Country Guitar Tips!?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by ecsong187, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. Ridge runner

    Ridge runner Banned

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    hmm..I'm a recycled rocker and what helped me alot is this..first off know your major scale and your major penatonic scale use this as your base for the "I" chord..
    Next let's take the C Major scale and number it C=1,D=2,E=3,F=4,G=5,A=6,B=7-this pattern needs to be commited to memory because it will not only help use to target certain notes when we play/improvise leads on the fly but also helps us to understand some basic chord theory as well like the nashville number system for instance.

    The 1,3&7 are your main fellows,you flatten the 3rd=E to Eflat and it becomes a minor third,and likewise flatten the 7th and becomes a dominate 7-=B to Bflat.. The 6th=A note gives our major penatonics an old western swing type type flavor "C6". and the 5th =E note is a good target note as well..
    The B note or 7th is called a leading tone cause it wants to resolve back to the C note.
    Try like B then a D then back to C for example..

    My father is a good lead player on both fiddle and guitar and he mostly just uses chord tones numbered like this.when a song goes to the forth chord "F" again same thing only now we use the F major scale mainly 1,3,flat 7th mostly,song leaves there and goes to say "G Chord" then again the 1,3, flat7 of the G major scale or if the song goes to "A" then the 1,3, flat7 of the A major scale then back to G to C or to where ever again..

    Only playing scales without these target notes I feel that it tends to make us sound like we're running up and down a ladder and it's really easy to start our leads on the wrong scale degree..
    As my dad always tells me when you take a lead you are leading other instruments and this"sets it up" tells them that we are fixen to change chords..srry didn't
    mean to write a essay here lol..
     
  2. Jemwielder

    Jemwielder TDPRI Member

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    Someone once called country jazz played with the bridge pickup. That's pretty much the best way I've ever heard it put. playing arpreggios is a great way to go. There's also playing upper structure triads. Tone is a pretty big factor too. Your best bet is to learn some licks off Brad Paisley, James Burton, Albert Lee and Danny Gatton records. Find out what makes em tick and then come up with some of your own. I've actually found myself having to de-country-ify myself when I have prog or metal jams with my band. It's just that infectious. Often with great rock guitarists you discover that there's a certain thing about their playing like Steve Morse and Steve Howe. The reason is because they learned a fair amount of country licks.
     
  3. fordfanjpn

    fordfanjpn Tele-Holic

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  4. fordfanjpn

    fordfanjpn Tele-Holic

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    I'd love to try that, but unfortunately, it's Windoze only. And while I might allow a Strat in my house, I'll never let a Windoze machine in the house! :lol:

    Bill
     
  5. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    The major scale is harmonized a little differently in a lot of country songs. For example, in the key of C, try using C over an E bass note for the 3 chord and G over a B bass for the 7. These chords are often used as a "push" to the 4 or the 1 and usually sound a little more natural than a regular minor chord. Threre are, of course, exceptions but I'm hearing a lot of this stuff in modern country music.
     
  6. Ken Carlson

    Ken Carlson Tele-Meister

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    I have free video lessons avaiable here.
     
  7. BucksStudent

    BucksStudent Banned

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    Sir, I am unsure of your playing level, but I would definitely suggest learning both hybrid and finger style picking. I utilize the former, but it never hurts to be able to use your index and thumb some too! For that, study some classical.

    However, if you know that much, I have two exercises to offer:

    E-----8--------8-------8--------8
    B-4s5----------------------------
    G--------4s5--------------4s5----
    D-----------------4s5------------​

    I learned the above from Zakk Wylde's Guitar World Boot Camp lesson. It helped get my feet off the ground with hybrid picking.

    B---5------5----
    G-----6------6-
    D-7-----7------7​

    Use the above to help with the banjo roll technique. Use your pick to hit the seventh fret - D string, and your right ring finger for the fifth - B, and middle bird finger for the sixth - G. Move this up and down the neck, and once you pick up speed (Over a few days, weeks, months, etc), move the chord shape to fit the key/scale you're playing in.

    Other than that, I just learned a few Brent Mason/Alan Jackson solos. You don't have to actually play them flawlessly as long as you get the concepts and can apply them to your style.:cool:
     
  8. Ruffin'it

    Ruffin'it TDPRI Member

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    Best Post Ever!
     
  9. tubesandteles

    tubesandteles TDPRI Member

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    That's what a major scale is...
     
