ULTIMATE Fingerstyle Guitar Exercises for All Guitar Styles

ULTIMATE Fingerstyle Guitar Exercises for All Guitar Styles

ULTIMATE Fingerstyle Guitar Exercises for All Guitar Styles

Get the PDF for this lesson HERE: https://www.fretdojo.com/pdf 

In this episode I’m going to show you the ultimate fast path to building fingerstyle guitar technique with these three handy fingerpicking exercises for guitar.

These 3 simple fingerstyle guitar exercises will quickly enable you to develop your fingerpicking accuracy and speed on guitar, regardless of what style of guitar you like to play! Whether you like to play jazz, rock, pop, classical or country, you’ll find this lesson useful.

I’ll also show you the core principles of good fingerstyle technique to set you up for success and so you avoid injuries when it comes to fingerstyle guitar. 

Thanks for watching and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below this video. 

Peace, 

Greg O’Rourke 

Founder, FretDojo
World Leader in Online Guitar Education
https://www.fretdojo.com 

► Become a FretDojo Patreon here: https: https://www.patreon.com/fretdojo

► Start Your FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy Membership here: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

Now the exciting bit:

If you're keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here's what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured - play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum - A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions - get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts - the ultimate idea "grab bag" for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

 

Before you go…

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•  A step-by-step guide on building core improvisation skills

• Fundamental comping techniques to be a hero on the bandstand

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• Instant access – find out more and sign up by clicking the button below:

 

What did you think of this jazz guitar quick tip? Leave your comments below…

Peace,

Greg O’Rourke

Founder, Fret Dojo

Innovation in Online Jazz Guitar Education

It’s Christmas – Solo Jazz Guitar Style! (First Noel Chord Melody)

It’s Christmas – Solo Jazz Guitar Style! (First Noel Chord Melody)

It’s Christmas – Solo Jazz Guitar Style! (First Noel Chord Melody)

This video is an arrangement of The First Noel – my favourite Christmas carol. Playing this tune takes me back to my childhood and listening to the church congregation singing this beautiful melody.

I’ve incorporated a few jazz guitar arranging techniques but tried not to overdo it – sometimes the simplest techniques work best.

Here are some notes about the arrangement:

  • To get some low bass notes, I tuned the 6th string down to D, and the TAB reflects this.
  • The arrangement has an intro section with cascading harmonics, an idea I’ve been playing with lately. Lenny Breau often added these to his chord melody arrangements and it’s a really neat effect.

Now the exciting bit:

If you're keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here's what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured - play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum - A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions - get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts - the ultimate idea "grab bag" for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

The best part:

You can access this all of this and more for just $1 by signing up to a 14 day trial. Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

Anyway, I hope you enjoy listening to this one – let me know what you think! It reminds me a little bit of Ted Greene’s solo guitar arrangements.

Thank You!

Finally, a huge thank you for being part of the FretDojo journey this year.

I’d never conceived that my website would become so popular in such a short space of time. It’s only been up and running for little over a year and there are now thousands of FretDojo readers just like you, learning jazz guitar and chord melody from all over the world.

To all of you who bought my new chord melody book last week, contributed to the Facebook group, got Skype lessons with me or simply just read my articles and got value from them – thank you. It means so much to me that you find this material useful and a valuable addition to your jazz guitar practice.

I have some big plans for FretDojo in 2017 – I’ll tell you all about them in the coming months…

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year!

Happy playing,

Greg O’Rourke

*STOP PRESS* The Easy Guide To Chord Melody Guitar Released!

chord-melody

The wait is over…

My new eBook, The Easy Guide To Chord Melody Guitar, is now officially released!

The Easy Guide To Chord Melody Guitar is a complete A-Z guide on creating your own great sounding chord melody arrangements for trio and solo guitar situations, and you’ll also learn how to chord solo (i.e., improvise with chords) like a pro.

Click here to get your copy of The Easy Guide To Chord Melody Guitar at the low price of only $24.99!

