Paul Smith Music Finger Picking Tab. Picking Patterns #5-9
                                                    (Travis picking)

 
Introduction to Tab. /  Patterns #1-4  /  Patterns #10-13  / Patterns #14-20  / Patterns #21-25  

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        Before you begin learning to finger pick please read  
        WHY learn to finger pick?  And HOW to learn
!

                 If you have read it, it would helpful to read it again.

        Beginning finger picking tab. Picking Patterns #5-9   (Travis picking patterns)

Hand position -  is very important
                          
  Read Finger Picking Hand Position before beginning finger picking patterns                        

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)  
          This 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" has to 
         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 
         they're not.  
         
          Hand Position in these patterns is the SECOND POSITION

                                    Audio samples / Slow / Medium / Fast /  
D  chord

E  II--------------------------I-----------------------------II    
B  II----3-----------3---------I------3-----------3----------II  
G  II-*-(------2-----------2---I------------2-----------2--*-II   
D  II-*-----0-----------0------I---------0-----------0-----*-II     
A  II----0--------0------------I---0-----------0-------------II   
E  II--------------------------I-----------------------------II   

         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 anchor 
         while still playing.  To help you with this keep in mind that your "anchor" doesn't have to
         be "plastered" 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" so to 
         speak, you don't have to keep "pushing" down on your anchor.  Learn to lighten up on the 
         anchor so that it's almost just a touch on the guitar top.  This will help you in changing your 
         anchor position.  After a while it will happen naturally and you will give it little thought.
                                                        

Finger picking tab.
Picking Pattern
#6    (Travis pick)
         This finger picking pattern uses the same anchor point but alternates between 
         both bass and treble strings.  Now your finger picking all six strings of the guitar.

                                    Audio samples / Slow  / Fast /  
C  chord

II----0----------------------I---0-----------------------II
II----------------1----------I---------------1-----------II
II-*-(------0-----------0----I--(------0-----------0---*-II
II-*-----2-----------2-------I------2-----------2------*-II
II-------------3-------------I------------3--------------II
II----3----------------------I---3-----------------------II    

      3  T  1  T  2  T  1        3  T  1  T  2  T  1
      T                          T 



Finger picking tab.
Picking Pattern #7   (Travis pick) 
         This pattern is the same as #6 except you will start the finger picking 
         by pinching 5th and 1st strings instead of 6th and 1st

                                    Audio samples / Slow  / Fast /  
C  chord  

II----0---------------------I---0----------------------II
II----------------1---------I---------------1----------II  
II-*-(------0-----------0---I--(------0-----------0--*-II   
II-*-----2-----------2------I------2-----------2-----*-II    
II----3--------3------------I---3--------3-------------II
II--------------------------I--------------------------II    

      3  T  1  T  2  T  1       3  T  1  T  2  T  1
      T                         T


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.                               
                              
                             Audio samples / Slow  / Fast /  

  G   chord

II-----3------------------I---3-------------------II
II-----------------0------I---------------0-------II
II-*--(------0------------I--(------0-----------*-II
II-*------0-----------0---I------0-----------0--*-II
II------------------------I-----------------------II
II-----3--------3---------I---3--------3----------II

       3  T  1  T  2  T       3  T  1  T  2  T      
       T                      T  


Finger picking tab.
Picking Pattern
#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." 

                                Audio samples / Slow  / Fast /  

  
   G   chord  

II-----3--------------------I---3----------------------II
II-----------------0--------I---------------0----------II
II-*--(------0-----------0--I-(-------0-----------0--*-II
II-*------0-----------0-----I------0-----------0-----*-II
II--------------------------I--------------------------II
II-----3--------3-----------I---3--------3-------------II

       3  T  1  T  2  T  1      3  T  1  T  2  T  1      
       T                        T


        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 will find
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 fingers
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 
and this 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" 
what you 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 all.         


The most enjoyable way to learn to finger pick is to learn songs rather then just 
boring patterns.  My first music album Relax And Reminisce incorporates these 
9 patterns throughout the different songs.  If you master these basic "Travis" style 
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, melody lines, 
harmony guitar accompaniment.  Also you will hear counter part, and counter point 
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 stuff."    
                    Buy it - you wont be sorry you did.         I promise!
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This is a way that you can show your appreciation for what I've provided for 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 PEELING",,,MOST 
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.  
   Calluses 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.
    The Solution; 
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.   
    It 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 that 
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.  
    If you follow these steps you will have very few problems with calluses anymore.
   Hope this helps."
 Paul Smith

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