Chat Atkins. Jerry Reed. Merle Travis. What does that bring to mind? Awesome guitar skills? You bet. And the main awesome guitar skill these men share together is Ragtime Picking, also known as Travis Picking or Clawhammer Picking.
This is one of the most versatile picking method a guitar player can have in his or her arsenal, whether a fingerstylist or not. It enables you to play the melody, the chords and the bass line all at the same time. You can play folk with it. You can blues with it. You can play country with it. You can even find your way easily into classical playing with it. The options are almost limitless.
The main idea here is to get the one-two feel under your fingers, so your thumb is on autopilot all the time, enabling you to play the rest of the chords and the melodies fluently with a solid rhythm backing you up. This is worth the practice and all the hard work you can put into it. It’ll skyrocket your guitar playing.