Excerpted from Gospel Songs for Fingerstyle Guitar
Posted by Steve Baughman
I have arranged “Go Tell It on the Mountain” here as an alternating-thumb piece with a bit of a bluesy feel. Those of you with lots of experience in Travis picking may find this arrangement quite accessible, and beginning alternating-thumb players should find this to be a good piece to get started on for playing a melody while you keep your thumb on autopilot (an essential skill for fingerpickers).
As you tackle the arrangement, I recommend slightly muting the bass strings with your picking-hand palm to enhance the percussive groove of the piece. This is an important skill to have—place the heel of your picking hand gently on the bass strings and see if you can create that muting while you pick the bass strings. You’ll know you’ve got it right if you can keep that muted bass thumping while still allowing the treble notes to ring out, and it’s worth playing around with the angle and position of your picking hand until you can lock in that sound.