Watch the Pedal Tones online guitar lesson by David Grissom from Open Road Guitar
I use pedal tones in every style of music and in this section I'm going to show you how to do them with each finger. A pedal tone is the note that continues throughout a lick that has a series of notes moving around it. In the first example I showed how to use the thumb as the pedal tone, in this case the root, G. Note how I am using the pick on the low note and my middle finger on the higher notes. I feel that using my thumb over the neck gives me plenty of room to move around the guitar with my other fingers. I like to think of the guitar as much as a rhythmic instrument as a melodic one. I love how this technique allows me to be very rhythmic. Next up is my first finger as the pedal tone, note once again how I'm using my pick to play the pedal tone and my middle finger to pluck the higher notes. Now I will use my second finger as the pedal tone. In the previous examples the pedal tone was the lowest note, in this example the pedal tone is the top note and I'll play notes below it. It is somewhat like a Bach fugue in the motion, and it's a sound I use a lot. In the following two examples I will use the 3rd and 4th fingers as my pedal tones.