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Watch the Travis Picking online guitar lesson by TrueFire from Play Country Guitar 7: Style Variations

Today, it's unthinkable to advance your skills as a fingerstyle guitarist without having a solid grip on Travis Picking, if only as a rite of passage. In this section, Jason Loughlin presents key principles and 2 performance studies to get you up to speed.

TIP! One of the best pieces of advice I ever got as a player, was to "learn it - then do it your own way". At first that seems counter-intuitive. Afterall we are trying to really nail the lessons we are working on, and once we do that… then we are supposed to change it? YES! Throughout history players have been borrowing, or outright stealing others licks and ideas, and then changing them to make them their own. Basically you have to start somewhere as you are developing your own voice on the guitar, so it makes sense to learn something that is already pretty cool, and then put your own spin on it. Try it out, learn a new lick or pattern, but then instead of just moving on to something else - look at how you can tweak, adapt, extend, change and make it your own.