Fingerstyle Cheat Sheet: Travis Picking Patterns for Every Chord

Lesson #522 • Oct 20, 2023

Instructional PDF 3 pages

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Follow along with the print-friendly PDF!

It includes all of my notes for this lesson, allowing you to follow along at your own pace. You're free to download, print, and share the PDF across your devices.

To download the PDF, upgrade to premium or log in.

Lesson Discussion

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Slow Playthrough Videos of Each Pattern

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Key of C chords (C, F, G, Am)

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Key of G chords (G, C, D, Em)

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Key of E chords (E, A, B7)

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Lesson Description

In this video I want to showcase a new cheat sheet which shows a go-to Travis Picking pattern you can use while fingerpicking any chord in open position. Using this print-friendly guide, you’ll have an at-a-glance view of the alternating bass notes needed - plus some suggested filler notes on the thinnest few strings. Specifically, I’m talking about the usual suspects of major chords (C, G, D, A, E, B7, F) as well as a few minor chords (Am, Em, Bm).

In this video, I’ll give a quick overview of Travis Picking and walk through the different sections of the cheat sheet. Check out my other lessons (linked below) if you’re looking for some specific songs to play using this fingerpicking style. Finally, a big thanks to Rick for sending in the email request that lead to this lesson — I hope you find this helpful!

Timestamps for my main video lesson:

  • 0:00 Cheat Sheet Overview
  • 1:46 Travis Picking Patterns 101
  • 6:39 Most Common Keys for Travis Picking
  • 7:44 Advice for the Tricky “D” Chord

Other Lessons I Reference

See my Travis Picking page for all my lessons on this topic! Here’s a few I suggest though, if you’re brand new to this type of fingerstyle guitar:

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