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FREE Finger Picking lessons

I’m going to help you learn to finger pick your guitar, and it’s absolutely free.  

footnote; has be updated with this web site,
                     So you’re at the right place.

I’m not even going to ask you for your email address like other web sites do! 

   Your question  … What’s the catch?        Why are you doing this? 

My answer;
I believe there are good people out there who will SHOW their appreciation
by purchasing my CDs!

That’s my REAL motive – I want people to purchase my CD’s. I want them to listen to and enjoy my music – I’ve put my heart into it. 

Please understand that it has been incredibly time consuming, for me to
figuring out and writing the tabulator, record the audio clips,
as well as making and uploading all the files…etc.
Not to mention the writing of all
the text I have made available on this site.
This is truly a book of information that has gone into the making of this web site.

So PLEASE show your appreciation for what I’m providing to you free of charge
by purchasing my CD’s.

Or if you prefer… please make a modest donation 

That’s it!   That’s my pitch!   That’s my gimmick!
As you can see, I’m being honest and right up front!

And… that’s all I ask!


 What It Will Cost

However, it is going to cost you something very valuable —  your time and lots of effort.

Now I know you are anxious to get started and you want to learn how to finger pick guitar right away.  However, please don’t make the mistake of “getting the cart before the horse.”  Finger style guitar is not the easiest thing to learn.  Please be patient and do some reading of these pages first.  Also you will need to be motivated to stick with it.  So to help with this, first I’ll discuss WHY you should learn to finger pick guitar.  Keep in mind that if you rush things and jump right into the lessons, you may “learn” some bad habits that may be very difficult to “unlearn.”  So to help avoid this I will discuss HOW to learn  finger picking.  By reading these pages before you begin, likely you  will find out some things you hadn’t thought of.  Remember, I’ve done this before! In this way I’m trying to save you some heartache and frustration! 

I’ve been finger picking since the early 1970’s.  I began to play professionally in 1976. As you can imagine I’ve learned a few things along the way.  Many of these things I will be passing on to you on this web site.  That’s why I created it. It’s yours to use as much as you like…..


My experience in 2007;

My first wife Darlene, died on her 59th birthday, April 7th 2007.  We were married for 27 years and I will tell you it was far too short a time to be with her. To say we were close is simply an understatement.  We did almost everything together. We worked together, we played together and we served Jehovah God full time as Regular Pioneers together for all of those 27 short years. With all my heart I loved her dearly!  The tragedy of losing her the way I did was devastating to me! At first I couldn’t eat nor sleep. There were times I literally found it difficult to breathe. I couldn’t go back in our house for over 2 weeks. The truth is that rather then keep on living without her, I wanted to die too. Of course it goes without saying that during this dark time my music came to a complete standstill.

However, with the encouragement of a friend as well as the recommendation of my Doctor I did begin to play guitar, write songs and to sing again.  Doing so helped me tremendously!  I must say though that first and most importantly, the thing that help me was my faith in my God Jehovah, knowing the truth from the Bible about what happens when you die and the hope that the Almighty holds out for the best possible future life here on earth under His Kingdom rule. Second only to my faith, the thing that helped me was my music! It was the music that made it possible for healing to take place in ways it could not have otherwise. “Getting better” happened little by little, day by day. Never-the-less in time things did get better.

During this very difficult time in my life it was having this old friend… My guitar and being able to compose the songs I did that made it possible for me to bring out those deep seeded feelings in a way and at a time that I REALLY NEEDED to do so!  Without my music and guitar I believe I wouldn’t have been able to heal the way I did.  For me then, my guitar has truly been a good friend. A good OLD friend!  For the better part of my life I have treasured it’s companionship and I believe I always will.

I honestly hope you never have to experience what I did. However, I do hope that you will find in your music the same kinds of things that I have found in mine. Music is indeed a gift from God!

During this healing time of my life I composed about 2 dozen songs or more. Here is a sampling of a couple that I managed to record.


Quart Jar


Life Must Go On

If you would like to contact us (me) through this site you will need the password. It is picknpaul

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20 Responses to Home

  1. Taylor Smith

    Hi Paul,
    I’ve had your site bookmarked for a while–just wanted to make I could still order picks from you.

