Hey, how’re you doing? Justin here.
In this video today we’re going to be checking out some really basic
fingerstyle exercises for you guys that have never played any fingerstyle before, I wanna try and get your fingers moving If you are wondering about this funny sheet down here it is just to reflect a little bit of light back on my fingers so when we do a close up you can see clearly
what I’m doing. Before you think “what is he doing dragging weird sheets into the screen?” That is why it is there. So let’s have a look at that close up now. What I want you to do is I want you to position your fingers on the strings so you have got your 3rd finger picking the thinnest string, your 2nd finger plucking the 2nd string, your 1st finger plucking the 3rd string and your thumb plucking the thickest string. On your left hand you are holding down a G chord. A regular old 1st generation G chord if you like. So what we are going to do first is this little exercise. We are going to pick now thumb . . . 1, 2, 3 . . . and again: thumb . . . 1, 2, 3 . . . you will probably have to look at it a little bit at this stage. Trying to “suss” (work) out where those notes are. Just try and do it nice and evenly if you can. Now it is really important that you realise that you don’t have to have long fingernails to do this. There are lots of great guitar players that play with no fingernails. I think Neil Young doesn’t play with fingernails. Dominic Miller, the fantastic guitar player that plays in Sting’s band, chopped off all of his fingernails and just plays with the flesh on his fingers and he is a fantastic fingerstyle guitar player. So don’t feel like you have to have nails. Now I do wear fake nails and I know it looks really gay or whatever girly or whatever you think. I don’t really care because it makes a really good sound on the guitar and if I didn’t have plastic fingernails on then my fingernails wouldn’t last long enough to actually do any playing at all. So I am not recommending that you go and get fake nails unless you are really into fingerstyle and you play a lot. Right? But if you want to grow a little bit of your natural fingernail to pluck the string it does tend to have a slightly nicer, brighter sound to my ear than just playing with the fleshy parts of your fingers. But it doesn’t really matter. Just thought I would point that out before we get all these haters on the videos going “oh my God, you look like a vampire. Your fingernails look really weird”. Yeah I know they look really weird. I can’t help it. If I could change it so they look more normal I would. But anyway, back to our exercises. So exercise 1 that we are doing is with our G chord going thumb . . . 1, 2, 3 . . . thumb, 1, 2, 3 . . . Over and over again . . . nice and simple . . . When you get bored of doing that I want you to change it and now go thumb . . . 3, 2, 1 . . . thumb, 3, 2, 1 . . . And do that for a little bit . . . When you get bored of that
the next one that I want you to do is thumb . . . 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 . . . thumb, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 . . . Just keep going through that trying to get your picking nice and even . . . Trying to keep it in time . . . and trying to be accurate about the strings that you pick . . . Now hopefully you will remember from when we were doing the rhythm guitar
where we hit the bass note of the chord and then we did a couple of strums that most of the chords have their bass note on a different string. So for both E and G the bass note is on the 6th string. So we were just playing a G chord but the finger picking would have been exactly the same for an E or an Emin. But if we went to say a C chord our thumb would move over onto the 5th string. So let’s just have a close look at that now. The thumb is on the 5th string here. We are playing a C chord with the left hand and we are doing . . . thumb, 1, 2, 3 . . . We go through the same exercises again . . . And then reversing the top ones. So 3, 2, 1 . . . thumb, 3, 2, 1 . . . After you have done that for a little while we go up and back . . . thumb, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, thumb . . . And then even over onto a D chord. So if we play D the thumb moves all the way onto the 4th string. So . . . thumb, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 . . . And then maybe back to G . . . Thumb, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 . . . D . . . You can see that the string change from the thumb is just following the names of the chords. If we went to C . . . D . . . G . . . D . . . and back. It is a really, really good technique and can be really simple. You can see already we have started to make music out of it just using this . . . Thumb, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 . . . pattern and doing that pattern once on whatever chord we felt like. If you keep it consistent suddenly it sounds like a song. Fingerstyle is a very cool thing. When you first start it most people find it a little bit awkward and they are picking the wrong strings or they miss it or they start picking the wrong group of strings that kind of thing. It’s dead normal. As usual pretty much everything on the guitar it just takes some practice. So have a good go at doing that and we are going to do a few more fancier exercises with the old fingerstyle next time but just as a really good exercise start working that in. Getting used to the bass moving around
onto different strings. That would be a really really cool start for you. So, have fun with that and I will see you for another lesson shortly. Bye, bye.