Hole Notes with Dale Turner: The Influential Picking Style of Merle Travis

These audio files are bonus content related to the May 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

Merle Travis has been mentioned in this column more than any other guitarist, credited for, among other things, popularizing a form of fingerstyle playing commonly referred to as Travis picking.

He was a massive influence on legends like Chet Atkins and Doc Watson (to the point where each named his son Merle), as well as Tommy Emmanuel, Scotty Moore and countless others, and his signature techniques continue to live on today in the works of modern players.

Travis also penned some fantastic original songs that have been performed and/or recorded over the years by Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, Tom Morello, Queens of the Stone Age and others. Let's tip our hat to him with a long-overdue look at his signature style and techniques.

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Dale Turner

A singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/film composer, Musician's Institute instructor, and author of 50+ transcription/instructional books, Dale Turner is also Guitar World's "Hole Notes"/"Acoustic Nation" columnist, and the former West Coast Editor of Guitar One magazine. Some of Dale’s old, weird, rare, and/or exotic instruments are featured in his score for WEEDS, the first animated short completed within the Filmmakers Co-op at Disney Feature Animation. His most recent CD, Mannerisms Magnified, was praised by Guitar Player magazine for its "Smart pop tunes that are crammed with interesting guitar parts and tones ... Like what the Beach Boys might do if they were on an acid trip that was on the verge of getting out of control. Yeah!"