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Expressive Fingerstyle Guitar: Advanced Techniques and Tunes

Play expressive fingerstyle guitar using subtle but powerful techniques. Learn 5 new tunes to put these ideas to work.
4.9 (11 ratings)
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148 students enrolled
Created by Simon Fox
Last updated 10/2015
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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The Smooth Guitar course teaches 5 key techniques for advancing as an acoustic fingerstyle guitarist. These techniques free both hands and allow you to unlock open tunings to write more expressive and memorable music. The course teaches 5 tunes to demonstrate the techniques, and provides tablature and performance of 7 challenging pieces.

The techniques are:

  • Celtic ornamentation
  • Cascading right-hand picking
  • Combined picking and strumming
  • Partial barre chords in open tunings
  • Percussive thuds

The DAAEAE tuning is used to demonstrate a universal approach to any new tuning. The rational for note selection and chord construction is described with accompanying chord and scale charts.

The course is designed to open doors to new techniques and ideas. For anyone looking for new challenges on the guitar, a fresh approach to song-writing and technical advancement, this course is ideal.

Who is the target audience?
  • The course is for players familiar with open tunings such as DADGAD. An intermediate level of technique is required as the material can be challenging in places.
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What Will I Learn?
Learn advanced fingerstyle guitar techniques
Write and arrange expressive acoustic guitar pieces
Create Celtic ornaments with the left-hand
Free the right-hand to combine picking and strumming
Explore a rich and fascinating tuning DAAEAE
Work with the guitar tab for 7 new tunes
View Curriculum
  • Students can prepare by experimenting with the DAAEAE tuning and listening to the music of fingerstyle guitarists such as Simon Fox, Tony McManus and Pierre Bensusan.
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 11 Lectures Collapse All 11 Lectures 02:23:51
Skills and Setup
5 Lectures 24:06

This is the tablature PDF for the tunes in this course. Also included are 2 bonus tunes.

Tablature Download
28 pages


Basics of the DAAEAE tuning and use of the capo.

Tunings and Capo

This lecture introduces the 5 key techniques: Cascade Picking, Celtic Ornamentation, Partial Barre Chords, Percussive Thuds and Nail Strum/Pick Combinations

Preview 13:26
Tune Breakdowns and Performance
5 Lectures 01:11:09
Little Harbour - Lesson

Shallow Sea - Lesson

Swim - Lesson

1 Lecture 08:36
The Laure Williams Guitar
About the Instructor
4.9 Average rating
11 Reviews
148 Students
1 Course
Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitarist

" of the best steel string players in the world"
Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine - USA

Simon Fox is a unique voice in the acoustic guitar world. With a fluid and dynamic style, Simon brings elements of Celtic and Bluegrass music to his own melodic approach to the steel-string guitar.

Australian born, Simon is currently based in Vancouver Canada. A regular performer at folk festivals in Australia and Canada, Simon's performance is a rare blend of uplifting melodies, dark aires and a tinge of blues delivered always with a wry sense of humour.

In 2015 Simon released his 4th album "Shallow Sea" and his previous 3 albums have featured on Australian television programs, a Mel Bay instructional publication, 2 DVDs and a collection of guitar tablature. Simon teaches his approach to the guitar at festival workshops and to many students around the world online.

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