  2. alan pumphrey

    I am interested in a set of your custom picks and already use dunlop and others including metal. Like everyone else I am trying to find the next best thing …hopefully your picks.. Are you available by phone ? If so my number is 317-432-1262 in Indy and would love to talk with you and try your picks.
    Alan Pumphrey

  3. Picknpaul

    Yes… I still have a few sets of picks left but that is it until I get to the States again to buy some more. Please only get picks if you get my CD’s too. This makes it worth while for me to fill the orders.

  4. Picknpaul

    I have Dunlop plastic finger picks that I customize as explained on this site. When I do this to the picks it benefits those who are just beginning to finger pick their guitars. If you have been using plastic Dunlop finger picks for some time and already feel comfortable with them my custom picks will not be of much help to you. I used to live in Indianapolis Indiana on 62nd street on the west side of town. If you take 62nd street West from 421 I lived in a little house before you get to Eagle Creek Park. I lived there for about 12 years. From there I moved to Ocean City Maryland with my first wife. After her death about 6 years ago I remarried and now have moved to Placencia Belize in Central America. So my phone number is not in the States. It’s 501-665-0800.

  5. Gary

    Hi Paul,

    Although I’ve been playing guitar for years I never really progressed beyond chords and strumming. I got so caught up in writing my own little songs, and just strumming to other songs that I never felt the need. Now I really want to lift my game, break old and bad habits, and actually become a guitarist.

    I’ve been learning finger picking for 3 days now and I can already feel some progress. I’m just wondering. Should I move onto the next lessons (patterns 5 – 9) or stay with patterns 1 – 4 until I can play them with my eyes closed and without thinking? I know everyone is different, but at what stage would you say it’s time to move on?

    I started pattern 5 tonight but wonder if I’m getting ahead of myself. I would say I’ve got pattern 1 & 2 down, 3 & 4 mostly down, but I’m nowhere near the stage I can comfortably play and change chords, or play and sing. I know you say not to even think about your left hand til pattern 9, but this makes me wonder whether I should just move on even though I haven’t got it perfect and I’ll learn it better in time, or stick with it until I REALLY know it.


  6. Picknpaul

    Hi Gary

    Yes! It is true! Everyone is different. But as a general rule I suggest learning the patterns so well that you don’t have to concentrate on them as you play. What I mean is that your fingers just kind of go about playing and you give it very little thought. I had a friend who they called “Arkansas Red” that played so well he could hold a conversation with you, listening and talk with you and never miss a beat or one note while playing his guitar. Once you have learned the patterns this well you can now think on the more important part of the song. THE LYRICS!

    If you are singing a song then you don’t want to be concentrating on your guitar playing. It is ALWAYS best to be thinking about the song. That is you should be thinking about what the song is saying and especially how you feel about its message. Only then can your song come from the heart. If it doesn’t come from the heart your music will lack that certain something that everyone loves in music. Feeling and passion! If you lack these important ingredients your music will be just a mechanical exercise! Even the best technical guitar work will not hit that “spot” if it lacks the music feeling. So the only way that I’ve found to be able do this is to learn the guitar work so well that it just kind of happens as you sing. In the end I believe your guitar work should be what it is intended to be… an accompaniment to your singing. Generally speaking it’s the singing that most people “take home” with them. They guitar work just makes your singing sound better.

    As you learn, I suggest reading and rereading the information on this site. As you progress you will find the information will take on “new” meaning and your understanding of what is said will improve. There are no hard and fast rules as to which patterns to learn first or how well you play them before moving on. Everyone is different. The goal however is what I explained above. Do what you feel you need to to reach that goal.

    Keep up the good hard work!


  7. John

    Hi, Paul

    I originally found your old website back in 2012 when I was getting back into playing guitar after a short attempt to learn in my preteen years and your teaching has defined how I’ve played guitar ever since starting. Your “Why and How to Learn Fingerpicking” page motivated me to spend the first few months of my guitar playing time learning how to fingerpick. The discipline I had back then has set me up to learn easier than I would have if I learned without your guidance. Your website and it’s lessons have and will continue to define my hobby…. probably for the rest of my life! Thank you!

  8. Picknpaul

    Hi John
    Thank you for your nice words. It was for people just like you that I made the fingerpicking web site in the first place. Yes! I hope you do continue with your “hobby” for the rest of your life. It’s a good feeling to know that I’ve passed on to others some of the things I’ve learned. So again I thank you for your comment to let me know how it has helped you.

