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tools to help you learn to finger pick without charging you a thing.
All I ask is that you please show your appreciation
by purchasing my CDs
Paul recommends this - The
deal on this site to help you learn to finger pick;
*** Three CD's plus two sets of custom plastic finger picks -
Includes - Three
music CD's Relax
with TWO sets of customized
plastic finger picks
- Free shipping
- $44 Best
deal on this web site
- you save $14.68
With velvet pick bag > $46.50* Red
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cost. (New window)
It's best to download the Audio samples.
Use them to help get the rhythm of the pattern.
(These samples are mp3 formatted at 64kbps, 10 to 15sec. in length, and
average about 100KB)
Finger picking tab. Picking Pattern
#5 (Travis pick)
finger picking pattern is the same as #2 but in the middle 4 strings.
Note that this
picking pattern has a different anchor and right hand position.
Read Finger Picking Hand Position
to learn more about the hand position.
You must learn to move your finger
picking hand one notch down on the strings
as you play, so as to pick the middle
strings and not the high strings. (Moving "down"
means toward your
"nose" not your "toes." This is because "down"
do with the pitch of
the note and not the direction of the string.) As for the audio
samples for Patterns #5 and #2
- They sound similar but they are not exactly the same.
The #2 pattern is done on the four high strings of the guitar -
e, b, g, and d strings.
The #5 pattern is the same finger picking pattern
except it's done on the middle strings
of the guitar - the b, g,
d, and a strings. Some have told me they are the same but
Hand Position in
these patterns is the SECOND POSITION
2 T 1
T 2 T 1 T 2 T
1 T 2 T 1 T
Try this; After you get comfortable
with your anchor change for this pattern, try this exercise.
Try to play pattern #2
and then switch to pattern #5 and then back to #2 and then again
to #5 and so on over and
over until you learn to change your anchor position as you
continually play the same
picking pattern. This will help teach you to change your
while still playing.
To help you with this keep in mind that your "anchor" doesn't
or "glued" to the guitar top. The only purpose the anchor
is serving is to help
you keep your orientation
in relation to the strings. Once you "know where you are"
speak, you don't have to
keep "pushing" down on your anchor. Learn to lighten up on
anchor so that it's
almost just a touch on the guitar top. This will help you in
anchor position. After a while it will happen naturally and you will give it little
Finger picking tab.
finger picking pattern uses the same anchor point but alternates
both bass and treble
strings. Now your finger picking all six strings of the guitar.
Finger picking tab. Picking Pattern
#8 (Travis pick) In this picking pattern you will be
"skipping" the 'a' string. Your thumb will be
jumping from the the bass 'e' string to the 'd' string,
or with this chord it's the
'g' note and the 'd' note on the bass strings.
Finger picking tab.
#9 (Travis pick) This picking pattern is
similar to pattern #8 except you will be adding just the one
not at the end of each measure, it is the
'g' note played with the 1st right hand finger.
This give a little bit different rhythm to
the pattern as can be heard in the "fast samples."
Time to do some
chord changes with Travis picking patterns.
Once you’ve learned these 9 basic Travis
picking patterns of the "beginning finger
picking patterns"then you can start to think
about your left
hand and chord changes.
Choose a key
or a song you like with its Tonic, Dominant and Subdominant chords.
The key of G, for example is G, C, D. Start by changing between G and C. while
using picks #9 and #7. Then add D using pick #1 and #3. To do this your
"hand position" or
anchor must change. If you have done the exercise mentioned
for pattern #5 you will have no
problem with this. From there you can use the chord
D7 which is a naturally
way to throw you back to the Tonic chord G. You can also
add some Minor chords as well. For example you can progress to an Em after the G,
and Am after the C chords. This is a standard type chord progression that sounds nice. Your goal is to make these chord changes while smoothly continuing to
pick so that one
flows into the other.
Try this video to help with changing between C, F, G and G7
Next try to add some notes
as you change chords. When changing from the G chord to the Em for example add the note f
#. Between the C and Am add a ‘b’ note. Between the D7 and G
chord add an f #. This will make the progression flow better. To do this smoothly will take some practice. By now though it is starting to sound like music which will make practice a little more enjoyable.
My Dad use to say "Make it sound like music."
