Fingerstyle Licks: #1 Alternating Bass & Travis Picking

This Fingerstyle Licks free weekly guitar lesson series is by Keith Murray, a classical & fingerstyle guitarist and instructor who is working on a new TrueFire online classroom. Stay tuned for more and be sure to subscribe!

Video Guitar Lesson:

Chart & Tab:

Welcome to my fingerstyle licks video blog for Truefire. I will be demonstrating
excerpts from some pieces and studies I have written. Each will focus on one
common fingerstyle guitar technique. These being: alternating bass, cross-string
playing, the percussive thumb, the arpeggio and altered tuning.

Our first phrase uses the technique of alternating bass (sometimes known as
Travis picking, after Merle Travis, who first popularised this style). Your right
hand thumb will keep a steady bass pattern going on each beat, while your fingers
fill in the harmony and melody on top. Listen to players like Chet Atkins and
Tommy Emmanuel to hear some great examples of what can be achieved with the
alternating bass technique.

We are in the key of B minor for this lick. It follows a common chord progression
with a descending bass line. The chords are Bm, Bm/A, G, A, Bm, Bm/A, G, F#. The
F# is the V chord in the key, perfectly setting up the resolution back to the Bm.

This Fingerstyle Licks free weekly guitar lesson series is by Keith Murray, a classical & fingerstyle guitarist and instructor who is working on a new TrueFire online classroom. Stay tuned for more and be sure to subscribe!