Three String Fretted Course Outline

This course covers the use of a flatpick with fretted 3 string guitars, below is a short description of each lesson.

The focus is on learning to operate your instrument so it's all about building skills. Early on there are exercises for left and right hand that help you develop a sound technique and from there you'll learn a variety of songs that will allow you to practice your newfound skills and have some fun along the way.

Each lesson page has a Q and A section so you can get in touch with me directly on any aspect of your playing


How to fret a note and how to hold your pick

 The first exercise shows you how to hold your pick and use it to play a simple downstroke with a minimum of movement and effort.
 Having done that you can fret a note cleanly with your left hand.
 With this fretted note and the open string you can play your first song, the Willie Dixon classic Spoonful.


Fretting two notes and picking up and down in time


This lesson extends your picking by introducing the upstroke and ensuring that you're always playing in time. An audio file contains a specific exercise for developing this all important skill.

 The left hand exercise in this lesson will show you how to fret two different note one after the other. This begins the process of ensuring that your laft hand is in the correct position.


Playing around a beat and fretting using all four fingers

 You'll extend your use of the timing exercise to play notes on and of the beat. This wil help your timing and get your picking technique up to speed.
 You'll continue to refine your left hand position and start to develop dexterity in all four fingers of your left hand.
 Another look at Spoonful taking advantage of your improved picking skills.



 How to create some simple chord shapes.
 The importance of 7th chords and how to make some.
 Use these chords in Buddy Holly's Rave On.


Some Boogie and the 12 bar blues

 Your first shuffle boogie pattern.
 Extend this pattern by adding bass riffs and moving it to other chords.
 Learn the 12 bar blues and play some boogie using the ideas from earlier in this lesson.


Two important technique exercises

 The first will greatly develop your left hand dexterity and ensure that you are in position before tackling the more challenging chords that are to come. This is an important exercise that will form the basis of your technique from here on in.
 Again a crucial technique exercise, this one for your picking hand. It'll help you to pick across different strings without looking down so that you always know where your strings are simply from the position of your hand.
 With all that hard work you've earned a little fun so get going with Jim Croce's Bad Bad Leroy Brown. A great one to practice at this stage of the course and an important song to get you ready for the next lesson on barre chords.


Barre chords

 Barre chords are important for all guitar players and now that your hands are in position it's time for you to learn them too.
 Up on Cripple Creek by The Band will get you using barre chords straight away and continue to develop your right hand strumming.


Moving around the neck

 Barre chords allow you to move chord shapes up and down the neck, this lesson will help make that a lot easier.
 J.J. Cales River Runs Deep moves a series of diatonic thirds up and down the neck in a one chord tune. An important approach to playing 3 string guitars.


tritones and seventh chords

 With only 3 strings your note selection will be important when it comes to playing chords. Tritones are the essential part of a seventh chord and here you'll learn about how they work in chords and in solos.
 With your hand in position it's now time to look at some more possibiites for chord playing. Here'll you'll learn all of the chords in the key that you're tuned to.
 In the next few lessons you'll be focusing on learning new songs but before you do you should learn some more rhythmic techniques and ideas.


Will the Circle Be Unbroken

 The Carter Family classic offers a great opportunity to get your rhythm solid and learn a classic tune while you're at it.


Up on Cripple Creek

 Another look at Up On Cripple Creek, this time with some more interesting chord voicings.


Heartbreak Hotel and some more blues

 Learn a blues solo using the tritone ideas from previous lessons
 Play your new solo in the Elvis classic Heartbreak Hotel.


Wish You Were Here

 To play this timeless classic you'll need a stack of chords and some single note melodies.


Wade in the Water

 This gospel classic is a step up that'll have you co-ordinating chords, single line picking and bass runs.


Will the Circle Be Unbroken

 Another look at a classic tune, this time examining how you can connect chords with single line passing tones and riffs to really spice up your playing and give you some ideas for soloing.


More Blues and Little Red Rooster

 This one is for slide players who want to use frets as well, there's a sample blues solo and the classic Willie Dixon tune.


More Blues

 A more advanced blues solo that will test your skills and get you ready for moving on once the course is finished.


Guitar Boogie

 This one is certainly not a walk in the park, a simple enough melody but getting around it with only 3 strings will really develop your left hand, especially when you play it at speed.


Norwegian Wood


Every player needs at least one big tune that you can work up and really show off with. Here's yours.

join us

Full Membership allows unlimited access to all of the resources throughout the site. There is no expiration date, membership assumes that you've accepted the outrageously reasonable Terms and Conditions.

Please note the full price of membership and ongoing access to everything on the site is $47US.

$47 US