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How to Play Five Foot Two (fingerstyle) by Henderson, Lewis and Young (Guitar Lesson)

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Steve Eulberg

Five Foot Two (fingerstyle)

Steve teaches a fingerstyle version of the classic song "Five Foot Two."

Taught by Steve Eulberg in Fingerstyle Guitar seriesLength: 29:54Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (00:44) Lesson Introduction Steve kicks off lesson 9 with his fingerstyle arrangement of the Tin Pan Alley song "Five Foot Two." In the scenes that follow, Steve will demonstrate how to play this arrangement.
Chapter 2: (09:55) Five Foot Two Fingerstyle Review Time

Steve has already taught a flatpicking arrangement of this song in his Phase 3 set of lessons. This lesson exemplifies a typical circle of fifths progression. Steve teaches the current lesson under the assumption that you have already learned this version of the song. You must already know the chord changes and how to play them with an alternating bass line. It is strongly suggested that you master the flat pick version of the song before continuing with the current lesson. The materials presented in the Phase 3 lesson are the basis for the new material presented in this lesson.

New Chord Shapes

Within the fingerstyle arrangement of this song, Steve utilizes some chord shapes that you may not be familiar with.

Note:Fretboard diagrams to all of these chords can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.


The first shape Steve demonstrates is an E7 chord. This chord features the b7 note of the chord, D, played on the third fret of the second string.


This voicing for A7 features a barre performed by the first finger across the fourth, third, and second strings. Then, the third finger frets the b7 of the chord, G, at the 3rd fret of the first string.


This chord utilizes the shape of the "open" C7 chord that you have already learned. Simply omit the first string and slide the entire C7 shape up two frets to form this voicing for D7. If you add the open E string to this voicing, this D7 chord becomes D9. To apply an alternating bass line to this chord shape, simply shift the third finger back and forth between the root note on the fifth string and the fifth of the chord on the low string. The fifth of the chord is the note A, which is played at the 5th fret of the sixth string.


This voicing adds an extra b7 note. The pinkie finger frets this F note at the third fret of the D string.

Barre Chord Practice

This song features a few difficult barre chords. The F major and F minor barre chords played in first position are two of the most difficult chords to play in the entire guitar vocabulary. Barre chords can be very frustrating to learn at first. However, with patience and persistence, you will master them in a matter of weeks. Do not neglect learning these chord shapes. They are absolutely essential. If you are experiencing difficulties with playing these chords, check out some of the following lessons available on JamPlay: Matt Brown's 11th Rock Lesson, Brad Henecke's 3rd Rock Lesson, and Steve Eulberg's 9th Phase 1 Lesson.

G7 Barre Chord

The shape of this chord is based on the grip of the "open" E7 chord. This particular voicing creates a smooth voice leading transition from the D7 chord discussed earlier. Also, it is relatively easy to switch back and forth between these two chord voicings.

G7 (High Voicing)

This voicing features the leading tone B as the highest note in the chord. This high leading tone creates a very strong transition back to the beginning of the form. This chord shape is based on the open D7 chord. This D7 chord is translated into a barre chord shape and moved to fifth position to form a G7 chord.

Before you attempt the fingerstyle pattern of the song, you must master these chord shapes. When learning anything new, you must isolate and practice each of the individual components before attempting to put them all together. If you attempt to master two new skills such as new chords and a new fingerstyle pattern at the same time, you will quickly become frustrated. If you have already mastered the left-hand component, you will have a much easier time learning the right hand component of this song.
Chapter 3: (07:12) Picking Patterns Two separate picking patterns are used throughout this song. The picking pattern used is determined by the location of the lowest root note within the chord. However, both picking patterns are played with the exact same rhythm pattern. This rhythm consists of a quarter note followed by four eighth notes. A final quarter note closes out one measure of 4/4 time.

1st Right Hand Pattern

This pattern uses the thumb, middle, and third fingers. Typically, when playing a basic arpeggio figure, the thumb plucks any note that occurs on the three bass strings. The index finger plucks notes on the third string. The middle and ring fingers play notes on the second and first strings respectively. The right hand fingering that Steve has chosen adheres to these guidelines. As you advance your fingerstyle skills, you will learn countless examples in which these rules are broken. For now, do not deviate from the fingerings that Steve demonstrates in this lesson.

The first picking pattern that Steve teaches is used with the C, A7, and D7 chords in the song. This is due to the fact that the bass note of each of these chords is played on the fifth string.

Note: A diagram of the proper right hand fingering used for this pattern can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab. This diagram is a video capture of Steve's marker board.

