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The Alternating Bass in Blues, and ‘Travis’ Picking
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The Alternating Bass in Blues, and ‘Travis’ Picking

The alternating bass has an entirely different feel and stylistic bent compared with the constant bass in the last lesson, yet they are totally related to each other, and can even be interchangeable.

This relationship between the two styles will be shown and demonstrated in this lesson. The alternating bass lick also evokes a style of picking called “Travis” picking, which was originally created by the great Merle Travis and carried on by legendary Gibson artist Chet Atkins.

In this style, I’ll show you how to “heel-damp” the bass notes so as to create an ever broader separation between the bass and lead notes. All of these ideas will use the thumb and three-finger approach.—Arlen Roth

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Arlen Roth
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Arlen Roth

Music lesson pioneer Arlen Roth is the quintessential guitarist. An accomplished and brilliant musician — and one of the very few who can honestly say he’s done it all — Roth has, over the course of his celebrated 35-year career, played on the world’s grandest stages, accompanied many of the greatest figures in modern music and revolutionized the concept of teaching guitar. Read More...

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