Aside from guitar strumming, another popular playing style is that of finger picking.

Popular with folk music, finger picking involves using the fingers to pluck the strings rather than making sounds by using a pick.

In this playing style, usually the thumb is used to play the bass notes using the lowest three strings, while the fingers are used to sound the highest three strings. (usually the index and ring fingers are used for this.).

A finger picking style is ideal for arpeggios and adding subtleties to chord progressions (e.g. a walking bass line).

A good exercise to practice when learning finger picking is to pick a chord sequence (say C major, A minor, F Major), and finger pick your way through try playing the top 4 strings for each chord. Use a metronome and sound a note for each beat. Concentrate on getting a smooth picking style and ensure you stay in time.

Many famous artists who use this style they including Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins. Picking provides an interesting variation to simply strumming chords and enables you to play simple chord sequences while making them sound quite complex.

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Filed under: Guitar Lessons

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