Folk Fingerstyle Patterns Part 2

In this lesson we will introduce the third finger. The new patterns that we will learn are based on the ones we did in the last lesson but we will simply change one note to be played by the third finger. It's really just to get your fingers moving and once you feel confident playing these you should be ready to start making up your own patterns, which is where the fun really begins. :)

TAB Pattern diagrams

Pattern #5 is based on Pattern #1. Just one note different, replacing one note with the 3rd finger... just take your time, do it slowly and you will get it quick!

Pattern #6 is based on Pattern #2.

Pattern #7 is very similar to Pattern #3.

Pattern #8 is based on Pattern #4.


1. Work on each individually, slowly, carefully and with the right rhythm. Only when you can do it without thinking about it should you allow yourself to speed up.

2. Work on combining Patterns #5 and #6 - then if you ace that try combining Patterns #1, #2, #5 and #6 in any order. They are all based on the C Chord... don't worry about changing chords to start with, work on new patterns always just on the one chord until you really nail it!

3. Next start work on combining Patterns #7 and #8, and then maybe joining #3, #4, #7 and #8 (all the patterns with a 6th string root). Remember a good test is to see if you can speak to someone, and answer questions while you keep playing.

4. The next stage is to work on changing patterns when the root note changes. You should now really experiment with which patterns join onto what. Just try and feel it - no need to go all math on it, just play some and see if you can feel which one works with what.

5. When you feel ready try experimenting with your patterns in a "real world" chord sequence like C G Am F (either 1 or 2 bars on each) or a tune like Dylan's "Don't Think Twice It's Alright". I love that song, one of my all time faves but I dare not teach it because Dylan is a not a nice fella when it comes to teaching his songs, so much so that I removed all his songs from my songbooks! Such a shame, love his music, but he really don't seem a nice human.

Only when you feel very confident with all of the patterns that we have looked at in this lesson and the last should you move onto the next on where we will be making up our own patterns, lots of fun!!

Good luck :)

Folk Fingerstyle