Paul Smith Music Finger picking Tab. Picking Patterns #10-13
                                                       (Travis picking)

 
Introduction to Tab / Right Hand Position / Patterns #1-4 /  Patterns #5-9  /  Patterns #14-20  / Patterns #21-25  
 

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Before you begin make sure you read all of  
        WHY learn to finger pick?  And HOW to learn
!


By now you should have read it but
if you haven't read Finger Picking Hand Position yet, 
            READ IT NOW.



Note this about your Anchor.
As you improve in your finger picking you don't have to feel that you must keep your
little finger stuck to the top of your guitar as that "anchor."  In fact to have better 
rhythm you'll find that having your hand "loose" will help.  Once you "find" your
right hands position in relation to the strings that's all that you really need.  Use 
your little finger just to orient yourself to the strings and then "float" your hand 
as much as you would like.  I keep my little finger out there to touch the top of 
the guitar from time to time as I play, but I don't have it "glued" (so to speak) to 
the guitar top or bridge.  Just a slight touch or so with the little finger when making 
pattern changes or when skipping strings, is usually all that I need to get oriented.   

Move your hand.
Itís also good to learn to move your right hand position "forward and back" on the strings. 
What Iím saying is that you donít have to have your right picking hand over the sound 
hole at all times. Youíll notice that as you pick the strings with your right hand closer 
to the bridge it gets a different sound quality about it then when the strings are picked over 
the hole. The closer to the bridge the "higher, and brighter the overtones".  The closer to the hole
the deeper the bass overtones.  This will prove to be a desirable skill as you want to change 
the "mood" of a song.  You can change not only the force with which you play but where 
you play the strings too.  Itís part of making your guitar "talk and sing".  Make MUSIC!

Note this about the way your picks hit the strings.
 
  It's best if the wrist of your picking hand has enough bend downward to make the 
pick part of your picks (the tongue) come up almost flat against the strings. This
is discussed on the finger picking hand position page.  I also mentioned that you can 
turn the picks slightly on the fingers so that the tongue of the pick is somewhat on the 
side of the finger rather than flat on the ball of the finger tip. Also when sizing your 
picks (Instructions included with picks purchased off this web. site.) you can twist the 
tongue slightly to improve this angle (described below). It is very important that your 
hand position be comfortable as discussed earlier.  If you're having trouble keeping your 
hand in a particular position because it's awkward or doesn't feel right that isn't good. 
This is because you must be able to play for long periods of time without fatigue.  Your 
guitar position has a lot to do with the your hand position.  The further down you hold your 
guitar the less bend you will need in the right hand wrist.  Use a combination of these 
three subtle things - 1. Bend in wrist.  2. Pick position on your fingers.  3.  Shape of the 
pick itself. (described next, below) - to get the picks to come up on the strings properly with 
the way you hold your guitar.  This is all strictly a feel thing.  What feels good to you not me.  
You may prefer to change the position of the guitar raising or lowering it to what's 
comfortable for you. Also keep in mind that if the finger picks come up at a slight angle 
so the edge of the pick strikes the string first it's not that critical when using plastic picks. 
This is bound to happen occasionally no matter what, but it's best to get it as close as possible.
 
  How to make the twist in the Finger Picks to help avoid "scraping the strings"
You want the picks to come up onto the strings as much as possible with the flat surface of the 
pick laying flat on the string.  This is sometimes needed to avoid "scraping" the wound guitar
strings with the "edge" of the pick.  Some people don't have this problem, others do and to 
different degrees because of their playing style as I have explained.  Plastic picks help reduce the 
annoying sound but if this problem is extreme for you, it could cause some other problems too.  
Here is something that can help.  As part of the fitting process (instructions provided with picks 
purchased on this site) you can actually "twist" the pick tongue slightly at the base, so that the flat 
part of the tongue comes up flat against the string.  Usually though, this isn't necessary, especially 
with the "custom" finger picks.   Most times you can solve this problem of "scraping" by simply 
turning the picks on your fingers and wearing them slightly on the side of the finger tip as 
described in the section above.

Sometimes students have this problem "scraping", especially when trying to pick faster.  This is 
a problem with picking technique.  Sometimes, students exaggerate the movement of the fingers 
as they try to pick faster, as they do this it changes the way the finger picks come upon the 
strings.  The solution here is to simply "slow" down.  Don't try to rush your learning.  It is VERY, 
VERY IMPORTANT not to learn bad habits.  Go slow and get it right from the start.  Practice 
slow for a long time until it becomes "deeply" ingrained.  Increase speed slowly and if your technique 
begins to suffer - STOP!  Speed will come in time.  Not today perhaps, but it will come in time.
One of the biggest problems that students have is they what to do it all right now!  
 
Remember to practice using those "rules for learning" at the bottom of the finger picking page.  
Read them each time before you practice and follow them for the best results.

