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Alright, let us talk for a moment about pattern picking. In this case, we are going to be learning a pattern called Travis Picking. A pattern picking by definition is where you are doing a pattern on a guitar.
That is pattern picking.
But, let us talk about Travis Picking. Travis Picking is a specific pattern. It was made famous by a guy named Merle Travis who made the pattern famous. Once you learn this pattern, you can do just hundreds of different things with it. But it is very, very important to learn the pattern right the first time. If you do not do this slowly and methodically, you may run into problems down the road. So, I am going to be very repetitive on this. So, stick with me.
The pattern sounds like this.
Okay. So once again, what you are doing is that your thumb is keeping 4/4 time. But now, you are going to different strings.
One, two, three, four. Your fingers are playing what is called the syncopated pattern where they are playing on the off beats except for the very first note. You got this
One and two and three and four. One and two and three and four
Slow down. It sounds a little disjointed but if you speed it up
And, it begins to swing so just be patient. Here is the pattern broken down into its components. You got your thumb on the 5th string in this case because it is a C chord, your middle finger on the 2nd string and you squeeze them.
Your index finger then hits the third string
Thumb on the 4th, middle on the 2nd, thumb on the 5th, index on the 3rd, thumb on the 4th.
Again, middle finger on the 2nd string, thumb on the 5th, squeeze
Index on the 3rd, thumb on the 4th, middle on the 2nd, thumb on the 5th, index on the 3rd, thumb on the 4th, just follow along with me. Take it slow. Middle finger on the 2nd string, thumb on the 5th together,
Index on the 3rd, thumb on the 4th, middle on the 2nd, thumb on the 5th, index on the 3rd, thumb on the 4th, one more time. Middle on the 2nd, thumb on the 5th, play them together
Index on the 3rd, thumb on the 4th, middle on the 2nd, thumb on the 5th, index on the 3rd and thumb on the 4th. If you do not feel comfortable with it, go back and do it again. Do it as many times as you have to until your fingers are trained in doing the right thing.
So, when you get the pattern down, you get this nice
One and two and three and four. One and two and three and four. Just to make sure, I am going to do it again and slow it down just a little bit.
One and two and three and four. One and two and three and four. One and two and three and four. That count is very important. Because one of the biggest mistakes that people make in learning the Travis picking pattern is jumping too quickly into the next major. So, you want to make sure that on the 4th beat that you leave room, there is a little pause there before you go into the first beat of the next major. You do not want to do this.
One and two and three and four, one and, you want to go
One and two and three and four. One and two and three and four. One and two and three and four.