Collin Hill

Fingerstyle Learning Pathway

Learn to fingerpick like a pro.

WHo it's for

All Levels

From beginner strummers to intermediate acoustic players, there's something here for everyone.


3 months

Collin Hill will guide you through 6 grades of instruction with daily practice plans and assessments.


Playing alone made fun.

No friends? No problem! This guided Learning Pathway will teach you how to play rich solo fingerstyle arrangements.

Make it musical

Take the next step

Once you've built your fingerstyle foundation, take your skills to the next level with advanced acoustic lessons.

What you'll learn

In this guided Learning Pathway, you'll develop the skills to fingerpick like a pro and arrange your own fingerstyle songs.

  • Learn to play like Tommy Emmanuel
  • Music-first lessons – jam out & learn songs as you go
  • Sound like a full band – blend rhythm & lead playing
How it works

Your guided learning pathway

In this 3-month Learning Pathway, master guitarist Collin Hill will break down fundamental fingerstyle techniques and advanced concepts. With guided jams, daily practice exercises, and straightforward lessons, you'll know exactly what to work on at every step of the way.

Introduction to Acoustic Fingerstyle

To kick off the Learning Pathway, Collin will run you through the fundamentals of fingerstyle.

You'll start with the absolute basics then work your way through technical drills and play your first two fingerstyle compositions.

Fingerpicking Decoded

In this grade, you’ll strengthen your fingerpicking foundation with six must-know picking patterns.

These are perfect for spicing up songs you already know, learning new tunes that Collin will walk you through, and fueling your own songwriting.

How to Add Melody to Chords

If you don't often get to jam with other musicians, this grade is going to be a game changer.

In this grade, you'll work on turning your guitar into a 3-piece band by playing the bassline, chords, and melody to a song at once.

Grade 4. Intermediate Fingerstyle

Welcome to the big leagues! This grade is where you'll truly take your fingerstyle skills to new heights. You’ll quickly move from beginner to advanced chords, learn how to harmonize your melodies, and take a close look at 3rd, 6th, and 10th intervals.

Grade 5. How to Arrange Fingerstyle Songs

This is the final boss of our Acoustic Fingerstyle Learning Pathway. Grade 5 is all about having fun by putting everything that you’ll have learned together by learning some songs from start to finish. 

Grade 6. Advanced Fingerstyle

Ready to become a pro? This grade will teach you everything from tapping to artifical and natural harmonics, as well as percussive guitar techniques. Add some flair to your playing!


Stay focused with this step-by-step learning program designed by our expert team of music educators.

3-Month Plan

Grade 1. Introduction to Acoustic Fingerstyle

Get set up for success and start building your acoustic fingerstyle foundation.

We're with you every step of the way in this Learning Pathway. In every lesson, Collin will break down a new concept then run through drills with you so you can lock it into your muscle memory. To cap off each day's work, you'll put what you learned in a musical context so you can level up fast.

Day 1. Get Set Up

Before you start plucking away, it’s important to get set up for success. Establishing proper technique will help you avoid injury and make playing acoustic fingerstyle as easy as possible. Today, you’ll work on finding a default position for your picking and fretting hands so you feel comfortable every time you pick up the guitar.

Day 2. How to Feel Rhythm

Every great six-string slingin’ finger pickin’ player knows that rhythm is king. In today’s session, you’ll get to grips with how to feel rhythm and use it when strumming chords.

Day 3. Motor Skills 101

Fingerstyle guitarists rely on fine motor skills to bring out the secret melodies hidden in chord progressions.

Today, you’ll start on the first leg (or finger!) of your acoustic fingerpicking journey. To do this, it’s important to spend time training the motor skills in each of your fingers.

Day 4. Developing Motor Skills

Today we’ll continue building up your fine-motor-skill foundation by switching focus to your fretting hand. Your goal is to have clear notes ring out when you play, free of any buzzing sound.

