Just Breathe Guitar Lesson – Pearl Jam Acoustic

In today's lesson I wanted to take a look at Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe" for acoustic guitar.

The entire song uses a guitar picking pattern called Travis style picking. It involves constant use of using the thumb to play 8th notes played across across two strings.

In addition to this the other fingers take up the melody and harmony notes creating quite a complex sound.

The good thing here is it is a consistent picking pattern that is relatively easy to learn and once you understand it the song just falls underneath your fingertips.

In this Just Breathe guitar lesson we will take a look at the entire track note by note.

I suggest learning the song like it is taught in the video lesson. Learn the pattern first and then start learning the order of all the chords.

We basically have three sections to the song with a couple of different endings for some of them. If you're familiar with the track already it will probably be pretty easy to follow along with the track and know where you're at.

If you have never done this style of picking before this might be a good starting point for you to learn it. However, you may need to take a few days to get the picking pattern down before learning the rest of song.

Hope you guys enjoy learning this great acoustic guitar track from Pearl Jam!


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Just Breathe Guitar Lesson


  1. tweedguitar on June 26, 2014 at 5:08 am

    Hey Carl, Is that a new acoustic and a new mike I am hearing ? Sounds great !!
    Love your daily lessons..it’s hard to keep up with !!!! Seriously you are doing fantastic…and you throwing in the odd song here and there ( and everywhere ) !!
    warm regards,

    • Carl Brown on June 26, 2014 at 7:35 am

      Hey Tweed, thanks a bunch! It’s the same acoustic, perhaps it was the new strings?? Haha…

      With so many new free lessons going live on the site everyday, it gives me plenty of chances to throw some stuff in there that you wouldn’t usually see. I think that is really cool to introduce some different kind of songs to people as well. 🙂


  2. Mike on August 6, 2014 at 3:50 am

    Hey Carl, this video was extremely helpful in learning how to play the song; it’s an awesome tutorial, by the way. As much as I learned how to play the whole song, and got the rhythm down, I’m having some trouble in matching the tempo, so that it (somewhat) matches with the song. I’m currently using a metronome to help me with this, but I cannot find a tempo that matches with it. Could you suggest a particular bpm to play this song?

    • Carl Brown on August 6, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Hey Mike, it’s around 108 bpm. Thanks a bunch for watching!


  3. Joseph Ort on May 18, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Hey Carl, this was a great lesson! Very helpful and easy to follow.
    I just had one quick question: when you go up to Travis pick on the high E string, do you recommend picking it with the second (middle) or third (ring) finger?

    • Carl Brown on May 19, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      You can use which ever is the most comfortable for you. I think most players try to keep the fingering consistent by using m for all the melody notes. “)

  4. Bryan Samuelson on January 1, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Carl you have helped me tremendously. I learned wish you were here, rainsong, and just breathe . I’ve only been playing 2.5 yrs. Thank you. More pearl Jam please. Indifference and off he goes.

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