Acoustic Guitar Lesson – How to Play Easy Fingerstyle Chords

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Thanks to iGuitar Magazine for hosting this video in their magazine. Check them out at http://www.iguitarmag.com to see more of my guitar video lessons in the upcoming issues.

Before we get more into some progressive fingerstyle, it is critical to know some fingerpicking patters as well to apply to our vocabulary of techniques. I spent a great amount of time focusing on getting good tone on the right hand and experimenting with nail lengths. Right now I get my right hand fingernails ‘done’ at a nail salon. I go for the acrylic gel on top of my natural nail. They will become hard as rock and I get them redone every month or so. If you do mind the embarrassment of going to do this you can always find a do it at home kit. Just note that anything you put on your nails will go into your body and some people can have allergic reactions to this method. The length of each finger is important and depends on what kind of sound you’re going for. I have found that the best tone for my style is using both flesh and nail to get a balanced warm tone. Too much nail will sound sharp and no nail will sound very warm.

In the first example, we have a pretty simple progression from G, D, Em, D. The trick in getting the “x” to sound clean is to slap the right hand thumb on the low E string on every 3rd beat per bar. I personally use a thumbpick for this but you can also use your bare thumb. Whenever we hit the “x” with the thumb we always use that thumb to hit the open low E string after to sound fluid. Using the same chords we can now use our right hand palm to accent the 3rd beat of each bar. Example 2 is just a simplified version of this without any slaps. Combing these ideas is an important step to making a good arrangement with dynamics.

Example 4 now shows us how we can incorporate a melody inside this chord progression while keeping the same fingerpicking pattern and thumb slaps. This is the root of all fingerstyle music, bass notes with treble notes combined to create a full harmonious sound. This is simply one approach to this chord progression but what happens if we fuse this style with some jazz chords now? We can have some cool phrasing here as shown in Example 6. These are mostly maj7, min7 and dominant 7 chords played in different inversions. Try these fingerpicking patterns to some of your own progressions to see how they can add some more musical elements to your playing.

If you’d like to hear how I use these techniques in my own compositions you can always find me on youtube.com/maneli or facebook.com/manelijamalmusic.

#fingerstyle #acousticguitar #freeguitarlessons #guitarlesson #fingerstylelesson
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19 comments

  1. Maneli Jamal - Acoustic Guitarist

    Hope you guys enjoy this FREE lesson. I"ve got many more including personal Skype Lessons at http://www.manelijamal.com. Cheers!

  2. Amazing stuff. I play classical music, but I have wanted to learn these techniques for some time. Your tutorials are so clear, it was easy to get first try. Thank you so much and keep up the amazing, creative music. I'm curious who your influences are. Was there a song you heard that made you want to play like this? I hope it wasn't More than Words 😉

  3. what is your tunning

  4. i am learning so much with u thanks…..keep it up

  5. man i love your tutorials pls keep it up 😀

  6. Maneli Im a big fan of yours, thanks for these tutorial videos, I have been into classical guitar for almost 7 years but im also very interested in percussive and fingerstyle guitar and your videos are helping me a lot 🙂

  7. What's the brand of your guitar?

  8. Super clear tutorial, excellent teaching, thanks mate.

  9. Maneli Jamal - Acoustic Guitarist

    This is a Cole Clark Triumph

  10. sebastian inogaras

    hi tks for the less .¿what guitar do you have?

  11. Maneli Jamal - Acoustic Guitarist

    Thanks for that, glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  12. this is a great instruction!! I noticed and learned a lot from it. thank you for sharing it!
    your guitar has really nice tone.

  13. Maneli Jamal - Acoustic Guitarist

    Thanks for that! I'll keep it goin'

  14. Maneli Jamal - Acoustic Guitarist

    Thanks Yvonne!

  15. EmpoweredByKnowledge

    It's great what you're doing for other musicians in-the-learning, and for the rest of us its just a delight for our untrained senses. Thank you

  16. Hey! Fantastic lesson! You are the Best! Love ya.
    Greetings -Yvonne
    good job!

  17. Maneli Jamal - Acoustic Guitarist

    Yeah I've got a few more on my YouTube channel.

  18. Maneli Jamal - Acoustic Guitarist

    Thanks Diego!

  19. Maneli Jamal - Acoustic Guitarist

    Thank you sir!

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