If you are inexperienced in playing these types of arpeggio patterns, they can feel quite awkward at first. Play them as slowly as you can stand it at first. Focus all of your attention on accuracy and creating a clear tone. Speed will come with time. Practice this right-hand pattern until it becomes second nature to you.
Chapter 4: (08:14) Second Pattern The second right-hand pattern is used for the E7, G7, and F chord shapes. This pattern works with these chords, because they each feature a low root note on the sixth string. Remember that the rhythm for this pattern is exactly the same as the rhythm applied to the first right-hand pattern. One quarter note is followed by four eighth notes. Then, a final quarter note is played on beat 4 of the measure. Notice how the first finger is now used in this pattern. The first finger plucks all of the notes played on the third string.

When performing this piece, do not worry if you accidentally bump the wrong string with a right-hand finger. All of the strings are notes within the chord, so your mistake will probably go by unnoticed.

Alternating Variations of this Pattern

On Steve's marker board, he has indicated that either the second string or the first string can be plucked within the pattern. Alternate between these options every other measure. For example, the first time around, pluck the first string with the ring finger. For the second measure, pluck the second string with the middle finger. Steve demonstrates this idea at 03:40 in the lesson video. You can also pluck the first and second strings simultaneously as a viable third option. This variation on the pattern is demonstrated at 06:50.

Metronome Practice

The best way to master these patterns is by practicing them along with a metronome. Start the metronome at a very slow speed such as 60 beats per minute. Once you feel that you have mastered the pattern at this tempo, move the metronome up to about 62 beats per minute and repeat the process. Continue to climb up setting by setting until you can comfortably play each picking pattern at the tempo that Steve demonstrates in the lesson video (about 160 beats per minute). You will most likely have to spread this process out over several days' time. If this is the case, write down the metronome marking that you left off at, so you know where to set the metronome the next time that you sit down to practice.
Chapter 5: (03:48) Playing the Song In this scene, Steve applies the picking patterns to the chords in the order in which they occur in the song. The song begins with a C major chord. Apply the first picking pattern to this chord. The next chord in the A section is E7. You will need to use the second picking pattern for this chord. Remember that all of the chords with roots on the fifth string must be played with the first pattern. All chords with chords on the sixth string are played with the second pattern. As you will notice, you will frequently switch back and forth between these patterns throughout the chord progression. Once again, the best way to master this process is through slow practice along with a metronome.

Over the rapid chord changes in bars 11 and 12, Steve plays each chord as a blocked chord. He plucks the root of each chord along with the three treble strings simultaneously, C, A7, D7, and G7 chords in these measures.

Bass Walk-ups

In the Phase 3 version of this song, Steve demonstrated several bass walk-ups that can be played between chords. Once again, these same walks can be applied to the fingerstyle arrangement of this song. These walks are indicated in the tablature / notation listed under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

rjamesp1rjamesp1 replied

FIX THE TABS! They are wrong and don't match what is played.

rhill1948rhill1948 replied

where is the flat pick lesson of five foot two?

Bradley.ConwayBradley.Conway replied

Hello rhill1948! You can find the flatpicking lesson on "Five Foot Two" in Phase 3. You can copy and paste the following link into your browser to proceed directly to the lesson: http://members.jamplay.com/guitar/phase-3/lesson/530-five-foot-two I hope this helps! HAPPY JAMMING!!

stephenkingstephenking replied

Very much in need of bigger explanation on the tabs and how to play with the lyrics! :/

tim1tim1 replied

nicely played

BD cgullBD cgull replied

This one is great fun.

micalinimicalini replied

Isn't the G7 on fret 7?

patsendpatsend replied

hey Steve this lesson is quoted 2,5/5. Il should be 3,5. Things are not easy and I scream sometimes trying to coordiante my muscles;) But I shall get it. Thanks Steve

dagchristiandagchristian replied

is it me or doesnt the Tab for five foot too match the picking pattern? Is this what Steve plays in the intro? confused? on the E7 theres is a basenote on the fourth freth?

stephenkingstephenking replied

Truly the tabs, aint matching completely. :/

guitaristguitarist replied

your a great guitarist!!!!

steveeulbergsteveeulberg replied

You're welcome, Greeno. Thanks for the feedback!

greenogreeno replied

Great lesson Steve. Your explanation of Travis picking was excellent.

Fingerstyle Guitar

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Fingerstyle guitar is the classic art of playing the guitar solely with the fingers. Fingerstyle playing opens up a whole new realm of possibilities on the guitar.

