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

If you are completely new to guitar playing, it might take some time to develop the techniques used in fingerstyle guitar. Fingerstyle guitar playing involves plucking the strings of a guitar with your fingers, rather than using a pick. Here are some tips and resources on how to learn fingerstyle guitar playing.

Fingerstyle guitar involves using the fingers to pluck the strings individually, rather than using a pick. This allows for a wider range of sounds and textures, and can be a great way to add depth and expressiveness to your playing.

How To Progress Quickly at Fingerstyle Guitar

Here are the steps to a quick progress at fingerstyle guitar:

  1. Choose the right instrument. A guitar with a well-balanced tone and comfortable action will make it easier for you to play, and will help you develop your skills more quickly.
  2. Start practicing the basic fingerstyle techniques. One of the keys to learning fingerstyle guitar quickly is to focus on both right and left hand techniques.
  3. Play some easy songs. Find some easy fingerstyle arrangements to develop a sense of rhythm and timing
  4. Learn advanced techniques. Once you have mastered the basic fingerstyle guitar techniques, it's time to take your playing to the next level with advanced techniques.

Let's look at each of those steps in more detail.

1. Find The Right Guitar

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.

2. Learn Basic Fingerstyle Techniques

Once you have a good guitar, the next step is learning chords and arpeggios. Chords are groups of notes played together, and arpeggios are the individual notes of a chord played one at a time in a specific order.

Practice Plucking Chords

To practice chords, start by learning the basic open-position chords, such as C, G, D, A, and E. Instead of strumming the chords, you'll want to pluck the notes with the fingers of your hand. Use the thumb to pluck the bass note and the other fingers to pluck the higher notes.


Arpeggios are a great fingerpicking exercise because they require you to use all of the fingers in your right hand.

Playing an arpeggio in fingerstyle guitar
Remember to use the tips of your fingers to pluck the strings, and always ensure that the movement starts from the knuckle.

To practice arpeggios, start by playing the individual notes of a chord, starting with the lowest note and working your way up to the highest note. Then, try playing the notes in descending order, starting with the highest note and working your way down to the lowest.

You can start by playing arpeggios while holding a single chord with the left hand. Then you can progress to playing arpeggios while changing chords with the left hand. This is more challenging as it requires coordination between both hands.

How to Play an Arpeggio

To play an arpeggio, simply pluck each note in a chord individually. For example, if you are playing a C major chord, you would pluck the fifth, third, second and first strings one at a time. This would produce the notes C, G, C and E. You can start slowly and gradually increase the speed as you get comfortable with the pattern. 

Next you can practice playing one measure or four beats of the arpeggio. Once the measure is completed, move the hand up two frets and continue the same picking pattern. You must coordinate your movements for this to sound smooth.

Don't forget that you must have the proper right hand technique for these exercises to work properly.

3. Play Some Easy Songs

I get it, you probably want to start learning Phunkdified right away. However, if you haven't got the basics down yet, it's better to start with something easier.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when fingerpicking is to avoid using the same finger over and over again. This can lead to strain and discomfort in the hand, and can also make the sound less clean and loud. Instead, try to use all of the fingers in your right hand, and alternate between fingers as much as possible. 

4. Improving Your Fingerstyle Guitar Playing

Once you have practiced easier songs, it's now time to learn some advanced fingerstyle guitar techniques. These techniques include:

  • Thumb independence exercises to improve bass line playing
  • Harmonics and tapping techniques for unique sounds
  • Alternate tunings to create new chord shapes and sounds

Travis Picking

An alternative technique which is commonly used in folk and blues music is called Travis Picking. This alternating bass technique involves playing a bass note with your thumb, followed by a higher note with one of your fingers. This type of picking commonly involves the thumb switching between several strings as you play. 

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.

A happy fingerstyle guitarist
One approach is to break down your practice sessions into smaller, more manageable chunks.

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.

Is Fingerstyle Guitar Worth It?

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.

If you are interested in taking your fingerstyle guitar playing to the next level, the best way to do so is with a complete course, such as Play Fingerstyle Guitar Now!