New Course - Comping with Triads -

Learn 6 common chord progressions.

NEW - T-Bone Walker Lesson

"You are simply the best teacher on the internet. Always cool, explain things well, and relevant stuff for beginners to advanced players. Even my kids are into your lessons now!"

I was chosen as the 2013 Next Top Guitar Instructor at Truefire!
Home Guitar Video Lessons Guitar Videos Music Blog Forums Download Store Contact Search Donate Advertise

Try JamPlay completely free for 7 days.

Over 5000 HD guitar lessons from 100+ pro teachers and daily, live guitar courses.

Finger picking acoustic guitar

Seen my course about soloing with scales?

    Go here » Scales You Can Use When You Play The Blues, instant download or on DVD. Learn how to use my Hybrid Scale approach to solo over 1-4-5 progressions - I use it all the time.

Want to Slow Down Videos to make it easier to learn?
» Try Video Surgeon - it is great. «

I have tons of great lessons at Master Guitar Academy. Join me there - it's where you can learn with me every week. That's also where all my DVDs and Premium Downloads are.

Will you Donate? Making these lessons is a lot of work. You can help us all by donating. Click the PayPal Button:

Choose An Amount

Slowing down songs is another great way to learn from records and your song collection. I use Song Surgeon, which works really well for this. Check it out.

Guitar Lesson Overview

Here is a good finger picking pattern you can practice over pretty much any chord. In this lesson, I am using the pattern P-M-I-A, which means thumb - middle finger - index finger - ring finger. Don't ask why that doesn't match up with the letter abbreviations - I don't really understand it myself. The letters P-I-M-A are a kind of standard for indicating which right hand fingers are being used and when.

Anyhow, in this example I am playing over C - Am - Dm and G7. In my example, the thumb is always playing the root note - the lowest note of these chords. You can of course apply this same picking pattern over any chord you like. Try it and let me know what you think. I'll post more examples of picking patterns in future lessons.

Comment on this?

jamplayLooking for a great place to learn guitar?

If you have not yet tried the web site JamPlay, you need to check it out. They have kindly offered a special 7 Day Free trial to visitors of Dolphinstreet. I have reviewed their site, and I have to say it is VERY impressive. So much good material to learn from.

What can you learn at JamPlay?

JamPlay has over 535 hours of lessons, and currently 45 different teachers. The lessons are from 15 minutes to 1 hour.

The lessons come with printable materials and supplemental content - TAB, chord charts, exercises and a lot more. Here is an overview of some of the things you can learn at JamPlay.

Go ahead and give it a try, it is free for 7 days so you have nothing to lose.

» JamPlay - Dolphinstreet special 7 day trial - use this code: dstrial.

Guitar Pro

I use Guitar Pro for most of my video lessons. It is a great product that will not only show you the notes in both TAB and standard notation, you will also HEAR them being played at the same you see them. Very helpful for learning! Click the link below to try the free demo.

Order Guitar Pro 6, and also get our guitar-playing method for free.

Video Clips

I have lots of gear demos too on this site. Go and take a look at some of my Guitar Videos for some examples of gear I use or have used.

Comments on this video lesson:

Paul Desrochers said...

Hi Robert, I am amazed I haven't run across your tutorials before but I have my favorites and only so much time! Your teaching is great and spot on. You break it down nicely and present it so it seems easy. The important thing is to always play it first so we know the goal up front. So many "instructors" just want to show off, not teach. Keep up the great work - I've been reviewing all of your offerings for the past 2 days and will choose some to work on. I will contribute to you as you deserve it. I love the idea of a Skype lesson; I'm plateaued and need a bit of a push right now.

Thanks. Paul D

Classic Player 60's Strat
PRS Singlecut
Guild S-100
Taylor 410
Alvarez 5052
'59 Fender Bassman RI
Marshall Silver Jubilee Full Stack

Comment added on June 28, 2012
Robert Renman said...

Thanks a lot for all the feedback. I am glad my work is appreciated.

Comment added on February 03, 2012
Jim said...


This is wonderful! Other instructors say they wish to share their knowledge and teachings in the name of human kind and true meaning of the joy of playing music, then ask for your charge card, you just do it!! I've already sent you email but you have my full support and appreciation and I believe everyone here should contribute whatever they can to support your generosity! I tell interest and love of guitar has opened up light years since discovering your free videos as well as my faith in people. You are a great soul, Robert!! Please keep it up and everyone should support you however they can!!


Comment added on February 03, 2012
Joao said...

In Portuguese It means:
P - Polegar
M - M├ędio
I - Indicador
A - Anelar
It's definately a Latin thing :-P
Great lesson by the way...

Comment added on December 16, 2011
Jay said...

Great lesson.. this seems so simple..only problem I have is hitting that second thumb (bass) note in time.. this is the key to the whole rhythm...thanks so much for this.. I will practice til I (finally ) get it.. exactly what I need to move on.

Comment added on August 11, 2010
robin said...

very nice lesson, thanks. great easy tune

Comment added on March 06, 2010
job said...

pmia = latin.

Comment added on November 25, 2009
momchlo said...


Comment added on July 03, 2009
sukanta baruri said...

i am crazy about guitar so learn more and more

Comment added on February 26, 2009
Enrique said...

I've been studying a little classical guitar lately (I'm not a classical guy generally, I just love playing) and even though this isn't strictly classical stuff, I did notice that your thumb positioning is great from a classical p.o.v. Apparently, it helps make the bass notes stronger. Great lesson anyway. Thanks

Comment added on January 05, 2009
Gigi Vedani said...

Guys, the finger letters in Italian are:

Finger names share the same latin root, in this case English doesn't rule the strings. Music hasn't language barriers.

Comment added on August 04, 2008
Vihar said...

Nice lesson, but I wouldn't call it finger picking, more of an arpeggiated accompaniment rhythm pattern. I know these terms are often confusing so... great lesson!

Comment added on July 10, 2008
Terry Passmore said...

The letters P I M A originate from the home of the classical guitar... Spain and the Spanish language:

P = Pulgar [thumb]
I = Indice [index finger]
M = Medio [middle finger]
A = Anular [ring finger]

Top lesson as always.
Hope this helps!

Comment added on June 21, 2008
Ronald Manoj said...

Really I love to learn the finger picking and from your video its much useful for me to practice it.

Comment added on June 18, 2008
Christian Therrien said...

Hi! Thanks for the lessons.
If I may, the letter P-M-I-A commes from the name of the fingers in french.
P: Pouce
M: Majeur
I: Index
A: Annulaire

Comment added on June 18, 2008
Darrin Caruso said...

I usually finger pick 'Whatever' when I play. But these tips will help me structure my picking a bit better. Thanks
I rest my pinky on the pickguard when I play... anything wrong with that?

Comment added on June 17, 2008

I enjoy your lessons , they are easy to understand

Comment added on June 17, 2008

Want to talk about any of these guitar lesssons?

Join me at my guitar forum! I try to answer any questions regarding lessons, technique, playing styles, gear, etc. You are welcome to join the Dolphinstreet Forum group of players.

Guitar Video Lessons

Top of Pagetop of page


All contents © Copyright Robert Renman.
Free Guitar Lessons
New Course - Comping with Triads -

Learn 6 common chord progressions.

NEW - T-Bone Walker Lesson

"You are simply the best teacher on the internet. Always cool, explain things well, and relevant stuff for beginners to advanced players. Even my kids are into your lessons now!"

I was chosen as the 2013 Next Top Guitar Instructor at Truefire!