Let your "Thumb Be Your Guide" As you make chord changers and use different patterns as you go, you
it helpful to concentrate on the "thumb." Let the
"thumb be your guide" to what
you are doing. That is - concentrate on the thumb and just let the
naturally follow. You will need to learn to think this way as your picking speed
increases. You will notice that as your speed increases you will not be able to
mentally keep up
with everything you are doing as you're doing it. This is normal
is why you have been "burning" these patterns into your brain. When you
begin to play faster then you can think, this means that all that repetition is paying off.
This is what you've been working so hard to achieve. To help you to "KNOW"
are doing as you play along begin to concentrate on that picking hand
"thumb," particularly the bass line of notes and
let the fingers follow
"without giving them any thought" at
The most enjoyable way to learn to finger pick is to learn songs rather then just
patterns. My first music album Relax And Reminisceincorporates
9 patterns throughout the different songs. If you master these basic "Travis"
patterns you can learn to play most of the songs on this CD similar to the
way I did
when recording these songs. By using my CD and the
lyrics and chords pages of this
site you can play them too. It is tremendously helpful to listen to how the songs are
played on the CD so you can try to imitate those things being
done. You will hear
not just plain chord changes but you will hear interesting progressions,
harmony guitar accompaniment. Also you will hear counter part, and
guitar work that all make for enjoyable, easy to listen to music.
The nice thing about
this particular CD is that all the songs are rooted in these picking
patterns you have
learned on this site. These are well known songs (of my generation)
and you can get
some really good ideas by carefully listening to the guitar work. As
one of my students
said, "Relax and Reminisce, it's great
Buy it - you wont be sorry you
did. I promise!
Relax and Reminisce CD Price
shipping * Includes standard
size jewel case,
with two panel insert, polywrapped.
(Due to licensing laws and all the cover songs on this
album, Relax and Reminisce is available only on CD)
Cover of CD
Tray card (back) Paul
silhouetted against sunset. With
customized 12 string Yamaha FG-2500
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This is a way that you can show your
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you to learn.
It takes time. DO NOT get
discouraged. Keep up the
practicing!!! You're getting there.
If you have questions or problems
please feel free to ask me.
I give FREE advice to customers of mine.
Like this question that was asked "PAUL....JUST
WANTED TO ASK YOU IF YOU EVER HAD
A PROBLEM WITH YOUR "LEFT HAND FRETTING FINGER CALLUSES
LIKELY FROM STEEL STRINGS....IF SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH IT??"
THANKS.....GARY My answer;
"I do have problems
sometimes with my calluses. Sometimes some parts of the callus
starts to peel like
you said and it will "catch" on the strings as you
change chords and the like.
are merely layers of dead skin that have built up from the hard wear of
playing the guitar. The
layers will eventually wear away. As they do, this is where
the problem begins. The surface of your finger
tip begins to be rough and inconsistent in texture. This is
what you need to change. When I was a gymnast
I learned about how to manage calluses. Gymnasts have constant
problems with calluses and rips and a
host of other hand problems. I use some of the same methods with
guitar finger tip calluses.
What I do form time to time when this is a problem is I take a
knife that is not sharp and cut away any
layers of callus that are wanting to create an edge that the strings can
catch on. Usually it is only a very
small area. Sometimes it will be a layer of shin that
forms like a "cap" on the finger tip.
helps to do this while the callus is dry and not too pliable. This
makes it easy to distinguish between
the skin you want to remove and the skin you want to leave.
Do this very carefully so you only take off that
"TOP" layer of skin that is causing the problem and no more
then that. DO NOT use a razor blade because
it is far to sharp and will cut right through multiple layers of skin
before you realize what you've done. That
will make your problem even worse. The drawl knife will work much
better because you kind of "pick at it"
to separate the layers of skin rather then actually "cut"
through it. Once you've gotten the layer off
was causing the problem you will still have a rough surface but with no
"edges" of shin. Now, you should
soften the skin by soaking it in some water with soap for a few minutes.
Next take an emery board, of
finger nail file and smooth the callus off. Finally putting some
lotion on the finger tips will help keep them
nice and soft.
When you play the guitar
you want you finger tips to be soft, not hard an brittle where the
skin can "crack"
open causing more problems. The lotion will help with this.
However, just before you play you should wash
your hands and get all the lotion and oils off your hands.
You don't want any of that getting on your guitar
strings at all. Washing the hands before playing will also help
with getting the calluses in the right soft
condition for playing the guitar.
you follow these steps you will have very few problems with calluses
but I have removed my email address from my site because I had 9242 Spam emails today (Nov. 2006). I can't take
that kind of abuse anymore.
If you make a purchase I will send you my