Chet Atkins Merle Travis style picking

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Country thumb picking technique, it’s kind of like a
Merle Travis, Chet Atkins thing. This isn’t really like
an accurate recreation of their styles because they really
had, Chet especially, had a really unique and delicate and
beautiful playing style that I can’t really recreate that.
But I can take elements from that and the basic principles
to show you a few exercises that should be pretty easy to
learn. This is the kind of thing I’m talking about.

So let’s have a look at this E. You’ll notice I’m doing this
alternating root to 5th thing. I’m going… That’s kind of
like the Chet Atkins way to do it. He always alternated,
whereas Merle Travis usually always just kind of kept it
just between the root and the 5th. I tend to combine the two.

This is the position you want to take. It’s a good idea to
kind of anchor your palm a little bit close to the bridge.
We were talking about that earlier. It’s nice to get a good…
We want to do the same deal where we’re muting the lower
strings and leaving the high ones open so the leads will
come out on top of the rhythm. So we’ve got this little
move of popping the low E and we’re popping the high E,
second fret, D string, third finger and we’re hammering-on
at the same time we’re picking the open G string. You’ve
got to hammer-on with the first finger.

Now this is where it gets a little tricky because we’re
going to still keep this… And so on and so forth. But
I’m going to break it down super slow again and you can
see what’s happening. That’s our pattern.

We’re going from the B note, which our 5th in the E chord,
the second fret, A string. So that’s them joined together.
Super slowly again.