Fingerpicking Exercises to Improve your Technique

fingerpicking exercises
Fingerpicking is the use of one’s fingers to pluck the strings instead of using a pick. This technique has a very distinctive sound and it is used in several music genres. Learn how to position your fingers and practice some patterns with these fingerpicking exercises!

What is Fingerpicking?

Before we move on to the fingerpicking exercises, let’s start by explaining what this is. Fingerpicking is the use of one’s fingers to strike or pluck the strings instead of using a pick. This technique is widely used in classical, flamenco, Spanish, and folk music; however, it has also been used in nearly every genre of music – including pop and rock.

Fingerpicking also has its own distinctive sound. It also allows the player to be more selective regarding what strings should sound when playing the guitar polyphonically (multiple simultaneous notes). For example, if I want to play an E minor chord, but don’t want the fourth and fifth strings to sound, I would either need to mute them or just not play them at all, which is not easy when strumming. However, with the use of fingerpicking, I can just pick strings 1, 2, 3, and 6 easily.


How to Place your Fingers

When reading music that uses fingerpicking, you may see the term P.I.M.A. This is an acrostic for the thumb and the first three fingers of the right hand. Because of its length, the pinky is oftentimes not used. PIMA is often used to indicate which fingers to use in picking:

fingerpicking fingers

Until you get more comfortable with the fingerpicking, start this process by playing an open E minor chord. Now with your fingerpicking hand, place your thumb (P) on the sixth string, your ring finger (A) on the first string, your middle finger (M) on the second string, and your first finger (I) on the third string. Now take a mental picture of how your fingers are sitting on the strings right now, as this is how they should always be like. Remember this one concept and fingerpicking will almost never be an issue for you!


Benefits of These Fingerpicking Exercises

To get you started, I have included 28 exercise patterns in this article. Granted, some of these patterns you will never use, but many of them you will. As an exceptional guitarist, however, we want to be versatile! Practicing all the patterns will not only develop your dexterity in regards to fingerpicking, but it will also get you to start “thinking outside of the box” and coming up with your own patterns.


Fingerpicking Exercises

Fingerpicking can be done in any time signature. However, 4/4 and 6/8 are by far the most common. In fact, they will make up the majority of the songs that you encounter. I’ve included some exercises here for songs in 4 and songs in 6.

Songs in 4

The first example says PIMA. That means if the song count is one, two, three, four, you would pick P, I, M, A, or thumb, index, middle, ring. Once you get this basic feel down, work your way down the list. So the next exercise would be P, I, A, M, and so on. Practice each exercise for a few minutes.

fingerpicking exercises

When you see two finger letters underneath a beat, that means that both of those notes should be sounded simultaneously (at the same time):

fingerpicking exercises

Here you have more of the same, only this time the thumb shares in the combination pick:

Songs in 6

These are songs in 6, which means the song count is one, two, three, four, five, six:

Here you will find more finger combinations or pinch-picks. It is called a pinch-pick because the motion looks much like a pinch if executed properly:


Fingerpicking requires practice, attention, and a lot of patience. This is a technique that feels awkward at first and too, with time and discipline, miraculously gets easier!

PS: If you want the plucking to sound sharper and you have no nails, you can buy these rings online.

Check other posts about guitar in the Guitar section of my blog

How to Improve your Copywriting Skills

copywriting skills
Learn how to improve your copywriting skills using the A.I.D.A formula. This simple process can be used to write landing pages, sales pages, emails, social media posts & more! Avoid many common mistakes and remember: copywriters aren’t born, they practice!

What is Copywriting?

Before telling you how to improve your copywriting skills, it’s important to understand what this is really about. Copywriting is using written words to persuade people to take the action you want them to (e.g. make a purchase, submit an email, request a demo).

How do you do that, exactly? It comes down to presenting an argument strong enough to convince visitors that what you’re going to provide them with (ex: a product, an email newsletter, a free quote) is worth more than what they’re giving you in exchange for it.


Why Are Copywriting Skills Important?

The main benefit of having good copywriting skills is that it increases sales! Ask yourself if you think that doubling your traffic is easier than doubling your conversion rate with better copy. Driving double the traffic to your website is not always easy, as traffic does not come on demand – it can also be a costly choice if you are paying for the traffic. Doubling your conversion rate from 1% to 2% however is much easier with good copy. That is how powerful good copy is!

All these activities will benefit from better copywriting skills:

  • Market Research: Explain the benefits of people completing your survey.
  • Email Marketing: Writing subject lines that people will open.
  • Search Engine Optimization: Creating SEO optimised content.
  • YouTube: Writing video headlines and scripts.
  • Facebook & Twitter: Creating post people will engage with.
  • Google Adwords: Writing effective ads.

