Fingerpick Like A Pro! Learn Twenty Patterns! | Ashley Cowan | Skillshare

Fingerpick Like A Pro! Learn Twenty Patterns!

Ashley Cowan, Guitar and Radio Teacher

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33 Videos (3h 20m)
    • Pattern 1

    • Pattern 1 B

    • Pattern 1 C

    • Pattern 1 D

    • Pattern 1 E

    • Pattern 1 F

    • Pattern 2

    • Pattern 2 B

    • Pattern 2 C

    • Pattern 2 D

    • Pattern 2 E

    • Pattern 2 F

    • Pattern 3

    • Pattern 3 B

    • Pattern 3 C

    • Pattern 3 D

    • Pattern 4

    • Pattern 4.1

    • Pattern 4 B

    • Pattern 4.1 B

    • Turnaround 1

    • Lick 1

    • Lick 2

    • Lick 3

    • Lick 4

    • Lick 5

    • Lick 6

    • Lick 7

    • Lick 8

    • Lick 9

    • Picking Style Two: Double Tap, Pull Back

    • Stroke and Pull Back

    • Picking and Strumming


About This Class


17th April 2018: Course Update: Twelve New Videos Added

I've now created some licks for you to play with the patterns. These are simple ideas that I hope will help  springboard you into creating your own licks. You can also learn how to strum with these patterns and I've given you a couple of different timings to play around with. If you add these ideas to the basic twenty patterns, you're going to start making some great melodies.


The first chunk of this course has no talking in it. I designed it for guitar players to simply watch, copy and  play. The YouTuber "Shut Up and Play" influenced my decision to design the course like this. Many people liked the fact that he just got on with the lesson. For students, you simply watch, copy and practice the patterns. However, in the licks section; I talk.


1) Watch the pattern. Play along with the pattern and then go and practice the pattern on some chords.

2) Practice it up and down the neck with a capo. On some patterns you can also use a partial capo. Try to practice the pattern on an electric guitar with effects like delay, etc.

3) After that, move on to the next pattern and then repeat.

4) Once you reach the licks videos, apply those tips to the 20 fingerpicking patterns that you've already learned.

I don't speak in the first part because it's simply learn the patterns and then practice them. Watch the first pattern to understand how the course is set up. There's speaking in the licks videos. There's also a couple of PDFs that go along with the licks videos.


I Love Fingerpicking!
The best thing I ever did as a guitar player was learning to fingerpick. Fingerpicking helped me in two ways. One, my guitar playing improved when I learned how to fingerpick. Two, I began writing much better songs. Learning to fingerpick made me a much better songwriter.

Have you ever been to an open mic where every guitar player strums the same chords over and over? Strumming the same chords for every song gets boring fast. Once I learned to fingerpick, I could then play those same guitar chords in many different ways. Instead of just strumming chords C-Am-F-G over and over, I could now fingerpick them using numerous patterns. This technique made my guitar chords sound awesome!

Fingerpicking Improved My Songwriting
Fingerpicking meant I could break songs up into sections. I could start by strumming guitar chords, and then I could move into a middle eighth of fingerpicking. Next, I could move back into strumming or I could finish the song with fingerpicking.

Fingerpicking also gave me an option of changing the tempos within my songs. Changing tempos improved my songwriting.

Why Just Strum Guitar Chords?
If you strum every song, your songs will sound like every other song. If you mix fingerpicking and strumming together, you'll get different melodies.

If you listen to songs two to six on my album, you'll see how I've incorporated fingerpicking into my songwriting. (Link at bottom.)

For my song, "The Battle for Walter Tull" (Right click open in new tab!) I began with fingerpicking, and I ended with fingerpicking. I also made sure that the song had a mixture of tempos. The Battle for Walter Tull was played on BBC Radio London.

On "Jean Charles de Menezes" (Right click open in new tab!) I used fingerpicking to start. I also picked a section in the middle of the song. And I finished the song with fingerpicking. That's much better than strumming the whole way through a song.

For the song, Age of Hostility, (right click lol!) I fingerpicked on an electric guitar with effects.

Mix Up Your Tempos
If you play five songs one after another with the same tempo, then it's going to sound quite dull. Strumming five songs in a row will also seem quite boring. Why not learn to fingerpick? You'll be able to combine strumming and fingerpicking in your songs. Having a variety of techniques will keep the audience interested.

Fingerpicking gave my songwriting a new dimension. My song "Best of Friends" (right click!) even helped me get a Japanese lady for three years! Now that's priceless! :)

Start improving your songwriting and playing now. Learn how to fingerpick!

Twenty Fingerpicking Patterns
On this course, you'll learn twenty patterns. These patterns will make your chords sound awesome! And the best thing is, it's easy to learn. You'll be playing amazing sounding chords in under an hour!

No Blah Blah Blah!
My course doesn't have any blah blah blah. All you have to do is watch, copy and play. Afterwards, you go and practice the pattern you just learned on some guitar chords. And trust me, you'll love how these same chords now sound so awesome!

This course is for beginners up to intermediate players. Even if you don't have much guitar playing experience, you'll still benefit from this guitar course.

Hand Position
You have 3 options. Try them all and see which one feels more comfortable for you. There is no right or wrong way. You can always change your position later.

1) Rest your little finger on the guitar just under the first string. This will give you balance.

2) Rest your palm on the bridge of the guitar. (You can also use your little finger for balance.)

3) Go free. Simply hover above the strings and pick.

If you are going to use your little finger, then make sure it’s relaxed and flexible. If you keep it too straight and tight, you’ll feel a lot of tension in your hand as you pick.

When Working With The Patterns
Learn one pattern at a time. Practice it with some chords and then just play the pattern until it feels natural. There’s no rush. Once you’re comfortable with the pattern, then use a capo and play the same pattern up and down the neck. Some patterns sound better with a capo.

You can also use a 'partial capo' on some patterns too.

Also, practice the pattern on an electric guitar with FX like delay etc. See what it sounds like. When you start playing the pattern well, then move on to the next pattern. Then do the same again with that pattern.

If you’re ready to start fingerpicking, then hit that enrol button, and I'll see you in the course!

You can find my music here on Soundcloud.





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Ashley Cowan

Guitar and Radio Teacher

Radio Experience
I'm an experienced radio trainer of eighteen years. From 2002 to 2011, I worked at the BBC World Service, Radio. I've now taken these skills and created two online radio training courses.

I tutor students in radio presenting and media interviewing. I have a 5-hour, 58 video radio DJ course and a 3-hour, 40 video, media interviewing course. You can find out more about these courses on my website.

Music and Guitar
I've been playing the guitar for...

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