Chet Atkins's trademark "Atkins Style" of playing uses the thumb and first two—sometimes three fingers of the right hand. He developed this style from listening to Merle Travis occasionally on a primitive radio. He was sure no one could play that articulately with just the thumb and index finger (which was exactly how Travis played) and he assumed it required the thumb and two fingers—and that was the style he pioneered and mastered.
Other major guitar influences were Django Reinhardt ,George Barnes , Les Paul and later Jerry Reed.His trademark picking style and musicianship brought him admirers within and outside the country scene, both in the United States and internationally.
Tablature is available as a PDF file for each lesson. Lessons are filmed with multiple cameras and consist of a performance, explanation, and conclude with a slow tempo split screen that follows the tab/music.Back to Singles Catalog Listing
"Bye Bye Blackbird" was one of Chet favorites and often performed by him in concert. It was included on his album Solo Sessions that was posthumously released
in 2003. It's an American standard written by Ray Henderson and Mort Dixon and first published in 1926.
In 1996 Chet Atkins recorded his album Almost Alone. The album won him his fourteenth Grammy award. It also turned out to be Chet's last solo recording.
His composition "Happy Again" was inspired after overcoming some serious health issues. This happy little tune has gone on to be one of his most popular
"Londonderry Aire" is a traditional Irish melody that also became known as Danny Boy. Frederic Weatherly an English lawyer penned the lyric in 1910 and
set it to the melody of "Londonderry Air." It is considered the unofficial anthem of Ireland particularly for Irish Americans.
"Lover Come Back" was one of Chet's favorite songs to improvise on. He recorded it on his 1970 album Pickin' My Way. This is another great showcase for
Chet not only as a player but also as an arranger. It's an American standard written by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II.
Chet Atkins wrote "Maybelle" as a tribute to Maybelle Carter, patriarch of the Carter family. Maybelle was also affectionately known as "Mother." She toured
with her daughters Helen, June, and Anita in the 1950's and 1960's under the name Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters. The song incorporates some
of the fingerpicking techniques she became known for.
"Mister Bojangles" became one of Chet's signature songs in his later years. The song was originally written and recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker in 1968 on
an album of the same title. It became a hit when recorded by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1970.
Chet Atkins recorded the "Petite Waltz" on his sixth RCA album in October of 1956. The album was titled Fingerstyle Guitar and is today considered a classic.
It is a famous waltz written by Joe Heyne (1904-1978), a french-speaking Belgian composer and pianist. Such diverse artists as Erroll Garner and Lawrence
Welk have recorded it.
"When You Wish Upon a Star" is possibly Chet's greatest solo guitar arrangement. Chet recorded it on his 1970 album Pickin' My Way. The song is originally
from the 1940 Disney classic Pinocchio and was written by Ned Washington and Leigh Harline.
"Young Thing" was written and recorded by Chet Atkins as a tribute to his longtime friend Bill Young. It's a piece that is inspired by the boogie-woogie
piano playing of the 1950's. The song was released by Columbia records on an album titled Read My Licks in 1994 and won a Grammy that same year for
Best Country Instrumental.