Fingerstyle Studies 6:8 and 4:4 - Helen 0609

Hi dear Community,
I haven’t uploaded anything of my playing for a long time and one of my personel goals for 2024 was to record and share a bit more this year. Last year was pretty rough for me, dealing with various health issues, that kept me back from recording. I hardly could manage to get my every day stuff sorted and to keep up with the course…so I had to set priorities.
A few weeks ago, I restarted with Fingerstyle after having been very frustrated a few months ago (Hallelujah!!!), as progress was at a point of standstill, so I put it aside for a few months. A few weeks ago, I came back with some more success. I even could sing along to Hallelujah and Can’t stop falling in love.
On top I got sidetracked by the Club Sessions and I simply had to try out some 4:4 patterns to get some foundation (I was only into 6:8 before, not yet reached the 4:4 lesson of Grade 3 Module 19). Funnily enough, I progressed relatively quickly (including singing to a 4:4 pattern!!! Milestone for me!) and decided to take 2 records of where I am at the moment to have a reference point for my own, but also to contribute a bit more to this friendly community.
You were great help within the last hard months and kept me motivated.
Feedback and tips to improve highly appreciated!
(I fumbled a bit with cutting out my background which might be the reason for some odd reflections.)



Very pretty playing: your picking was consistent and clear. I could here Elvis somewhere over the hillside:your accompaniment was very easy to sing along to.

One thing I noticed, because it’s something I do too, is your left thumb was quite high, slightly over the neck. That sometimes eliminates any space between your hand and the lower side of the neck and can hinder finger movement and changes. Justin explains it much better in Grade 1, Module 1 “How to Play the D Chord”.


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Very nice playing, seemed very consistent and the notes were ringing out clearly to my ears. The work is definitely paying off :blush:

I think we do sometimes go hit little plateaus and the best course of action can be to practice something else and then come back to it later, free of any frustration that might be building up and hindering progress

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Lovely Helen, glad you are getting back into the swing of things

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Hi Andrea,
Well well well where to start :thinking: …o yes first :clap: :clap: :clap: :sunglasses: :bouquet:

And then…thump picks (Edit: Thumb Nails (foto) i mean :blush:) so so :flushed: …You look good on that second one and I would sign for it if it would always stay that way (no “guitar face” caught :sweat_smile:… but that first one Oooo my :scream: :star_struck:

Of course you don’t own us any videos at all, but I’m glad you did it because it’s super good for your development and it’s fun for us too :smiley:… steady finger picking almost all the time so super well done and also in between had contact with us/the camera …double points for that :clap: :sunglasses: :bouquet:

I am very happy that you are currently feeling well enough for this most important side issue in life :smiley:
Dear Greetings :blush:

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Very nice Helen, really smooth rhythm throughout both pieces. Can’t Help Falling in Love is completely transformed with your style there, I think I prefer it! There’s somethign about fingerstyle, it grabs me every time, both playing and listening. I think you’re making terrific progress, bravo :clap: :clap:

And a beautiful smile in both pieces :slight_smile:

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Lovely playing - very enjoyable to listen to.

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Nice a steady, all seems pretty tight on this ship. Very nice finger work. I like your choices to do. Very melodic and soothing. Hope to hear more!


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Very nice finger style, thanks for sharing. I haven’t thought of trying Killing me softly finger style, you’ve inspired me to try as it’s in my repertoire using ‘old faithful’ strumming.

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Hi Andrea, very nice finger style on both pieces your attention to detail is paying off! Keep at it, it’s well worth the effort!

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Very nice Andrea, well done. :slight_smile:


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What’s this, not one, but two videos from you Andrea?!? One from a mountaintop and the other from a dark basement :wink:

That was great playing and shows how far you have come. Great timing, and such crisp, clear fingerpicking. So relaxed with the smiles and everything.

I’m a bit jealous of your separation between thumb and fingers to allow you to pick sideways with the thumb and vertically with the fingers, my fingers are always at an angle because of my inflexible hands :smiley:

Nah, that’s not a problem. Justin talks about a low thumb in the early lessons to build strength for barre chords. But later on, that thumb being wrapped around is pretty useful to mute the low E, or play chords like D/F#.

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Very solid performance, well done :slight_smile:.

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Really well played Andrea. Interesting to hear the two time styles back to back.
Well done, that was an enjoyable listen.

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Thanks everyone for his feedback, very appreciated!

Ha, Brian, I feel guilty having the thumb not far enough towards the middle of the neck, since the beginning. I had my problems to tame it, but that cheeky finger always starts to climb. He is in good compagny with my freaky flying pinky :blush:. Both refuse to do, what they are told! It was quite a relief later on, when thumb over is needed for chords or muting! I guess, I’ve a bit of an excuse now :joy:.

