Watch the SECTION 2: Essential Concepts online guitar lesson by Jason Loughlin from Focus On: Travis Picking
Travis picking can be traced right back to ragtime piano. The steady alternating bassline echos the left hand of a stride pianist. This style gets it's name from the great Merle Travis. Though, he was not the inventor. Mose Rager, Merle's teacher back in Kentucky is credited from developing the thumb pick style. You can also hear this style's roots in Elizabeth Cotten's guitar playing. The style streches across genres and can be heard in country blues by players like Mississippi John Hurt, to Rockabilly Scotty Moore and Brian Setzer to country. Chet Atkins adopted the style and brought it to a level sophistication that is still unmatched. Torch barers like Tommy Emmanuel and Doyle Dykes have keep it's popularity alive while establishing their own voice and mark within the style.