30 Fingerstyle Licks You Must Know

Genre and Style Guitar Course from Trevor Gordon Hall

30 Fingerstyle Licks You Must Know. This course is designed to explore the various techniques needed to play contemporary fingerstyle guitar. There are 5 different areas of study each containing 6 exercises. This course covers a wide range of techniques meant to introduce as well as refine your playing in short single riff-style pieces.

31 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

100% Appoval

92 of 92 of our members have given this their approval.

Tabs & Info

Download tabs, helpers, JamTracks and docs included with lessons.


Access this course, along with all other courses with Membership.

Full Course Breakdown

There are 5 different groups of fingerstyle licks. Trevor starts with Group 1 “Fingerpicking Patterns” where we get a handle on various string sequences and lining up fingers with right strings and frets. The next group is “Single Lines” that focuses on getting the fingers to articulate one note at a time, often multiple notes on a single string and changing positions on the fretboard. Group 3 “String Percussion” is an essential trademark sound of contemporary fingerstyle guitar technique and zeros in on using the thumb and palm against the strings to play a beat along with fingerpicking patterns. Group 4 is called “Body Percussion” and it opens up possibilities of thinking of the guitar body like a drum set with various options of sound, while making sure to line up each sound with the beat. The final group is “Crafting Melody” with a strong emphasis on tying these various elements together to serve a melodic purpose.


30 Fingerstyle Licks You Must Know

To get you started, Trevor provides a brief introduction on what will be covered in this fingerstyle lick pack and what it's designed to help you accomplish.

4:02 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Floating Gmaj7 Pattern

Trevor kicks of these must know licks with a Gmaj7 type of picking pattern that has a nice flow and roll to the pattern.

5:35 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Independent Thumb in G

This lick hops back and forth on the upper strings, while keeping a steady beat with your thumb. The tonality is centered around a C add 9 and a G Maj 9.

5:56 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Alice's Bistro

Here is a classic Travis style pattern reminiscent of 60's folk. The chord progression centers around the key of C.

5:52 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Alternating Open Strings

Now let's make use of the open strings on our guitar, while syncing our other fingers on a back and forth type movement.

6:01 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Hammering Through

This lick uses hammer-ons to extend the line and increase the number and availability of notes. Even though the picking hand is only plucking 4 notes, using hammer-ons makes it sound like much more!

5:28 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Hammering Up the Neck

Trevor shows us a lick here that ascends the neck, all the while hammering on notes from open strings. This is a great way to get some good hammer on 'target practice' in!

5:48 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Legato in G Major

This lick uses the three note per string patterns common to most legato playing.

4:15 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Slip Slidin' G-A

Here's a sliding riff that spans the neck of the guitar in 3 different octaves.

4:03 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Three Notes Ascending Pattern

Trevor shows us a three note per string ascending pattern that allows for fast and clean articulation across the fretboard.

5:14 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


D Major Lift

This pentatonic lick in D covers a lot of territory on the fretboard, resolving to a hammered on chord at the end.

4:55 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Banjo Roll in E Minor

Now let's look at employing a banjo roll style technique across the fretboard. This E minor lick benefits from the consistency of this technique.

5:21 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Open String Banjo Roll

Again let's try the banjo roll technique, this time using it on a G major scale. The thing that makes this scale sound great is all the open strings we can find along the way!

6:29 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Fluid Percussion Lick

In this lick Trevor introduces some percussion hits played with the thumb while the other fingers are plucking chords.

5:53 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Ghost Notes With Percussion

Now let's take the previous lick and add some percussive sounding ghost notes to give it even more groove.

5:24 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Sparse Percussion in D

Here's another lick that adds percussion. The difference here is that the percussive hit is more sparse, giving the lick a laid back feel.

4:28 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Relaxing the Wrist in G

The thumb hits continue there, but this time the left hand is moving up the neck more; in the bassline and in the chords.

6:11 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Rake and Pluck

This lick employs lots of percussive hits, ghost notes and chord plucks, along with left hand movement.

6:45 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Adding a Kick Drum

Now that we've added basic 'snare' drum type patterns, let's look at adding a 'kick' drum to this next lick.

7:51 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Kick Hammer Snare

This lick takes us in a different direction, with an isolated hammer on lick on the left hand, all the while creating a kick and snare groove with the right hand. A challenge for sure!

9:21 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Percussion and Ghost Strum Chill

Here's a laid back strumming riff that uses ghost strums and percussion to create a very chill vibe.

6:48 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Straight Percussion Groove in D

Trevor has created this lick to be all about the groove. This employs percussion and strumming with a straight feel. Consistency between strum and percussion is the goal here.

7:50 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Reggae Percussion Groove

Let's take that consistent percussion groove, combine it with barre chords and ghost strums, and make a reggae feel!

6:45 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Push and Pull

Ghost strums, ghost notes and percussion are combined to make this lick come alive!

7:15 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Playing Behind the Nut

This lick utilizes a note played behind the nut as a unique triangle-like percussion effect.

8:48 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Free Flowing and Connected

Open strings are used in this lick to connect different parts of the fretboard. This gives the lick a smooth and congruent sound, and allows the different elements to flow seamlessly.

5:21 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Laid Back Harmonics

Now Trevor integrates some harmonics into this lick to accentuate the melodic line that is played over chords.

6:44 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Melody on Top

The hopping thumb and open strings really set this lick apart. The thumb keeps the pulse, and the open strings allow for smooth melodic transitions.

6:26 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Melody with a Groove

This melody incorporates harmonics as an accent, while the groove is held down by basic percussion elements.

5:31 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Modulating with Harmonics

Here is a harmonic highlighted lick that takes advantage of the sonic space to achieve it's unique sound.

0:00 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


A-Minor Percussion Jam

This A-minor percussion jam utilizes spacious jumps up and down the fretboard, while maintaining a clearly defined melodic sense.

0:00 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty

Let's Start. Together.

Setup your account and explore our courses, teaching tools and resources.

Get Started
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Playing since 1995
  • 369 lessons at JamPlay

Reviews & Feedback 100/100 with 92 ratings

Would be a nice feature to see tab notation in same screen as video.


Done the Travis thing with Don Ross, excellent hoping I,m up to this looks challenging


Inspirational Teacher and Player


It´s not as easy, but I learn a lot.