Fingerstyle Primer

In this course we look at how to fingerpick and learn two classic fingerstyle songs to add  to your repertoire: The Boxer (Simon & Garfunkel) and Blackbird (The Beatles). The course comes with comprehensive materials.



Fingerstyle is fantastic technique to master.

At its simplest, you can play standard chords in your songs but infuse new life into them by adopting fingerpicking rather than just strumming. At more advanced levels, you can play full solo pieces incorporating melody, accompanying chords and basslines with maybe some percussive techniques thrown in for good measure.

This is a Primer level course and so Lesson 1 looks at all the basics for the picking and fretting hands, the use of partial chords rather than full ones, exercises to practise co-ordination and a lot more.

The last two lessons move into learning two classic fingerstyle pieces:

  • The Boxer and its driving Travis picking pattern over open chords using all picking hand fingers
  • Blackbird with partial chords up and down the neck with only the thumb and one or two fingers.

Both are tricky in their own unique ways but very accessible and songs that should be in any fingerpickers repertoire. They’ll require lots of diligent practice to make then clean and smooth.

NOTE: We’ll very likely run a free short Prep Lesson for this one – everyone is welcome – more details in the newsletter.

We have two buying options for this course:

Option 1: Relative Beginner (Lesson 1 only)

Option 2: Intermediate (All lessons)

The bulk of each lesson is teaching (usually with a minimum number of questions taken along the way) but we dedicate the end slot for Q&A. With the lessons being online muted and video disabled you can play along with our tutor in total privacy; you can unmute at any time to ask a question or even join in a one-on-one coaching session if tutor asks and you’re so inclined.

As ever, the materials will include lesson PDFs and full TABs for both songs along with video snippets covering the key example and  sections of both the exercises and the songs.

We’ve always recognised that the real work takes place after a course and so our comprehensive set of materials should really help for home practice. Over and above learning songs our objective is to give you the tools to self-improve.

Course suitability
This course is for relative beginner to intermediate acoustic and electric guitar players  (check out our FAQs’ Skill levels and suitable courses). If you’ve tried fingerpicking before then that’s an advantage but not absolutely essential. There’s something for everyone in all our courses and the follow-on materials should help in both practising the song as well as understanding and applying any techniques and relevant theory covered.

Call us for a chat at any time
Whatever level you are, you’ll have lots of takeaways to work on later. If you’d like to go through the course please call or email.

Our courses are not only there to:

  • walk you through you how to play songs
  • demonstrate techniques
  • explain really useful theory

but to also challenge you a little and give you great things to work on in your own time. Don’t expect to nail a whole song or be able to fully use a technique or completely understand a bit of practical theory on the course; be patient and diligently work through the material at home.

Full Course Overview

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