Check out these free guitar lessons from Muriel Anderson’s Take 5: Travis Picking, which is an accelerated curriculum designed to help get your Travis Picking technique up and running quickly without having to struggle through a lot of tedious exercises and boring etudes. Work through the course and you’ll have a basic but solid Travis Picking technique under your belt and five Travis Picking pieces in your repertoire!
Travis Picking – Overview
This version of “I Am a Pilgrim” gets close to how Travis might have done it in concert. We’re going to fill in some of those melody notes and add some of Travis’ signature riffs.
Travis Picking – Performance
Download the tab and notation for this Travis picking lesson on TrueFire.
Travis Picking – Breakdown
We start with a little syncopated intro that starts on the “and” of the first beat (the offbeat).
I show you a very typical riff on the E chord that hammers on with the pinky to the C# note on the 2nd string — you can use this and the other riffs I show you in 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.
I keep my fingers in position, but I only actually squeeze them when I need the notes so my hand won’t get tired.
A couple other cool things:
- A little slide you can do from the 2nd fret up to the A chord at the fifth position.
- Using the open strings to give yourself time to switch positions.
Dig these free travis picking guitar lessons? Check out Muriel Anderson’s full course, Take 5: Travis Picking, for more including tab, notation, and jam tracks!