5 Finger Pickin’ Guitar Licks You MUST Know Inspired by Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and Jerry Reed

5 Finger Pickin’ Guitar Licks You MUST Know Inspired by Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and Jerry Reed

Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and Jerry Reed are among the most influential guitarists in fingerstyle, country, and folk music. Their combined contribution to the style is essential learning, laying the groundwork for contemporary visionaries such as Tommy Emmanuel, Brent Mason, Albert Lee, and Brad Paisley.

Gareth Pearson, a.k.a. “The Welsh Tornado”, has assembled 50 Travis, Atkins & Reed Licks You MUST Know in order to teach you some of the techniques that made these players so special. In these lessons taken from the course, we’ll sample five different licks that utilize a few of the techniques that they’re known for. Let’s take a look:

Chet Slurring

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this fingerstyle guitar lesson.

This is a very fast pull-off lick.

Claw Double Stop

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This lick uses claw double stops in the style of Jerry Reed.

Piano Style

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This next one is a piano style phrase.

Mule Skinnin’

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This one is based on Jerry Reed’s “Mule Skinner Blues”.

Walkin’ the Shapes

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This is a Merle Travis idea from “Walking the Strings”.


There’s plenty more to dig in to in the full course on TrueFire. There you’ll find 45 more fingerstyle licks in the style of Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and Jerry Reed, along with the tab, notation, and jam tracks for each one. Check it out!