Watch the Islamorada online guitar lesson by Muriel Anderson from Essentials: Fingerstyle Guitar

I wrote this happy etude during a free day in Islamorada, Florida, while enjoying the warm sunshine in February. Here the sixth string is tuned down to a low D, and the fifth string is down a whole step to a G—an octave from the third string. We'll play this simple melody in first position, and then up the neck an octave higher.

In the second half, there's one section that can be played using a full bar. Since no other fingers are required on the left hand, you can push the middle finger against the index finger to help hold down the bar. The most important thing is to keep the timing consistent and to keep the Chet Atkins/Merle Travis style alternating bass going. If it makes you feel joyful, repeat the tune a few times and add your own embellishments.

If you want more tunes with alternating bass, you may want to check out TrueFire’s 1-2-3 Fingerstyle to help you gradually get comfortable with it.