TrueFire.com is a massive, online center for guitar lessons. It’s what Guitar Player magazine has called, “the planet’s largest and most comprehensive selection of online guitar lessons.” And in the area of fingerstyle guitar, they deserve particular attention for carrying a series of video lessons by the great fingerstyle player, Tommy Emmanuel.
But, oh, there’s more – blues, jazz, Cuban. Here are the top 10 fingerstyle courses on truefire.com, for your consideration.
1. Fingerstyle Milestones by Tommy Emmanuel
Tommy Emmanuel is top-notch, world-renowned acoustic fingerstyle player, famous for his thumb pick technique in the style of Chet Atkins. This course is meant to get you started in that style. Described as, “ideal for early intermediate to advanced guitar players who are ready to develop finger and thumb independence and explore the polyphonic wonders of fingerstyle guitar.”
2. Fingerstyle Breakthroughs by Tommy Emmanuel
This course is a follow-up to the previous “Fingerstyle Milestones” by Emmanuel. It’s no surprise that these two courses top the “fingerstyle category” for TrueFire. Emmanuel’s playing is widely admired, and his personality and teaching style are inspiring.
“For those players just starting to develop their fingerstyle skills, Fingerstyle Breakthroughs picks up where Fingerstyle Milestones left off. More advanced players will also benefit from this revealing curriculum, which breaks down the key elements of Tommy’s technique.”
3. David Hamburger’s 30 Beginner Fingerstyle Blues Licks You MUST Know
Fingerstyle blues is an addictive mashup of technique and song content – where the riffs and licks just seem made to be played on an acoustic guitar. This course provides you a running start in exploring this genre.
“David handpicked the 30 licks presented in this course to give you a wide and very diverse variety of fingerstyle techniques, chord vocabulary, bass patterns, turnarounds, and melody lines. “
4. Gareth Pearson’s Travis, Atkins & Reed Guidebook
Gareth Pearson is a Welsh player who has taken the fingerstyle world by storm (and aptly, sometimes called “the Welsh tornado”). His playing is immaculate and inspiring. In this course, he introduces you to the techniques of the great original fingerstyle players: Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and Jerry Reed.
“As you progress through the Guidebook, Gareth will demonstrate and teach 16 specific concepts and techniques that are signature to Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and Jerry Reed: Travis Chord Shapes, Fretting With Thumb, Travis Right Thumb, Chord Turnarounds, the Giddy Up Uh Lick, Travis Index Finger,, Travis Fast Lead Lines, Travis Banjo Rolls, Travis Heavy Rolls, Heavy Roll & Bend, Atkins Groove Pattern, Open String Banjo Scale, Banjo Roll Single Lead, Atkins Triplet Roll, The Claw, and Chord Pull-Off Licks. “
5. Sean McGowan’s Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar Survival Guide
Sean McGowan is an amazing jazz player and Guitar Program Director at the University of Colorado Denver. His course will walk you through key fingerstyle jazz concepts from players like Joe Pass, Lenny Breau, and Tuck Andress.
“Sean organized this survival guide in two sections. In the first section, Sean guides you through 20 essential concepts to help you develop your fingerstyle jazz technique. Each and every concept lesson includes specialized exercises designed to help you get these techniques under your fingers.
In the second section, you’ll work through six performance studies, in a variety of keys and tempos, each of which will help you apply the key techniques and concepts from the first section.”
6. Brooks Robertson’s Essentials: Boom-Chick Fingerstyle Etudes
Young, upcoming fingerstyle player, Brooks Robertson, presents a series of fingerstyle tunes that allow you to incorporate all the key, “boom-chick” techniques from folks like Merle Travis, Jerry Reed, Tommy Emmanuel, and Buster B. Jones.
Brooks demonstrates 10 Performance Studies and then breaks them down section-by-section stepping you through the key concepts, techniques, and creative approaches used in the performances.
7. Tommy Emmanuel’s Certified Gems, Vol. 2
Tommy’s Certified Gems 2 includes over 7 hours of multi-angle video guitar lessons presenting full performances and detailed breakdowns of Dixie McGuire, Waltzing Matilda, Stevie’s Blues, Amazing Grace, and Hope Street. …For each of the 5 tunes, Tommy first shares a little background on his inspiration for the composition and then performs the tune in its entirety. Tommy then steps you through a detailed note-by-note breakdown…
8. Andy McKee’s Musicarium Songbook
“I’ll take you through five of my original tunes that best exemplify my playing style. These five songs are not only fan favorites, but they’re also the tunes that other guitarists always ask about, and they’ve all been very popular online. We’ll start with Drifting, and then I’ll show you how to play Ebon Coast, Heather’s Song, For My Father, and Rylynn.”
9. David Hamburger’s Fingerstyle Blues Factory
We’re back with more David Hamburger. But instead of him showing 30 licks, like in the previously mentioned course, he’s doing a deep breakdown of acoustic blues in this course. Particularly in the keys of ‘E’ and ‘A’, the two most popular keys that dominate the genre.
“We’re going to look at ways to play over both a steady-bass and alternating thumb bass, and focus on building our vocabulary in two of the most common keys for fingerstyle blues, E and A. Along the way we’ll pick up moves in the styles of key players like Robert Johnson and Lightnin’ Hopkins, learn essential chord voicings and turnarounds, explore syncopation, quarter-tone bends and other high-end concepts. By the time we’re done, you’ll have dozens of new licks under your fingers and eight whole choruses of fingerstyle blues to play.”
10. Jesús Hernández’s Buena Vista Cuban Guitar Guidebook
Ry Cooder and Juan de Marcos González was part of the team bringing Cuban music to the masses with the Buena Vista Social Club. Here, in his course, Jesús Hernández will explain all the key concepts and techniques that make up that rich Cuban music tradition.
Jesús will teach you 14 concepts and techniques focused on the essential rhythmical and harmonic concepts of Cuban guitar. Son Claves 2-3, Son Claves 3-2, Son Neutral, Son 2-3, Son 3-2, Guitar Parts, Solo or Ensemble, Voicings for Son, Son Montuno Guajeo 2-3, Son Montuno Guajeo 3-2, Chord Positioning, Bass and Chords, Typical Breaks, Bolero Ornaments, and Picking & Strumming.