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Melodic Percussive Fingerstyle on Technique

I love this technique - it's lots of fun, and I use it all the time. Great for playing chord melody arrangements and giving your fingerstyle some groove too! I don't claim to have invented it, there are lots of guys that play like this, but I got it from trying to play like Neil Young and ended up with this, which is not really how he does it at all. Guys like Tommy Emmanuel, Andy McKee, John Mayer, Don Ross, y'know that kind of complex folk thing - they use this... and variations on it.

Video Lesson

Extra hints and TABs

One thing I forgot to mention in the video...

The hit sound comes from the strings hitting on the frets. It's useful to know that, you don't have to hit it crazy hard - just enough to get the strings to hit the frets hard enough to get a good click!

These are some of the TABs from the lesson, though I don't refer specifically to them, they should help...

Example 1 - the basic pattern to start with:

Percussive Fingerstyle Pattern

Example 2 - trying using the 2nd finger the second time round:

Percussive Fingerstyle Pattern

Example 3 - adding in the chord to the percussive hit. Make sure your fingers are curled, and let the hit just happen on the thickest 3 strings (or thereabouts) and let the other strings ring out!

Percussive Fingerstyle Pattern

Example 4 - just using the 3rd finger for all the notes between the bass and the hits - just so you are clear it doesn't always have to go Thumb, 1, Hit, 3 or whatever. Experiment yourself!

Percussive Fingerstyle Pattern

Example 5 - using the C major scale combined with the G chord to get medieval on yo ass melodic. It's not exactly what I played in the vid, but this is an exercise I used to play about with and it's a good one to get the idea down!

Percussive Fingerstyle Pattern


This really is something you can spend a long time exploring, so I hope you enjoy the journey.

If you want something a bit more challenging, check out the tab and video lessons for my tune, From Katie's Window.


Lesson ID: TE-751