Starting FingerstyleLesson 1

Starting Fingerstyle

Steve introduces you to the world of fingerstyle guitar by teaching a few exercises and an orignal tune called "Porch Swingin'."

Length: 38:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Matteo CarcassiLesson 2

Matteo Carcassi

Steve Eulberg teaches you to play Op. 60 (No. 1) composed by Matteo Carcassi.

Length: 42:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
House of the Rising SunLesson 3

House of the Rising Sun

Steve teaches a fingerstyle arrangement of "House of the Rising Sun" by Animals.

Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Freight TrainLesson 4

Freight Train

Steve covers some of the fingerstyle techniques created by Elizabeth, or "Libbis" Cotten.

Length: 24:00 Difficulty: 3.5 FREE
Planxton's Farewell Part 1Lesson 5

Planxton's Farewell Part 1

Steve Eulberg teaches you how to play his original piece "Planxton's Farewell." This is part 1 of a 2 part lesson.

Length: 34:00 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Planxton's Farewell Part 2Lesson 6

Planxton's Farewell Part 2

This is part 2 of the fingerstyle song "Planxton's Farewell." In this lesson Steve teaches you the second half of this beautiful tune.

Length: 22:00 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Drop D TuningLesson 7

Drop D Tuning

Steve discusses drop D tuning and how it is used. He also teaches an original song in this tuning called "Neither Lion Nor Lamb."

Length: 30:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Porch Swingin' Part 2Lesson 8

Porch Swingin' Part 2

Steve Eulberg teaches the second half of his beautiful fingerstyle piece, "Porch Swingin'."

Length: 30:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Five Foot Two (fingerstyle)Lesson 9

Five Foot Two (fingerstyle)

Steve teaches a fingerstyle version of the classic song "Five Foot Two."

Length: 29:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Operator IntroductionLesson 10

Operator Introduction

In this lesson Steve shows how to play the introduction of the classic Jim Croce song, "Operator," in a fingerstyle fashion.

Length: 22:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Operator VerseLesson 11

Operator Verse

Steve returns to the beautiful Jim Croce song, "Operator," in this fingerstyle guitar lesson. This time around he demonstrates the verse.

Length: 12:58 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Operator ChorusLesson 12

Operator Chorus

Steve finishes up the Jim Croche song, "Operator." He covers the chorus and brings the entire song together.

Length: 9:55 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Alternating BassLesson 13

Alternating Bass

Steve uses the classic childrens song, "Paw Paw Patch" to demonstrate how an alternating bass line can be played within a fingerstyle arrangement.

Length: 15:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
We Wanted a KingLesson 14

We Wanted a King

Steve Eulberg teaches a beautiful fingerstyle arrangement of his original song, "We Wanted a King."

Length: 36:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Building the ThumbLesson 15

Building the Thumb

Steve Eulberg guides you through a series of exercises meant to improve the dexterity and independence of the thumb.

Length: 12:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Mixing Up the FingersLesson 16

Mixing Up the Fingers

Steve Eulberg mixes up the fingers to create a dynamic fingerstyle exercise.

Length: 12:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
ChopsticksLesson 17


Steve Eulberg explains how to play the classic song "Chopsticks" using fingerstyle technique.

Length: 12:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Advanced ChopsticksLesson 18

Advanced Chopsticks

In this lesson, Steve Eulberg teaches an advanced version of "Chopsticks."

Length: 8:11 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Ode To Joy Part 1Lesson 19

Ode To Joy Part 1

Welcome to the first lesson in a 3 part series on the song "Ode To Joy". Steve has arranged a very unique fingerstyle lesson that starts from square one. This 3 part series can really help any beginner...

Length: 10:32 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Ode To Joy Part 2Lesson 20

Ode To Joy Part 2

In the midst of this three part lesson series, Steve continues his "Ode To Joy" song lesson by introducing a parallel movement. This will demonstrate a "skip a string" technique with the picking hand and...

Length: 7:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Ode To Joy Part 3Lesson 21

Ode To Joy Part 3

In his final lesson in the three part series of the song "Ode To Joy", Steve adds a few more additional fingerstyle techniques to the mix. By adding a harmony and a D string drone note, this will complete...

Length: 10:43 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Thumb Builder #1Lesson 22

Thumb Builder #1

In direct response to a common issue seen in his live Q&A, Steve crafted the following group of 9 lessons devoted to "thumb building". Learn all 6 variations of the exercise Steve teaches and practice...

