Fingerpicking Guitar Techniques (part 1)

with Stefan Grossman

Only 35
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Intermediate 27 lessons (1h 27m)

This two-course set is for beginner and intermediate guitarists who want to start fingerpicking. In them you will learn how to master the alternating bass style, which we sometimes jokingly refer to as "bum-chick." It is the most popular fingerpicking style played and has been used by legendary guitarists. Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, Merle Travis, Doc Watson, Chet Atkins are but a few of the giants of this style.

You'll learn a collection of great songs. Each tune is taught phrase by phrase and then played again slowly on a split-screen so that you can carefully see what both hands are doing. As well, you will see rare footage of some of the great fingerstyle players such as Rev. Gary Davis, Lightnin' Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb, Merle Travis, Brownie McGhee, Elizabeth Cotten, John Jackson, Pink Anderson and Doc Watson.

INCLUDED: a detailed tab/music digital PDF booklet

  • In this part 1 of the course: Oh Papa, Shake That Thing, Death Come Creeping, Nobody's Dirty Business and Make Me A Pallet Of Your Floor
  • In the second part of the course: Coffee Blues, Crow Jane, Oh Mary Don't You Weep, Delia, Old Country Rock and Will The Circle Be Unbroken

Rev. Gary Davis use to tell his students that playing the guitar was easy. He would say that a piano player has only two hands (the left keeps an alternating bass while the right plays a melody) but a guitarist has three hands! Our right hand thumb is one hand and plays the bass figures while our index finger is our second hand and plays the melody. Our third hand is our left hand which fingers chords. The results produce a full and orchestrated fingerstyle sound with a rhythmic bass played against melodic lines. This is the alternating bass technique.

Player reviews

“This is a great introduction to blues fingerpicking and as well to the roots of blues music. I have been playing guitar since several years and I found that this course had the right level of difficulty for me. ”

Fabian H

“This gentle man has such a no-hype approach to playing lovely chords and music with his acoustic guitar...Its so simple to follow, and the style and music is a joy to watch and copy. A truly inspirational player and tutorial...”


“Stefan is a pleasant teacher. His easy-going attitude does come across, and it's a good element of the videos..For each song, Stefan teaches it from several angles (though I tend to focus on the tab booklet): first he performs it; then he talks about it; then he walks you through the phrases; then a split-screen (each hand is shown) slow-temp walk through. ”

Tax Man

What's included?

27 lessons (1h 27m) Advanced video features Mobile, tablet & desktop access 100% satisfaction guarantee