This is what you get with The Easy Guide to Chord Melody Guitar eBook:

  • 7 Chapters (356 pages) that break down essential chord melody and chord soloing concepts.
  • Over 300 musical examples in TAB, diagrams, photos, and notation.
  • 280 audio examples to make learning chord melody and chord soloing easy.
  • 14 Backing tracks, so you can apply each concept to a musical situation.
  • Chord melody arrangements from beginner to advanced levels.
  • Chord soloing studies for beginner, intermediate, and advanced players.
  • Comping studies for duo, trio, and solo jazz guitar.
  • All for one low price of only $24.99!

I’ve co-authored this brand new eBook with Matt Warnock and it’s been published by his website, Jazz Guitar Online.

Matt and I have been collaborating on this eBook together for over a year, and we’re thrilled to finally have this ready for you guys!

So who is The Easy Guide To Chord Melody Guitar eBook for?

  • Are you feeling bored and stuck playing only single line melodies and solos?
  • Do you play jazz guitar as a hobby at home and either don’t have the time to attend jam sessions, or have no jazz musicians to play with in your local area? In this case, solo jazz guitar is a logical choice – but you’ve got no clear ideas on how to get confident with this style?
  • Have you ever wanted to learn how to play chord melodies or chord solos, but didn’t know where to start, or thought it was too difficult to even try?
  • Do you listen to players such as Joe Pass, George Benson, and Barney Kessel and wonder how they get that smooth, sophisticated sound with their chord melodies and chord solos?

If you want to learn chord melody and chord soloing, but never had a pathway to get started, then The Easy Guide to Chord Melody Guitar is for you.

Click here to get your copy of The Easy Guide To Chord Melody Guitar now!

What will you learn in this new eBook?

  • Essential fingerstyle and hybrid picking techniques to set you up for chord melody success.
  • Fingerstyle and hybrid picking licks in the style of Joe Pass, Lenny Breau, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and many more.
  • Chord melody arranging concepts and full chord melody arrangements.
  • Chord soloing phrases in the style of Wes Montgomery, George Benson, and more.
  • Learn full chord melody and chord soloing arrangements in the style of Joe Pass, Ted Greene, and more.
  • Everything you need to go from day 1 to chord melody mastery in your playing.

Here’s the thing:

Investing in your own development as a jazz guitarist is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself.

And I’m sure your friends and family will enjoy the great music you’ll make as a result of this book too!

Click here to get your copy of the new Chord Melody eBook.

P.S. Have a question about the new eBook? Email me at [email protected] and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

 

FREE Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

•  3 part video series - a step-by-step guide on building improvisation skills

• Learn the biggest mistakes made by aspiring jazz guitar improvisers and what you should be doing instead

• Instant access - completely FREE!

Video: I Fall in Love Too Easily

Video: I Fall in Love Too Easily

Video: I Fall in Love Too Easily

In this post I will give you a behind-the-scenes look at how I put together the jazz guitar solo arrangement you can see in the video above.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Chet Baker recently, in particular his classic album, ‘Chet Baker Sings’. This well-known album has been cherished by lovers and lonely hearts for decades. Chet Baker is more known as a trumpeter, but he surprised fans and critics alike with his vocal prowess on this release.

I thought that the standards on this album make for some great solo jazz guitar chord melody arrangements, and the video above is my first attempt of this. I was particularly drawn to the ballad I Fall in Love Too Easily due to its evocative chord changes and hauntingly beautiful melody.

I found another version of this standard on guitarist Lenny Breau’s fabulous live album, Live at Bourbon Street. I think this is probably Lenny’s best recorded album. Every track showcases not only Lenny’s innovative approach to jazz guitar, but it is also some of the most heartfelt jazz I’ve come across anywhere. If you call yourself a jazz guitarist and you haven’t listened to this album yet, drop everything and check it out now!

