- David "Skinny Devil" McLean
originally published at Insane Guitar, 2005
As I was about to sit down to write this month’s lesson, I was
swamped with requests for more fingerstyle stuff. Rather than skip about
madly from fragment to fragment of various pieces, I decided to examine
one section of the classic “Malaguena” so that we could try several
variations. It can be written several ways, but I decided on the
following because it lays out easier if you’re unfamiliar with the
The first example is to get your fingers ready. Break this into
fret-hand and pick-hand patterns. The fret-hand is simply holding an E
chord and chord, while the pick-hand is playing a simple (strings) 4,
1, 3, 1, 2, 1 pattern. To keep it simple, this pattern can be broken
into alternating between thumb and finger (with the thumb, or “p”,
playing allstrings except 1; the first finger, or “i”, playing only
Now, here’s the theme almost everyone recognizes:
Here is a simple variation.
Finally, one last variation.
Play each of these very slowly, experimenting with various ways of
picking the notes with your fingers…or even with a pick if you’re in
need of a serious precision-picking workout!
See ya next time!