Blues  •  Delta Blues

Finger-Picked Guitar

The finger-picked guitar style arose in the American south, where it was often used to make one guitar mimic the sound of two by allowing the musician to generate bass notes with the thumb on the lower strings while the fingers picked out the melody in the higher strings. Fingerpicking is also known as thumbpicking, particularly in Kentucky, and may also be called "Travis picking" after Merle Travis. Finger-picked styles feature predominately in blues music, as well as country and folk styles. Similar styles originated from classical guitar music and have surfaced in European folk styles, Hawaiian slack-key guitar and jazz.