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First Easy Step to Learning Finger Picking

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How can you make learning finger picking easier? We talked about some of the wonders of the human brain and how it learns.  Now think about this; A young child can learn the extremely complicated sound patterns of speech and the rules of grammar and do it all – simply by listening to others talk.  If exposed to two languages, a child can learn to speak both of those languages – and the child can do it all without a lick of an accent.  There have been cases where some were exposed to up to seven different languages while growing up, and they can now speak all seven tongues, fluently – all without any accent.  Is that not incredible?  That’s ‘MIND BOGGLING!  Isn’t it? 

All because the child simply listed closely and tried to say things just the way he has heard them.  This shows us that the human brain has an incredible ability to learn.  It can learn very complicated things and it can do this simply by listening.  Never underestimate the importance of your needing to “listen” to finger picking guitar music.  This is what I would say would be the FIRST STEP to learning HOW to finger picking guitar.  You will be greatly helped in your finger picking endeavors if you start LISTENING to others as soon as you can, as much as you can and as often as you can.  The more you listen, the better.  What you will be doing is starting to make those connections in your brain that will help you to learn to finger pick when you actually pick up your guitar.

So listen to finger picking music when you get up. While you eat.  Take a portable player with you (an IPOD or a Mp3 or CD player… whatever) and listen throughout the day.  You will be pleasantly surprised how much this will help you.  Of course you can start by buying my CDs.  This will SHOW your appreciation to me for all of my hard work in provide you with this FREE web site about finger picking.  (By the way, I thank you for that!)  But there is more to it then just thanking me becaue you will bendfit too.  You will benefit from listening to the finger picking music on those CDs.  But please don’t stop there.  Please, buy other artist finger picking music too.  In fact I recommend that you get as many finger picking songs as you can, and start listening to them as soon as you can, and listen to them as much as you can.  Of course I understand that you need to be reasonable, because there are other things in life, but you get what I’m saying.

The reason for this is because learning is done by making those connections.  As you listen to music being played, as easy as that is to do, some of those important connections are actually being made right then.  They’re being made even though you don’t consciously realize it.  The more you listen to finger picking music, the stronger those connections will become.  This is exactly what you want to do.  The stronger those connections are, the better your memory will be and the easier it will be for you to actually pick up the guitar to attempt to play that way.  Please remember this – Your mind has an incredible ability to learn just by listening.  Just like a child learns complicated languages simply by listening.  The beautiful thing about this is it’s so easy and enjoyable to do.

Please don’t misunderstand me!  I’m not suggesting that it’s possible to learn how to finger pick your guitar simply by listening to others play.  At least I have never heard of anyone doing that!  But do not underestimate the many benefits that can come to you by simply listening to finger style guitar work.  For example, you can “learn” the way changes in guitar chords can be made while finger picking.  You will hear how other notes can be added while picking, to make progressions sound appealing in the music.  Also you will hear how to put emphases and accents on particular notes of picking patterns and much, much, more.  Actually you couldn’t possible list all the benefits you will get by simply by listening.  Even things you don’t consciously realize are happening, will be “recorded” in your marvelous brain.  It’s for these reasons I strongly recommend that you spend as much time as you can just listening to finger picking guitar work.

Of course you realize that I want to sell you my CD’s … that’s true!  But what’s particularly nice about my CDs is they incorporate the very picking patterns you will be learning on this web site.   As I explained above, if you listening to them, you will benefit because you will be “hearing the sounds” of these finger picking patterns incorporated in song.  This will greatly improve your abilities to learn them on your own guitar.  The more you listen to them the easier it will be when you actually begin to learn the patterns yourself.  Of course CDs by other artists may not have the exactly same patterns but you will still indeed benefit by listen to them too.   What you will naturally do is “pick out” what appeals to you and then when you begin the process of using your guitar, you will naturally incorporate those things that you have heard and liked.

As you learn the picking patterns on this site you will want to “hear yourself play” what you liked when you heard others playing.  You will be trying to imitating those things that appealed to you.  A beautiful thing about this “learning by listening” is that it takes next to NO CONSCIOUS EFFORT!  It’s just something that will naturally happen without giving it much thought.  You will simply be getting used to hearing finger picking rhythmus, accents, the picking pace that appeals to you and other things that you like.  Also what appeals to you, may be different then what appeals to me or to someone else.  Whatever those things are that you think are “cool”, your mind will naturally “imprint” them in your brain.  Then when you start to master the finger picking patterns and really begin to get a handle on them you will, without much thought, begin to imitate and incorporate those appealing things that you heard others do.

You will no doubt listen to the artists that are your favorite or that you at least like.  It’s no coincidence that those who learn to play the guitar usually “imitate” the artist that they listen to the most.  The reason for this is simple.  It’s because that is what they have “learned” while listening to their music.  So when they begin to play the guitar they do what they have heard to other guitarist doing.  It’s just like that child who is trying to say things just the way his parents say them.

That’s the first and easiest step!  Why not start now?


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