Fingerstyle Licks: #3 Percussive Thumb

This Fingerstyle Licks free weekly guitar lesson series is by Keith Murray, a classical & fingerstyle guitarist and instructor who is working on a new TrueFire online classroom. Stay tuned for more and be sure to subscribe!

Video Guitar Lesson:

Chart & Tab:

fingerstyle guitar lesson

One of the things that first drew me to fingerstyle guitar was the ability to
sound like more than one guitar. Using the thumb and fingers to pluck the strings
allows us to create many different layers of sound. You can have a bass line,
melody and harmony all played simultaneously. In addition, it is possible to add
some percussive sounds into the mix to further emphasise the one-man-band effect.

These percussive sounds can be added in various ways. The one I will demonstrate
today uses the right-hand thumb to create a back-beat, by adding a percussive
click on beats 2 and 4 of the bar; I call this technique “the percussive thumb”.

There are many fingerstyle players adding percussive effects to their
compositions. Have a listen to players like Andy Mckee and Don Ross for some good
examples of how far you can go with these techniques.

This Fingerstyle Licks free weekly guitar lesson series is by Keith Murray, a classical & fingerstyle guitarist and instructor who is working on a new TrueFire online classroom. Stay tuned for more and be sure to subscribe!