Three Finger Plucking

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BEGINNER LESSON

THE THREE-FINGER PLUCK

Using chord plucks can help us get a more percussive sound, which can be great for accompanying other musicians.

The Three Finger Pluck

The right-hand (picking hand) can either play a note with the thumb or with all three of the fingers (index, middle, ring) plucking 3 strings all at the same time. 

Here we do this so-called “Three-Finger Pluck” with C, Am and G chords. Listen to the audio to make sure you are playing this rhythm accurately. 

2 bass notes per bar (2 options)

Now we play 2 bass notes per bar.  You have two possible ways of playing this and I encourage you to give them both a try. Even if you get one of them sounding nice, try them both anyway

  • the 3 fingers do a pluck at the same time
  • the thumb instead plays an alternate bass on the 5th and 4th strings. The note on the 4th string (D string) at the 2nd fret would be played by the thumb. Then there are two other strings to play with the fingers (a 2-finger pluck if you will). If you are playing this right, the thumb is always playing a note – sometimes joined by the fingers plucking too. 

Example 3

This is similar to the exercise above but now we have all the fingers plucking open strings then the fretted shape. The chord change is C-G-C.

Example 4

TSame as above but this time hammering-on that chord with the left-hand fingers. It sounds really cool – a timing and technique worth learning.

Example 5

Here we have C-G-Am-F which is played in the style of Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry. We use our 3-finger plucks (or 2-finger plucks) to chord plucks to play this song. If you know the words, you can even try singing!

summary

Using chord plucks can help us get a more percussive sound, which can be great for accompanying other musicians. We built up the technique and applied it to No Woman No Cry in this lesson.

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