Could someone recommend a tutorial video on Travis picking.
I have learned that “Travis picking” means different things to different folks. For me it is basically the alternating bass fingerstyle kind of thing ( a broad definition). To others, I have heard it specifically one thumb, one finger, and play alternating bass stuff. I suspect it means something different to others. As far as the basic concept (by my definition), it is wildly useful and well worth the effort. It is similar to a banjo roll in that you need to repeat basic patterns to get the picking hand going on autopilot. Ben has a couple lessons on alternating bass fingerstyle. I don’t remember which ones at this point (sorry). In addition from Ben’s tutorials, the only ones that come to mind were some by Mark Hanson (some time ago). Until you find what you are looking for, I did an intro class for a group a long time ago, and I can attach my take home notes from that class. It seems really basic, but it does take a while for most to get the hand to cooperate. The below is not a composition, but treat each measure as a repetition and a building block. Repeat measure one until until your thumb can easily do it. Then move to measure 2, etc. Once you get example 5 down, I add the alternating bass. You may have to strip it back down to thumb only and build up from there. Have fun!travisIntro.tef (784 Bytes)
Here you go.
Let us know how it goes.
Mike, not to nitpick ( )… my understanding is, alternate base playing using a pick is Travis picking. In your example, it would not possible to do that with a pick, so yours sounds more like finger picking or in the best case hybrid picking if you choose to use a pick. ?? Or can it still be Travis picking if alternate bass is used as in your example??
Btw I don’t mean thumb pick as a pick!
Check out Merle…thumb pick (alt bass) & finger…
Oh the Travis himself. OK cool! OK so alternate bass playing - regardless of played with pick, fingerstyle or hybrid - all fall under Travis picking. Is that a fair statement?
Travis" style would be how Merle Travis played…easy enough?
Each persons definition could be looser or tighter.
things such as dynamics, actual fingering, specific note inflections etc. can either be taken into acount or not.
the looser the definition the less it is actually “that style”
Not quite, I guess. .
For example, I play chess. And there is a particular setup under English Opening is known as Botvinnik System in remembrance of former World Chess Champion Botvinnik. That does not mean Botvinnik always played this setup. So…
What he plays looks like a hybrid picking to me?? but of course he does alternate picking.
Oh ok. Fine, in that case. I had a book, let me see what it says…
I think I get it now. Alternate bass playing with thumb style of finger picking with some possible exceptions here and there. I think Mike’s example is then good.
In my opinion, the best way to learn a particular person’s style is by immersing yourself into listening to and emulating that person.
Mike gave you probably the easiest and loosest (and most often used) description of the general sound of merle’s style of playing. I’ve never quite understood it because it is actually a “double-time” bass sound
Yeah I play finger styles to some extent including this alternate bass Travis picking. But I also play these alternate bass playing using pick (instead of using thumb and fingers) depending on the arrangement requirement. So just thought of clarifying…
I play a lot of Merle and Chet inspired arrangements of tunes, here’s my tuppence: travis picking is a style of fingerstyle guitar (although it can be used on other instruments) in which your thumb plays an alternating bass line while your fingers play a melody. A couple examples are Windy and Warm, or Ben’s guitar arrangement of are you washed.
Alternating bass and melody with a pick is Carter style
Thanks for everyone’s response. Very helpful.
I liked watching Dave’s youTube example of Merle. I was a bit mesmerized and I backed up to re-watch a few parts in an effort to figure out how he was doing some things. Then he got to the “flatpicked” part and it became obvious there was a backing guitar. THEN it made sense. However, I wills say that the fact I was trying to figure out how he was doing what he was doing speaks to the power of what Chet and Tommy Emmanuel (& Doyle & others) have done standing on the shoulders of Merle. They routinely play(ed) what sounds impossible until you slow it down and dissect it.
That makes sense!