Finger Picking Tab.  Picking Pattern # 10 - 13  (Travis finger picking)

It's best to download the Audio samples.  Use them to help you get the rhythm of the finger 
picking pattern.
     (These samples are mp3 formatted at 64kbps, 10 to 15sec. in length, and average about 100KB)


Picking Pattern #10   (Travis pick)
          
Play a G chord as you learn this finger picking pattern.  
           Now your using all six strings.
           This is when it really pays to have three finger picks.

                                    Audio samples / Slow  / Fast /  
      G chord
E  II-------------3--------------I-----------3----------------II
B  II-------0-----------0--------I-----0-----------0----------II
G  II-*-----------------------0--I-----------------------0--*-II
D  II-*--------0-----------0-----I--------0-----------0-----*-II
A  II----------------2-----------I--------------2-------------II
E  II----3-----------------------I--3-------------------------II
      
         T  2  T  3  T  2  T  1     T  2  T  3  T  2  T  1       



Picking Pattern #11  (Travis pick)
         
This finger picking pattern  is a variation that combines #6 with #10  
          The first measure being different than the second.
          Learn to make these changes from one to the other
          smoothly, and continuously flowing as you pick.

                                        Audio samples / Slow  / Fast /  
                
      G chord
  II----3--------------------I-----------3----------------II
  II----------------0--------I-----0-----------0----------II
  II-*-(------0-----------0--I-----------------------0--*-II
  II-*-----0-----------0-----I--------0-----------0-----*-II
  II-------------2-----------I--------------2-------------II
  II----3--------------------I--3-------------------------II
                     
      3  T  1  T  2  T  1     T  2  T  3  T  2  T  1      
      T

         



Picking Pattern #12   (Travis pick)
  This finger picking pattern you'll see is different in the first measure than the second.
           

                                    Audio samples / Slow  / Fast /  
       C  chord
  II---------------------I-----------0----------------II
  II------------------1--I-----1-----------1----------II
  II-*----------0--------I-----------------------0--*-II
  II-*----2--------2-----I--------2-----------2-----*-II
  II---3-----------------I--3-------------------------II
  II---------3-----------I--------------3-------------II

     T  T  T  1  T  2     T  2  T  3  T  2  T  1    



Picking Pattern #13   (Travis pick) 
           Learn to "hammer" notes of the chord as you finger pick.
           This takes timing and practice.  The actual hammering
           of the "d" string to the "e" note happens just before 
           your thumb picks the "e" note.
 
                                   Audio samples / Slow  / Fast /  

       C  chord
 II----0-----------------I-----------0----------------II
 II-------------------1--I-----1-----------1----------II
 II-*-----------0--------I-----------------------0--*-II
 II-*-(---2--------0-----I-------h2-----------2-----*-II
 II----3-----------------I--3-------------------------II
 II----------3-----------I--------------3-------------II

      3  T  T  1  T  2     T  2  T  3  T  2  T  1    
      T                       
(hammer)



I
f you've gotten this far and have learned to play these 13 patterns of the
"Travis" pick, you must be serious about learning how to finger pick
your guitar.  Now you will be wanting to put this new knowledge to use
and incorporate it in songs.  

As I suggested on my "Why Learn to Finger Pick" page, a good way to
do this is to listen to how others employ these techniques.  On my CD,
Relax and Reminisce, you will find all of these picking patterns and more
incorporated in the arrangements of those songs.  In some songs, the
picking is used to accompany strumming as in "Did She Mention My Name"
and "Wherefore and Why".  Listen to how the finger picking enhances the
strumming rhythm and isolates harmonic themes throughout the songs.  
In other songs, the main style featured is the finger picking itself.  An
example of this can be seen in "Ribbon of Darkness" or "Bitter Green".
 
The most enjoyable way to learn to finger pick is to learn to play songs,
not just boring picking patterns.  Relax And Reminisce incorporates all of these 
13 patterns throughout the different well known songs on that album.  If you have 
mastered these basic "Travis" style patterns you can learn to play the songs on 
that CD.  A young child can learn the complicated patterns of speech and grammar 
simply by listening to others talk.  If exposed to two languages the child can learn to 
speak both of those languages and do it without a lick of an accent.  There have been 
some who were exposed to up to seven different languages while growing up and they 
can speak all seven tongues, fluently and all without an accent.  Incredible!  Yes it 
certainly is!  The mind has incredible ability to learn simply by listening.  As a 
"young child" to the art of finger picking you can learn a lot simply by listening closely  
to the guitar playing of accomplished guitarists who finger pick.  
By using this CD Relax And Reminisce  
and the lyrics and chords pages of this site you too can learn to play those songs 
similar to Paul Smith.  

Think about this - How much would you have paid to have these guitar lessons?
Please
show your appreciation by making the purchase.  
Your finger picking will benefit if you do and you'll have helped me.

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Paul silhouetted against sunset.       With customized 12 string Yamaha FG-2500                    

                  
            
       Copyright 2003

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Early Morning Rain is the first track on this CD.  There is a sample of it on
the Samples page.  Tablature - for the way Paul Smith plays this classic song.



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