Fingerstyle (or finger picking) Guitar Lessons

Fingerstyle GuitarFinger picking, or fingerstyle guitar, is the technique of playing the guitar by plucking the strings directly with the fingertips, fingernails, or picks attached to fingers. This page features dozens of lessons covering the various techniques, such as Travis Picking and fingerstyle, not to mention several songs arranged specifically for picking.

Jan01
Green Day

This simple arrangement of Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” is a great lesson on letting the notes dictate how you pick them, instead of relying solely on downstroke picking or alternate picking.

Read More

Dec20
Playing Guitar Scales

This lesson will help you develop your upstoke picking techique and show you the best way to get a better sound, increase your pick speed and improve your timing.

Read More

May01
Cat's in the Cradle

There’s a little bit of everything in this lesson, from easy arpeggios and strumming to some basic Travis style finger picking patterns. As always, David picks the song apart into small pieces that even many beginners can get with some concerted practice. Have fun learning this Harry Chapin classic!

Read More

Apr01

Andrew DuBrock, one of the best when it comes to guitar tutorial books, discusses the challenges and rewards of learning fingerstyle guitar playing.

Read More

Nov30
Plain White T's

Hey There Delilah by Plain White T’s is a great pop song that will help you pick up some solid technique whether you use a pick or play finger style.

Read More

May31

Guitar Noise contributor and Forum Moderator Vic Lewis lists his reasons for not playing guitar with a pick, or “plectrum,” if you prefer.

Read More

Mar13
Scarborough Fair

Learn how to play the sparse and spooky (but very easy to learn) version of Scarborough Fair that Nick and David came up with while working on The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guitar.

Read More

Mar13
The Animals

We’re going to learn different fingerpicking patterns for House of the Rising Sun, a folk song covered by the Animals, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton and others.

Read More