Day 5. G Major Scale

Today, we’ll review some key points, then shift focus to making music by applying fingerpicking patterns to the G major scale – a staple for guitarists of any style.

Day 6. Stepping Stones

With some solid technical skills locked in, we'll start playing songs. Fun! This lesson is all about putting your skills to the test in a musical context. 

Day 7. Coffee Break

Recap what you learned and learn a final song to make sure you're ready for Grade 2.

Grade 2. Fingerpicking Decoded

Learn six essential fingerpicking patterns that'll fuel your playing for the rest of your musical life.

Days 1-3. T123, T321, and T213

Over the first three days of Grade 2, we’re going to get your fingers moving independently in all sorts of ways. You'll learn new chords as you drill various patterns into your muscle memory.

Day 4. 6/8 Fingerpicking

Today we’ll look at a fingerstyle pattern in 6/8 time. Fear not, it won’t take much to fit your techniques into this new time signature – you'll have done so much work with 4/4 patterns in previous days, adding two more plucks into the mix will be a walk in the park

Day 5. The Pinch

Feeling crabby? 🦀 Today, you’ll expand your bag of tricks with a new move, the pinch! This is a beautiful compositional tool that will add a strong sense of melody to your fingerpicking progressions.

Day 6.  Folky Thumbpicking

Today you’ll get familiar with folky thumbpicking technique. Don’t be surprised if this picking pattern sounds familiar. Songs like Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours and countless other hits have used this folky feel in recent years.

Day 7. Recap, Check-Ins, Star Gazing

Here, you'll review what you worked on in Grade 2, take a series of assessments to make sure you're ready to move on, and wrap up with a new song.

Grade 3. How to Add Melody to Chords

Turn your guitar into a three-piece band

Day 1. Key of C

The key of C major is perfect for incorporating open-string chords. We'll kick off the grade by exploring colorful extended chords, then tackle expressive hammer-on and pull-off techniques.

Day 2. Expanding the Key of C

Next, Collin will show you how to get more out of any major key by accessing its relative minor scale. You'll also build on what you learned in Day 1 by playing micro-melodies within a chord.

Day 3. The Keaggy Stretching Exercise

On Day 3, you'll hit the finger gym with a finger-stretching exercise that'll help you fret some seriously stretchy chords.

Day 4. Key of G

After that, we'll switch gears to G major as you identify different ways to incorporate a walking bassline into your playing with leading tones and triad inversions.

Day 5. Expanding the Key of G

Today is all about expanding your chordal vocabulary. Collin will guide you through lush extended chords that'll bring your rhythm playing to life.

Day 6. Capo Unlocked

On Day 6, you'll unlock the ability to play colorful open-string chords in any key with the help of your handy-dandy capo. We'll put today's lesson through the lens of CAGED system chord shapes to help you better visualize the concepts.

Day 7. How to Break Free From Patterns

In nearly every style of guitar, rhythm is king. Acoustic fingerstyle is no exception. Today, you'll work on shaking up the rhythm of your picking patterns with a series of drills and exercises that'll put your sense of groove to the test.

Day 8. How to Add Melodies to Chords

This lesson is a game changer – at this point in the Learning Pathway, you'll have developed a solid foundation for rhythm, bass, and chords. All that's left is the melody. Today, you'll work on adding this final piece of the puzzle into your playing so you can make your guitar sound like a three-piece band.

Day 9. Setting Sun

Today, we'll focus solely on taking what you learned and making it musical. You'll learn an original composition by Collin that'll cover everything you've learned in Grade 3.

Day 10. Composition Challenge

To cap off the grade, we'll review what you learned and challenge you to arrange your own fingerstyle tune within a set of creative parameters.

Grade 4-6.

Take your acoustic fingerstyle skills to the next level.

Grade 4. Intermediate Fingerstyle

Grade 4 is a big step up. In this grade, there's a lot for both your head and your hands to take in. Collin will introduce you to new picking patterns, colorful chords, and harmonizing intervals. You'll learn challenging songs and even work on composing your own.

