By Desi Serna

Part of Guitar Rhythm & Technique For Dummies Cheat Sheet

In traditional guitar notation, the letters p, i, m, and a are used to refer to the fingers on the picking hand. Taken from the Spanish language, here’s what the letters represent:

  • p = pulgar (thumb)

  • i = indice (index or first finger)

  • m = medio (middle or second finger)

  • a = anular (ring or third finger)

You see a visual example of this Spanish fingering system in the following figure. Occasionally you come across pimac, where the letter c stands for chico, the pinky finger.

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