Originally Posted by Music4life
Can anyone give me advise on how to master this guys Skill? He's just incredible I know he uses a lot of Flat-picking and another technique called the Clawhammer. I need somewhere basic to start off. So if anyone has any idea let me know.
The first thing he demonstrates there is sometimes called travis picking (named after Merle Travis).
Happy Traum has produced several good dvds showing the basis of this style.
This dvd is a good one to start with
Also Stephan Grossman has good dvds on the subject
Search Youtube for "travis picking lessons"
It's not as complicated as it looks, but does take some time to master. As Knopfler says it's a piano thing done on a guitar. The difficult thing is that the fingers and the thumb play different parts and the hard thing to coordinate these different parts. Once you get that mastered it's just lots and lots of practice.
The problems with getting lessons is that it may be hard to find a teacher who knows this style. If you can find a teacher who does by all means get some lessons, if not get a few dvds and youtube videos. There are also some basic fingerpicking exercises you can do which will build the manual dexterity and muscle memory needed.
Here is a video of me Travis Picking the gospel number What a Friend We Have in Jesus.
This is the basic style, but there are many ways of "breaking the rules" and many variations on the style. There are also many other finger picking guitar styles.
Artists to listen to include Mississippi John Hurt and Merle Travis. For variations on the style try Blind Blake or Rev Gary Davis.