Beginner Guitar Course Week 16

Beginner Guru


Basic Finger Style Grouping + Beginner Guitar Song!

This week we start working on finger style guitar.

To do this we need to learn how to group strings depending on what chord we play.

We also learn a song I’ve taught to many beginner students, the chords will sound very sophisticated, but it’s well easy to play.

Let’s get right to it.

Week 16 – Step 1 – 10-20 min

It’s time to learn our first finger style song. It’s a simple pattern to play, the chord names would sound well complicated so let’s ignore them for now!

In order to just get playing, use the TAB displayed below and the video.

Beginner Guitar Song TAB, part 1 – Basic idea

Beginner Guitar Song fig 1

Beginner Guitar Song TAB, part 2 – Bass variation

Beginner Guitar Song TAB, part 2

Here’s the video:

Classically inspired right hand technique

Up until 0:48 we hear Samantha play using a classically inspired right hand technique.

The hand is floating in the same position, letting the fingers do all the work in plucking the strings.

Sam has nails which affect the angle of the hand but also the sound, producing a more treble heavy sound than what the skin of the finger would produce on its own.

Folk inspired right hand technique

Early folk players used finger picks instead of nails which made their hand have a different angle towards the string, this produce a similar sound to a nail, perhaps a bit harsher.

Using the same angle as you would have with finger picks but only using the fingers, without any nails, is what you hear me play.

Between 0:48 and 1:25 you see how the hand is much closer to the strings, I also have different amount of fingers in contact with the strings not played.

Up until 1:07 I rest my little finger on the top of the guitar. Post 1:07 I use a combination of floating and muting style.

The sound produced using the flesh of the finger is more warm and dull than the sound of nails or finger picks.

Try both techniques discussed in order to find out which one is right for you and your hand.

Get more tips on right hand finger style techniques, including specific exercises for each finger style song in the eBook Acoustic Finger Style Guitar.

Beginner Guru


Week 16 – Step 2 – 10-20 min

The basic rules when playing finger style guitar are:

  1. Chords played starting on string 6 use string: 6, 4, 3 and 2 (E, Em, D/F#, G, Gm)
  2. Chords played starting on string 5 use string: 5, 4, 3 and 2 (A, Am, G/B, B7, C, Cm)
  3. Chords played starting on string 4 use string: 4, 3, 2 and 1 (D, Dm, C/E, F, Fm)

With this in mind I created a bunch of Etudes.

Let’s look at the first one today, here’s and audio recording: 1. Etude 1

And here’s the TAB:
Etude #1
As you can see, all chords in the pattern correspond with the rules listed above.

Spend 10-20 min practicing Etude #1.

Beginner Guru



Today you started practicing finger style patterns.

First you learned my ‘Beginner Guitar Song’, a very simply to play finger style song that is developed with a bass line. Today you got two out of four variations.

It’s a nice meditative little loop that you can play for 10 minutes or so without getting bored.

We also looked at the first finger style Etude and learned how all chords are grouped depending on what string they start on.

In three days time you’ll receive step 3 and 4 of this lesson. We will then look at another Etude and the two remaining variations for my ‘Beginner Guitar Song’.

See you then!

Dan (your guitar guru)