Watch the South St. Pete in A 2 online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from Fingerstyle Blues Factory

I must have come across Ken Perlman’s now-classic book Fingerstyle Guitar soon after it came out, and his concept of right-hand fingerings have stayed with me to this day. Basically, he suggests you assign your index finger to the third string, your middle finger to the second string, and your ring finger to the high string. In my experience, this makes a ton of sense, and keeps you from scrambling for what finger to use, which in turn speeds up the process of getting an exercise or tune under your fingers. Of course there are times when you have to adjust this, and two of the most common situations for that occur in this chorus of South St. Pete. In bar 3, we’ve got a chord to play on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings, so the simplest thing to do is just move each finger down a string: index on the 4th, middle on the 3rd and ring on the 2nd string. In measure 10, I’d recommend starting the lick with the usual fingers - middle on the 2nd string, index on the 3rd - and then just dropping the index down to the 4th string in the middle of the measure. That way, you avoid using the weaker ring finger for the start of the lick, where you really need to punch the notes.