Thumbpicking Guitar
W. Clem Small, aka M. Missouri Clem, aka Yodeling Luke, the Old Galoot from the Bitterroot.

Guitar thumbpicking is the art of playing both rhythm and melody simultaneously. This workshop will briefly cover the historical derivation of the thumbpicking styles of Mother Maybelle Carter, Merle Travis, Doc Watson, and Chet Atkins. These styles are different from folk-style fingerpicking, classical guitar, and from delta-blues fingerstyle guitar. The Carter, Travis, Watson, Atkins styles will be demonstrated in songs, both instrumentally and as accompaniments to singing. Techniques common to thumbpickers , such as rolling hammer-offs and the use of harmonics, will be covered. A simple finger-thumb roll will be covered which, when diligently practiced, can lead to learning how to keep the thumb going on the bass accompaniment while playing melody with the fingers Merle Travis Style.

W. Clem Small, aka " M. Missouri Clem," now 75 years old, started playing guitar at 16 years of age. Before that, he played harmonica, which he sometimes still plays along with the guitar. A lifelong admirer of the thumbpicking of Merle Travis, he figured out a bit of it on his own, but has learned most of the more authentic stuff from teachers, friends, and videos. The thumbpicking of both Chet Atkins and Doc Watson was inspired by Travis's style, and somewhere along the way Clem has picked up a bit of the playing style of each of these guitarists, as well as some of Mother Maybelle's approach to thumbpicking. In addition to thumbpicking, Clem's playing bears the influence of classic country like Ernest Tubb, western swing a la Bob Will's guitarist Eldon Shamblin, pop songs of the 40s and 50s, and swing jazz.