Tips you can use to sound more "Country"

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by McGlamRock, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Poster Extraordinaire

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    The "how to solo like a country player" thread got me thinking about what I found challenging when I started getting into country guitar; and then what I did to overcome those challenges. I thought if we all shared some of our "tricks" it could make for a helpful and resourceful thread

    Convincing pedal steel bending was my first challenge, so I thought I'd share some bends that I like to use.

    All my examples below can be used over a G major triad or a G7 chord. So you can move any of these examples: up 2 frets and you can use them over an A triad or A7 chord, down two frets and you can use them over an F triad or F7 chord, etc...

    They all bend up to chord tones, and are anchored by another chord tone, except for the last example which anchors on the 6th


    1) 2) 3) 4)
    ----------------3--------------7--------------12-------------
    --3-------------2-b-(3)-------6-b-(8)-------11-b-(12)-----
    --2-b-(4)---------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------


    Anyone else got any other suggestions? Open string licks? Banjo rolls? Let's hear 'em!
     
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  2. ndcaster

    ndcaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    1. start with Luther Perkins
    2. add lots of Don Rich
    3. then cop steel intro's from Don Helms (Hank Sr)

    after that, pick a direction

    1. Bryant single line
    2. Chet fingerstyle
    3. Berry rockin'

    country is a lot of things, mainly traditions

    today, it's basically arena rock with hats

    I'll post a little Bryant after dinner
     
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  3. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Big wound strings, methinks.
    And your pedal bends followed by a decending slur or fourth note that almost stops where it starts but goes a semi past as it dies out.
    Lotsza open notes in the riffs.
    The open note hammer on, bend and release.
    The open note, slam into the fret hammer on.
    That works great right round some of the pedal lick ideas.
    The 'chicken cluck' which is kinda a percussive move in a way, usually several of the same note, and fast, palm muted. Sets up the accent note.
     
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  4. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Poster Extraordinaire

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    LOL Stick that in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes, or until your chops are well done!
     
  5. stringslinger

    stringslinger Tele-Holic

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    Not to condense a style into one easy-to-swallow pill, but highlighting the major 3rd over major or Dom 7 chords is a big deal. Just like your TAB above shows. Then, know where your other chord tones are (root, fifth, 7th).
     
  6. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    When introducing songs, use the words "Y'all" a lot.
     
  7. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Poster Extraordinaire

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    Especially when one gets away from the first position, I think open string licks can be difficult to get around.

    Are there any particular licks that young Ebb Soul learned that helped him sound country?
     
  8. ndcaster

    ndcaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    ok, no Bryant tonight, I have six teenage boys in the basement watching Alien

    what sounds really country to me is hot single note pickin'

    Lester Flatt's famous run for example is country bedrock -- not only as a lick, but as a way of understanding the fretboard

    here are some of the most common fingerings for that lick, but you should experiment to find others -- especially those that involve sliding from the first note to the second -- play around

    the guitar has essentially only three octaves to deal with, whew

    here's the run in the bottom octave

    -
    -
    --------------0-
    --------0-2-0-
    --0-1-2-
    -3

    in the middle octave, you have three choices of fingering, depending on which string you start on

    #1 root on sixth string

    -
    -
    ----------------------12-
    -------------12-14-12-
    ----12-13-14-
    -15-

    #2 root on fifth string

    -
    ----------------10-
    ----------7-9-7-
    ----7-8-9-
    -10-
    -

    #3 root on fourth string

    --------------3-
    --------3-5-3-
    --2-3-4-
    -5-
    -
    -

    in the third octave, the run can be fingered like #3, just up twelve frets:

    ----------------------15-
    -------------15-17-15-
    ----14-15-16-
    -17-
    -
    -

    that's it

    once you get these fingerings down, you might try starting them on notes other than G -- which gives you Flatt's run for different chords

    it's an ascending lick, so move on by trying to play something similar backwards i.e. descending

    in the bottom octave:

    -
    -
    -0
    --3-2-0-
    --------3-1-2-
    --------------3-

    seems to me a lot of old-school single-note country guitar comes out of this kind of thinking: you have to imagine these grips in your mind's eye

    when you can do that, you can get really creative with bends because you'll never lose your place on the fretboard, which is easy to do when you get into a lot of reverse-bending
     
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  9. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well that's all I got. I always toyed with raising thirds and fifths out of chords.
    A young Ebb Soul dug Don Rich.
    Never could sound like him until recent years.
    All this Brad Paisley kept egging me on.
     
  10. ndcaster

    ndcaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    how about some Zeke Turner?

    here's a break-down of Zeke's solo on Hank Sr's "Mind Your Own Business"

    you'll have to listen to the recording for the rhythm here

    over E:

    -
    -
    -
    -------2-5-4-2---2-
    ---2-4---------4-
    -4-

    (3x)

    -
    -
    -
    -------------1-2-
    -----1-2-4-5-
    -4-5-

    -
    ------------------5-
    -----1-2-4-5s-6-
    -4-5-
    -
    -

    bend:

    -------7-
    -7b(8)--8b(7)-5--5-
    ------------------6-
    -
    -
    -

    etc.

    then B7 lick 1:

    ------------7-6-5-
    ----------7-
    -4-6-7-8-
    -
    -
    -

    B7 lick 2 (anticipates the return to E):

    -7-6-5-7-3h-4-
    ----------------5--------5-5-5 etc.
    -------------------6p-4-
    -
    -
    -

     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  11. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I play more country than anything else and do quite a bit of pedal steel bends..
    Here's one I'm working on now..Got it pretty well figured out, just need to make it smoother..
     