How to Write for your Buyer Persona

You cannot write effective copy unless you know:

  • Who you’re writing it for
  • How that person thinks
  • What that person needs

Avoid writing to a large crowd. To write great copy, you need to understand your buyer persona so that you know how you can best serve them. So, start your research by creating a buyer persona and unique selling proposition – I wrote a whole article about this.

Before you write a single word, you need to start by setting goals. When your goals are set, you need to find out how to best achieve them. Each page should have one goal. After choosing your goal, think about which action you are trying to persuade your readers to take, and notice if there is anything on the page distracting visitors from that goal. Also, don’t forget that every headline, image, subject line, etc., should tie back to your buyer persona and persuade them to take action.


A.I.D.A Formula

This is the most powerful way to structure your sales copy:

  1. Attention: Get the readers attention with a magnetic headlines.
  2. Interest: Connect with their problem.
  3. Desire: Make them “feel” the transformation.
  4. Action: Lead the reader to action.

1. Attention: Headlines are Very Important!

If you want your blog post, email, course to have an impact on your readers you must first get their attention and cause them to want to read further. At first, your reader will only be interested in knowing “What’s in it for me?”. That’s why headlines are so important!

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

David Ogilvy

Most of us make it harder to get results from copywriting than it needs to be. We pour energy and resources into small gains, instead of focusing our attention on the simple changes that make a huge difference. Improving your copywriting skills is about working smarter, not harder!

My recommendation is that you start with the headline. Think about it this way:

  • Blog posts don’t go viral, headlines do. It’s the headline that people share on Facebook. It is also the headline that people talk about. Complex ideas do not go viral. On the contrary, viral ideas are usually simple, yet impactful.
  • Headlines set the expectation for the rest of the article. If you put the blog post first, only to realize that the idea can’t be summed up into a viral headline, you either settle for a crummy headline, or you write up a misleading one.

11 Tips for Writing Magnetic Headlines

Practice

If you want more clicks, you need to practice. Write 25 Headlines for every piece of content. You’re more creative than you think!

Model the Best In The Business

Look at other blogs or websites that are doing a good job, and try to learn some tips from them! (Ex: http://www.jeffbullas.com/)

Start with Numbers

Try to write titles that start with numbers: “Top 15 Website to Free Images For Your Content Marketing”, “21 Actionable SEO Techniques You Can Use Right Now”, “7 Ways to Make Yourself a Happier Person Every Day”, 7 Secrets, 7 Proven, 7 Reasons, 7 Tips, etc.

Use “How to” Headlines – they still work!

Use headlines that start with ‘How’, because people Google that a lot! Ex: “How to Make Lavender Lemonade to get rid of Headaches & Anxiety“. Use these formulas: How to [Blank] Even if [Common Obstacle] and How to [Blank] Without [Common Objection].

Use Punctuation

It’s a simple technique to use. Place your main keyword before the colon or hyphen, and add your benefit headline after it. This will help you when it comes to SEO. Ex: Marketing Plan Template: Create Your First Marketing Plan in 5 Steps

Be Ultra Specific

Define what the article is about. Remember, headlines set the expectation for the rest of the article. Example of a bad headline: “Write a Song” / Example of a good headline: “How to Compose Your Own Song: Songwriting 101”

Flag Common Mistakes

Examples: “16 Copywriting Mistakes You’re Probably Making (and How to Fix Them)” / “Are You Making These 10 Common Google AdWords Mistakes?”

Ask Questions

Examples: “Do You Want to Build a Snowman? Read This Guide First” / “Think You Know SEO? Quiz Yourself and Find Out!”

Remember the 5Ws

These engaging, interrogative words are used to gather information. By using them in your headlines, you articulate to readers the kind of information you intend to provide: Who, What, When, Where and Why.

Pay Attention to Headline Length

If you want your headlines to look good in Google and prevent them from being cut off, make sure your headlines stay under 60 characters.

 Use an Image to Enhance Your Headline

It’s always a good idea to use a picture – 100% of readers will see it! Use images across all social media post. Communicate the headline in your picture to get attention. Use free images: create your own on Canva or find them on websites like Unsplash or Pexels.


2. Interest: Connect with Their Problem

Once you’ve hooked a reader with the headline, it’s time to turn that attention into interest. If you don’t hold their interest in the first paragraph, you’ve lost them!

