Fingerpicking

When it comes to teaching and playing finger-style or fingerpicking guitar (ie. Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, Simon and Garfunkel, or even Joe Pass), a background in classical guitar playing is a huge advantage. Finger-picking (often called Travis Picking named after the finger-style pioneer, Merle Travis) is a very popular form of accompaniment in folk, country, and singer-songwriter music (think Simon and Garfunkel for example).

I've developed a method for teaching this style that starts with the basic fingerpicking patterns taught in books like The Art of Contemporary Travis Pickingbut breaks down the learning process in an extremely granular way that ensures we truly understand and have control over what we're playing. This is important in solo guitar oriented music. What's impressive about styles like fingerpicking or classical guitar is that we're playing multiple parts at once, but on one instrument. Instead of just hearing a fingerpicking pattern as one block of sound (a common way to experience it), learning how to hear and feel these parts separately is extremely advantageous for our musicianship. We can then much more easily adapt and apply what we've learned to so many more songs and situations (which is kind of what I'm all about 😁).