I guess this video is kind of like a homage to Lenny Breau. Unfortunately Lenny passed away before his time, but I reckon he was the most innovative and creative jazz guitarist of his generation.

 

Arranging techniques for Jazz Guitar Solo

While you’re here, I thought I could share with you some of the ideas I had for this arrangement, as well as the challenges I faced turning I Fall In Love Too Easily into a jazz guitar solo version.

Solutions to Comping

Comping yourself on solo jazz guitar poses some interesting challenges.

You’ll notice when I play the head I stick to pretty basic chord voicings in the comping (see below). I find that these work well for a slow ballad arrangement on solo guitar, as they have root notes in the bass and have enough depth to stop the arrangement sounding too empty.

I’ve noticed Joe Pass often uses these kinds of shapes in his jazz guitar solo  arrangements as well:

Useful Chord Voicings For Jazz Guitar Solo

 

jazz-guitar-solo-arrangement-i-fall-in-love-too-easily-1-meat-and-potatoes-chord-voicings

 

Due to the slow tempo it’s important to emphasize the root notes in the bass and these voicings are good for this.

However, as I wanted to play more double time style in the solo (see the video at 2:00), trying to play those sort of voicings became too clunky.

When you want to play faster chord melodies or solos, it’s not necessary to play such thick voicings and they actually start to get in the way of the melodic line, as your fingers get too tied up playing the chords.

A good single line solo should convey most of the harmonic movement anyway, although you do need something in the comping part for a solo guitar version, otherwise it will sound too empty.

Here’s three ways I negotiated this issue:

#1: 3rds and 7ths Voicings – this was a technique favored by Lenny Breau. Simply play 2 note voicings made up of the 3rd and 7th note of each chord.

The reason this can still work as the 3rd and 7ths are the strongest chord tones to define the tonality of a chord. Combined with a harmonically secure solo, they can convey the harmony even without the root note of the chord present.

 

Listen & Play:

jazz-guitar-solo-arrangement-i-fall-in-love-too-easily-2-3rds-7ths

 

 

3rd and 7ths voicings are very easy to play and free the fretting hand up to do more interesting things melodically in a jazz guitar solo setting.

 

#2: Single Bass Notes – I got this idea from the Bach lute suites I use to play on classical guitar. Interspersing the odd bass note of the root of each chord here and there can do wonders to fatten out the sound when playing extended melodic lines. This is even easier than 3rds and 7ths and serves to free up your fretting hand for more elaborate lines.

 

Listen & Play:

jazz-guitar-solo-arrangement-i-fall-in-love-too-easily-3-single-bass-notes

 

 

#3: Three Note Voicings – combining single root notes with 3rds and 7ths will give you 3 note voicings. Easy to get the fingers around, these are good for a thicker sound in the arrangement where you need it. They are also useful for the odd chord stab here and there and are essential if you want to break into walking bass comping. I use these all the time when playing jazz guitar solo:

 

jazz-guitar-solo-arrangement-i-fall-in-love-too-easily-4-3-note-voicings

 

Fast forward the video to around 2:00 to see the above techniques in action.

 

Tremolo technique

I’ve noticed that Lenny Breau often used classical and flamenco guitar techniques in his fingerstyle jazz guitar solos. As I come from a classical guitar background it occurred to me that I could follow suit and a few interesting fingerstyle techniques could be useful for this arrangement of I Fall in Love Too Easily.

Listening to the Chet Baker version, I was struck at how lyrical the melody is in this standard. It reminded me a little of Recuerdos de Alhambra, a well known classical guitar piece.

Recuerdos de la Alhambra features tremolo technique. This has been used by classical guitarists as a way to imitate a sustained vocal line or an instrument like the violin.

A shortcoming of the guitar is how quickly each note quickly fades away after it’s plucked, so tremolo gives the illusion of a sustained melodic line. Quite clever!