Day 1. Palm Muting in A

We'll kick off the grade with a tonal technique that'll ramp up the rhythmic attitude in your playing: palm muting. This essential skill will serve you well in almost every style of guitar.

Day 2. Thumb Slapping in C

No drummer, no problem. Today, you'll learn how to mimic the crack of a snare drum with the percussive thwack of your thumb.

Day 3. 3rds in E

Today, you’ll explore 3rd in the key of E. This iconic interval will add a lush harmonic element to your playing.

Day 4. Harmonics and 6ths in G

We'll continue on our intervallic journey by exploring 6ths in the key of G major. Another key interval to learn, 6ths are easily accessed once you have 3rds in your toolkit. You'll also get an introduction to the crystalline sound of plucked harmonics – a perfect ornament for your playing.

Day 5. 10ths in D

On the last stop in our tour of interval land, we'll explore 10th voicings in the key of D. 10ths are an extremely popular intervallic voicing throughout all music, especially on guitar. This common sound has been used to great success by artists like the Beatles, Radiohead, Tracy Chapman, and countless others.

Day 6. Tremolo

Here, we'll borrow from the world of classical guitar to explore tremolo picking – a  technique distinctly known for its rapid-fire repeating cascades of notes. It takes the concept of a drone tone and adds a helicopter pulse to the note.

Day 7. Music Theory to Get Outside of a Key

Chord progressions feeling stale? Today, you’ll learn a variety of ways to step outside of a home key. Borrowing notes and adding passing chords can open up the doors to exciting new progressions.

Day 8. How to Incorporate Bar Chords

We’re going to incorporate closed-position bar chords into your fingerstyle playing today. These shapes, while difficult at first, will help you unlock more of your fretboard in a fingerstyle context.

Day 9. Rising Up

Today, we'll focus solely on taking what you learned and making it musical. You'll learn an original composition by Collin that'll cover everything you've learned in Grade 4.

Day 10. Composition Challenge

Cap off the class with another composition challenge. We'll give you creative parameters to work within, then you're off to the races using everything you've learned in Grade 4 to craft the next great fingerstyle tune.

Grade 5. How to Arrange Fingerstyle Songs

Tackle five different fingerstyle songs as you develop the skills to arrange your own.

Days 1 & 2. Danny Boy

To kick off the grade, we'll look at a classic ballad. Each song in this grade follows a formula that'll help you write your own fingerstyle arrangements. First, you'll learn the melody. Next, comes the bass notes. After that, we add in the chords. Once you get the bones of the tune down, we'll work on spicing it up with expressive techniques and modern songwriting concepts to create an advanced arrangement.

Day 3. Happy Birthday

Why learn such a simple song? Other than making you the star of your next birthday celebration, learning Happy Birthday will show you how simple melodies can be arranged into beautiful fingerstyle compositions using some easy-to-remember techniques

Days 4 & 5. Auld Lang Syne

This song dates all the way back to the 1700's! After tuning your guitar to drop D, we'll dive right into this tune, then spice it up with with inner-voice movement and a turnaround progression.

Days 6 & 7. Silent Night

Another winter classic, Silent Night is a great way to get comfortable playing in 3/4 timing. You'll harmonize the melody with major 6ths, swap in some colorful chord substitutions, and build tension with a secondary dominant chord.

Grade 6. Advanced Fingerstyle

Become a fingerstyle pro with the last grade of this Learning Pathway!

Day 1. How to play in DADGAD

Learn to play in the alternate DADGAD tuning.

Day 2. Tapping

Explore the world of the tapping technique.

Day 3. Percussive techniques

Start adding percussive elements to your playing.

Day 4. Natural harmonics

Revisit the beautiful world of overtones

Day 5. Artificial harmonics

Break out of the 12th, 7th and 5th fret.

