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Guitar Finger Picking – Why is it so important ?

finger pickingGuitar finger picking – Why is it so important ?

Isn’t  it odd for you when you see the way some guitarists completely separate playing with a pick from finger picking ? A far too common stereotype is that classical musicians will only use their fingers to play, while a rocker, metal player, pop-rocker and so on will bet more on the pick. On  which side are you?

The bad news is that it is not ok to be the adept of a single picking style, because of the fact that if you want to develop your unique sound and style you need to deliver your music using different techniques, such us finger picking or hybrid picking.

In this article I am going to try to get you out of the circle of the guitar players who rely on only one mode of touching the strings and I prepared some reasons of why is it good to master the finger picking technique as well as some exercises for finger picking.

4 reasons for trying finger picking technique

1. Dynamics

Even if you are part of a metal band and your guitar must have as much gain as possible, mastering the finger picking technique will give you new ideas of expressing  yourself and as well as new ways to deliver your music.  It is also a well known fact that all great metal players played classical guitar in some point of their careers. With finger picking you have more control when it comes to picking 2 or 3 notes that are not on adjacent strings. Classical music also helps you to master the amount of pressure you apply for playing different passages.

2. Hybrid picking.

The so called hybrid picking is a technique that I really like, because of the freedom of expression it gives you. While your thumb and forefinger hold the pick, the other 3 fingers are free to pick any note you want.  A good way for hybrid picking and often  used in jazz is to hold the bass line with the pick, while the other fingers work on the harmony.  Of course this technique will not be easy at first, but I promise that if you persevere and focus on improving your coordination, the results will sound very good.

3. String skipping.

Let’s suppose that you want to experiment with playing 2 or 3 notes that are not on adjacent strings.  While fret hand muting can be a solution in some cases, finger picking is always a better choice because of the fact that there is no string muting involved, it is rather a choice of choosing what notes to play.

4. What do you do when you don’t have a pick nearby ?

This is a funny and also very true motive.  A similar situation is also seen at bassists.  I have friends who play bass and are dependent on their fingers and don’t know how to use the pick correctly.

Imagine being at a party where you are the only one who knows how to play guitar.  Wouldn’t be sad to be unable to play guitar and entertain everyone because of the fact that you don’t have a pick and don’t know how to finger pick ?

How to practice finger picking ?

1. Play relaxed.  It is crucial to be relaxed when practicing finger picking

2. Play with a metronome.  Start slowly  (at 50 or 60 bpm ) if you are new to this.

3. Practice daily so your fingers can get used to playing this technique.

4. Try learning some classical pieces.

Exercises for finger picking


finger picking


finger picking


finger picking

Guitar finger picking conclusion

With that being said i hope that after reading you will start practicing finger picking because it can offer you many possibilities of various sound and techniques that you can use in your songs. Good luck with your finger picking.

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