Modern guitar music is great. But I feel I can’t fully understand my instrument, if I don’t spend time with the oldfashioned tunes which it all came from. So there you go. Merle Travis plays „Guitar Rag“ a hundred times faster, but hey, I’m still a student after all. And I really like this intermediate fingerstyle version inspired by Merle’s 1968 Instrumental Album – Strictly Guitar. My teacher came up with it in class. Arrangement by Joachim Ribbentrop.
What is important to know about Merle Travis?
In case you want a little background info on Merle Travis, this is what Wikipedia says: „Merle Robert Travis (November 29, 1917 – October 20, 1983) was an American country and western singer, songwriter, and guitarist born in Rosewood, Kentucky, United States. His songs‘ lyrics often discussed both the lives and the economic exploitation of American coal miners. Among his many well-known songs are „Sixteen Tons,“ „Re-Enlistment Blues,“ „I am a Pilgrim,“ and „Dark as a Dungeon.“
However, it is his unique guitar style, still called Travis Picking by guitarists, as well as his interpretations of the rich musical traditions of his native Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, for which he is best known today. „Travis Picking“ is a syncopated style of guitar fingerpicking rooted in ragtime music in which alternating chords and bass notes are plucked by the thumb while melodies are simultaneously plucked by the index finger. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970 and elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1977.“
Merle Travis‘ instrumental album „Strictly Guitar“ was published in 1968.
Community of guitarloving soulmates
We’re starting a community on Patreon, be one of the first fingerstyleguitartabs.com supporters to join! We’ll be incredibly grateful and keep you provided with fun new intermediate guitar tabs, behind the scenes material and lots more!