5 Beautiful Fingerpicking Patterns for Guitar

girl with guitar

Often when clients come to guitar lessons, they talk about how a friend picked up a guitar and began to sing a song and fingerpick something. There are many such stories and this is not surprising. If we look at the guitar, we see strings that need to be played. There is an interesting technique on the guitar that offers a pleasant mood, even in the first lesson. This technique is called:  arpeggios (fingerpicking patterns).

Arpeggio (Italian Arpeggio — to play like on a harp) — the principle of playing chords, in which the sounds of a chord are played sequentially one after another.  As a result of repeating a combination of sounds, a pattern is formed in the right hand — a fingerpicking pattern that is repeated. The guitarist only needs to change chords in his left hand. This creates a variety of chord progressions and noticeably makes the accompaniment more interesting.

People call this technique fingerpicking patterns. The name itself comes from what we see, but we see how the fingers pluck the strings. As for me, I’m more used to the academic name — arpeggio.  In today’s lesson, we’ll talk about arpeggio or fingerpicking patterns for guitar.

Finger names or fingering

To understand how to fingerpicking patterns on the guitar (arpeggios) were obtained with ease, you need to know the names of the right hand fingers. It is important to strictly adhere to the fingering when learning fingerpicking patterns (arpeggios). Otherwise, it can be inconvenient when accelerating the arpeggio, not to mention difficult to achieve automation of the movement since the arpeggio is often a repetitive pattern.

Right hand fingering

String placement theory

If we look at the guitar, then we will definitely see that there are thin strings and there are thick ones. The first string is the thinnest, then the next string on the guitar thickens evenly and ends with the sixth string (if it is a six-string guitar).

  • The first, second and third strings are called treble guitar strings
  • The fourth, fifth and sixth strings are called bass strings

Let’s now look at which finger is responsible for what when playing the fingerpicking patterns on the guitar.

English Spanish ABV Playing string

Thumb

Pulgar

p

6, 5 , 4

Index finger

Indice

i

3

Middle finger

Medio

m

2

Ring finger

Anular

a

1

Thumb (p) — mainly responsible for the bass strings, there can also be different combinations when playing the arpeggio guitar. When the the thumb plays a different role, for example, the third string is used as the bass.

Index (i), Middle (m), Ring (a) — are responsible for the treble strings. When starting from a specific case, follow the strict fingering, written by a professional guitarist.


5 Beautiful Fingerpicking Patterns

Guitar Fingerpicking Pattern #1

This is the most popular fingerpicking pattern on the guitar. Anyone can play it, for example, in ballad songs, but how correctly you play this arpeggio, you will need to check yourself.


Guitar Fingerpicking Pattern #2

This is an arpeggio on the guitar, suitable for a lyric song, but this time with a more active sound. When learning to play and count by ear (1 - and - 2 - and - 3 - and - 4 - and), be sure to follow the fingering that is written between the notes and tablature. Pay special attention to the first and second strings to make sure the sound is even.


Guitar Fingerpicking Pattern #3

This is a broken arpeggio on the guitar, suitable for a lyric song. It is not difficult to play it if, while studying, you count out loud (1 - and -2 - and - 3 and - 4 - and) and are sue to follow the fingering that is written between the notes and tablature.


Guitar Fingerpicking Pattern #4

Here is yet another kind of broken arpeggio on the guitar, suitable for a lyric song. When studying, be sure to follow the fingering which is written between the notes and tablature.  Also, do not forget to count out loud (1 - and - 2 - and - 3 - and - 4 - and).


Guitar Fingerpicking Pattern #5

This guitar arpeggio is perfect for an active song, with a pacing or constantly changing bass. When studying, be sure to follow the fingering that is written between the notes and tablature. Pay special attention to the first, second and third strings, while watching out for the uniformity of the sound.


Conclusion

There are a very large number of guitar fingerpicking patterns (arpeggios) in the world, but people tend to use the most convenient and time-tested fingerpicking patterns in song form. Be sure to stick to the fingering while studying, perform the arpeggio at a slow pace, and achieve automatic movement. First look at your right hand, then gradually move your gaze away from your right hand and try to feel the strings. By adhering to the above tips with everyday practice, I am sure you will feel more and more confident when playing fingerpicking patterns (arpeggios) on the guitar.