Playing an Acoustic Guitar

Using a guitar pick to play acoustic guitar is really just a matter of preference. However, you really need to know what style of acoustic guitar you want to ultimately play. Most contemporary acoustic guitar players choose finger-style rather than using a pick. Generally they prefer this method to be able to pluck more than one string at a time. Now, this can also be done using a combination of a pick and your fingers. So, I believe it’s important to learn both. I would recommend learning with a guitar pick at first. Let’s take a look at the two methods and I’ll explain why.

Using A Pick To Play Acoustic Guitar

When first learning the acoustic guitar it can seem a little awkward. After all, the acoustic guitar has a pretty big hollow body that can be kind of uncomfortable to handle. So, you want to make learning how to play the acoustic guitar as easy as possible. This is why I teach using a pick. You really want to focus on your chord fingering. Rhythm is a whole other animal and should be practiced separately at first. (Here you can learn more on strumming the guitar). You will need to learn how to hold a guitar pick and use it to strum the strings. This is how using a guitar pick can make learning rhythm much easier. You won’t be focusing on individual strings. You’ll just be strumming them all together. I remember trying to finger pick when I first learned the guitar. It was just too difficult to coordinate both hands at the same time at first. Plus, using a pick can really improve your speed when using alternate picking. That’s a whole other post! icon smile

Using Finger Style To Play Acoustic Guitar

pima 150×150 Finger style can be used in many different variations. Some use just their thumb and index. Others use their thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. All in all, these fingers have labels as well as the fingers used to learn guitar chords. They are:


i= Index


a= Ring

If you’re going to ultimately play acoustic as a single instrument (No singing or other instrument for accompaniment) it is imperative that you learn finger style acoustic guitar. You can see some examples of finger style guitar in the video to your right. If you’re going to be playing the melody you will have to know finger style. However, if you want to sing to the guitar also? There are finger picking patterns for that too.