Day 6. Tapped & raked harmonics

Combine a number of different techniques to get some really cool sounds.

Day 7. Recap

Recap the techniques from this grade and get ready to graduate this Learning Pathway!

Student stories

Learn how Fingerstyle Learning Pathway has helped real guitarists break through their playing plateau and realize their potential.

“My favorite part about Pickup Music is probably nerding out in the forum with everyone. Just knowing you have a creative community to reach out to if you have any questions or you're stuck in a rut.”

Vicki Huang

United States

"I would highly recommend Pickup Music to pretty much anyone who has been playing for a few years and doesn't feel like they are getting better any more."

James Harrod

United Kingdom

“One of the things that's been the most fun for me has been the SongSquad challenges... connecting with other people in the Pickup Music community on Instagram and just encouraging each other as we're learning songs and practicing.”

Vin Thomas

United States

"Pickup Music really helped me push my musical boundaries."

Wytse Hokwerda


Hear from REAL students

Find out why 20,000 members all over the world love Pickup Music

What’s in every Pickup Music membership?

Start learning – free trial

1,000+ Lessons

All skill levels

Interactive tabs

Track your progress

Daily practice plans

New lessons every week

Choose a plan that's right for you

Start your free 14-day trial today.
Cancel anytime.


Annual Plan

All-inclusive access to every course.


/yr billed annually

You save $30 per year.

1,426 people started a free trial in the last 30 days.

Annual plan includes:

See what a Pickup Music membership is all about.

14-day free trial

Guided learning

Know exactly what to practice at every step of your guitar journey.

Personalized feedback

Know exactly what to practice at every step of your guitar journey.

Progress tracking

Monitor your guitar gains.

New releases every week

Never run out of lessons to work on.

Interactive TAB

Follow along with every note.

Multiple HD angles

Get an up close and personal learning experience.

Supportive community

Get into the holiday spirit with step-by-step guitar lessons covering your favorite songs.

Members-only forum

Unlimited personalized learning support from our team of pro guitarists.

SAVE 17%

Unlimited access for less than 1/2 the price of one private guitar lesson per month.

Monthly Plan

All-access to online guitar lessons to level up your playing.



1,426 people started a free trial in the last 30 days.

Monthly plan includes:

See what a Pickup Music membership is all about.

14-day free trial

Guided learning

Know exactly what to practice at every step of your guitar journey.

Personalized feedback

Know exactly what to practice at every step of your guitar journey.

Progress tracking

Monitor your guitar gains.

New releases every week

Never run out of lessons to work on.

Interactive TAB

Follow along with every note.

Multiple HD angles

Get an up close and personal learning experience.

Supportive community

Workshop your playing, get feedback, and perform live in our online practice groups.

Members-only forum

Unlimited personalized learning support from our team of pro guitarists.

SAVE 17%

Save $30

Frequently Asked Questions

If your questions aren’t answered below, please chat with us.

Is Pickup Music right for me?

Do you feel like your guitar playing has hit a plateau? 

Are you stuck in a guitar rut where you're just playing the same old chords and licks?

Are you looking for fretboard freedom?

At Pickup Music, we specialize in:

  • taking beginner guitar players and turning them into intermediate players
  • taking intermediate guitar players and turning them into advanced players

How do we do it? 

  • First, we ask you a few questions to figure out exactly what skill level you’re at. 
  • Second, we ask you to commit to a series of Master Classes and Learning Pathways that focus on specific techniques. These comprehensive week-by-week courses are the best way to get your playing to the next level. 
  • Third, we get you to track your progress on your personalized learning dashboard.

Finally, we give you support and feedback through an exclusive members community and live practice group sessions with other members. This focused approach to learning guitar will help you bust through the beginner basics, break out of the intermediate plateau, and level up your playing.

This guided learning approach is the fastest way to make real progress on the guitar.

What makes Pickup Music better than other guitar lesson sites?

