Watch the Week 1 Workout 1 online guitar lesson by TrueFire from Play Acoustic Guitar 5: Fingerstyle Approaches

Week 1 Workout 1 - 2 Week Guitar Diary is a video guitar lesson presented by Adrian Legg and is sourced from Fingerstyle Revisionist: Origins.

This is quite literally where I started working out how to do fingerstyle some forty-odd years ago. At the time I was in a social club band on the Liverpool working men's club scene, and most of the repertoire was country. There was no information flow whatsoever in those days—which is hard to imagine now, as we have the internet and anything we need to know is a few clicks away. As a result, most of us developed technically way outside the mainstream in America, and we sounded very different from each other and the rest of the guitar world. We tended to learn by copying each other.

I had a quite transient lifestyle then, and didn't even have a record player, but could grab bits from band rehearsals and a colleague's record player. Someone in one of the other bands could do a passable alternating thumb-style back-up and filler, and it seemed to me that if he could do it, so could I.

This is what I did for two hours on the first day. If you're brand new to it, you'll find it the same kind of hopelessly ham-fisted slog as when you first put left handed fingers on the fretboard. In the same way you got your left hand fingers to obey orders, you'll be able to organise those on your right hand. It takes patience; do not be downhearted. If Jimmy Moran could do it in Linacre Gasworks Social Club (I kid you not) and if I can do it, so can you. Do it really slowly, build your muscle memory carefully—this and what follows will serve you well.