Travis picking


southseawaves
Registered User
Joined: 04/13/19
Posts: 2
southseawaves
Registered User
Joined: 04/13/19
Posts: 2
03/07/2023 4:41 pm

Is any picking style that uses alternate bass called Travis picking or is it a particular pattern?


# 1
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,310
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,310
03/08/2023 12:06 am
#1 Originally Posted by: southseawaves

Is any picking style that uses alternate bass called Travis picking or is it a particular pattern?

Travis picking is a specific type of fingerpicking pattern named after Merle Travis who populaized it.


The 2 essential elements are alternating bass & treble melody.  Anders does a great job of demonstrating basic Travis picking technique in the Acoustic course.


https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial/2495/


It's possible to play an alternating bass figure with other notes such as chord tones that don't really amount to a melody.  Often because the guitar part is intended to be an accompaniment to the melody being sung by the vocalist.  Whereas, often with Travis picking the approach is used instrumentally, so the guitar carries the melody.


However, there is a lot of overlap in the application of the concept & I've seen many people call Travis picking, just fingerpicking and vice versa.


Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 2

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