How should I finger-pick this on guitar?

I am learning a new song, but before I work on it too much I’d like to make sure that I am learning it the best way possible. How do you think I should finger-pick the following song? I can use one, two, or three fingers along with my thumb. Which do you suggest and, more importantly, why?

FWIW, the rest of the song follows this pattern. There aren’t any parts of the song that are more difficult (in case that affects your answer).


Thanks in advance!

It never varies. Your thumb plays E, A and D strings. First finger plays G, second finger B, third finger E.

Sorry man - I don’t have a guitar in front of me and would need one to work out a picking pattern that made sense to me. Perhaps **picker **can help.

I’d go with this - I don’t see a reason to try it any other way. Other than your thumb, you wouldn’t have to move any of your picking fingers to different strings, so that will keep things simple.

While I would definitely use that for this particular piece, there are some songs I play where I use the thumb and only the first two fingers, moving them over the four strings between D and top E. Facilitates much faster picking.

I’d use p m i a m i m so that each finger stays on its own string. (That’s thumb, middle, index, ring, middle, index, middle translated from the classical markings).

What I don’t get from the tab is the rhythm - I’m assuming it’s all in sixteenth notes except for two eighths, but I can’t tell from the tab where the eighth would fall. Is it FFГ FFFF or FFFF restFFF? (pretend the 'F’s are sixteenth notes and the ‘Г’ is an eighth…) If it’s the first, then I’d double recommend a, the ring finger, for the open ‘E’ string because it’s used to being used for melody notes.

Hope this helps…

The high-E is the 8th note. I was thinking it should be noted FFF Г FFF, but you didn’t have that option. I guess it would map to FFFF restFFF above?

Mind if I ask what song this is?

Oh no, not at all. I should have put it in the OP. It is Ryan Adams covering Wonderwall.

I opened the thread because I was wondering if Dopers would recommend that I play it the ‘right way’ (e.g. three fingers and a thumb) or if you all would recommend a lazier route.

Sorry - did some call me? :wink:

That’s my department - when in doubt, cheat. I listened to about 15 seconds of this - I am on break and have to get back into a meeting - but I would recommend a Hybrid approach: use a pick and hit the bass strings with it; then use your middle and ring fingers to pick the higher strings. I didn’t get to listen to the chorus, but this approach enables you to break into full-on strumming easily so you can climax/crescendo for choruses.

Nuthin’ hard about this, so full on finger-picking doesn’t sound required and the Hybrid approach will allow for cool dynamics…

My $.02

I knew I could count on you WordMan. I can actually keep up with just thumb and index, but I get tired of it after a while. Rather than develop bad habits, I thought I would work on a two or three finger approach. I need the practice anyway.

Regarding the song, there aren’t any breakout chords or anything dramatic. It pretty much follows this pattern from beginning to end.

Thanks for the ideas everyone!

You are aware that he’s using a capo at the third fret, right? At least, that’s if you want to play it in the same key…

Yep, thanks BigShooter.

Am at home with the guitar. Thumb and 1-2-3 is the way I’d go anyway. (It sounds like shit when I play it, but then again I don’t know what rhythm it’s meant to be in.)

Even if one can’t read music, if there is sheet music available for this piece, it could be helpful to look at it. It doesn’t take much knowledge to figure out which are the eighth notes and the quarter notes and so on.

Works for me, and my reading skills have deteriorated alarmingly over the years.

I wasn’t sure if you were asking me or Le Ministre de l’au-delà. I searched around and found the sheet music. Here is the sample first page.

It is quite a bit different than what I have up above and includes 8 eighth notes per measure. I do not think it is correct either (based on the 2 bass notes per measure).