Beginning Travis-Style Guitar: Adding In the Index and Middle Fingers
Once you’ve become familiar with the alternating thumb bass for Travis-style guitar, it’s time to add in your index and middle fingers. This beginning Travis-style guitar lesson covers this next step in learning to play this popular fingerpicking style.
We’re going to ease into this. Until you develop the feel for how Travis-style works, it can be daunting and difficult.
So let’s approach it all easy-like by, first, just including the index finger in between the thumb strokes.
Check out this video for a live explanation:
Got that? Your index finger always hangs out on the 3rd string for this exercise, and all you do is play the index finger in between every single thumb bass note.
If you follow those directions, you’ll be playing the following tab (P is the guitar-nerd abbreviation for thumb):
We don’t want to leave the middle finger out of the fun, though.
So check out this video to see the same exercise played using the middle finger instead of the index finger:
And here’s the tab of how to perform the exercise just demonstrated in that video:
We’re just getting started, but already there’s plenty to master here before you dive into the deeper waters of Travis-style guitar.
For now, get these exercises running as smoothly as you can with fantastic tone. Make sure all the notes ring fully when you play them. Then, push for speed.
But remember–speed only counts if all the other pieces of the playing puzzle are in place.
So get out there and get Travis-styling!