Here’s an example of tremolo technique exercise you can practice (see the video from 2:58 for more):

 

Listen & Play:

jazz-guitar-solo-arrangement-i-fall-in-love-too-easily-5-tremolo

 

 

Lenny Breau also used tremolo from time to time in his own arrangements and solos, so this could be something interesting for you to explore in your own jazz guitar solo arrangements.

Thanks for watching! Also, a special thanks to Garry Petrisic, my luthier friend who made the beautiful Bob Benedetto copy that I’m playing in the video that he has kindly loaned to me. This guitar is a jazz guitarist’s dream – thanks again Garry!

 

Further Resources

Let me know what you think of this jazz guitar solo version of I Fall In Love Too Easily. If you have any suggestions or feedback please leave a comment below, it would be great to hear from you…

Fingerstyle Tutorial: The 6 Essential Fingerpicking Exercises You Need To Know

Fingerstyle Tutorial: The 6 Essential Fingerpicking Exercises You Need To Know

Fingerstyle Tutorial: The 6 Essential Fingerpicking Exercises You Need To Know

In this fingerstyle tutorial you’ll learn the essential fingerpicking exercises you need to know in order to play most of the solos and arrangements from the great fingerstyle jazz guitarists, such as Lenny Breau, Joe Pass and Ted Greene.

Although this article is intended mainly for jazz players interested in fingerstyle guitar, the following fingerpicking patterns are well suited to developing fingerstyle techniques regardless of what style(s) you play.

If you are a beginner at fingerstyle guitar, I recommend that you start from the beginning of the fingerpicking exercises and work sequentially one at a time, focusing mainly on the ones that use open strings.

If you are more advanced, feel free to skim through the first few exercises but be sure to have a good look at the challenge studies throughout the lesson.

Don’t have time to read this post now? Handy PDF Download: Get access to a print friendly version of all the exercises and studies in this post for your practice.

I’m sure you’ve come across books that attempt to show you every inconceivable fingerstyle pattern and technique that’s possible.

However, most can be boiled down to just a handful of fingerpicking exercises, which will enable you to play nearly any fingerstyle jazz guitar transcription that’s out there. As you’ll see, there really isn’t that many patterns you need to know.

Regardless of what stage you are at in your fingerstyle guitar journey, keep in mind the points of correct right hand technique below, so you don’t fall into any bad habits.

First Things First – How to Play Fingerstyle Guitar

How to Pluck the Strings

In fingerstyle jazz guitar there is no set way in the method that guitarists use to pluck the strings. Feel free to experiment with fingerpicks, growing your fingernails, or using the flesh of the fingers only.

You could also try hybrid picking where you hold a pick with the thumb and forefinger and play fingerstyle with the other remaining fingers.

I use fingernails to pluck the strings, but they do break occasionally, so when they do I temporarily use an Alaska Pik fingerpick until the nail grows back.

 

PIMAC explained

In these exercises you’ll notice lettering like this:

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-misc-1

 

These letters stand for the five picking hand fingers:

  • P = thumb
  • i – index
  • m = middle
  • a = ring finger
  • c = little finger (not used in these exercises)

Many of these exercises alternate the fingers between the index and middle fingers, or index and ring fingers.

In the above example, I’ve indicated to play the exercise with i and m fingers, then once you are comfortable with that try with p and i. The ‘sim’ means to continue the finger pattern for the exercise.

In fingerstyle jazz guitar (and most other fingerstyle genres), the thumb is usually reserved for the bass notes on the 6th, 5th and 4th strings.

 

The 6 Essential Fingerpicking Guitar Exercises

1. Basic Walking fingers

Walking finger exercises are a good start for a beginner of fingerstyle technique.

These exercises are pretty straightforward, however even if you are a more advanced player, check that you have good technique in your strokes as outlined below.

Watch & Play:

Different Stroke Types

There are two guitar fingerpicking stroke types that are important to learn for fingerstyle jazz guitar.

Take note of the correct finger picking action that the video above demonstrates. Many people develop poor fingerstyle technique by not being careful about their stroke motion when they’re first learning, and this can be tedious to correct down the track – so make sure you get this right from the start!

