Creating Fingerstyle Patterns
Learning to develop your own fingerstyle patterns is very important. In this lesson, I will try and explain to you an easy way to understand the possibilities and how to turn them into patterns you can use! Since filming and creating this lesson I had a dream in which I taught someone how to create patterns using a table diagram (how sad does that sound... oh dear), which I have since made and I think it's going to help a lot, so I have included these under the original tabs 'cos I'm sure that will help. I have made that a pdf download too which I hope you will find very easy to use.
The most important thing you can do at this stage is to explore the idea. Don't worry too much in the early stages about trying to find a perfect pattern, but be happy to just make one up at all and be able to play it!!
Make sure that the concept is very clear - be aware of the bass note, making sure that it is on the beat, and then fill in the blanks in the melody line as you like.
Most people find it easier in the beginning to adapt a pattern that they have learned already rather than trying to create one from scratch. To help you with this in this lesson I show you a few patterns that I think would make a good starting point for you to play around with.
The more you explore this concept the more versatile your fingerpicking will become.
This first diagram is simply showing you the bass notes with no melody. also included is a PDF file of this pattern for you to print out and experiment with. Download a blank finger style sheet here, but I must say, my new table style one, I think, is easier to use... but it really is important you use the one that works best for you!
And the "dream fingerstyle pattern creator" looks like this and you can download a pdf file for that one too to print out and use yourself. I strongly recommend using a red pen to circle the notes you want to play, and to help you get the idea of that I have included all the following patterns using this new chart too!
Pattern #9 shows the bass notes and every possible note that you could use to create a melody in your pattern. The idea is not to play it as it is shown here. You might like to use this as a kind of template and circle the nodes that you would like to play. You would probably start by circling the bass notes and then just pick some of the melody notes to add in.
So let's move onto some specific examples so you can see this in action. Starting here with Pattern 10. Make sure you can see that both these diagrams show the same thing, just different ways. I have used a red circle to show which notes are being played. Either using tab or the other table style format is cool - use whatever works best for you.
OK now we're looking at a patterns where the first 3 notes played by the fingers are not played at the same time as the thumb! Just to make sure that you can clearly see that the finger picked notes can be between or with the thumb in any way!!
And lastly we're on Pattern 12 which is a very nice and common pattern, and a great one to start playing about with. I have often started with a pattern like this and tried to change the position or string just one note at a time and explored it that way... and I think by doing this I've come up with some really interesting ideas.
Now it's your turn to go and explore this idea :) You'll learn a LOT in the process of exploring it and making up your own patterns and maybe even songs. Have fun!