Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson – 20 Essential Fingerpicking Patterns

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In this video I show you 20 Essential fingerpicking patterns. Whether you are new to fingerstyle guitar or are developing your technique I have designed these patterns to exercise the picking hand in many different ways. I also answer the most commonly asked questions – where to place the hand, how to get good tone, which fingers to use and when. I hope you enjoy this and please remember to subscribe for more lessons!

Find out more about award winning guitarist Stuart Ryan and his fingerstyle guitar books/CDs at Also check out Stuart’s monthly acoustic guitar columns in Guitar Techniques magazine.


GUITAR – Froggy Bottom Model M
MIC – Telefunken ELAM260
INTERFACE – Apogee Duet 2
CAMERA – Canon EOS 60D
Recorded into an Apple iMac running Logic Pro 9
Video Rating: / 5


  1. The problem you speak much

  2. Fantastic lesson! Thank you.

  3. Hey Ryan, do you use a footstool for your right leg?

  4. I play since a long time but I lack rigor, particulary on fingerstyle. Your very clear video and tab has been useful to me. Thanks for sharing it. Your site is very interesting !

  5. Thank you

  6. I've been searching for tutorials on youtube to start fingerpicking but this video is the best of all videos. Well you explained and than you very much 🙂

  7. One question: are you human?

  8. Very good tutorial video. Thank you so much.

  9. this is the great video I have ever seen thanxx sir love from India

  10. Hi Stuart, Do you have a book with this fingerstyle tabs?

  11. Great video! What guitar are you using? It is beautiful!

  12. I'm a beginner with the guitar. I have seen many tutorials but, this, is one of the best I have ever seen. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge. Really is one of the best tutorials. I have a lot of work to learn thanks to you.

  13. What about the little finger? Other tutors suggest putting it on the sound board, is it such a bad habit? What are the possible problems emerging out of it?

  14. András Gáspár Pikó

    I guess it's okay to switch chords after a while? I mean I know that the focus is on the picking hand here, but when a couple of these patterns got really ingrained in my muscle memory I think it can also be a great way to, say, improve barre chord clarity and stamina. Or whatever, just not only this static E major because it gives me a cramp after a while. Am I on the right track…?

  15. Great tutorial!

  16. I play guitar.

  17. I would add, as an exercise, to try to emphasize differents strings in each pattern. Ex: in the first pattern try to emphasize the first string, then the second, then the third. So you can handle not just the coordination, but the intensity of each finger 🙂

    Excelent lesson!!!

  18. so where are the free tabs for this video as i have looked at the site but no free tabs, thanks

  19. How can I get hold of your book????

  20. Just starting fingerpicking.This is a brilliant video explaining everything in the most comprehensive way.Thanks a million.I shall now practice everything slowly and fully and feel sure that in time this would have been invaluable.Thanks again.

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