Travis Picking Fingerstyle

Learn how to play fingerstyle guitar using this technique made famous by Merle Travis. Characterized by its use of alternating bass notes played with the right thumb, it's very commonly used in the folk and country guitar genres.

Travis Picking, Explained

At the moment, the best introductory summary of Travis Picking is the following video. It explains how Travis Picking is different from "normal" fingerstyle, which is something I wish was explained to me far earlier in my guitar journey.

Essential Techniques

Here's a few of the videos I've made tackling essential left- and right-hand techniques you'll need as you get into Travis Picking. Whether you go on to learn full songs or settle into some riffs & exercises, keeping all these tips in mind will help you out immensely.

Riffs & Exercises

Here's a series of exercises and "riffs" I've made lessons for which use this technique. These lessons are sometimes inspired by existing songs, while other times they're borne out of my own improvisation & exploration with the Travis Picking technique.

Song Lessons Using Travis Picking

Finally, here's the list song lessons I've made that use the Travis Picking technique. You'll very often hear this technique used in songs by Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, John Prine, Bob Dylan, and others.