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Finger Picking Lessons; Picking Patterns #14-20

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Picking Pattern #14
(Roll pick)

Now we are going to change the basic pattern and do something different.  We’ll start in the middle strings in the SECOND POSITION.  We are showing a C chord for the left hand. Rather than alternating back and forth between the thumb and fingers as in Travis style finger picking, on this page of patterns you will use what is called a “roll” pattern. Basically in these patterns you will pick the thumb then ‘roll’ to 1st and 2nd fingers. Merle Travis did not and could not play these type patterns using his famous Thumb and one finger style because he didn’t use three fingers like you are doing.  

               Audio samples /

      C   chord

          T    1    2    T     1    2           T    1    2    T    1    2    


 Picking Pattern #15
(Roll pick)  

This picking pattern starts out similar to “Travis style” in that you start with a the thumb, then finger, then back to the thumb just like Travis style but then it quickly changes to a subtle “roll style” in the middle of each measure.  The end result of combining these two picking styles is a very nice pattern combination.

          Audio samples / Pat.15.slow  / /

C   chord

T    2    T    1    2     T    1          T    2    T    1    2    T    1

Picking Pattern #16
(Roll pick)            

This pattern is the same as #15 except your using the high strings instead of the middle strings.  So your right hand will be in the FIRST POSITION.  Your thumb reaches to the ‘a’ string.

Your goal will be to learn to adjust the right hand position while continuing to play.

                      Audio samples / /  

C chord

 ………..T    2    T     1     2     T     1           T    2    T     1     2    T    1


Picking Pattern #17  
 (Roll pick)

This time we will combine both finger picking patterns #15 and #16.  The first measure you are in the Second Position, in the second measure you switch to the First Position.  Notice in the tabulate of this pattern that you still use the 1st and 2nd right hand fingers in the second measure, even though you have switched POSITION.  This is accomplished by keeping the same finger picking  pattern going while shifting the right hand position to the higher strings.  Please keep this in mind too.  As you make the change in your right hand position it doesn’t necessarily mean that your “anchor” has to change.  That is your little finger may not need to move much on the top of the guitar as you make these changes back and forth. It may be helpful to keep your anchor stationary as you learn this pattern. However, as discussed in the previous patterns, you will want eventually want to have your picking had freed up so as to have nice rhythm. 

                         Audio samples /Pat.17.slow /  

 C chord

……….T    2     T    1    2    T    1           T     2    T    1    2    T    1


 Picking Pattern #18
(Roll pick)  

In this finger picking pattern you will be doing the same as #17 but with a very slight change in the last bass note played with the thumb..  Learn to concentrate on the Thumb or the base line while picking different patterns.  Remeber – “Let your thumb be your guide”.  

Again in this new pattern you are changing your right hand position from FIRST POSITION to SECOND POSITION just like you did in patten #17.  In the last measure of this new pattern you will play the “d” string the second time you use your thumb. (fingered on the second fret = f# not)  This is a very subtle differece but it will help make you concentrate more on what you are playing with your thumb.

          Audio samples / Pat.18.slow /

C   chord
……….T    2     T    1    2    T    1            T    2    T    1    2    T    1

Picking Pattern  #19   

This time the pattern will change in the second measure.  (The whole 2nd measure is Travis style) 

   Audio samples /Pat.19.slow /  

C chord

……..T    2    T    1    2    T    1         3    T    1    T     2    T    1


Picking Pattern #20   

In this finger picking pattern you begin like pattern #15 but you continue to roll your pick three times.  After the third time you have a subtle change back to Travis style.  If you have mastered the previous picking patterns you will learn this one farley quickly because of it’s similarity.

      Audio samples / Pat.20.slow /  

C   chord

………T    2    T    1    2    T    1    2    T    1    2    T    1    T    2



Finger Picking Lessons Exersices;

Again on these new finger picking patterns try these exercises;

1. Accent individual notes each time as you pick the pattern.  Do this for each note in the pattern until you can accent any note at any given time.  Just as you did in the other patterns #1 – 13.

2. Another exercise –  increase speed and go as fast as you can until you begin to make mistakes…. 
          Then- STOP!!!

3. Start again very slowly and pick all the strings very hard, as hard as you can as you increase speed. Pick as hard as you can and go as fast as you can until you start to make mistakes.  Once you make a mistake…. 

One time I had a student email me to explain that he was picking his strings so hard that a string peg poped out of he Dreadnought guitar.  I think he was real prowd of himself!  But when I say “as hard as youcan”  you don’t have to take it that extream. But picking very hard will really help put it in your brain that you are playing these strings in this sequence.  It helps!

4. Start again!  Very lightly picking the strings this time, as you increase speed.  Go as fast as you can until you start to make mistakes….     

5. Another exersice; Play at a speed that is about as fast as you can go without making mistakes. Play that pattern for a long time.  Still if you start to make mistakes.    STOP!!!   Try to build to about 5 minutes.   (That’s about the average length of one of my songs.)  This will help too!

 Doing these exercises will help you “set” or “burn” these patterns in your brain.  Making a practice of using them will help you learn faster.

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