  12. ndcaster

    ndcaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    country = descending combination bend goodness

    D7

    ---------14-
    -13b-14----14b-13-
    ---
    ---
    ---
    ---

    G

    ---
    -13--------13
    -12b-14---14b-12-
    ---
    ---
    ---

    D

    -10-----
    -10b-11-
    ---
    ---
    ---
    ---
     
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  13. Birdinlays

    Birdinlays TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    The whole Bill Kirchen 30 hot rod guitar lick thang is good.
     
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  14. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for all the tips, lots of great advice so far.

    Here's another technique that helped improve my country playing:
    Learning to hybrid pick. It's weird at first, but anyone can do it with a little practice.

    This was one of the first banjo style licks I learned using hybrid picking. It has a lot of open strings so you can really just focus on the right hand motion. I suggest using your pick for the notes on the 3rd string, and you middle and ring fingers for the 2nd and 1st strings respectively. Play all the notes as even eighths.

    This lick sounds good over an E major triad or an E7 chord. It sounds better played fast around 120 bpm

    -0--------0-0-|----------------0------------------------0----------|-------------
    -0--------0-0-|-----------0------0----0-----------0-------0-----0-|-------------
    -0-h-(1)--2-3-|--3-h-(4)----4------4----3-h-(4)-----4------4----|-0-h-1------
    ---------------|------------------------------------------------------|---------2--
    ---------------|------------------------------------------------------|------------
    ---------------|------------------------------------------------------|------------
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  15. BottyGuy

    BottyGuy Tele-Meister

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    I should buy this course just to listen to Bill explain the licks, I really like how he connects the licks to the chords.


     
  16. ndcaster

    ndcaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    here's a useful set of fingerings for early country sounds

    top three strings only

    C6/G:

    -------12-
    -10-
    -------12-

    A7:

    -9-
    ---10-
    --------12-

    D7:

    -8-
    -----10-
    --------11-

    G7:

    -7-
    ---8-
    --------10-

    C:

    -8-
    -8-
    ---9-

    you'll find a lot of other good notes under your fingers with these shapes
     
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  17. Rowdyman

    Rowdyman Tele-Meister

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    Hi Papa Joe,
    I was foolin around with this too, then I forgot about it! Ha!
    Thanks for bringing that back to my attention! It's a real nice one!

    Cheers, RM
     
  18. J Hog

    J Hog Tele-Holic

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    I was so lucky growing up in Cincinnati. We had a TV show that was on when I was a kid called the "Midwestern Hayride". Zeke Turner just happened to be one of the guitarists on the show. It wasn't until somewhat later in life that I found out about all the Hank records he played on. He used to come in to the music store I worked in when I was in High School. What a great player and a nice guy!!!
     
  19. ndcaster

    ndcaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    whoa, that is great! I don't know much if anything about him, just that some people have suggested he might really be Zeb Turner -- did he tell any stories?
     
  20. ndcaster

    ndcaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    here's some more bedrock, from Hank's Your Cheatin' Heart

    steel intro:

    Dm7

    --8- (3x)
    -6-
    -
    -
    -
    -

    G

    -7-
    --8-
    -
    -
    -
    -

    (a slide from below up into G9)

    -
    -9
    -9
    -----11
    -
    -

    G9

    -
    -10
    -10
    -----12
    -
    -

    (a slide from below up into C)

    -
    -
    -4
    -4
    -----6
    -

    C

    -
    -
    -5
    -5
    -----7
    -

    (changing the inversion of C)

    -
    -5
    -5
    -5
    -
    -

    this steel player here makes constant use of triad inversions, adding color mostly with 9s

    four ways he approaches fills:

    1. plays close voice-led triads, ex. C F C, ex. F C G C

    2. plays short double-stop phrases, ex. this one bar phrase over F, where each double-stop is a quarter note. begin with a quarter rest, then:

    -
    -3
    -3
    -
    -
    -

    -
    -1
    --2
    -
    -
    -

    -
    -
    -3
    ----5
    -
    -


    -
    -
    -2
    ---3
    -
    -

    you could also do that over G

    3. plays triad inversions of a given bar's chord on beats 2, 2+, and 3

    4. plays a nice chordal fill to move from F to C

    F

    -
    -6
    ---7p-5-
    ---7
    -
    -

    anticipating C

    -
    -
    -5
    -----7
    ------8 (use your pinky)
    -

    C

    -
    -
    -5
    -5
    ----7
    -

    as for the steel solo, the only thing I'll note is that it's mostly triads and double-stops, but he plays Am (EAC) when the chord changes to D7 -- this makes it an inversion of D9 -- a very steel-sounding thing to do

    to me, this stuff all sounds completely, 100%, stone-cold "country"
     
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