Pattern Picking Guitar

Red River Valley – #Fingerstyle #Guitar – #Easy #Travis #Picking, #Pattern Picking, and #Flatpick #Strumming


Here are several arrangements to help you play Red River Valley on guitar:


Melody & Accompaniment:

Includes flatpick strumming but can be done fingerstyle as well.


Pattern Picking Accompaniment – Example 1:

Use your thumb to play bass notes on the count of 1 and 3 and your index and middle fingers to pluck the strings (instead of strumming) on the count of 2 and 4.


Pattern Picking Accompaniment – Example 2:

Use this pattern as an easy fingerstyle backup as you sing. The fingering is given as an example in the first measure.


Travis Picking:

A simple Travis picking arrangement that I played at the beginning of the recording.


EZ Flatpick:

An easy arrangement you can play if you prefer flatpicking.

House of the Rising Sun – Pattern Picking for Guitar


House of the Rising Sun provides great practice for beginners because all of the chords are basic chords that you will use many times in the future. The melody notes in the “Melody & Accompaniment” arrangement are very simple and should be fairly easy even if you are just starting out. This song has been recorded by everybody from the Animals to Doc Watson and everybody does it a little differently. My recording is a combination of the 6/8 arpeggio pattern and the 4/4 pattern picking arrangements but you can play the song any way you choose to.


Melody & Accompaniment:


6/8 Time Arpeggio:

(I played this at the beginning of the recording)


4/4 Time “Pattern Picking”:

(This is what I played while singing the verses in the recording)


Intermediate Flatpick Solo:

(This is not on the recording but is another example of how you can play the song)

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Guitar Tab

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” was first published in 1833 when it appeared in Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern, a collection of seasonal carols gathered by William B. Sandys.

The lyrics are reputed to date back to the 15th century, and are written in Early Modern English. The author is unknown. The words of the song had different meanings in the time of its writing than in contemporary use; rest meant “keep,” while merry meant “mighty” or “strong”—thus, the title in modern English means “May God keep you gentlemen strong.” It is believed that the song was sung to the gentry by town watchmen who earned additional money during the Christmas season.

Melody and Accompaniment arrangement with alternating bass strumming pattern (play either the top or the bottom line of tab):


Pattern picking arrangement that is played on the recording (bottom line of tab under melody). Use your middle finger to play the 1st string, index finger to play the 2nd string, and the thumb to play the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th strings. Your thumb plays 4 beats per measure in an alternating pattern.


This is not on the recording, but after I recorded the song somebody requested a guitar break they could play so I made this up-the-neck arrangement.


Away in a Manger – Guitar

The melody and accompaniment arrangement below includes the melody on the top line of tablature and the accompaniment below it. It can be played as a duet by two guitars or just play the chord arrangement if you want to sing it.  You can also play just the top line (melody) as an easy solo.

The pattern picking arrangement below includes the same melody tab as the one above but instead of strumming I’ve included a fingerstyle pattern picking accompaniment arrangement. On the first few measures I included the fingering I use (T=Thumb, 1=Index Finger, and 2=Middle Finger). This is the arrangement I’m playing on the recording.