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Folk Fingerstyle Basic Patterns 1

The Folk Guitar Lessons

Getting your fingers started on their folk journey.

In this first lesson we will learn four basic folk finger picking patterns. Two with a 5th string root (based on C Chord) and two with a 6th string root (based on a G Chord). Make sure you watched the previous videos so you understand the "default finger placement" and make sure you play them real slow and accurate while watching the tabs to make sure you get the notre sequence correct.

Video Lesson

TAB Pattern diagrams

Pattern #1 is based on a C Chord. Don't forget to follow the tab with your eyes as you play. Also check that your thumb is playing on the beat. It's not a bad thing to count along if you need to.

Folk Fingerstyle Pattern 1


Pattern #2 also based on a C Chord. Make sure that you know and can clearly see when a note is played on the beat or between the beats.

Folk Fingerstyle Pattern 2

Pattern #3 is very similar to Pattern #1 but we now have a six string root note, so your thumb will move between the sixth string and the fourth.

Folk Fingerstyle Pattern 3

Pattern #4 is based on Pattern #2 but with the six string root.

Folk Fingerstyle Pattern 4



1. Work on each individually, slowly, carefully and with the right rhythm. Only when you can do it without thinking about it should you allow yourself to speed up.

2. Work on combining Patterns #1 and #2 - do it slowly of course, and might help if you say the name of the pattern as you go. That might seem strange at first but give it a go and see if it works for you. It worked for me!

3. Next start work on combining Patterns #3 and #4, just as you did for the first two. Again, make sure you do these until you don't have to think about it any more. A good test is to see if you can speak to someone, and answer questions while you keep playing.

4. The next stage is to work on changing patterns when the root note changes. So you would change between Pattern #1 and Pattern #3. You may find this a little more tricky, but this is much more like the kind of thing you would find in a real song. Once you are happy with moving from Pattern #1 to Pattern #3 you should move on to combining Pattern #2 and Pattern #4.

5. When you feel ready, a great chord progression to work on is: C G Am F, each chord being played for one or two bars.

Only when you feel very confident with all of the patterns that we have looked at in this lesson should you move onto the next. Trying to push ahead too early will most likely just lead you to disappointment and frustration because this kind of skill needs to be developed slowly and carefully. So please don't rush. You should find that you can make a lot of music with these simple patterns thus far.

Good luck :)



Justinguitar Beginners Songbook

The Justinguitar Folk Fingerstyle Module DVD

This DVD contains all 10 lessons from the Folk Fingerstyle Module found online PLUS 37 minutes of exclusive bonus material, more complex versions of Happy Birthday and Waltzing Matilda PLUS a 28 minute lesson on my song Page 99. You'll also find all the tab examples in an easy to print pdf ebook - and buying products helps keep this site (and further style modules) free for those that can't afford to contribute financially! Thank you for your support :)

Click here or the image to the left for more information and to order!



Lesson ID: FO-101