Bass-Note Fingerstyle Guitar Patterns...


Fingerpicked patterns not only sound really cool, they also help the guitarist operate on their own in soloist situations. This lesson takes a look at three finger-picked patterns that will push your acoustic playing up to the next level...

In this finger-style guitar lesson, we'll study basic finger-picking patterns that can be used with 6th-string root chords, with additional exercise variations for 5th and 4th-string chord shapes (for further study).

For the sake of simplicity, you can think of these 6th-string chords as being starter shapes. We’ll use various chords in the examples, but you can apply each pattern to any chord shape such as open G, E or Em, and with other string-sets for both 5th and 4th string chord types. 

As you move forward with them in the practice, you'll become more familiar with their application across to other string sets and other chord shapes.




All of the rhythms in these examples have been kept fairly simple, (in 4/4 time). The grooves will only focus on the use of straight 8th-notes and quarter-notes.

If you are new to the acoustic /classical picking-hand symbols, in the transcription picking fingers are notated as:
(p) = Thumb  |  (i) = index finger   
(m) = middle finger  |  (a) = ring finger


Figure One:
This first pattern uses open strings to help you better understand this plucking cycle and its fingering. The concept of this pattern is one where the quarter note pushes the feel across the measures. A double-stop chord is applied on beat two with the eighth-note pick up occurring on beat three. Click on the image for full-screen.



Next, we'll take the picking pattern from figure one above and apply it into a chord progression.

Example One:
Here's the "figure one pattern" applied to a key of "G major" progression.
 Click on the image for full-screen.






Figure Two:
Our second pattern applies more eighth-notes to our groove with the first beat of the pattern using the double-stop (two-note chord) concept. This initial training pattern once again uses open strings to help you to better understand the plucking cycle and its fingering technique.
 Click on the image for full-screen.



Example Two:
Here's the "figure two pattern" applied to a key of "G major" progression.
 Click on the image for full-screen.





Figure Three:
Our third pattern applies a reverse eighth-note approach to our groove with the second beat of the pattern using the double-stop concept. This training pattern once again uses open strings to help you to better understand the plucking cycle and its fingering technique.
 Click on the image for full-screen.



Example Three:
Here's the "figure three pattern" applied to a key of "G major" progression. Watch that final measure closely, I've included two chords there for a smooth turnaround phrase.
 Click on the image for full-screen.



These acoustic picking patterns are great to apply into any key and for any song that requires accompaniment. If you find yourself struggling with getting these patterns together you might want to try working on two beats at a time and piecing it all together very slowly.

Working with a metronome and tapping your foot in time is always a good idea as well. Keeping time and knowing how the beats interact with your pattern picking /playing will help you keep the rhythms steady throughout each example found in this lesson.

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