We're glad you asked! So many things:

  • Pickup Music gives you week-by-week guided learning. This is so important for making progress and getting out of the beginner plateau. Instead of just making you watch a video of an instructor talking about how they play guitar, we break things down for you on a daily and weekly basis.
  • Each daily lesson is accompanied by practice exercises where the instructors play along with you - almost like they're sitting right beside you. This eliminates the guess work so you know exactly what you need to focus on to make real and lasting progress with guitar.
  • Our lessons take you beyond the basics. Most online guitar lessons are good at teaching new guitarists the easy stuff. Pickup Music goes beyond that to help advanced-beginners and intermediate guitarists break through to the next level.
  • Our teachers are the best new and modern guitarists in the world. You'll find touring musicians, professors of music, and virtuosos from every genre to guide you through your guitar journey.
  • We have an extensive library with over 1,000 lessons across most genres for every type of guitarist. This means we have the right learning pathway for your unique starting point and preferred style of playing.
  • Pickup Music lessons are jam-packed with features to enhance your learning experience. This includes interactive TAB, multiple HD camera angles, backing tracks, and extensive course notes. All of this is designed to speed up your learning so you can achieve real results in your playing.  
  • We keep it fresh - we drop new lessons every. single. week. Plus, we're always striving to make each new lesson better than the last.
  • Pickup Music is a supportive and welcoming community. This is the place to connect with fellow guitarists, get feedback, and grow together.

What's included in my Pickup Music membership?

Everything! You’ll have unlimited access to every lesson on Pickup Music from every instructor. That means every Learning Pathway, Master Class, SongSquad, Licks Package, 5-Minute Lesson... we could go on, but you get the idea. It's an all-inclusive membership for one affordable price.

How long are the lessons? How long will it take me to complete them?

Pickup Music's lesson plans are designed to suit the amount of time you have available to practice.

Only got a few minutes? Try our 5-Minute Lessons to quickly add a new skill to your toolbox.

Got half an hour? Try one of our Essential Lick Packages or SongSquads to expand your vocabulary in different genres.

Got a couple of days? Try a Master Class with one of our world-renowned artists. Each class is broken up into short, digestible modules focused on one topic. We encourage you to complete the exercises for each lesson video before moving on to the next one because the lessons typically build on each other.

Ready to really commit to a multi-week program? Try one of our Learning Pathways. Over 6 weeks, these detailed courses will take you on a day-by-day journey to master each level in the genre. Learning Pathways include daily practice exercises so you know exactly what to focus on. These courses are the best way to make lasting progress.

Whichever approach you choose, we recommend building the exercises you learn into your daily practice schedule. The best way to improve as a guitarist is through a consistent practice routine rather than sporadic, longer  sessions. Learning guitar is a day-by-day, life-long journey!

I'm brand new to guitar. Is Pickup Music the right choice for me?

Absolutely! We make learning the guitar made fun & simple – the way it should be.

Too many people get frustrated with guitar because they develop bad habits and poor technique. Avoid these costly and time-consuming mistakes by taking Pickup Music's structured and step-by-step approach to learning guitar.

You'll start with Pickup Music's introductory program Beginner Learning Pathway. Over three weeks, we break down everything from simple chords and melodies to rhythm and lead playing. By the end of the program, you'll be able to play any simple pop or rock song (and even write your own).

Most importantly, we make sure you don't get stuck in the beginner's plateau - a common pitfall for guitarists who are just starting out. You'll keep making progress through Pickup Music's guided Learning Pahtways. These programs are designed to quickly take you from a beginner player to an intermediate one who feels comfortable across the whole fretboard.

What the difference between the annual and monthly plan?

The only difference is that the annual plan saves you $30 a year.

Both options come with a free 14-day trial. That means, we won't charge your card for the first 14 days - you can cancel anytime before then.

With an annual membership, we bill you once a year up-front, and you save 17% as a result. We'll send you reminders before we bill you each year so that you don't accidentally forget about it.

