Picking Patterns - Lesson one
The purpose of this lesson is to introduce total beginners to the concept of picking rather than strumming. There are a number of lessons in this series and if you find you can easily accomplish a lesson then feel free to move onto the next in the series. I strongly recommend that you attempt each one rather than skipping any that you think might be too easy for you, even if you try it and find you can play it that’s fine, just move on. This will ensure that you build a solid foundation.
We will be using three early stage open chords. G, C & D. These are picked specifically because they each use a different string for the lowest (Bass) note of the chord, which is an important technique to acquire.
We will also be using both fingers and plectrum to play the patterns. This will ensure that you have the fullest set of skills available to you, enabling you to mix and match picking and strumming without having to worry about whether you’re holding a plectrum or not.
When playing with our fingers we will be using the standard classical method of denoting which fingers to use as follows (although for these lessons we will not be using our little finger denoted by c):
The thumb (p) looks after the three thickest strings on the guitar (4 5 and 6) whilst i, m, and a, look after strings 3, 2 and 1 respectively.
When playing with a plectrum there are only two symbols you need to worry about and these denote whether you pick downwards (towards the floor) or upwards (towards the ceiling) as follows:
It is important you follow these markings to ensure your playing is as fluid as possible.
So let’s look at pattern one.
Here you can see you are playing four bars of D using your thumb (p) to pluck the 4th string, your index finger (i) the 3rd, the middle finger (m) the 2nd and finally, the ring finger (a) the 1st.
At this stage we are using one pluck per beat. Bars 5 and 6 are using a C chord with the pattern only changing for the thumb which now plucks the 5th string rather than the 4th.
Finally, two bars of G where the thumb now plucks the 6th string.
Next we will play the same pattern using a plectrum.
The chord progression is exactly the same. The only difference here is that you play the first three notes of each bar with a downstroke of the plectrum and the final beat and upstroke. This final upstroke enables you to easily move back to the lowest note for the next bar.
You may find this very tricky to skip the strings, especially for the C and G chords to get the 5th and 6th strings. But it is worth the perseverance.
Online Lessons - Home
Picking Patterns - 1
Picking Patterns - 2
Picking Patterns - 3
Picking Patterns - 4
Picking Patterns - 5
Picking Patterns - 6
Picking Patterns - 7
Picking Patterns - 8
Picking Patterns - 9
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