Travis Picking

A fingerpicking technique named after Merle Travis, characterized by a steady, alternating bass pattern played by the thumb and syncopated melody lines played by the fingers.

Travis picking is a popular and distinctive fingerpicking technique often used in folk, country, and Americana music styles. By using the thumb to play a steady, alternating bass pattern on the lower strings while the fingers pluck syncopated melody lines on the higher strings, guitarists can create a complex, layered sound that combines rhythm and melody into a single performance.

Travis picking requires a high degree of finger independence and precise control over dynamics and articulation. Developing a clean and consistent Travis picking technique requires dedicated practice, focusing on hand positioning, finger strength, and coordination. Mastering Travis picking can greatly expand a guitarist’s musical options, enabling them to explore new textures and approaches to their instrument, and enhance their ability to perform in various styles and genres.

Check out these Licklibrary guitar Lessons and Courses to learn more about Travis picking on guitar.