"Old Faithful" Picking Pattern

I’ve been learning a couple of songs with arpeggiated chords. It’s taken months to progress to the point of playing the songs through, but I’ve enjoyed it and I like the the sound of it. Is there a pattern that would be the equivalent of Justin’s “old faithful”? If so I might try to apply it to some of the songs I learned with that strumming pattern. Thanks.

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Have you checked out any of Justin’s finger style lessons?

I think a lot of those patterns could also be played with a pick.


Justin’s Leaving on a Jet Plane video was a fingerstyle lesson, so I’ll go back and see if I can pick it. And I’m also actually learning Greensleeves in Module 16 right now, but it may need the finger roll to sound nice.

I do subscribe to the songs add on so I’ll search for fingerstyle there as well. There’s a fingerstyle lesson series that’s a little past me; maybe I’ll peak ahead and see if I can deal with it.


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William, I have a go to pattern that I have used on a few songs and generally seems to sound good. Is it an ‘old faithful’ equivalent? I don’t have enough experience to say so with confidence but maybe give it a try.

I use the thumb on the thickest three strings and play an alternating bass pattern eg string 6, string 3 on a G chord. Then I play with my index and ring finger, either strings 2 and 3 or 1 and 2. Pattern is T M T I. For the D chord (I think) I play thumb on strings 4 and 3 but can also either play the open A, being a D/A or 2nd fret 6 string for D/F# depending on what sounds best.

Hope that makes sense. I play it finger-style but you could do the same with a pick.

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Plus one for the fingerstyle patterns, these can all be played with a pick, especially with alternate picking. Even pinches (bass and melody note play together) can be done with the pick and a little hybrid picking, using your middle or ring finger to pick the melody note while thumb and index holds the pick. That maybe one for later down the line though - something I’ve only started trying in songs !


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The most basic common arpeggios would be these two variants. Shouldn’t take you long to get through it.


Hello, I think you can be creative with fingerpicking patterns the same way you would with strumming pattern…just explore and see what sound good to your ear.
The fingerpicking pattern that has always been “faithful to me”, if this makes any sense, is
p i m i a i m i
…I apply it to so many songs!

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p i m i a i m i are fingers?

P is Thumb
i is index
m is middle
a is ring finger

Pollice, Indice, Medio, Anulare in Italian.

But maybe you meant you arpegiate with the pick and I didn’t get it, because “Arpeggiare” in my language is referred to fingers…

I tend to finger pick with the thumb and the index and middle finger for maximum strength on the steel strings, so my go-to picking pattern is either a P-m-i-P-m-i-P-m pattern, where the P (thumb) is alternating on the bass note and the first m-i picks are on the 2nd and 3rd strings and the second m-i is on the 1st and 2nd string and the last m on the 1st string. I may have picked that up from Jim Croce, because I think he used that pattern on some of his songs like Operator.

not sure if this is what your asking but I was taught PIMA ……… .P= thumb, I = index, M = middle, A = ring (annular)……… P handles E and A string, occasionally D….I handles G string……M handles B string……A handles high E string