I want to ask you a question how I create fingerpicking arrangements from songs? for example (for any songs)if change somebody's me by Enrique from strumming to fingerpicking or single notes?

  • How much exerience do you have in playing songs that are already written in a fingerpicking style? Feb 18, 2016 at 16:44
  • Welcome to Music: Practice & Theory. I am thinking that your question is to broad.
    – amalgamate
    Feb 18, 2016 at 18:20

2 Answers 2


Start by learning common fingerpicking patterns. The vast majority of American fingerstyle guitar uses something called the Travis pattern, which is really a whole family of related patterns.

From there, you can begin playing the patterns while fretting entire chords. That'll give you the basic sound of fingerstyle guitar.

The next step is to modify your fretting hand (if you're playing a Travis pattern on E major that doesn't use the 3rd or 4th strings, for example, you can get away with just fretting the 5th).

From there, you can add embellishments to your chords (having more fingers free from the last step makes this a lot easier). For example, play a G on the high E string over an otherwise standard C chord, or alternate between A minor and Asus2 during a bar.

Lastly, you can begin adding entire melodies, countermelodies, or snippets of them on top of the fingerstyle pattern. Especially with Travis, it's important to realize that the right hand pattern is still following the basic form the vast majority of the time, even if it doesn't sound like it when you're listening to a recording. Look up tabs (I've recommended one below) to see what I mean.

Taking it step-by-step like this makes it sound simple, but it takes a lot of training and practice to get down. You have to be confident and consistent with your right hand pattern, you have to learn to play the pattern expressively, and you have to develop an ear for hearing the pattern below complicated-sounding guitar parts. (My guitar teacher helped me break down Passenger's "Coins in a Fountain", which sounds nearly impossible at first. Turns out, it's a standard Travis pattern, though he has a huge amount of expressive control in his right hand that takes years of practice to develop. Once you start hearing the patterns, it really opens things up.)

A couple of resources I'd suggest looking into:

  • Tabs of fingerstyle songs. I'd recommend "Dust in the Wind" as a good starting point to get familiar with the feel. You'll probably start out at a glacial pace needing to think about each note, but take it slow and get the feel of the pattern in your right hand.
  • Finding a guitar teacher familiar with fingerstyle guitar is extremely helpful. At the very least, they should know what a Travis pattern is (even if not by that name).

Broad answer to a broad question: Pick a finger picking pattern that matches the timing of your strumming patern, and play it in place of the strumming pattern.

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