I totally agree! It was one of my biggest hurdles in Grades 1 and 2 not to move on, when I wasn’t happy with my progress. I needed a while to realise, that very often, moving on and coming back later is so much more efficient, than to practice something to death. I really “buried” my fingerstyle ambitions a while ago, because I wasn’t able to play one single song from beginning to end without messing it up, although I practiced a lot. But I guess, everything we learn on guitar has an impact on other skills too, so we continously get better in other areas while we practice other stuff!
@DavidP Thanks for your comment! Yes, I try not to get discouraged about life issues in general, guitar helps a lot! Hope you are doing well :slightly_smiling_face:!
@roger_holland Hi Rogier, no thumb picks and no nails! I had an own thread about (no) fingernails/picks and how to deal with it. My lacking nails were one of my biggest hurdles for fingerstyle. I don’t even know “why”? I’ve become a happy “flesh picker” :blush: and like the mellower sound :wink:.
Oh my, that guitar face thing is really hard! I’m not photogenic anyway and playing guitar doesn’t make things better :joy:. And best of all, when I’m concentrated, my mouth gets so small and tense and I nibble like a rabbit :see_no_evil:

Right, for sure, as it forces us to concentrate (nibble, nibble :see_no_evil: :see_no_evil:) and bring things to the heart of presenting!
Thanks for watching!
Thanks for taking the time to watch, Mark!

After my waterloo with “Hallelujah” (I don’t even know, why this was such a thing back then :joy:) I was looking for another easy 6:8 song and stumbled over this one. One of those great classics and so nice to play!

Same here, in the early days, I saw myself more on the electrical side with rock stuff. But I totally fell in love with my acoustic! Since I came to that point, where patterns go on auto-pilot, I can much more enjoy the songs themselves. It’s such a relaxing thing to do! I got a bit tired of always strumming chords and I love the more melodic aspect of picking the chords. Grade 3 is exhausting on one hand, but lets us discover so much more on the musical side. Slow, slow progressing, but enjoying it a lot!
@twistor59 Thanks, Phil! Happy you gave it a listen!

That makes me smile! I’m a passionate sailor, so your phrase is spot on! :joy:
Thanks for the kudos!



It was a finding for myself, I was looking for a really easy song with a nice chord progression, to apply my first 4:4 pattern, so I went through my repertoire, et voilà! Next step is to add singing (my vocal range is a bit of a problem with this one).
@DarrellW Thank you for listening, Darell!

That’s one of my big discoverys about fingerstyle. It teaches us a lot! Playing clean chords as every unprecise fretting gets obvious immediately, getting a feel for stringspace, for dynamics, for timing,… etc. I guess, I profited enormously by investing time into this technique!
@Libitina Thanks Rachel!
@jkahn Surprise, surprise :blush:! Thanks for you positive feedback!

Ha, ha, not sure about this! I played theater in high school… maybe the last bits of my acting skills :joy:. Especially as my neighbour started a bigger reconstruction outside in the garden and was using a building machine for days. I thought to use a gap, when that damned thing was quiet for a few minutes, but bang! as soon as I started with the second recording, he went all in, it’s the noise you can hear in the background…
But I continued playing. I think, when we play in another context, people won’t be quiet too, so maybe just moving on is the best we can do :wink:

Oh, you wouldn’t be jealous to have my curved freaky pinky and my broken third finger…not a helpful combination!
Thanks for taking the time to listen (and for the encouragement!)
@RadekSiechowicz Thanks Radek! Hope to ever get to your level of playing!
@sairfingers Thanks Gordon for taking the time to listen! Even more after reading your post about being a bit tired about the daily volume of posts (funnily enough, I was at the same point when you wrote that post, I could totally fit in your thoughts). Thanks again!


Ooo Andrea,
people of a different language from each other who communicate in a language other than the one they used to (although I type here every day :see_no_evil:) with words that I had never heard of 3 years ago … this is the miscommunication of the years between us :laughing:

I wasn’t talking about touching the strings with a pick or thumb flesh… but about the opening photo (called ‘thumb nail’ on YouTube) before we click on the video… :blush:

And you look good while playing, you have to be really satisfied with that …Actually, most people look okay while playing :cry:… that would nice if been much more “weird” :grin:


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Good morning Andrea, what a nice surprise today to find you here! I’m pleased to read things are getting better with you and… both pieces sound very smooth and sweet! And from my humble point of view technique looks quiet good as well. All the work you’ve putting in it is paying dividends and…oh…yes…if I’m not mistaken you were smiling in the videos…my heart started going :heartbeat::heartbeat::heartbeat: and :revolving_hearts: (now these hearts should be pink!) …the power of music!

Thanks so much for sharing, it was a lovely break in my morning duties at home…and thanks so much for being there, you’re such a valuable guitar journey friend for me and for many of us in this Community! Love those mountains!
:sunflower::sunflower::sunflower: for you!

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Andrea, lovely, lovely, lovely. Those were two beautifully played songs. That was some really great finger picking. Your timing sounded good to me and the tone on your guitar, sweet.

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Hi Andrea, great to see you posting some recordings playing your new Cort guitar :smiley: The recordings sounded great.

+1 Both were really good performances. You should be very proud of yourself. Keep up the good work as your coming along great.