depends on what rhythmic subdivisions you want to use (1/4 notes, 1/8 notes, etc.) in applying one of the above basic styles.

Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#2

Originally Posted by: SusanMW

What is the best way to determine what fingerpicking pattern to use when it comes to playing arpeggios?

There are a few different styles of fingerpicking. There are only a few common elements they all share:

1. Thumb plays the lower, bass notes & strings of any given chord.

2. Fingers play upper, treble notes & strings. Usually each finger is dedicated to a certain string for at least any given chord shape.

3. Notes are rhythmically separated.

There are some common styles. Lisa has a great set of lessons on what she calls the 4 step pattern in this tutorial.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=596

The distinctive features in this style are:

1. Stay on one bass note for any given chord.

2. All the notes of each chord are rhythmically separated.

If you like that you can go to her directory & scroll down the fingerpicking sections there are a ton of other tutorials that build on that one.

https://www.guitartricks.com/instructor.php?input=311296

Anders teaches the same general approach in Acoustic 1 starting here:

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=29206&s_id=2480

And then gets into alternating bass notes here:

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=29243&s_id=2484

The distinctive features here are:

1. Bass notes changing strings within a chord.

2. Playing more than one string at the same time, sometimes a bass note & treble note, sometimes 2 treble notes.

Anders gets into the more advanced Travis picking here:

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=29320&s_id=2495

This is essentially taking the simultananeous note playing & alternating bass notes to the next level.

Finally I have this fingerpicking tutorial that combines elements from the tutorials mentioned above but applying them to classical style.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1036

Originally Posted by: SusanMW
I'm thinking you might look at the time signature to determine how many beats/strings to play?

Yes, the time signature will be a factor to consider. But it depends on what rhythmic subdivisions you want to use (1/4 notes, 1/8 notes, etc.) in applying one of the above basic styles.

Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

SusanMW

Full Access

Joined: 07/05/20

Posts: 219

Thank you! That helps! I'll be sure to check out those videos.

“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

#3

Thank you! That helps! I'll be sure to check out those videos.

“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor