Rolling Chords to Spice Up Your Fingerstyle Lesson on JustinGuitar

This is great advice as I’ve not really practiced Fingerstyle and so this lesson comes as a bit of a shock and I always feel really guilty skipping or only doing something half-hearted.


Gert, like you I have struggled with fingerstyle and felt things were getting too advanced too quickly. I even find his latest fingerstyle lesson easier than trying to do Happy Birthday lol.

You might find another site I have found useful on this topic

Justin has checked it out and whilst he has some misgivings on the course, he has said if it’s helping me then fine. Is it the answer to my prayers? No. It still takes work and practice, but has proved for me a good supplemental guide.

Day 1: Aurgh! This is so hard. Neither method works. Once in a blue moon I get a nice roll, but can’t repeat it.
Day 2: Consistency is impossible. Every now and then I get an even roll, but most times not. Sometimes the notes are even out of order. Much easier to play all the notes at once.
Day 3: OK, guess I’ll try learning Greensleeves, but not rolling the chords. That’s too hard.
Day 4: Hey, sometimes I can roll the notes in a chord, and it sounds halfway reasonable. But not always.
Day 5: Wow, I can get a nice roll nearly half the time! Still not easy, but the off ones are not as badly off.
This might work after all!


I started practicing the Rolling Chords in March and I’m still practicing this lovely tecnique. To me it has been challenging to get to an accurate movement of the fingers and at the same time getting the top note on time, that’s why I prefered to practice them in contest (I learnt Greensleeves) I’m now quite happy with how they sound (and look quite graceful too!) and I found I kept on refining them just while practicing. After learning Greensleeves I made a Chord Melody arrangement, I hope to record it soon and share.

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I Thought it was only me finding this really challenging. At first glance it appears much simpler than it is in practice. As always, much practice needed. Loving grade three, so much content. Going to be a good while before i move on. Not that I’m in any hurry.

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Hi there,

I started playing guitar with Justin in 2021 and have been loving it so far. Until now, I have always found the new techniques “learnable” (not sure this is even a word) but I’m stuck on this one.

I can do it slowly but as soon as I increase the pace, my fingers mess up. I just can’t get it right. I’ve been practicing for the past 2 weeks and I’m not moving forward.

I have tried both methods and none of them seem to help (even though the second one works a bit better for me).

Any tips on how I can get through this one?

Thanks a lot for the help,

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Hi Laurent,
Just practice more, you’ve only been working on this for two weeks,…I don’t know how long I’ve been working on this, but I do know that it didn’t sound even a bit good after 2 weeks,…
Patience and keep going,… :sunglasses:

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I can’t remember how long it took me but it was also a long time. Just keep it in the practice routine for 5 minutes a day and learn Greensleeves and you’ll get it eventually.


Hi Laurent,

I have been working on this for more like 2 months. It is not something my fingers want to learn. I have improved slowly, but am still too slow to outrun 1/8th notes, so it won’t fit in a song properly.

I have noticed that I cannot drum my fingers 1234 on a table but 4321 is easy. hmm. Probably related and is now part of my “I’m bored and don’t have my guitar” practice routine. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for all your feedback, it’s encouraging. I guess I’ll have to push through.

5min a day seems like a good idea. I think I’ll come back to Greensleeves once I will have mastered the technique.

I am still not accomplished at this, probably a few months in. I play greensleeves at least once during every session. It is probably something I should have videoed when I started, to check my progress. I know I couldn’t do it at all at first and now I can, but it is not very fluent, with the odd twang of a caught finger every now and again. I will persevere. At this stage there are so many just do it for 5 mins a day items, I need a better way to make sure I do them, rather than focusing on the same few.

Hi Phil,

I’m in the same boat; there are so many 5 min-a-day thingies that I started focusing on what I really love playing and what I think will be useful for the future.

It led me to spend more time than I should on fingerstyle an I have been learning travis picking even though I can’t stil play barre chords properly…

Even though my learning is slow, I’m having the time of my life and that’s what matters… Cheers

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I dont really have a ton of interest in this style and honestly can’t remember the last lesson on fingerstyle. Seems like the last lesson on fingerstyle was way back in beginner 1 or 2 so I havent been practicing this at all. Is it ok to just skip this or is it building towards other techniques and skills? I see others spending weeks on this and Greensleeves and the thought of that makes me not want to even start at it when it doesnt really interest me all that much. The title kind of cracked me up, Spice up your fingerstyle - I would have to play it to spice it up!

It’s choose-your-own-adventure - you decide.

Like many, having trouble with this technique. I note Justin does not use his little finger as an anchor on the guitar body, wheras in many of his fingerstyle lessons he encourages the anchor. I found keeping my hand relatively still in this rolling technique is easier with an anchor?

I have playing the roll going pretty well. I have been fiddling with ways to attack the strings AFTER the roll that doesn’t so harsh or buzzy.

So far, I have not found a way to start playing after I let a roll ring for a bit. I either have the string buzz to a stop on one or more fingers, or I have a hard stop that doesn’t fit the way I want when re-starting my play.

I am looking for ideas on how to restart playing that seems more connected. How can I play a note or another roll on a ringing string without the previous roll sounding like it was harshly halted? Hope this make sense.

Thank you for this reminder. After just one minute of holding down the Am chord, my fingers were killing me, even with 12 gauge lights on my acoustic. Any chord with a first fret note is murder on my fingertips.