Finger Picking - "G" Video

Finger Picking - "G"

Finger Picking - G Chord

Lesson Goals:

♦ Review G major chord in the open position
♦ Learn G chord "variation"
♦ Play G chord finger style progression

Here is an easy finger picking riff based on the G major chord in the open position. This riff can be played with only the thumb and the 1st finger.  (see "Fret & Finger Numbering")

Take a look at the TAB below. If you are unfamiliar with reading a TAB chart please see "How to Read TAB".

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The first measure is based on the G chord in the open position. The easiest way to play this is to form a G chord by placing the 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the 6th string, the 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string, and the 4th finger on the 3rd fret of the 1st string.

Forming the complete chord will make the transition to the G chord "variation" much smoother, even though you will only be using one note (the "root") of the G chord.

In the G chord "variation" you will keep the 3rd finger in place, and then place the 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string, and the 1st finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd string.

If you are unsure of the string numbers please see "Naming the Open Strings".

In this progression you will pick the root notes on the 3rd fret of the 6th string with your thumb. All other notes will be picked with the first finger of the picking hand.

Try this very slowly to begin with and get used to the picking pattern before working on speed.


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Keith Dean

keith01 lowKeith Dean is founder of and a 30 year veteran of stage and studio. He toured extensively as a road musician throughout the US and Europe, was a former lead guitarist for Jason Aldean, and has shared stages with Little Big Town, Wild Rose, Winger, Confederate Railroad and more. He is a published songwriter, owned and operated a successful music store, and has instructed numerous students in guitar.

Jam Tip!

When playing this riff, we recommend that you maintain a G chord formation. One reason is so that your 3rd finger can stay planted on the 3rd fret of the 6th string. Each time you play that note just let it continue to ring out while you pick the other notes. This gives a nice bass undertone throughout the progression.

G Chord

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G Chord

20_g chord diagram

G Chord "Variation"

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G Chord "Variation"

free finger g var 01