With the monthly membership, you pay month to month. It's a subscription, so we bill you each month until you cancel.

Cancelling your plan at any point is very easy to do online - no tricks, emails, or phone calls required. Just click a button on your account page.

Is a Pickup Music membership worth the money?

When you first start learning guitar, it's okay to bounce around with random free lessons on YouTube and searching for TABs online. 

That approach is going to make you an OKAY guitar player, but it's not going to help you take that leap to becoming a serious guitarist - a player who can:

  • Play naturally, without thinking about every move
  • Jam with friends and learn their favorite songs quickly.
  • Blast through that beginner level, break out of the intermediate plateau, and start playing like a pro!

To become a serious guitarist, you need a clear learning pathway to get to the next level. You need to free your mind and unlock your fret board - you can do this with Pickup Music's expert step-by-step instruction. Having this clear learning pathway is  key to making real progress on the guitar.

What about the price? Is it worth it?

Private lessons will cost you about $50 per lesson or $2,600 a year. Going to a music academy will cost you about $40,000 a year.

A Pickup Music membership costs just $150 for the whole year. That works out to 41 cents a day!

Signing up for a Pickup Music membership also means that you can stop wasting your time and effort trying to guess what you should practice next. Our guided programs eliminate the guess work so you know exactly what you need to focus on each day and week to make lasting progress with guitar. This will increase your efficiency and speed up your progress.

Is it easy to cancel?

Absolutely! You can cancel at any time (although we'd be sad to see you go). Cancelling is easy, no tricks. Just go to your account page and click a button.

You won't be charged anything if you cancel during your 14-day free trial.

If you cancel after your 14-day trial, you won't be billed again at your next billing cycle. Your membership will remain active until it expires on the day it was originally set to renew.

Once your membership expires, you will no longer have access to the classes you were enrolled in during your time as a member, but you can easily restart your membership at any time. Just log in to your account and renew a monthly or annual membership to pick up where you left off.

Can I buy lessons individually?

We don’t sell lessons individually. But the good news is you get access to every single lesson on Pickup Music through the one membership. If you’re only interested in one lesson, you could purchase a monthly membership and cancel when you’ve finished it – we have a hunch you’ll want to stick around though :)

Can I cancel my membership at any time?

Yes! All you have to do is click a button on your account page. No tricks, no emails, no calls. It's a straightforward process.

You won't be billed again at your next billing cycle. Your membership will remain active and you'll continue to have access to the site until your membership expires on the day it was originally set to renew.

You can easily restart your membership at any time. Just log in to your account and renew a monthly or annual membership to pick up where you left off.

Note: Once your membership expires, we'll save your progress on your Dashboard if you decide to rejoin at a later date.

How does the 14-day free trial work? What is your refund policy?

Your credit card won't be charged for the first 14 days
When you first sign up to a Pickup Music membership, your credit card will not be charged for 14 days. That means that if you decide to cancel within 14 days of signing up, you won't pay anything.

If you decide to cancel after that, you won't be charged at your next billing cycle
That means: if you’re a monthly member, you won’t be charged for the next month. If you’re an annual member, you won’t be charged for the next year.

We don’t offer refunds for payments that have already gone through. But if you choose to cancel, you will retain full access to the membership until it expires on the day it was originally set to renew.

Will I be automatically charged each month / year?

The membership is a subscription. After the 14-day free trial, you'll be automatically charged monthly or annually (depending on which plan you choose). We send you reminders before your annual subscription renews so you don't accidentally forget about it. You can easily cancel by turning off auto-renew at any time in your account page.

How do I restart my membership?

It’s easy to rejoin Pickup Music and we’d be thrilled to have you back! We even saved all of your lessons for you while you were gone on your Dashboard.

To restart your membership, simply head to this page, select the plan of your choice, and sign up with the email address you used to sign up the first time around.

Get your 14-day free trial.

Try it out