Finger Patterns (Part One)

Before we start it’s important to note that these patterns are not cure-all, end-all answers to your playing. They are a great way to begin and a large percentage of fingerstylists use these frequently, but don’t get caught in the mindset of thinking that this is all there is. For every song that uses one of these patterns there are two that have a completely unique approach. If you end up relying too heavily on anything it’s going to stifle your creativity and originality. Use these as a starting point and they’ll take you a long way towards your goals.

This first pattern is demonstrated on the E major and A major chords, but as you’ll see it can be used over any chord combinations. For the sake of simplicity we’ll call these the ‘E pattern’ and the ‘A pattern.’
Play them slowly, and don’t move on to the A pattern until you can play the E.



Once you can play each one individually without thinking about it too much, play them together using the following progression. Repeat it until you can perform it smoothly.



Do the same for this pattern, a slight variation which makes it sound a lot more interesting:


Once you get the hang of changing between those two chords, apply it to the following progression, be sure to use your ring finger to hit the alternating bass note on the B7 (marked with a T).




Now that you have this down, add a simple variation by changing the chords and the order. Play the ‘A’ pattern over a C major chord, and the ‘E’ pattern over a G major chord. Remember that on the C chord you’ll have to move the bass like you did for exercise 5 in Lesson 7, Starting With The Thumb: Independence Exercises.

When you’re ready, move on to Finger Patterns Part Two