What is Travis Picking? | Acoustic Guitar


Excerpted from The Acoustic Guitar Fingerstyle Method | by David Hamburger

Travis picking, also called pattern picking or the alternating-thumb style, refers to an accompaniment style based on repeating a particular kind of right-hand pattern of thumb and finger moves throughout a song, adapting that pattern to the notes of each chord, and conforming to a specific way of choosing the bass notes played by the thumb.

Which means what, exactly? Let’s start with a G chord and see.

The first step is to establish the bass notes. The bass notes are the notes played with the thumb, usually on the sixth, fifth, and fourth strings. On a G chord, the bass notes are on the sixth string and the fourth string, as in Example 1.1.

Travis picking is always in 4/4, which means there are four beats in every measure, and every quarter note counts for one beat. That, at least, is how the theoreticians describe it.

Honestly, that description always left me stranded when I was in school, so to say Travis picking is in 4/4 just means this: you can tap your foot to it, and if you do, you can count those foot taps in groups of four.

Each group of four beats is called a measure (or a bar—the terms are used interchangeably). So now we can talk about the first, second, third, or fourth beat in a measure.

So, to play one measure of the bass part of a Travis picking pattern on a G chord, we’d play the sixth string on beat 1, the fourth string on beat 2, the sixth string on beat 3, and the fourth string on beat 4. In short, we’d have Example 1.2.

The Acoustic Guitar Fingerstyle Method focuses on the two most essential fingerstyle approaches for playing American roots music: Travis picking and the steady-bass style. This lesson is just a brief excerpt from the complete guide.

In each of the 18 in-depth lessons included in the Acoustic Guitar Fingerstyle Method, you’ll learn new techniques, concepts, and chord voicings and ways to practice and get them under your fingers. Then you’ll use what you’ve just learned to play a classic song or solo break from the blues, ragtime, folk, and country traditions.

What your fellow guitarists are saying about the Acoustic Guitar Fingerstyle Method

Get stories like this in your inbox

“David is an awesome teacher, whether it is video or print, he draws you into the subject, makes it interesting, and before you know it, you’ve learned! This is a great learning tool and I highly recommend it for anyone, but especially for beginners. It will leapfrog you leagues ahead.” —Richard H.

“I have played through almost every lesson thoroughly and my technique and style have improved quite a bit in the last 6 months. The songs are satisfying and Hamburger does a great job of introducing complicated concepts in a very easy to understand, step-by-step sort of way. I wish I had started with this book when I was first getting into fingerstyle blues, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning to play this style.” —Rupert P.

“I’ve been struggling with playing fingerstyle for months. In just a few days with this course I can see improvement. I know that by the time I finish I’ll see remarkable progress. I recommend it.” —Rick S.

Learn more.

The Acoustic Guitar Fingerstyle Method is available to order in print or as a digital edition directly from the publisher, Acoustic Guitar, or may be purchased in print from Amazon.

Source link

Apparel

Guitar Gear

Books

Amplifiers

Bob Dylan – Tangled up in Blue – Easy Songs For Acoustic Guitar – Guitar Lesson
Learn to Play ”Leather Britches”: A Classic Fiddle Tune, Arranged for Flatpicking Guitar
REACTION 🎧🎸To Alip Ba TA -"Numb" (Linkin Park Acoustic Guitar Cover) 🎸👀🎧🔥 Amazing Cover 🎧 Incredible
Mark O’Connor’s First Acoustic Guitar Record in Four Decades Is Flashy and Substantive
Guns N' Roses – Violin & Electric Guitar – Knockin' On Heaven's Door
theGUITARaddict: Nocturno solar
5 Essential Strumming Patterns – Beginner Guitar Lessons
Igor Paspalj: Speed Picking Advanced Masterclass
3 Tips for Creating Space for Kick Drum and Bass Mix | Reverb Recording Tips
The Jason Richardson Artist Series Cutlass – Now Available in a 6-String Model and a new Buckeye Burl Finish – Ernie Ball Music Man
What should you learn first – BASS or GUITAR? | Andriy Vasylenko
The Process Behind the Cliff Williams Icon Series StingRay Bass – Ernie Ball Music Man
Learn Fingerpicking in 20 minutes – BEGINNER fingerstyle exercises – GUITAR MASTERCLASS
Guitar Lesson 7 – Play 10 Songs with 4 Chords – Free Guitar Lessons
Are you an intermediate guitar player? Here’s how to know.
Beginner Acoustic Lesson 1 – Your Very First Guitar Lesson (E Minor + Asus2)
Tips For Beginner Guitarists
5 Mistakes Beginners Make When Learning Guitar Online
10 Things ANYONE Can Do To Get Better At Guitar Faster
7 Mistakes Guitar Players Make – Online Guitar Lessons
Learn Fingerpicking in 20 minutes – BEGINNER fingerstyle exercises – GUITAR MASTERCLASS
Santana – Black Magic Woman Live @ Montreux 2011
Guitar Lesson 7 – Play 10 Songs with 4 Chords – Free Guitar Lessons
Fingerstyle Guitar Champion Christie Lenée: Acoustic Guitar Session