Brian Setzer on rockabilly picking using open chords

The Stray Cats guitarist shows you basic rockabilly fingerpicking

Image 1 of 3 Brian Setzer on rockabilly picking using open chords
Brian Setzer fingerpicking with open chords
Image 2 of 3 Brian Setzer on rockabilly picking using open chords
Tab part 1: With your picking hand, gently mute the bass strings but leave the top strings to ring. When the thumb pattern is second nature, figure out whether the melody notes fall on a bass note or between them. Any tricky bars should be practised individually before moving on. Which fingers are used for the melody notes is entirely a matter of personal choice, so whatever feels comfortable to you is fine.
Image 3 of 3 Brian Setzer on rockabilly picking using open chords
Tab part 2

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Brian Setzer is one of the most successful rockabilly artists of all time, having had a string of hits with his band Stray Cats before releasing numerous solo albums and playing with the Brian Setzer Orchestra.

In this video lesson, Brian slows down a basic rockabilly picking style in the open position – a style typical of his guitar playing.

As well as being a world class player, Brian is also a natural teacher: “One day when it’s time to say, ‘Ok, I’ve said my piece,’ what I’ll probably do is teach guitar. It’s funny, because I’m not a patient person in general. I’m more, ‘Let’s get it done.’ But I’ve actually got a lot of patience when I’m showing people things. I could sit all afternoon showing somebody stuff on guitar and when they get it, and that light bulb goes off, it’s very satisfying.”

More information on Brian is available at the official Brain Setzer website.

Click for full-sized tab. You can also take a look at our tab guide for help with guitar notation.

Brian Setzer fingerpicking with open chords