Fingerstyle Piece Prep
Fingerstyle Figure 1
To continue our fingerpicking training, let’s build and play a simple fingerstyle piece. We’ll first prepare, technically.
This fingerstyle [fingerpicking] pattern is often my first choice as a starting point for beginners (depends on the student). The thumb [p] is picking downward. The index upward toward the palm, then the m & a together, up into the palm. The m-a like to move together. The m-a can always be a single finger, either a or m.
We begin with just the inside four strings. In the video, I’m moving along the string plane, but do this only after you have the figure solidly in the motor hand. And, I’m dampening the strings with my fretting hand, at the nut. Try on open strings or a chord as well.
Repeat figure one [p i ma], maybe 20 times, on inside 4 strings.
Moving Figure 1 to Different String Sets
Next, we move figure one to different strings sets. In the video, I’m playing each ‘measure’ of the pima tab below, twice. And, dampening the strings again. Try on open strings as well, and/or a chord (E or G are good choices since they are 6 string chords, but any 6 string chord will do).
Move the figure to different string sets as shown in the pima tab. Repeat each 20 times. Not all of the options are shown [the one that isn’t is 6 – 321].
Apply Figure 1 to a Chord
Now we apply figure 1 to a specific chord…a 5th-less Bm. The unison Bs sing. This is the beginning of our piece.
Practice the figure using this chord [20 times?]. Make sure that the open strings ring clearly.
Does figure 1 set easily in your hands? I’ve found it to be a great starter ‘arp’. The m-a moving together is a natural motion, similar to the fretting hand.