Special Guest: Joe Robinson (Fingerstyle Technique)

Join the Discussion and let us know your comments about Joe Robinson’s Club on February 8, 2024. Cheers!

Joe’s Live Class recording is now available on our Clubs Archive.

Unanswered questions from the Q&A (grouped together by topic).

Thumb picks & fingernails

Been doing some traditional acoustic Blues for a year and a bit but keep thinking thumb pick or not. Notice you are using one. Pros and cons ?

Can you talk about the thumb plectrum? when did you start using that, and how do you think its helped your playing?

Delta Blues - thumb pick or not ?

What about fingernails on your right hand? Do you keep them short…?

How do you keep your finger nails in shape. Mine just split.

Do you have any exercises or recommendations to get used to and competent using a thumb pick?

Did it take you some time and practice to learn to balance the volume from your fingers with that of the thumbpick? It’s particularly tricky when plucking with both thumb and finger(s) at the same time.

I’m working through Justin’s course but also started working on classical guitar after loving the Greensleeves lesson. My question is about fingernails - I like how they work for classical but so far they make steel string acoustic harder. Not sure if it’s just a matter of getting used to it, or there’s some technique changes or nail care tips for this?

What’s your view of finger picks please? (From somoene who has bit his nails for about 60 years!!!)

What if you just hate thumb picks? Should you get over it? Seems like a lot of blues guys like Mississippi John Hurt are all natural


How do you make the “thumping” sound when picking the bass notes?

Where is the base of your hand on the guitar when you mute the strings? Thanks.

Can you talk about how you’re doing your muting?

Is Joe lightly muting the strings to get the bass line sound?

I am left handed learning right handed - how much is this likely to slow me down?

What is your take on using an anchor finger?

Best way to practice muting only 6th and 5th strings?

Can you show us again how you rocked from one string to another when you played the C chord and patter 5464 please?

Songs & repertoire & arranging

What are great songs for beginner kids to start learning this style

How do you go about learning a new tune you want to add to your repertoire?

How do you learn the melody please ? how do you find it ? crucial question for me

I’ve heard it said that some songs don’t lend themselves to a guitar arrangement why is that?

You mentioned other simple songs you can recommend for us to look into. Where would we go to find those?

Do you write out the scores for your songs so that you remember them?

Can you play “Baby’s Coming Home” so we can know how it should sound?

Guitar and accessories

Whats best to learn fingerstyle: acoustic or electric guitar?

What gauge strings does Joe use? I note he was mentioning the light action.

As a beginner is it better to have a wider neck eg 1 3/4 for fingerpicking ?

Wondering what guitar Joe uses. and what body and top woods he likes for finger style

Practice & performance

Do you distinguish between practicing and playing?

How long does it generally take you to get a piece up to performance standard?

Justin noted that you are a singer. any advice on how to work matching voice with guitar strings. i find it easier on a piano


I saw some of the regulars there and and damn that Joe has some smooth playing going on!
Who’s in for learning that Freight Train tune? Every time I hear it, it is stuck in my head. time I sit down and actually learn it :smiley:

At a certain point, the resources were unavailable because all these people were accessing the site at once :smiley:
Anyway, check them here again!


Want to check out Joe’s Lessons?
Go to https://www.invisibletechnique.com/complete-fingerstyle-guitar and use promocode JG30 for 30% off!

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I really enjoyed the session.

As someone who is basically brand new to fingerstyle playing (I’ve been dabbling for a few days) I did wonder what I’d get from a session with an experienced player but actually i got loads from it including a good slab of stuff to add to my practice schedule! Not all experienced musicians can also teach beginners but Joe obviously can.


I missed it :sob:
i only watched the last 20 minutes … :cold_sweat:

I’ll give it a try soon. It’s on my dreamer-song list for quite a while, as I really love that song. I might be ready to go for it now. :smiley:

It was a great session, very inspiring and lots to take home. Joe has a very nice teaching style as well. Thanks to the whole team for making this happen. It was a cool addition to all the top notch content all of you are already offering us. It’s an overall amazing place to learn! :slight_smile:

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You definitely missed something. This was a fantastic lesson. So inspiring and motivating. Complex stuff… I can only dream of ever being able to do. And yet so inspiring and motivating.

The recording will be made available soon. There was an email :slightly_smiling_face:

Very inspiring and timely lesson! Too short though :laughing: A big big thank you to Joe, Justin & an amazing team! I’m fairly new to fingerpicking and really enjoy it. Fantastic lesson :clap:

Pretty much a beginner with finger style… should there be a specific finger assigned to each string, or what ever feels natural? I was using thumb for the bottom two and index for the D, middle for G…

I bought Joe Robinson beginner fingerstyle course a while ago when it was on Udemy. Freight Train is one of the song that we learn. :blush:Hopefully, one Day, I’ll have the time to try it. Even if the title says beginner, it’s definitely more fast-paced than the JG beginner course.

Here is an overview of the content : Fingerstyle Sample

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Fabulous lesson!
Great pace, plenty of content for the more advanced players too
Thanks so much to everyone who made it possible :pray::pray:

I’m no finger style expert but every article I’ve read typically says the thumb covers the 3 thickest strings and then it’s one finger assigned to each of the remaining strings.

I’m sure there are people who do it differently but consistency will be the key - don’t chop and change each time you pick up the guitar, particularly while learning


Excellent session from Joe and the additional materials are a fantastic bonus to practice Travis style, while we wait for his return. Some interesting observations on playing live and how long it takes him to settle into to a performance he is happy with and with songs he knows inside out. My take from this is choosing something I know very well for our OMs and not trying to get a brand new song boxed off in 6 weeks (or less) ! Interesting stuff.

And don’t forget Justin has many fingerstyle lessons and courses on the website, if you are new here.



What an inspiring teacher. Thanks to Justin, I completed beginner grade 1 in guitar, but I’ve been away from lessons for a while. I always wanted to learn finger style, but didn’t know where to start. I’ve been reading comments on Joe’s course, and I’m considering the purchase. Thanks for the discount!
First stop however…Justin’s finger-style lesson that has been in my for-later list.
This was only my second Clubs event…a brilliant addition to JG. I donated separately after today’s event.


Absolutely brilliant lesson yesterday! And thanks a lot for the additional material, priceless! Thank you all for making this possible for us! :heart:

All unanswered Q&A now added to post 1 above.

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Thank you all at Justinguitar so much for making this happening! That was really inspiring! What a nice guy he is…and he also gave us his advice for good practice which is basically what Justin reccomends all the time! He explained everything really clearly step by step and now I need 15 extra minutes for my practice routine! That’s not possible, more for my brain actually! But I can start slow and just have 5 minutes and improve my thumb independence as main goal for the moment :hourglass_flowing_sand:


I’d like to echo, what others have already said. That was an excellent session. I’ve done some very basic fingerpicking so far, but never tried Travis style. It sounds absolutely great. Definitely a lot of time and effort necessary to put into it, but it sounds so worth it :star_struck:.

I’m just wondering, whether now’s the ‘right time’ for me to dive into it :thinking:. I’ve still not completed grade 2. I’m too busy learning songs :sweat_smile:.



Vintage Club #7 on Monday 12 February! :slight_smile:

There are two suggested JustinGuitar lessons in my preview notes here:

I won’t be covering the Travis thumb style in the early sessions. Maybe further down the line.


im looking forward for the video to see what i 've missed

Thank you Justin and the team for putting last nights class on, it was excellent with much inspiring information. :smiley: :smiley:

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