How to Play the Travis Fingerpicking Pattern

by | Oct 21, 2015 | Guitar Lessons, Videos | 2 comments

In this episode of Fret Dojo TV, I cover how to play the Travis fingerpicking pattern in detail.

This is one of the most common guitar fingerstyle patterns to learn, and features in many classic songs such as Dust In The Wind by Kansas.

Funny enough the guitar part for this song was written originally as a guitar fingerpicking exercise – so makes for not just an awesome song but also a good technique builder too.

What this episode covers:

  • How to build up the Travis picking pattern step by step
  • How to adapt the picking pattern to different chords and to change smoothly from chord to chord

Learning this pattern will enable you to play many acoustic fingerstyle songs so I very much hope you enjoy learning this one and that you find this video useful.

Standard Travis fingerpicking pattern:

standard travis pattern

Whilst easy to play once your hands have worked out what to do, this pattern is not very intuitive to learn. Click here to get the pdf of the step by step exercises to develop this pattern as outlined in the video.

Handy resources

Dust In The Wind by Kansas is a great study of this technique. It’s always important to apply an exercise to an actual song that you make music out of and this one is a great song for any fingerstyle guitarist’s repertoire. I

t really helps to have an accurate chart for a more complex song like this, so here is a link to musicnotes.com where you can buy the sheet music inexpensively. I have tried free TABS and so on for this song but this sheet music is well worth the investment as it is much more accurate.

 

Now the exciting bit:

If you're keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here's what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
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  • Members only forum - A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
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The best part:

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Thanks for reading and watching! Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment and if you have any more tips you can offer for learning this song or the techniques covered.

If you have any ideas for future posts for this website please get in touch via [email protected] or you can look me up on twitter, @gregoguitar. Take care and I’ll see you in the next episode of Fret Dojo TV!

2 Comments

  1. Peter Anthony

    great website

    Reply
  2. lenny

    I wish I could play half as good. Great lesson, I thank you

    Reply

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