Tabs for Fingerpicking and Solo Beginners

As a companion to the “Songs with Chords You Know” post I thought I’d put together a list of posts for people just getting started learning fingerpicking, tabs and solo playing.

Tutorials for Tabs and Fingerpicking

I’ve written a nine part guide on how to read tab. But you don’t have to read them all before getting started. But I’d recommend being familiar with:

The basics of tab
Reading rhythms

When you start tackling fingerpicking have a look at these fingerpicking patterns and familiarise yourself with:

Thumb and two finger picking
One finger per string picking

A couple more tutorials you might find helpful for solo playing:

Fake strums
The easiest ways to improve your ukulele playing.

One Note at a Time Tabs

These are a good place to start reading tab and playing them. If you want to keep it simple you can pick them all with just your thumb. Or if you’re practicing your fingerpicking you can use the thumb and two finger picking method. Some of these contain both full arrangements and “one note at a time” versions so you might have to scroll down to find some of them.

Canzone Danza
Moon River
O Christmas Tree
Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head
Sherlock theme
Silent Night

Thumb Only Solos

These arrangements all combine chords and melody in one part. You do that by holding a chord shape then strumming your thumb down the strings up to the melody note.

Away in a Manger
Hanging Tree
Happy Birthday to You
Little Drummer Boy
Pua Lililehua
Sakura Sakura
Smoking Gun Bleeding Knives (Ryan Gosling)
Waltzing Matilda
We Shall Overcome (Pete Seegar)
We Three Kings

Fingerpicking Backing

Here are some pieces that use fingerpicking patterns as backing.

Moon Song (Karen O) (Picking Version)
Smile (Stephin Merritt)
Somewhere Only We Know (Keane)
Turn to White (She & Him)

Easy Fingerpicking Tabs

Finally, here are a few pieces that use fingerpicking patterns of the basis or have very easy to play arrangements.

Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Lorde)
Horn (Nick Drake)
Paul’s Dance (Penguin Cafe Orchestra)
Walking Dead Theme
Year of the Dog (Matt Kresling)

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