Length: 16:38 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Thumb Builder #2Lesson 23

Thumb Builder #2

The second installment of Steve's Thumb Builder lessons continues to build your finger and thumb coordination with multiple pattern variations.

Length: 8:40 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Thumb Builder #3Lesson 24

Thumb Builder #3

Join Steve for the third installment in his Thumb Builder lessons. Keep pressing on and you should be finding that the mechanical movements are becoming more and more natural.

Length: 10:33 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Thumb Builder #4Lesson 25

Thumb Builder #4

It's time to challenge yourself by adding more fingers to the mix! Instead of just responding to the thumb with one finger, you'll be using different fingers on different strings.

Length: 8:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Thumb Builder #5Lesson 26

Thumb Builder #5

Things are getting a little more complicated and a little more challenging as Steve marches through some more thumb building exercises. Keep up the hard work and practice!

Length: 6:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Thumb Builder #6Lesson 27

Thumb Builder #6

Steve continues to build up muscle memory and coordination. In these exercises, the thumb is gonna start jumping around along with the fingers.

Length: 9:16 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Thumb Builder #7Lesson 28

Thumb Builder #7

Part 7 of Thumb Building Bootcamp! Good job for making it this far! Things keep getting more challenging, but you should definitely be noticing a marked improvement in your finger-thumb coordination...

Length: 8:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Thumb Builder #8Lesson 29

Thumb Builder #8

Steve introduces a handful of new patterns to keep on building up that thumb.

Length: 7:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Thumb Builder #9Lesson 30

Thumb Builder #9

Good work! You've made it to the final installment of thumb builder exercises. Learn some of the patterns that Steve commonly uses in his own playing.

Length: 6:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Walkin' Down the TrailLesson 31

Walkin' Down the Trail

Sometimes we hear the word exercise and it just sounds like work... That probably won't be the case when you listen to the exercise Steve teaches in this lesson. It will take some work, but you'll walk...

Length: 19:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Frere Jacque FugueLesson 32

Frere Jacque Fugue

In this lesson, Steve takes the familiar Frere Jacque and teaches how to play it in a round on the guitar.

Length: 6:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Michael, Row Your Boat AshoreLesson 33

Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore

Turn this classic folk tune into a beautiful fingerstyle arrangement.

Length: 13:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Steve Eulberg

About Steve Eulberg View Full Biography An Award-winning multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, Steve Eulberg weaves mountain and hammered dulcimers with a variety of unusual instruments to create thought-provoking, smile-inducing, toe-tapping acoustic experiences.

He has sung and composed for religious communities, union halls, picket lines, inter-faith retreats, mountain-top youth camps, as well as the more familiar venues: clubs, coffeehouses, bookstores, festivals, charity benefits and showcase concerts.

Born and raised in the German-heritage town of Pemberville, Ohio, Steve was exposed to a variety of music in his home. Early piano lessons were followed by trumpet in school band, and he became self-taught on ukelele and guitar and harmonica. Mandolin was added at Capital University where, while majoring in History, he studied Ear Training, Voice and took Arranging lessons from the Conservatory of Music.

While at college, he first heard hammered and mountain dulcimers, building his first mountain dulcimer just before his final year. Seminary training took him the west side of Denver where he built his first hammered dulcimer. With these instruments, he was able to give voice to the Scottish, English and Irish traditions to which he is also heir.

Following marriage in 1985 to Connie Winter-Eulberg he settled in Kansas City, Missouri. There he worked cross-culturally in a church of African-Americans, Latinos and European Americans, with music being a primary organizing tool. He moved with his family in 1997 to be nestled beside the Rocky Mountains in Fort Coillins, Colorado.

Founder of Owl Mountain Music, Inc. he teaches and performs extensively in Colorado and Wyoming with tours across the US and the UK. He delights in introducing the “sweet music” of dulcimers to people in diverse settings and in addition to his own recordings, has included dulcimers in a variety of session work for other musicians.

In 2000 he was commissioned to create a choral composition featuring dulcimers for the Rainbow Chorus in Fort Collins. It was recorded in the same year (BEGINNINGS). He is currently at work on a commissioned symphony that will feature hammered dulcimer and Australian didjeridu.

Eulberg passionately believes that music crosses cultural and language barriers because music builds community. Influenced by a variety of ethnic styles, his music weaves vital lyric with rap, rock, folk, gospel and blues. Audiences of all ages respond well to his presentation and to his warm sense of humor.

Steve is a member of Local 1000 (AFM), The Folk Alliance, BMI and BWAAG (Better World Artists and Activist's Guild).

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