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Guitar Finger Picking

Let's Get Started
Let's Get Started
Right Hand Fingerpicking Patterns to achieve a Chet-Travis Style
Super Technique
Chet Atkins
The Miracle Pattern
Ray's Finger Picking Tunes
Rock Style Applications
Legendary Tunes
Study for guitar "Caliente"
Toccata and Fugue in Dm by J.S. Bach
Pink Panther example
Leo Kottke
Chord Formulas
About Me
Serious Links for Serious Players!
Contact Me
Raymond Tutaj Jr.
McKee Guitars

Thumb is out in front.


It is very important to have the thumb ahead of your other fingers and don't let it fall behind them or run into them. The thumb does not have to be too far out front but enough to not touch the other fingers while playing. Start with the easy patterns below. Also let me add that the use of a thumb pick is highly suggested but not necessary. Chet, Merle, Tommy, Jerry and Buster all used Thumb picks. I do too now. It took me a while but there are several advantages if you are doing that particular style. But if classical is your thing then use the natural thumb.
p = thumb
i = index finger/1st
m = middle finger/2nd
a = ring finger/3rd


Relax, and notice the arm and wrist position.
Also you need some nail length for proper dynamics.

Photo shows finger nail length.
no nails equal, loss of tone, volume and dynamics.

The fingernail length can vary of course, but you should have enough to have the fleshy part of your fingertip and finger nail both contacting the string at the same time. I tend to have mine a little over an eighth of an inch.

Ray Tutaj Jr. is a guitarist, author, inventor and songwriter debuting his new CD called Take a Bite Out of Life. Visit or