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Posted by David Hamburger
Excerpted from The Acoustic Guitar Fingerstyle Method
Travis picking, also called pattern picking or the alternating-thumb style, refers to an accompaniment style based on repeating a particular kind of right-hand pattern of thumb and finger moves throughout a song, adapting that pattern to the notes of each chord, and conforming to a specific way of choosing the bass notes played by the thumb.
Which means what, exactly?
Let’s start with a G chord and see.
The first step is to establish the bass notes. The bass notes are the notes played with the thumb, usually on the sixth, fifth, and fourth strings. On a G chord, the bass notes are on the sixth string and the fourth string, as in Example 1.1.