Watch the Boom Chick: Alternating Thumb online guitar lesson by Brooks Robertson from Fingerstyle Survival Guide

As we transition into the right hand concepts be patient and take your time getting the proper form and technique. Try and play a lot of repetitions of these fundamentals.

To develop the essential principal of thumb and finger independence let’s look at some variations of the alternating thumb and how it behaves in boom-chick patterns. The foundation of many right hand patterns will always be the thumb and its three separate alternating bass patterns, which are dependent on what string the root of the chord is being played. Let’s take a look at three variations with the pattern starting on the 6th, 5th or 4th string. You’ll notice I use acrylic fingernails and a thumb pick. I like the tone I get from a combination of fingernails and the pick. The type of thumb pick I like to use is a Fred Kelly heavy gauge delrin slick pick. You can find these picks online at