When I look at a Chet Atkins tab, I have no idea how to play it. The fingering and picking patterns are way too difficult for me.

Is there a specific technique or exercise I should be practicing? And please don't tell me to just learn the song piece by piece. It is way beyond my level to even play it at a very slow tempo.

I can do simple Travis fingerpicking, and can play most of the Simon and Garfunkel songs. But Chet Atkins tunes has too many complex movements on both the right and left hand. What should I be practicing?
There are several "Chet Atkins method" guitar manuals floating around out there.

I found a great one at my local public library that I found to be very helpful. I used it a lot when I first bought my guitar. It was published by Hal Leonard, I think. It started out very simply, and then grew harder as the book went on, with exercises designed to help you take your technique to the next level.
Chet Atkins (sadly no longer among us; Allah has his soul) was about an an extreme guitar buff as they come, practising or performing 90% of his waking live. Don't be too worried when you have problems playing his pieces right away.
you could try some easier stuff that has the same moving bass and such. search fleetwood mac-big love and try to find the acoustic version.
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The best thing you can do is find a program or a machine that will slow down the song yet still keep in key...chet is hard to play because he basically plays rhythm and lead at the same time.
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