Lick of the Day: James Taylor Style Fingerpicking

Today's free Lick of the Day (opens in new tab) is a James Taylor-style fingerpicking lick demonstrated by Guitar World's Paul Riario.

We'll let Paul take it away for the explanation: "This is a James Taylor-style fingerpicked riff in the key of D. I'm using my thumb to pick the bass notes on the D, A and low E strings and my fingers to pick the notes on the top three strings, mostly the index and middle."

"What I'm basically doing here is holding down a different chord shape in each bar, picking out the notes individually and adding decorative melodic embellishments, using hammer-ons and pull-offs. The goal is to allow all the notes in each bar to ring together. Notice that I hold the last chord in bar 3 and let it ring into bar 4."

"When performing the double-stop hammer-ons and pull-ups within the D chord in bars 4, 9 and 10, make sure the notes on the G and high E strings move together in lock-step fashion."

Be sure to check out Lick of the Day, a free download for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch available at the App Store. (opens in new tab)

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Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.