As outlined in the video above, the two different stroke types are:

  • Rest Stroke – pluck the string and then rest the finger on the string immediately adjacent to the string you plucked. Notice in the video how the fingers lean back a little when doing this type of stroke.
  • Free Stroke – pluck the string and don’t rest on any adjacent strings. Notice in the video how the fingers are more curved and positioned slightly forward of the string being plucked. The motion is similar to picking up a tennis ball, with the tips of the fingers moving into the palm of the hand. For free stroke, be particularly careful to avoid moving the fingers away from the palm of the hand – this will cause tension to build up in your hand and will inhibit your speed and fluency.

Exercises:

  • Stroke: Rest stroke until confident, then try free stroke
  • Finger combinations: i – m until confident, then try i – a

Walking fingers on open strings:

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-1-1

 

Walking fingers on simple C Major Scale:

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-1-2

 

Challenge: Walking Finger Study

Now that you are familiar with walking fingers, have a go at this short walking finger study. It sounds particularly nice if you try to hold on to the notes with your fretting hand as long as possible, so the notes ring on over each other (called a campanella effect).

 

Listen & Play:

Free Your Mind and Rest Awhile

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-1-3

 

 

2. String Crossing

  • Stroke type: Rest stroke until confident, then free stroke
  • Finger combinations: i – m until confident, then i – a

Walking fingers can get tricky when you move from string to string, as you might tend to repeat a finger upon crossing strings. Be careful in the following fingerpicking exercises to ensure the fingers keep walking no matter what – as opposed to hopping!

 

Watch & Play:

 

Basic string crossing on open strings:

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-1-4

 

String crossing across string sets:

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-1-5

 

Challenge: String Crossing Study

Now that you’ve got this finger picking technique secure, here’s a little study I wrote as a string crossing workout. The fretting hand has to do a few tricky chord grips in this one.

Like the last study, it sounds good if you try to keep the fingers held as long as possible on each chord, with the open strings ringing on creating that neat campanella effect.

 

Listen & Play:

The Way of the Guitar

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-1-6

 

 

3. The Thumb

  • Stroke type: Free stroke only
  • Finger combinations: p, p – i – p – m

In fingerstyle jazz guitar, the thumb is the bass player – playing single bass notes beneath chords or the odd bass line run.

Thumb strokes should be free stroke in a small circular motion, rotating mainly from the joint closest to the palm:

[misc-3: image of hand with jing arrow at thumb joint]

Note: Most players tend to use only free stroke for the thumb (the exception being flamenco players.)

 

Watch & Play:

 

Quarter notes on open strings:

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-2-1

 

Crossing open strings:

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-2-2

 

Alternating fingers and thumb:

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-2-3

4. Two Fingers Simultaneously

  • Stroke type: Free Stroke
  • Finger combinations: m+i, p+i

This is where these fingerpicking exercises can get tricky for a beginner!

As the video below details, when you are using your thumb on these exercises, be careful that it doesn’t collapse into the palm and instead remains on the outside of the palm, otherwise your index finger and thumb will get in the way of each other when fingerpicking.

Rest strokes won’t work here as the notes are always on adjacent strings, so just stick to free stroke for these fingerpicking exercises.

 

Watch & Play:

 

Two fingers fingerpicking exercise on open strings:

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-3-1

 

Two fingers moving through some string sets:

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-3-2

 

Challenge: Two Finger Study

As you can tell, I’ve been a fan of mixing open strings with picking patterns lately. This study should test out your fretting hand chops too!

 

Listen & Play:

Swirlin’

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-3-3

 

 

5. Three Finger Fingerpicking Exercises

  • Stroke type: Free stroke only
  • Finger combinations: p+i+m, p – i – m

This is where things start to get a bit more interesting. There are some great patterns to learn when you start using the thumb in combination with two other fingers.

