Travis Picking in C (part 2/3)

Adding variety to your travis picking in the key of C

See the previous article on Travis Picking – strongly recommended to read this first!

Intro to Travis Picking in C

I strongly recommend doing the intro lesson above, which will help you master the Travis Picking bass skill. 

Once you have this down, this lesson will take your Travis picking to the next level!

Travis Picking in C - whole notes

In this first example, we play the bass pattern and one note at the start of the bar each time. 

This is a good exercise to get you started keeping that travis picking bassline – while adding to it bit by bit.

H2 -Travis Picking in C - varying the whole note

This example continues on from the last. 

We play just one whole note on top of the Travis bassline, but this time we vary that note.

This will require a little bit more concentration and dexterity.

Travis Picking in C - half notes

Now we will play some half notes which means that we can fit two melody notes in each bar. 

This will really test you out. As you start to play this, maybe you start to lose that bassline a bit? This is perfectly normal. The goal of these exercises are to keeping playing until it becomes automatic.

Travis Picking in C - quarter notes

Now we play quarter notes which means we can have 4 melody notes per bar. 

Again take this slowly. Feel free to isolate the parts. Just practice the bassline. Just practice the melody part. Then put them together very very slowly and speed up gently.

Travis Picking in C - another quarter note example

More quarter notes again.

This example has quarter notes on different strings make it a slightly more difficult exercise.

Travis Picking in C - mixing whole, half & quarter notes

Now comes the payoff.

You can mix the whole, quarter and half notes to make something sound musical!

Travis Picking in C - sixteenth notes

This is the hardest example as it has sixteenth notes.

This means playing two melody notes per bass note.

Take this really slowly. Use the audio to guide you


This lesson will get you playing some advanced travis picking styles.

Take it slowly – even if it takes some time to master this material, it’s worth it.

If you want a structured way to build up your skills and learn a number of techniques that stack nicely, check out my intermediate fingerpicking exercises book below!

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