Skip to main content

Lick of the Day: James Taylor Style Fingerpicking

Today's free Lick of the Day 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.