Rolling Chords to Spice Up Your Fingerstyle Lesson on JustinGuitar

View the full lesson at Rolling Chords to Spice Up Your Fingerstyle | JustinGuitar

Such a useful technique to learn. Makes you go “ah, that’s how they get that sound!”. Thanks Justin for more enlightenment!

As with any fingerstyle picking movement, it seems very helpful and easier to get the proper finger feel and movement by muting all the strings with the left hand while practicing the picking over and over. M

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J - great video - enjoyed it … many thx … cheers from Australia … cheers Bill

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Brilliant lesson. I’ve been letting my fingers doing the walking and realised that I have been arpeggiating the chord tones when picking, however without the correct technique. lately I have retreated from the more intermediate lessons, such as arpeggio pathways across the neck and its nice to be back in this new beginner section. A lesson in harmonising Keys in 7s would be useful, as I have only just managed to perfect the Major 7 grip routed on the bottom E.

I love how around every corner there is something new and exciting to learn. Can’t wait to perfect this and learn Greensleeves. Thanks for the lessons.

I’m not sure it’s quite the “right” sound, but for me, raking a 4th string root chord (like D) down is much easier than peeling off. Then starting slow and building speed aiming for that continuous sound rather than a fast T-1-2-3 pattern is useful. Thanks for the great lessons as always!

Great lesson. I’ve been messing around with moving up and down the neck a bit and this lesson really helped to give me some more ideas.

I am now in week 2 of practicing the rolling technique and I moved back and forth between the two approaches–initially, the “peeling off” technique was not working for me so I switched to the alternative and made some progress, but it was quite difficult to get the roll even without sounding lumpy. It started to come together when I–and this might sound odd–visualizing a peal without actually moving my hand much at all. Another trick that worked well for me was to leave the thumb out of the roll initially and just work on the fingers–once the fingers are rolling nicely, it was relatively simple to bring the thumb back in. Not perfect yet by any means, but making good progress now.

Hello and welcome.

I don’t believe there is a way to cheat our way out of this one. The rake doesn’t sound right to me. I am struggling with this as I have always sucked at fingerstyle. This is gonna take forever to master lol.

Usual rules apply. Slow it right down and just practice the roll off in isolation from everything else. I’ve been learning a more Spanish style piece that ends with a role off and its taken me a couple of weeks to get it to actually roll the triad. I’d spend 2-3 minutes at the end of the etude each day, just working on that. Then gradually increasing the speed of the roll once I had all three notes ringing out one at a time. Still a bit WIP but getting there. :sunglasses:

Hmmm… not sure about this lesson to be honest. While the technique itself seems well explained, it feels like this would not be the place to start learning fingerstyle. So unless I’m really into this style of playing, is there a point in seeing it through? I am not discarding it totally, mind, but is there follow-up to this in later grades, for example?


At this stage its a little taster before the more focused Folk Fingerstyle course. Nothing is mandatory and if if its not for you that’s ok. Maybe go through the lessons get an idea and maybe bank for later. It was part of the old Beginners course I finished a number of years ago. I did like wise but came back to at the end of last year due a few songs I want to learn.
So like me you can always revisit later.




This technique is super hard for me, I’ve gone through the lesson a couple of times and I just can’t get it right.

A little bit discouraging but I’ll keep trying :upside_down_face:

Thanks for the advice. Thing is, recently I have felt the famous ‘guitar rut’ looming dangerously. It’s not that I’m getting fed up playing, it’s more the opposite - I love it more and more. But I can’t seem to get out of playing other people’s soings, because that is all I can, like I am leveling out. It doesn’t give me the same satisfaction as before. I want to jam, improvise, learn lead guitar etc. I know this takes 1000s of hours to master, but for that to happen, I don’t want to get off-tracked by lessons that throw me off the linear route towards I want to go. So therefore I want to recognize tasters for what they are and leave them alone if I don’t feel it’s relevant.

But who knows! Maybe I 'm wrong. Justin seems to have a purpose behind it all:D

Honestly, I am sure he does have a purpose. That purpose is to expose us to appropriate methods to move forward in playing guitar while providing a coherent base in the fundamentals.

However, by grade 3, probably late grade 2, he is starting to show ideas and techniques to explore.

My take is that there are so many, many ways to go with this that we start going down paths that interest us. We can alway go back, the important things are to learn and continue to practice fundamentals and to not get too flighty with all the possibilities and try to actually learn the path we feel we like the best.

I am spending a lot of time with finger style and early classical techniques because that is what interests me and seems reasonable at this point (late grade 3) with continued work on cords, strumming and rhythm fundamentals. I am less interested in power cords and harder rock/metal and although I like the blues, it may be a future adventure beyond some basics now.

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That’s perfectly fine, so skip those lessons when you come to them, In the preparation for the Intermediate level grades Justin naturally has to cover the whole smorgasbord and that won’t be for everyone. Folk fingerstyle devotees are likely to avoid the Rock and power chords sections. Again fine it will always be there to come back to. You won’t “fail” a Grade as the only exam is your own self assessment. I came back to fingerstyle as I am looking to explore fingered lead playing, so the basics and technique like this will augment those skills.
But it has taken me some time before realising that it was something I needed to review.

So yes stay focused on your goals and desired path and do what is right for you.



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Gertvr- Everyone pretty much covered answers already, but I needed to chime in.

I started rolling chords on my own with ukulele long before I knew what a roll was, (I thought I was doing something unique for years lol) because I had injured my arm and can’t do an assortment of stupidly basic things now. This technique is the closest I can get to strumming. (It can sound just like a down strum, however the up strum sound is something I’ve been struggling to figure out for 5 years so far… I don’t think it can go backwards, no one here at least could help me when I asked awhile back.)

Like others have said, it’s a technique you can learn later if you ever want to. I can honestly say this technique is probably one of the most important techniques I figured out so far. (In my case) I use it 100% every single time I pick up my instruments.

The only things I can offer as to why you may want to consider it in the future, is if hybrid picking is something you are interested in later. Doing the rolls also builds finger dexterity and coordination in your picking hand if you do fingerstyle.


is that true that on electric guitar it is harder to play?:slight_smile:

No it is not.