The idea of learning to play fingerstyle can be daunting and send you into a fit of nervous anxiety, but it’s really not as nerve-wracking as you think. To become a good guitarist, you need to learn fingerpicking patterns and styles. Everybody has to start somewhere – even the best fingerstyle guitar players in the world had their own shaky beginnings, so relax. There are some great sites that have excellent courses specifically for fingerpicking and it’s a good idea to first of all take a look at some of their reviews.
It’s best to start slow with basic and easy fingerpicking songs that are suitable for beginners. It would also help if you have a good guitar that is easy to play and sounds great to keep you motivated to practice. You can find a number of inexpensively priced acoustic guitars that can help you enjoy this phase of your musical journey and make learning fingerpicking more satisfying.
Choosing which songs to play can be tricky, so we’ve come to help you out by making a short list of the best fingerpicking songs for beginners. These songs are instantly recognizable and easy to play. They also cover different genres so you can expand your repertoire and become a more well-rounded player. Have fun!
Nothing Else Matters, Metallica
Probably the easiest fingerpicking song ever, “Nothing Else Matters” doesn’t even require a fretting a chord in the first few notes of the intro. If you’re an absolute beginner, this is a great song to start with the basics of fingerstyle playing.
Ain’t No Sunshine, Bill Withers
Another easy fingerpicking song for beginners is “Ain’t No Sunshine.” The intro is pretty simple with an A minor, E minor and G chords. The picking pattern is easy to do as well, with just the thumb picking the root notes and the index, middle and ring fingers picking their assigned strings at the same time.
Every Breath You Take, Sting
A Sting classic, “Every Breath You Take” has that instantly recognizable intro riff that beginners will surely enjoy learning to play fingerstyle. Another great Sting song to learn is “Shape of My Heart” – a bit more complex than “Every Breath You Take” but just as beautiful and enjoyable for beginners to play.
Everybody Hurts, REM
“Everybody Hurts” may be a sad song, but it’s a beginner-friendly one and it can get you playing fingerstyle in no time. The picking pattern is easy to do – just three downstrokes and three upstrokes to start.
No Surprises, Radiohead
If you’re a Radiohead fan, you should definitely have this song as part of your repertoire. The chord transitions in “No Surprises” aren’t that fast, allowing both your fretting and picking hand to learn to play in sync before you move on to more challenging songs.
Those are the top 5 songs that beginner fingerstyle players can try out. Take your time to learn different picking patterns until you feel comfortable doing them without looking at the strings. As a bonus, here are five more songs you can try next:
- “House of The Rising Sun,” The Animals
- “Hallelujah,” Jeff Buckley version
- “The Boxer,” Simon & Garfunkel
- “Wonderful Tonight,” Eric Clapton
- “Fire and Rain,” James Taylor
What other fingerstyle guitar songs would you like to learn? Let us know in the comments!