Merle Travis is known as one of the most influential country and western singer guitar players in history. Though his songs themselves made an impact, it was his unique, syncopated style of guitar playing that made him a legend. If you have ever ventured into the world of fingerstyle guitar, you might have heard of this signature technique – Travis picking!
In her course, Take 5: Travis Picking, renowned guitar player, Muriel Anderson shows you the best way to get your start in this rewarding style of playing.
Here are 3 free Travis picking guitar lessons from the course. For the full course, check out Muriel Anderson’s Take 5: Travis Picking on TrueFire!
Travis Picking Guitar Lesson – Level 5: Overview
This final version of “I Am a Pilgrim” gets a little closer to how Travis might have done it in concert.
Travis Picking Guitar Lesson – Level 5: Performance
Here, we’re going to fill in some of those melody notes and add some of Travis’ signature riffs. Next, we will break this down together.
Travis Picking Guitar Lesson – Level 5: Breakdown
We start with a little syncopated intro that starts on the “and” of the first beat (the offbeat).
I demonstrate a very typical riff on the E chord. This riff hammers on with the pinky to the C# note on the 2nd string. These riffs can be applied to lots of other songs as well.
Now that you’re more comfortable with syncopation, you can decide on the fly whether to play on the beat or syncopated. Notice how I keep my fingers in position, but don’t squeeze them until I need the notes. This way, my hand won’t tire as easily.
Digging these free Travis picking guitar lessons? Check out Muriel Anderson’s Take 5: Travis Picking.