  9. Kim Copeland


    My husband and I have been so blessed by your website and your testimony! My husband is very committed to finger-picking and your instruction has been so valuable. I placed an order for a CD with picks this week and my husband is anxious to get them and start working with them and wanted to find out an expected delivery date, if possible. I made the order on Monday of this week to Kim Copeland, 11006 East Secret Mine Court, Gold Canyon, AZ 86118. Would you let me know when they mailed and when we may expect them?? Thanks so much!


  10. cormac fitzpatrick

    Hi Im using metal finger picks by Propik. They are brass and are similar to plastic Dunlop in appearance.
    However Im having difficulty as you outlined, with extraneous noise from v loud clicking either against the body or against the sensitive sound hole pickup I use (LR Baggs). The style Im attempting is Ewan Dobson which is uptempo bluegrass based rock, examples being: “I know your pain” and “paganinis hip,” see on You tube, the latter tune as groundbreaking for acoustic guitar as say Purple haze was for electric IMO.. just not of this earth!. Are you able to comment on how to approach this standard with plastic picks? Im really skeptical as to use of plastic picks for this purpose in terms of stablity when attacking the strings. There is also issue with metal picks snagging on a string, very unpredictable. I like your commitment to the cause of finger picks, totally agree it could be explore more by players generally.

  11. Picknpaul

    Yes! Metal picks, no mater what brand, will always be more harsh and “tinny” sounding. You’ll also get more noticeable “clicking” and “knocking” then you will get with plastic picks. Plastic picks will not eliminate the “clicking” and “knocking” problems entirely. To completely eliminate those things you must change your playing Technics. However, plastic will always be more “forgiving” with those problems then metal. Metal will “magnify” those sounds because of the high pitch they produce. This is particularly a problem if recording and using condenser studio mics. Those kind of sounds will “jump out at you.” Plastic is more subdued or subtle with those kinds of sounds. The improved difference with the plastic picks, in my opinion, is worth the effort it takes to fit them properly to your fingers. Metal picks are much easier to shape to your fingers. Also metal picks are much easier to find in stores. I prefer spending the time it takes to find the plastic picks and get them to fit your fingers right. This is because I want the better sound quality they offer. Plastic picks are not a “cure all”. Nor should they be used in “every” situation. For example you mentioned your picks “snagging on a string”. Plastic picks will not stop this problem! Finger picks snagging on the strings is a result of either poor playing Technics or very aggressive playing where control of your finger picking hand has been lost. Plastic picks will not fix these problems. When using finger picks you must always have control of your playing hand. If a situation is calling for such aggression that control is lost, you are better off not using finger picks at all…. Plastic or Metal. Flamingo guitars for example would never use finger picks. They would just get in the way of that style. But if you want to use finger picks with acoustic guitar, plastic is always my preference over Metal. Metal picks are better used on Steel Guitar and Banjo…. not acoustics.

  12. Picknpaul

    I’m happy to hear your husband is wanting to learn to finger pick and I hope my site is of help. As far as delivery times on orders. I’ve moved to Placencia Belize in Central America. The Postal service here, although reliable is much slower then what many are used to in the States. I’m told at the Post Office here in Placencia that items will arrive in the States in 14 business days. However, it has been my experience that it can take as long as 3 weeks or as little as 8 days. It’s hard to say. Yesterday I got an email from a girl in the States that got her order in 10 days. Tracking is not an option available here so I can not offer that to those who purchase from my site. I usually fill orders the day they come in and mail them the next morning. Except on weekends. Then I’ll usually fill them on Sunday and mail them Monday morning.

  13. cormac fitzpatrick

    Thanks for reply. In the interim I discovered a new under bridge trransducer pick up system by JJB. Since fitting this the metal rasping sound has been tamed at lot more than when using an LR Baggs magnetic PUP.
    We are lead to believe that LR Baggs pick ups are among the best. Maybe true but only perhaps a/ using plastic picks like you say and b/ providing the fingers can pick either side of the pick up, otherwise pick edges will knock against the LR Baggs giving serious unwanted clicking. I seriously recommend people try out this JJB system if having either of these issues. And its not merely another Under saddle system with piezo quack.I have a video demo, bit sloppy but tone is the main point :

  14. Gary

    Thank you Paul,

    Your reply was a little late, but don’t worry I won’t hold it against you! It’s now been 6 months – wow how time flies. But I stuck with it and now I fully understand what you mean 🙂 I can play some of the patterns with ease now – no need to think about it at all, I can get up to some crazy speeds!

