Merle Travis Turnaround (Guitar Lesson)


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Jim Deeming

Merle Travis Turnaround

Jim Deeming teaches a turnaround in the style of Merle Travis. Get your thumbpicks ready!

Taught by Jim Deeming in Style of Merle Travis seriesLength: 15:44Difficulty: 3.0 of 5


Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


BethGBethG replied on February 9th, 2018

Nice lesson. I have a difficult time reaching four frets near the neck so I have to wing it. I like the way you teach. Thanks, Jim.

oldguy39oldguy39 replied on June 23rd, 2012

Hi Jim: Merle Travis has been my hero since around 1953 when I first picked up a guitar. I've tried to duplicate his style for most of those years, but you are giving me my first actual "seeing" of how he pulled it all off. Due to illness I quit playing for about fourteen years or so, I just bought a couple of guitars and I'm trying to "relearn" this stuff while I'm still kicking and hopefulyl picking, thanks so much for your help!! It's a real pleasure. Stan

gkrauspegkrauspe replied on July 26th, 2011

Great stuff...thanks, Jim!

Style of Merle Travis

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Merle Travis is one of the biggest names in the world of Fingerstyle guitar. In this series Jim Deeming will walk you through the tricks Merle employed to give his music that unique "Travis Picking" sound.



Lesson 1

Introduction and Right Hand Technique

Jim Deeming talks a bit about the history of Merle Travis and his guitar playing. He also explains the basics of his right hand technique.

Length: 10:59 Difficulty: 2.5 FREE
Lesson 2

Left Hand Technique

In this lesson, Jim Deeming talks about Merle Travis' left hand technique.

Length: 10:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Merle Travis Turnaround

Jim Deeming teaches a turnaround in the style of Merle Travis. Get your thumbpicks ready!

Length: 15:44 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Travis Style Chords

Jim Deeming teaches several chord shapes that Merle Travis used extensively.

Length: 15:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Travis Style Banjo Roll

Jim Deeming demonstrates how Merle Travis played a banjo-style roll.

Length: 4:38 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only

About Jim Deeming View Full Biography Jim Deeming got his first guitar when he was only six years old. His Dad was taking fingerpicking lessons, and Jim wanted to be just like him. The Mel Bay books didn't last very long before he strapped on a thumb pick and added the Chet part to Red River Valley so it sounded better.

Most of Jim's early learning was by ear. With unlimited access to his Dad's collection of Chet Atkins albums, he spent countless hours decoding his favorite songs. They were never "right" until they sounded just like Chet. Around the age of 12, Jim heard Jerry Reed for the first time and just knew he had to be able to make that "Alabama Wild Man" sound. The styles of Chet & Jerry always have been a big influence on his playing.

More recently he has pursued arrangements by Tommy Emmanuel and Doyle Dykes, in addition to creating some of his own and writing originals.

Jim has performed in front of a variety of audiences, including concerts, competitions, weddings and the like, but playing at church has always been a mainstay. Whether playing in worship bands or guitar solos, gospel music is deep in his roots and is also the driving theme behind his debut CD release, titled "First Fruits".

Jim has been playing for about 38 years. He also has taught private lessons in the past but believes JamPlay.com is an exciting and better venue with many advantages over the traditional method of weekly 30 minute sessions.

Jim lives in Berthoud, Colorado with his wife, Linda, and their four children. Although he still has a "day job", he is actively performing and is already back in the studio working on the next CD. If you wonder how he finds time, look no further than the back seat of his truck where he keeps a "travel guitar" to take advantage of any practice or song-writing opportunities he can get.

The opening song you hear in Jim's introductory JamPlay video is called, "A Pick In My Pocket". It's an original tune, written in memory of Jim's father who told him early on he should always keep a pick in his pocket in case he ever met Chet Atkins and got the chance to play for him. That song is slated to be the title track for his next CD, which will feature several more originals plus some of his favorite covers of Chet and Jerry arrangements.

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