  10. DPK5150

    DPK5150 TDPRI Member

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    Hey Edwin,
    A lot of good advise here. A few years ago I was in the same boat as you. I had been playing rock, metal, pop, jazz, etc.. for years when I got the chance to step into the lead guitar spot for an original country artist. Lucky for me at the time, all I had to do was learn what was recorded & reproduce it on stage. Before really diving into the country scene, I had no idea how good these "country" guys really were. Totally different world from rock & metal (also no gain/distortion to hide behind), but has a lot in common with jazz.

    The best advise I can give you, is learn songs. From the songs you will learn the licks to play & how to use them. Instructional videos are great learning tools but I find they never really show you how to fit the licks & riffs into your own playing. Learning songs on the otherhand not only teaches you the licks & riffs, but also shows you how they fit into the song. That's what I did to learn "country guitar" and still do to this day (currently working trough Brad Paisleys latest).

    Anyhow, hope this helps in your quest.
    Cheers,
    Dan
     
  11. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Friend of Leo's

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    I love this website too! Lots of great tips and transcriptions.

    About 15 years ago a friend gave me a great book called "Rockin' Country Guitar." I liked this book because in addition to the transcriptions were brief introductions that provide background on the players and the theory/technique being employed on each tune. A few of the tunes even included guitar arrangements of pedal steel and dobro solos. It was also the first place I ever heard mention of the name Brent Mason.
     
  12. Open G Tele

    Open G Tele Tele-Meister

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    Listen to Hank Williams songs.
    Learn the melodies, intros, and turnarounds.
    Repeat.
     
  13. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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  14. dmarg1045

    dmarg1045 Friend of Leo's

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    Learn melodies to country songs, and make those melodies the framework for your solos. A lot of great solos are crafted like this. I'll put a plug in for "The Legendary Guitar of James Burton" on Hot Licks. His playing is one of the foundations of modern country guitar and his video is clear and concise. As an older video released on DVD, it's pretty cheap, too. NFI. I agree with listening to the music. Everyone talks about the great Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard. I love and revere their music, but I also listen to Faron Young, Porter Waggoner, Stonewall Jackson, Carl Smith, Hank Thompson, Jerry Reed, Conway Twitty, Cowboy Copas, the list goes on and on. For a durn encyclopedia of hot country licks, check out "Bakersfield Bound" by Chris Hillman and Herb Pederson on Sugar Hill. It's a fantastic album just filled with super playing.
     
  15. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

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    thats more or less what I'm doing to try and learn and fake my way around. You can play a lot of licks right off the chord form too, depending upon what chord form you choose. Those always seem to work.
     
  16. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Friend of Leo's

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    I am going to check that album out tonight!

    Also tons of hot licks on the The Desert Rose Band's self titled debut and the follow up "Running." Jay Dee Maness on pedal steel and John Jorgenson on guitar- great stuff and renewed my faith in 80's country :)
     
  17. WaylonFan76

    WaylonFan76 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Bakersfield Bound is an amazing album. Check out a thread I started a while back about it. http://www.tdpri.com/forum/music-your-ears/256679-bakersfield-bound-apreciation-society.html
     
  18. WaylonFan76

    WaylonFan76 Poster Extraordinaire

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    As far as instructional DVDs go, Redd Volkaert's is where it's at for me. No-nonsense licks with a tabs booklet included. Also Scott Grove's stuff is really good too. He's a member here as well and will get you a discount and hook you up. His forum name is ITSGOTQUACK.
     
  19. sir humphrey

    sir humphrey Friend of Leo's

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    It's something that troubled me for ages - I was a blues player for donkeys years then fell in love with country.

    Hard as I tried, I kept sounding like a blues player playing country - I couldn't work out why as there's a lot of synergy between the two.

    I think the trick is that blues phrasing is very vocal and, for want of a better word, greasy - whereas country playing is more considered. For me at least, the keys to sounding like a country player were:

    Getting the timing spot on - none, or at least less, of the playing behind or ahead of the beat that works in blues

    Working towards the next chord, rather than playing phrases across chords

    Finding those special places where chromatic runs work (like down from the 5, around the 3)

    Mixing up modes to bring in flat or major 7s, natural or minor 3rds etc just in the right spot

    Most importantly - listening at every given opportunity to country music. Not just the guitar, but the fiddle and the pedal steel. Country has its own language of phrases which is very distinct from rock and blues.

    Working out every damn Brent Mason solo you can find - he has it all covered.

    I think I'm a competent country player now, but still working on it as I probably will until my hands don't work any more!
     
  20. aitelemate

    aitelemate TDPRI Member

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    there're a few of great websites with country guitar lessons , i think this one have a very unique free country guitar videos, http://www.telecasterlicks.com , i hope it helps... also the Doug seven's one is brilliant tho
     
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