Watch the Lesson 3 online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from Fingerstyle Blues Handbook 2

The term "pattern picking" is sometimes used interchangeably with "Travis picking," but it actually refers to playing various repeating right-hand patterns in which not only the thumb but the fingers repeatedly play the same sequence of strings. This is a great way to accompany a vocal, but as you're learning here, the whole key to playing a guitar melody on top is to free up your fingers from your thumb so they can do their own thing.