Arnold Schultz - Honoring Black History


Arnold Shultz (1886–1931) was an American fiddler and guitarist noted as a major influence in the development of the "thumb-style," or "Travis picking" method of playing guitar. The son of a former slave, Shultz was born into a family of touring musicians. He began studying guitar under his uncle, developing a jazzy "thumb-style" method of playing guitar that eventually evolved into the Kentucky style for which such musicians as Chet Atkins, Doc Watson and Merle Travis would be known. Though he was not recorded, his blues playing made a powerful influence. Bill Monroe, who was formative in the development of bluegrass music, has openly cited Shultz as an influence on his playing, and Shultz taught his guitar methods to Kennedy Jones, who disseminated the "thumb-style" methods further. His methods were passed down further to Merle Travis and Ike Everly.