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Intro to the Atkins/Travis Picking Rhythm Style

 

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The Chet Atkins/Merle Travis Style Picking Primer

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In this tutorial, we'll begin a look at playing rhythm guitar in the Chet Atkins/Merle Travis Style. This style of country guitar is a style in and of itself. Those who practice this style have a proficiency on the guitar that is pretty difficult to master because this style is practiced almost exclusively.

In this style, the music you hear sounds like more than one instrument playing at the same time. This is because the thumb will usually play a bass/percussion line while the fingers will play a melody and accompaniment line. Sound difficult? It's not easy, but the practice is worth the reward.

Let's take a look at how to accomplish the basic technique of the style. Grab your hollow or semi-hollow bodied guitars and a thumbpick and let's get started!