Check out the video below for how the exercises should look and sound.

 

Watch & Play:

 

Three fingers simultaneously:

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-4-1

 

Three fingers sequentially:

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-4-2

 

Challenge: 3 Finger Studies

When I was more into classical guitar I practiced a well known set of 120 right hand studies by Mauro Giuliani. I was so dedicated to practicing these I would try to practice all 120 – every day!

Although there were many useful patterns in the set, all of them were on a straight I – V7 – I progression. Boring!

I couldn’t bring myself to inflict this on you as well, so here are a couple of similar fingerpicking exercises but with some more interesting chord progressions. Enjoy!

 

Listen & Play:

Jazzy Giuliani 1

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-4-3

 

 

Jazzy Giuliani 2

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-4-4

 

 

6. Four Fingers

Stroke type: Free stroke only

Finger combinations: p+i+m+a, p – i – m – a, p – i+m+a

These are similar exercises to the previous section. All you have to do now is add on the ring finger (that’s what the ‘a’ letter is referring to in the examples below).

 

Watch & Play:

 

Four fingers simultaneously:

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-5-1

 

Four fingers sequentially:

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-5-2

 

Challenge: Four Finger Study

By using some simple fingerstyle patterns like these, stock standard chord voicings can sound a lot more interesting. Check out the study ‘Southern Land’ below for an example of this:

 

Listen & Play:

Southern Land

fingerpicking-exercises-fingerstyle-tutorial-jazz-guitar-5-3

 

 

Further Resources

I’m sure there will be more posts on this site in the future on developing fingerstyle technique, however in the meantime check out these great posts on other sites for more fingerpicking exercises and ideas to develop your chops:

 

Enjoyed this post on fingerpicking? Handy PDF Download: Get access to a print friendly version of all the exercises and studies in this post for your practice.

I know a lot of the readers of my blog are interested in fingerstyle technique for jazz, and I’ve noticed there isn’t a lot of information out there online on the subject so I hope that this fingerstyle tutorial helps you get started and improve.

As you can see, by focusing on just the core fingerpicking patterns it really doesn’t need to take that long for you to develop a solid fingerstyle technique. Let me know if you liked this lesson about fingerpicking exercises by leaving a comment below…

 

How to Play the Travis Fingerpicking Pattern

How to Play the Travis Fingerpicking Pattern

How to Play the Travis Fingerpicking Pattern

In this episode of Fret Dojo TV, I cover how to play the Travis fingerpicking pattern in detail.

This is one of the most common guitar fingerstyle patterns to learn, and features in many classic songs such as Dust In The Wind by Kansas.

Funny enough the guitar part for this song was written originally as a guitar fingerpicking exercise – so makes for not just an awesome song but also a good technique builder too.

What this episode covers:

  • How to build up the Travis picking pattern step by step
  • How to adapt the picking pattern to different chords and to change smoothly from chord to chord

Learning this pattern will enable you to play many acoustic fingerstyle songs so I very much hope you enjoy learning this one and that you find this video useful.

Standard Travis fingerpicking pattern:

standard travis pattern

Whilst easy to play once your hands have worked out what to do, this pattern is not very intuitive to learn. Click here to get the pdf of the step by step exercises to develop this pattern as outlined in the video.

Handy resources

Dust In The Wind by Kansas is a great study of this technique. It’s always important to apply an exercise to an actual song that you make music out of and this one is a great song for any fingerstyle guitarist’s repertoire.

It really helps to have an accurate chart for a more complex song like this, so here is a link to musicnotes.com where you can buy the sheet music inexpensively. I have tried free TABS and so on for this song but this sheet music is well worth the investment as it is much more accurate.

 

Thanks for reading and watching! Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment and if you have any more tips you can offer for learning this song or the techniques covered.

If you have any ideas for future posts for this website please get in touch via [email protected] or you can look me up on twitter, @gregoguitar. Take care and I’ll see you in the next episode of Fret Dojo TV!

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