Fingerpicking 101 and Beyond: Part 2

Hey there fellow guitarists! In this blog I would like to expand a bit upon my last blog which discussed some basic fingerpicking pattern. We are going to take those basic patterns and expand upon them but not with more right hand patterns. In this blog we will change the left hand.

In this exercise we will keep the right hand pattern and approach the same; the index, finger, will be on the third string, the middle, m finger, will be on the second string, the ring, finger, will be on the first string and the thumb, finger, will bounce from the sixth, fifth, fourth and finally back to the fifth string. The only challenge is that the E major chord we were playing in the left hand will now move up one fret at a time once the pattern is completed. For example, play the pima pattern until completed, then move the E major chord up one fret then play the pattern again until completed, then move the chord up another fret and play that pattern once again. Do this with all six patterns; pima, pmia, pami, piam, pmai and paim. The challenge here is to disconnect your ear from what your right hand is playing. Since you will have open strings ringing everywhere, some of the harmonies will sound dissonant and some of the notes will double themselves when playing these patterns. This will require extra focus on your part. Examples 1, 2 and 3 below are the music and tabs for the pima, pmia and the pami patterns but I suggest you add the other patterns I mentioned also. You get the idea. And as always practice with a metronome starting at a slow tempo, maybe about 80 bpm. Never sacrifice speed for accuracy.

In case you are inspired and want to continue with some fingerpicking studies, I highly recommend The Aaron Shearer Classical Guitar Method Books One and Two and Pumping Nylon by Scott Tennant.

Once again, I thank you for reading. Now pick up that guitar and play, just like yesterday. Get to work. As always, comments are always welcome and appreciated.

Thank you,


Richard Rossicone

About Richard Rossicone

Richard W. Rossicone is a veteran of the New York City and Long Island original and cover band scene. He has been playing guitar since the tender age of 8 years old when he attended his first concert, KISS and saw Pete Townshend smash a guitar. He has studied with various instructors over the years which led him to a career in Music Therapy. He began his educational journey at Queensboro Community College where the faculty there opened up a new world to him by introducing him to classical music. He received his A.A. in Fine Arts in 1997 and from there went on to receive his B.A. in Music Therapy in 2001 and his M.A. in Music Therapy from New York University in 2004. He has been Board Certified as a Music Therapist since 2002. Hungry to learn more about different styles on the guitar, Richard decided to continue his studies at C.W. Post University pursuing a second Masters Degree in Classical Guitar Performance and Music History in early 2006, studying under Harris Becker. In addition to his “day job” as a music therapist, he has been teaching guitar, piano and theory part time since 2002 and in 2006 started his own company called Rossicone Music Studios. Richard has grown his business from 15 students a week to over 50 a week at this present time. Richard is also a contributing blogger to and Check out his blog page entitled The Complete Guitarist and visit him on Facebook at Richy Rossicone’s Complete Guitarist Page.
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