    I must admit though that once I got up to pattern 13 I got a little frustrated and moved onto other things. The good news is that I eventually learnt the hammer ons and some roll picking from learning other songs, but I think I’ll go back to your patterns regardless as it’s always good to get more under your belt.

    I think now the trick is to separate my fingers from my thumb so that everything starts to feel more natural, and it will also help me with creating my own arrangements. I sometimes hate being locked into the patterns I know, unable to branch out. But I feel this is only something that will come with time.

    Right now I’m learning fingerstyle songs that I feel push me beyond my comfort zone, and it’s worked out well. Songs I struggled to play 1 bar of I can now play right through with little or no mistakes. That sense of achievement keeps me hooked to this playing style. And I have to admit, you were right, it has changed my life. Or rather, it has enhanced it. I used to be a punk rocking kid ready to take on the world. Now, I’m a calm, relaxed, and somewhat wiser man and I fully enjoy winding down after a long day with my trusty acoustic.


  15. Picknpaul

    Hello Gary
    It is good to hear you are sticking with your finger picking and that it has indeed changed your playing. That is what I like to hear. Suggestion; The “secret” or “remedy” for not feeling STUCK in your playing style or caught in a “rut” is to learn as many patterns as possible. Then when actually playing songs you should alternate between those patterns you have learned. This will help you get out of that “rut”. It is a mistake to use the same pattern for lots of songs. Each song should have it’s own character…. it’s own personality. You can even change patterns within a given song. Also combining patterns and making up your own patterns will also help you. The patterns on my site are by no means the only patterns you should learn. In fact I say on my web site that these patterns are only to get you started and I hope get you “hooked” on finger picking. Remember the key here is variety. So keep learning more and more ways to play songs. This will increase your joy of playing. It has for me!

  16. Gary

    Hi Paul,

    Just a bit of a progress update and question for you.

    So everything is coming along dandy. I can start to feel some independence in the fingers as I learn more and more fingerstyle songs with complicated patterns that include a melody line. A long way to go yet but I can see the potential, which is always great.

    However, I just wanted to run this by you. I know that you advocate using your pinky as an anchor, but I have found that my playing, especially my rhythm, has improved greatly since I kicked that habit and use no anchor at all. It’s probably taken a good few months to get to a level where I feel as comfortable, if not more comfortable, playing without an anchor, but I’ve found that it has loosened up my ring finger. I believe this is because both the ring finger and pinky are connected in some way (it’s hard to bend your pinky without bending your ring finger at the same time).

    I found this out after practicing with a metronome. I could only keep good time without anchoring when playing songs that required my ring finger. Of course, to begin with I was hitting the wrong strings, but months of practice has alleviated that problem.

    I’ve done some research and it seems to be a bit of a love hate thing. Some swear by anchoring, others don’t (especially classical). What is your take on this?


  17. Ron Wilson

    Just started thinking of finger picking, I have only been playing guitar for a few months. But I am in the UK and you are in Belize (a great place, I have been many times with the RAF) and you web site doesn’t show shipping to UK. Do you ship here?

  18. Eli

    Hello, I just stumbled on your website and thought that I would find some good advises on this website. I used to play classical guitar for about 10 years in a conservatory since I was 7 years old. However, 4 years ago I damaged my index and middle finger due to a horrific accident, however, I still have my nails but in heavily deformed and lost some of the sensations in these two fingers. I stopped playing guitar since then. However, I think it’s time to restart. So i thought that using fingerpicks will be a solution nevertheless, I never used them before. I hope you can give me some advice from where to begin and if there’s any type of picks I should be using.

    Thanks in advance

  19. Henrik Dam

    I just want to say thank you Paul, your page is far the best I’ve seen so far. I’ve been close to quit guitar many times, since I really don’t get the feeling with strumming.

    Fingerpicking works way better for me! It sounds better, and I feel more “close” to my guitar.


  20. Dennis Soliday

    I grew up in Irvington I graduated from Howe i 1966. I played the trumpet in High School in the “Big Band”. My Wife and I enjoyed your arrangement of Early Morning Rain.. I love the sound of finger style guitar. You have me all fired up.


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