Socio's Learning Log

I wish you luck with both songs! :+1:

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Thanks for the share, Gordon. Enjoyed that country-rock vibe of that rendition. As for the finger-style rendition, as I’ve watched Max Mue perform (and others along the way), goodness that still seems a long way off for me.


@sairfingers @DavidP

Thanks for the share Gordon. I enjoyed watching that video. You and David are certainly making me think twice. Maybe not a fingerstyle song for consolidating Grade 2. Though a path is formed by laying one stone at a time, so maybe just lay one bar at a time and see where it takes me.

I’d never give up. I’d just scream from the roof top’s “damn you Bob Dylan” before sending you both a message asking for advice on an easier song to learn :wink:

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A great read Socio. Only very new to to guitar and love the finger picking side of the music and looking forward to————- one day ——- if I live long enough to to be able to play a tune. I’m going to keep your reference notes as a lesson to follow. Cheers Kev

Hi Kevin (@Kevandoli), thanks for the read. If you are very new to the guitar then the foundation exercises that I did may be of interest to you.

  • Familiarizing myself with finger selection. Thumb (on sheet music labelled as P) plays strings 6, 5 and 4. The index finger (on sheet music labelled as I) plays string 3. The middle finger (on sheet music labelled as M) plays string 2. The ring finger (on sheet music labelled as A) plays string 1. This can vary sometimes but don’t have to worry about that when starting out. I found it good to start off without worrying about the fretting hand playing chords. Just practicing playing strings in the order 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 using the assigned fingers to get used to plucking the strings. Calling out the finger numbers whilst doing it was extremely helpful.

  • familiarizing myself with the picking hand position was also very important and experimental. I found positioning my hand such that the fingers were just towards the back of the sound hole gave me a balanced tone which is I found good for starting out. @adi_mrok usually posts a great photo of hand position where you can see the hand is in a relaxed claw like shape to pick the strings with the thumb is literally parallel to the strings. It is debateable whether to anchor the hand or not. Some people anchor with the pinky, some people rest their hand on the bridge and some people have their hand floating. So a bit of experimenting is required to see what works and is comfortable to you.

  • Then once I was comfortable with hand position and finger selection I started off with some basic patterns 4:4 patterns with open strings. T, 1, 2, 3; T, 3, 2, 1; T, 3, 1, 2 and T, 1, 3, 2. Playing them over and over again focusing on clarity of notes i.e. accuracy over speed. I’d repeat the exercises changing what string the thumb would play for the exercise i.e. string 6, 5 or 4.

That helped me become comfortable over time and prepared me for introducing the fretting hand as it gave me one less thing to think about.

Adding a minute or two to a practice session doing something like that I found helps get comfortable with finger picking.

Even playing a simple pattern like T, 1, 2, 3 over a very nice chord progression of G, G, Em, Em, C, D is music to the ears and won’t take long to achieve.

Wish you all the best with your guitar lessons. Following Justin’s teaching will have you playing wonderful music in no time.

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The community has spoken, I’ve listened and thought twice. So I’ve decided to park learning Don’t Think Twice fingerstyle to the side and went back to a song that I learned in beginners grade 1 “stand by me” and started to learn to play it fingerstyle for grade 2 consolidation.


James, another worth looking at is Mad World. Justin provides a finger-picking pattern for the song that sounds pretty good to me. And you can push that a step further and perhaps finger strum the pre-chorus and chorus. I find it quite challenging to go from strumming back to finger-picking.

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Hi David, thanks for the suggestion. That is one of the other songs I’m actually thinking of learning fingerstyle and will definitely be giving it a shot as it’s another song that I’m comfortable with the chord progression. I have learned Wonderful Tonight picking and did think about doing that fingerstyle but thought it may be better to stick to picking that song as still working on building up competence on picking without looking.

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Hey just finished reading your log from the start - awesome work and great inspiration! Thanks for being consistent with the updates it’s really nice to see the progress :slight_smile:

I know you’re dropping Dont Think Twice for now, but I had to mention the Peter, Paul and Mary cover of this song, one of my favourites. I love the fingerpicking guitar on this recording and the wonderful harmonies from the group, a song I go back to regularly!

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I’ve been summoned - I miss this hand :sob:


Hi Tom, thanks for the read and the link. That was a lovely rendition of Don’t Think Twice. It’s definitely a song that will try to learn when I get to intermediate level of fingerpicking. Glad my learning log could offer some inspiration to you.