Essential Exercises for Finger style guitar

Essential Exercises for Fingerstyle guitarMy 2nd entry from P. Huttlinger, shows you more than a dozen basic finger style patterns using different combinations of thumb and fingers that almost every one needs to learn if they want to be versatile finger-stylists. Or even to just get a thorough grounding in sounding better than you actually were before. If you are starting from a blank guitar canvas GET THIS.

Pete is a personable guy with no agenda or obvious bad habits to rub off on your kid or you even. He is pretty normal. Still he tells us that upon his first introduction to music he was a banjo player and used a thumb pick. He still uses a thumb pick. Is that normal? I don't think so. Banjo playing leaves its mark. You get good!

Finger Style s a great skill I wish I knew better. Especially hybrid picking which is where you hold the pick with your thumb and forefinger and use your remaining fingers too. Rockabilly players hybrid pick a lot. You need to learn it and buy Hair Pomade. The Chop Tops!

Peter uses a thumb pick and this is almost the same as hybrid picking with a flat pick. The thumb pick gives you an extra finger. Which must be good right? Or just maybe less is more in the finger picking department?

To enjoy the benefits of his guitar method you really could just use your thumb and fingers. But with a thumb pick? Johnny Winter used a thumb pick.

So, for the sake of argument, lets postulate there are 4 or 5 choices. Your thumb and finger and no pick. Your Thumb and forefinger holding the pick, leaves you 3 fingers to pluck with and is called hybrid picking. And thirdly a  plastic thumb pick, leaving you four fingers to pluck with. Some finger stylists have three picks: Thumb, Fore, Middle. Metal or Plastic exist. Do the math.

The Good News is some of the badest cats from way back used just their thumb and one finger. For the history of all that finger style stuff from both white and black musicians Stefan Grossman is your go to guy. He is not your go to guy if you want to learn and practice from the ground up. Peter Huttlinger is. Peter actually teaches you. Where as Stefan, bless him, is annoyingly lacking in this regard. Its like pulling teeth. If you know what you are doing then you can fully enjoy Stefan That's my considered opinion. The right tool at the right time.

If you are ready to learn finger style guitar this is the best lesson on the subject that I have found. Its not the only one I use however I like books too... We are crawling across the floor towards formally trained here but without actually learning to read music. The underlying musical theory behind Italian and Spanish guitar are universal so were co-opted into good old American acoustic finger style which encompasses so many styles. Blues - Rockabilly, Bluegrass - folk - country and more!

But of even greater benefit before the finger picking patterns themselves there are some fundamentals here that apply to all styles of western music which bear pointing out and that make this lesson superior to say a metal one showing you the exact same notes but with distortion and compression and amplification and played really fast. At least if its the first time you are exposed to these concepts. Slow down and give your fingers a chance to adapt.

You don't need all that effect noise to learn! In fact to learn you are better off without it. Its just a distraction really. Learn it 'dry' and as close to nature as you can, the way it was invented so you can later perhaps impart your own special spin to it. Its just easier to understand this way. Shred Neo classical guitar is founded on these same exact musical principles only played fast and signal chained. Ywingie and Eddie and many many of the numerous other shredders were formally trained from early post diaper.

In fact in EVH's case his parents were professional concert pianists and Eddie himself was being taught the piano in Holland before emigrating to the USA. The basic note patterns of acoustic guitar can morph into sweep picking patterns or hybrid patterns on electric guitar after you understand them.

Pete uses a thumb pick. Don't let that stop you.  Thumb picks are cheap. Peter teaches you what arpeggios are and to spell out chords but while showing you how they sound cool.

Chromatic exercises up and down the fret board will improve your dexterity and plucking power and you will learn a Bosa Nova chord progression and a nice arrangement of the classic guitar piece Romanza.
Ladies love Bosa Nova and it makes a nice change. I noticed that Collins Guitars has a signature acoustic model with  Peters name on it!

The Menu breaks down like this: Intro, Tuning, Lesson Overview, Alternating patterns 1st set, 2nd set, 3rd set, 4th set, Alternating pattern triplets, how to practice, arpeggios, G Major arpeggio, G Major 7 arpeggio, G Major 6th arpeggio, G minor arpeggio, G minor 7 arpeggio, Arpeggios in 2nd position

Role Models

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined. – Henry David Thoreau