Show you understand their problem by sharing any personal experiences or other people’s stories. You can also invent fictional stories to make it entertaining (as long as the humor furthers your goal). The goal here is to create a piece of content that informs, educates, and entertains, to sparkle an emotional reaction.

Remember to make it scannable and visually appealing. In order to do that, you can use bullets and subheadings, and break up the text to make your points stand out.


3. Desire: Make them ‘Feel’ the Transformation

The goal now is to build their interest in what you have to offer, and show how it can solve their problem. In other words, the end goal is to cause a shift in their mind and they start to imagine themselves in the solution.

One common mistake is to sell the product features vs. benefits for the customer. So, focus less on all of the great things about your product and more on how your product will make the visitor’s life better. Be sure to focus on the right benefits. Finally, show the reader what is missing by not trying the product.


4. Action: Lead Readers to Action

Last but not least, the call to action. The CTA is your final instruction to your reader. You’ve worked hard so far. Since you’ve gotten their attention, hooked their interest, created desire, isn’t it appropriate to ask for action?

5 Tips to Create an Irresistible Call to Action

  1. Have a Call-to-Action on Every Page: Everything you write should have a call to action – after all, you’re creating a piece of content for a specific reason.
  2. Start With an Command Verb: Words like “buy,” “shop,” or “order”, “download” or “subscribe”, “watch”, “share”, “fill out a form for…” or “find out how…”
  3. Create Urgency: Use discrete measurements of time in your call to action. For example, phrases like “click now” or “try our software today” give the user an understanding of how easy and immediate the action will be.
  4. Use Contrasting Colours: Contrasting colours can draw the user’s eye to the action you want them to take. If your site is cool blue and gray, use a red or orange graphic.
  5. Use a no-obligation statement that removes or reduces risk: for example, Udemy uses “Take This Course” rather than “Buy Now”. 

Try to pay attention to the call-to-actions you come across and note down what makes you click and what holds you back!


And this is it! If you keep this A.I.D.A formula in mind when you’re writing a piece of content, you will most likely start seeing the results!

Check other posts about marketing in the Marketing section of my blog

Cool Clothespins DIY Project Ideas

Wooden clothespins have a variety of other crafty uses, not only for hanging the wash. They can be used for a variety of cute and creative stuff, such as planters, mirrors, and so on. These wooden pegs crafts are super cheap and easy to make!

Things you can do with Clothespins

Planter

clothespins planter

If you have an indoor small plant, consider these beautiful planters as inspiration. They’re really easy to make. All you need is some tuna cans and clothespins to clip around the cans!


Birthday Wall Calendar

Clothespins Birthday Wall Calendar

Another cool idea is to create a birthday calendar with clothespins. You can use this as a way not to forget any birthdays ever again!


Lampshade

Clothespins Lampshade

Lampshades and candles can improve the look and feel in your room. You don’t need to spend money on candle holders or lampshades. This one looks stunning too and will fit perfectly to every bedroom.


Holder

Clothespins Holder

For your scarf collection, you can make a clothespin holder. It’s a simple project which you’ll make the most of for a long time!


Organizers

Clothespins Organizers

Use these organizers to keep track of homework or work assignments. You can also embelish them using washi tape, as I explained in a previous post here in the blog.


Wreath

Clothespins Wreath

You too can make a beautiful wreath like this with clothespins. All you need to do is paint it and add some nice shells!


Surprises

Clothespins Surprises

These hidden messages would work great as little notes left on desks or for treasure hunts. Or perhaps you want to surprise your boyfriend! Any way, these are quick and easy gifts for all!


Mirror

Clothespins Mirror

Add a nice touch to your living room with a clothespin mirror. If you prefer a more glamourous vibe, you can paint it gold and you’ll get a completely different result!


Jewelry Box

Clothespins Jewelry Box

If you have your jewelry all over the place, why not making of these cute little jewelry boxes? Just cover the bottom part and that’s it!


Trivet

Clothespins Trivet

You’ll need around 24 clothespins for one trivet. You can paint them if you want but before this you need to take them apart. You’ll then be arranging them to form a circle, gluing them together. Easy!


Headphone Organizer

Clothespins Headphone Organizer

How cute and convenient is this headphone organizer? Just use two clothespins and glue them together. If you want, you can paint them to make them look nicer!


Kitchen Cabinet Organizer

Clothespins Kitchen Cabinet Organizer

Pin up items to be kept out of sight, such as rubber gloves, sponges, and plastic bags, on the inside of a cabinet door. If your cabinets aren’t metal, use hot glue to directly glue the clothespins to the cabinet!


Check other posts about other projects in the DIY Projects section of my blog