Day #4: “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac

For this lesson, we’re going to learn a classic fingerpicking song “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. This song has been covered by many artists including the Dixie Chicks, and very recently, the TV show Glee. If you’re unfamiliar, you can listen to the original song here (opens in a new window). If you’ve been fingerpicking for awhile, or even if you’ve never explored the world of fingerpicking, this lesson will be great.

Let’s take a look.

How to Play “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac

In this video lesson, Mark Brennan from JamPlay does an excellent job teaching us how to play “Landslide.” You can navigate to any part of the lesson by using the chapters list below the video.

At a first listen, the song might sound more complicated to play than what it really is. Feel free to pause, rewind, or fast forward any part of the lesson to catch exactly how Mark is teaching the song.

Basic Fingerpicking Technique

A correct fingerpicking hand position will use your thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers for picking. Your thumb will pluck the 6th (E), 5th (A), and 4th (D) strings (the top 3 strings). Your index finger will pluck the 3rd (G) string. Your middle finger will pluck the 2nd (B) string. Your ring finger will pluck the 1st (E) string.

Sometimes your fingers will be required to pluck other strings, but this should be our default fingering position.

Your hand should be as relaxed as possible. Any tension in your wrist or fingers will work against your fingerpicking.

This fingerpicking position might feel really awkward at first. When you fingerpick, you might be tempted to just use your thumb and index finger. The problem with this is that you are really limiting yourself. You will always be able to do more complex and elaborate fingerpicking patterns, while maintaining clarity and fluidity, with four fingers versus two.

Your Practice Goals for Day #4

Your main goal for today is to work on the fingerpicking pattern Mark demonstrates in the video lesson. Just practice playing the fingerpicking pattern over a C major chord. Your goal is to practice the pattern so much that you don’t even have to think about it when you play it!

It takes a bit of time to get your fingers used to the motion of fingerpicking. The ends of your picking hand’s fingers also need time to build some callouses. Tomorrow, we will look at some easy fingerpicking exercises that you can practice to get your fingers loose and fluid. Plus, these fingerpicking patterns work for a ton of different songs.

See you then!