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Get started here with this complete introductory guide to fingerstyle guitar.

Did you know that there's a way that even relative beginner guitarists can produce beautiful sounding music?

By playing fingerstyle guitar, you can combine melodies with some simple bass lines and play arrangements relatively quickly.

Other ways of playing guitar, such as with pick can be a little limiting if you don't want to strum chords.

And techniques such as fast soloing or sweep picking take a lot of practice to get right!

But with the techniques that you will read about here, you can get started playing fingerstyle arrangements relatively quickly and enhance your musical individuality.

What Is Fingerstyle Guitar?

Fingerstyle guitar as the name suggests, involves plucking the guitar with the fingers of the hand, instead of setting the strings in motion using a pick. This is also called "fingerpicking".

The individual fingers of the plucking hand in fingerstyle guitar are referred to with the letters p, i, m, a and c. 

The art of playing guitar fingerstyle goes back to the Renaissance era, to when the vihuela, a precursor to the guitar, was popular. This instrument was sometimes referred to as the vihuela de mano in order to distinguish it from the other ways of playing the vihuela. These other ways included striking the strings with a pick or drawing across the strings with a bow.

Originally, the guitar was used only for strumming to accompany songs, as it is still used today. But with the invention of the baroque guitar with five courses, guitarists began to play more complex lines by plucking the strings with their fingers. Fingerstyle guitar was born.

What Guitar Can I Use To Play Fingerstyle?

If you're interested in learning fingerstyle guitar, the first thing you should do is make sure you have a good quality instrument. Although fingerstyle guitar is commonly played on a metal string guitar, you can choose to start playing on a classical guitar.

When choosing a guitar, consider your budget and skill level. You may not need a high-end guitar, but don't hesitate to choose a more expensive instrument. You will be better off, as poor quality or cheaply made instruments will make learning difficult. It's important to choose a guitar that feels comfortable to play.

Should You Grow Nails to Play Fingerstyle Guitar?

My personal preference is to have at least some fingernail, although artificial nails are a good substitute.

Because the ring finger is shorter, I recommend growing your nail on your ring finger slightly longer than the other fingernails of your plucking hand.

If your nails are prone to breakage, be sure to have a substitute available, or consider strengthening it using acrylic nails.

Once you have mastered the basics of playing fingerstyle guitar, the next step is to move on to playing advanced fingerstyle.

And for more examples on how to create your own fingerstyle guitar arrangements, check out my course Play Fingerstyle Guitar Now!

Overcoming Challenges in Fingerstyle Guitar Playing

Learning fingerstyle guitar can be challenging for beginners. It requires dedicated practice and consistent effort to develop the necessary muscle memory and coordination in the right hand. However, with patience and perseverance, anyone can learn how to play fingerstyle guitar.

Dealing with Frustration and Plateaus

It's common to experience frustration and plateaus when learning fingerstyle guitar. However, there are strategies that can help you overcome these challenges. 

For example, you could focus on playing a specific fingerpicking pattern for five minutes at a time. This can help you make progress without feeling overwhelmed.

Should I Learn To Play Fingerstyle Guitar?

Learning fingerstyle guitar can be a fun and rewarding experience. Use a guitar method that lays out step by step what to learn, such as Play Fingerstyle Guitar Now!

Thus, you can quickly develop the skills you need to play this versatile and expressive style of guitar. In fact, with consistent practice and the right resources, anyone can learn how to play fingerstyle guitar.

While it might seem like a daunting technique to learn, it is definitely worth the effort. Not only does it allow you to play complex melodies and harmonies, but it also gives you greater control over the tone and dynamics of your playing.

With proper finger picking technique, you will be able to learn fingerstyle guitar quickly.

Whatever style you choose to play with guitar, you will have to learn the basics of technique. You can start learning fingerstyle guitar straight away, after learning to play some basic chords. I recommend starting with the course Play Fingerstyle Guitar Now!