Finger Picking And The World Of Solo Guitar

In the previous fingerpicking lesson, we put the pick away and started using our fingers. We explored finger picking and used some exercises to get started.

In this lesson, we are going to use finger picking to enter the world of solo guitar playing.

Solo Guitar

I thought about calling this lesson ‘Finger Picking And The World Of Classical Guitar’, but ‘Solo Guitar’ is a much more appropriate label, because these days finger picking is not just associated with classical guitar, but with all sorts of styles. Finger picking can be used in all styles of music and isn’t just limited to acoustic guitar. However, finger picking has always been associated with solo guitar.

As guitarists, we aspire to play many things – From blazing guitar solos, to enjoyable chord songs and everything in between. While all these things are great, there is something magical about being able to pick up a guitar and play a piece of music from start to finish, with nothing but you and your instrument.

Finger picking is suited to solo guitar playing because using multiple fingers (and thumb) allows us to effectively play different parts simultaneously, all by ourselves. We can use our thumb to play bass parts, while our fingers play melodies, while using different combinations of fingers to play chords as well.

3 Solo Guitar Pieces

This lesson is probably the shortest of the series in terms of word length. This is because the focus of this lesson is playing some pieces of music. Below are three pieces, each one getting more difficult.

Obviously, you should only focus on one at a time, and take as much time as needed with each one. Just like in previous lessons, I’m giving you more than you can probably absorb in one sitting, so that you can come back to this lesson when you are ready and learn more.

Keep in mind that learning one piece of music rarely happens in one sitting (or even a few). You should always breakdown a piece into small sections, mastering each section bar by bar. Sometimes you might spend a week or more on only a few bars, before moving onto the next few bars. My point is this – while this lesson contains three pieces of music, it’s designed so that you can come back to it as often as you need, so take your time.

Solo Piece 1 – Safe And Sound

CP1 - Safe And Sound

Solo Piece 2 – Clear As Day

CP2 - Clear As Day_0001
CP2 - Clear As Day_0002

Solo Piece 3 – Back Again

CP3 - Back Again_0001
CP3 - Back Again_0002
CP3 - Back Again_0003


You should now have plenty of material to keep your fingers busy for a while. Work through the exercises in the previous lesson and learn the pieces in this lesson at your own pace.

If you want to learn some more fingerstyle songs, check out the classical and fingerstyle guitar songs page.

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