Can I Learn Fingerstyle Guitar First?


Fingerstyle guitar is infamous for being the toughest way of playing the guitar. But can a beginner play fingerstyle guitar? If you have just started playing guitar and now thinking, “Can I learn fingerstyle guitar first?” before trying other styles.

If you ask me this question, my answer would be, “yes, you can learn fingerstyle guitar first. But it’s up to you which guitar technique you want to learn first. If you are going to learn fingerstyle guitar as a beginner, then you have to add right-hand techniques with the same basic left-hand skills.

Is fingerstyle guitar different?

I think fingerstyle style guitar is different and slightly more difficult than other guitar techniques. Following are a few reasons why I think this:

  • The fingerstyle guitar technique requires the use of the right hand in addition to the left hand.
  • You’ll have to pluck each string individually.
  • It’s slightly difficult to play chords using this technique.

But if you are a beginner practicing chords use your left hand, then you can also try practicing with your right hand.

female hand picks strings of yellow acoustic guitar

Why do I recommend starting with fingerstyle guitar?

I always recommend people to learn fingerstyle guitar first. It’s really harder than basic guitar training, but all you need to do is add some right-hand techniques to your basic knowledge. Here is the guide on how to learn fingerstyle guitar.

1. Take basic training first.

If you are a beginner who doesn’t know anything about guitar, then I recommend you learn some basic techniques first. It will not take much time for you to learn basic guitar techniques. Within just a week or two, you can build more than enough foundation to start learning and playing fingerstyle.

2. Take a beginner’s course.

For ease, I recommend you take a beginner’s course first and then get into fingerstyle. Beginner’s courses are available on YouTube. But I will recommend you to take proper classes. In this way, you can learn much faster.

3. Motivation is the key.

Whether you can learn fingerstyle guitar first or not depends upon your motivation. Motivation is the biggest key factor that will keep you going. Determine what you truly want. If there is a certain fingerstyle guitar song you want to learn and play, then you can learn the technique a bit faster.

4. Don’t choose right away.

The last thing I wanted to tell you is that you don’t have to choose right away. In guitar, there is an overlap between every technique, so even if you are not learning what you want, you aren’t wasting your time.

The major difference between the fingerstyle and other styles is the right-hand technique. So if you are willing to practice hard, then you can learn fingerstyle guitar first.

Can I Start Learning Guitar with Fingerstyle?

Yes, definitely you can choose the fingerstyle, the first technique you want to learn on guitar. But if you haven’t played guitar even once before, then there are certain things you need to learn before learning fingerstyle. Here are those:

  • Fretting-hand technique
  • Right posture
  • Note names
  • Chord shapes
Learning Guitar

Benefits of fingerstyle guitar

Before starting fingerstyle guitar, you have to do some simple exercises with your picking hand. It will help you in playing the open strings. Here are some benefits of doing exercises and learning fingerstyle guitar first:

  • It improves your dexterity.
  • Help you to improve rhythm.
  • Enhances ability to read music.
  • Improves your ability to use guitar in rock songs.

How much time will I take to learn fingerstyle guitar first?

The amount of time for learning fingerstyle guitar varies from person to person, depending on their level of skills. The time you may take to learn fingerstyle guitar as a beginner depends on your dedication, motivation to play a special song, and your practice.

You may take only six months or less to learn the fingerstyle guitar. There are many students who learned the fingerstyle guitar in a shorter time. The best tip I can give you to learn fingerstyle guitar in a shorter period is to be patient and learn with full dedication.

You have to face some difficulties while learning fingerstyle. In fingerstyle, finger dexterity is required, which is hard for many people. But with dedication and hard work, you can achieve any milestone.

Challenges of learning fingerstyle guitar first.

Fingerstyle guitar requires finger dexterity and a high level of skills. That’s why many find it difficult to learn. Here are some challenges that you might face while learning fingerstyle guitar as a beginner.

  1. You probably heard of strumming if you are a guitar lover. The first challenge of starting directly with fingerstyle guitar is that this style is much harder than strumming.
  2. Your progress in learning the skill will be much slower than other guitarists. This is because you are learning 2x more than usual. So you have to keep your morale high.
  3. The fingerstyle guitar technique requires the use of right-hand fingerings in addition to left-hand fingerings. Learning two skills at once can be overwhelming. So there will be some resistance for you who are just a beginner, don’t have any prior experience, and don’t have a structured method of learning.
  4. If you have the right lesson plan, things will become much easier for you. I also had only 1 to 2 months of training before I started learning fingerstyle guitar. That’s why I know the grind. If you really want to learn fingerstyle guitar fast, then take proper coaching classes.
man in shirt playing fingerstyle guitar

Is fingerstyle guitar worth learning?

Fingerstyle is an excellent skill and definitely worth learning. It’s a great way to polish and improve your skills. Fingerstyle improves the dexterity of your fingers, allows you to use both hands to play guitar, makes your rhythm better, allows you to play rock songs, and manipulates music in the way you want. In my opinion, fingerstyle guitar is definitely worth learning. And if you learn it first, then other styles will become much easier for you to learn.


Learning fingerstyle guitar is not difficult, but you have to practice hard to become proficient. When you keep practicing and repeating your fingerstyle, you will get comfortable, and your muscles will learn the skill.

Sourav Biswas

Music is my life and I love to play guitar so much. It's been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a musical family, and my parents were always supportive of my passion for music. I am also a freelance writer who has been writing for over 10 years. I have written for both online and offline publications, including Amazon and Medium.

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