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Old 05-12-2011, 03:52 AM   #1
leader
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Country guitar playing ?

Hey Guys

I've been learning rock/metal/blues over the last couple of years and I'm wanting to expand my musical horizons !

Basicly I don't have a clue about country guitar playing at all , I mean I know it's much like blues in the sence its based around the Mixolydian mode ( but this might not be true ).

So can anyone help me?

I did ask my old guitar teacher but he brushed me off on it a few times

Even name a few songs and I'll go have a listen

Thanks

Darryle
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:25 AM   #2
yngwie ripoff
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I don't even listen to country, but if you are interested in country geetar pickin' then you should check out Brad Paisley. Even compared to guys like Vai and Satch he stands up quite well.
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:14 AM   #3
steven seagull
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Take a blues progression.
Use the Major pentatonic to solo over it rather than the minor pentatonic.
Instant country.
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:28 AM   #4
leader
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven seagull
Take a blues progression.
Use the Major pentatonic to solo over it rather than the minor pentatonic.
Instant country.



Really ? lol simple enough

Brad paisley looking up you tube now lol
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:44 AM   #5
steven seagull
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Obviously that's not quite all there is to it...but it should get you moving in the right direction
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:53 AM   #6
Quintex
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The question is more "What kind of country music" did you want to learn.

You have everything from Jerry Reed picking to "new country" which is pretty much a rock band with a fiddle.
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:05 AM   #7
leader
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quintex
The question is more "What kind of country music" did you want to learn.

You have everything from Jerry Reed picking to "new country" which is pretty much a rock band with a fiddle.



I'm open to suggestions

bit of everything really
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:03 AM   #8
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As many here know, I have been recently hired to go on tour with an up and coming Texas artist. The funny thing about it is I have never played country, so I have had to woodshed leads and techniques such as hybrid 2 and 3 finger picking...for about a month now (thats why I havent been on here as often as I usually am)

This is where analyzing and theory really have come home to bite me hard. I have some tough news for you, and you are not going to like it - country is hard.

Country is closer to jazz...than any other idiom I have previously encountered. The problem for me, isn't the theory...its the fact that I can apply my theory, and still not SOUND country. Thats the frustrating thing. For those of you who say its the major pentatonic to solo over it, makes instant country, that's a gross oversimplification. It's closer to say that the scale changes with every chord, and thats as close to country that I have gotten, it's also incorrect to call it Mixolydian although there are some elements to that, basically the use of the b7 is very important to the melodies in leads.

Country is an idiom - its its own language. If you've never spoken it before, you cannot play it, plain and simple. Theory wont save you there. You have to learn to speak it by immersing yourself in it for a while. It's not a scale...country is not a scale. You cannot carpet bomb it...there are reasons things sound country when a lead is played, and you cannot intellectualize it. You have to get in and imitate and learn and copy, and then develop from there. I say that because I've tried the other way.

First, if you say that country is a I IV V - thus use a Major scale on I...try it...you'll fall flat on your face. You wont sound country.

Second if you think it's a blues scale played as a Major Pent base, try it, you'll fall flat and it won't sound country

The closest I have gotten to unlocking the code...is this...first, understand the players. I have researched the big guys...Danny Gatton, James Burton, Johnny Hilliand, Arlen Roth, Steve Trovato, Brad Paisley, etc.

The closest I have come to unlocking the code is, that scales are used, most of the time the 4th degree is left out, the b7 for the chord is important, more so than the blues note...so outlining that as well as triads in the lines as they change are important...chord tones, but not only chord tones...this is where it starts to really become more...organic...I think it's honestly immersion into the style that makes you a country player.

I challenge any theory guy here to write a chord progression in I IV V and solo country over it and post up....they will see what I mean...it cant exactly be put in a box, like other styles. Even before I started learning it, I could HEAR that it was way different...I knew enough about music to hear THAT.

The challenge to country is to make everything flow...change scales on (across) the chords...use a lot of b7s in your lines and some blues but be careful.

My conclusion, immerse, learn absorb and give it time. It's a lot harder than intellectuals realize. The techniques are beastly.

Best,

Sean
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Last edited by Sean0913 : 05-12-2011 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:12 AM   #9
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Country is more in the feel and phrasing than anything. Sure you need to know your scales and if you can change over each chord that's infinitely better than sticking to one for the whole progression, however it's about knowing licks and building them.

I've spoken to Guthrie Govan about country playing before and even he admits he's no country player by any means and I'm sure a lot of us have heard Rhode Island Shred. He said that it's about pick attack and how you phrase your lines. Country is played straight as opposed to Jazz which is [usually] swung.
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:17 PM   #10
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it makes you stop and wonder a bit...why some classical folks that can do Bach etc can not for the life of them play basic 50's style rock...because its not simple...and you have to really feel the style and all its forms and cliche's..if you never played chuck berry lines..be prepared to study for a while..same with country...sounds very simple...merle haggard tunes for example..no complex chords..but get that flavor..like a recipe..you can put the same ingredients as a master chef..but it just will taste very different..

and no...just pluggin in a tele wont help

play well

wolf
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean0913
Country is closer to jazz...than any other idiom I have previously encountered. The problem for me, isn't the theory...its the fact that I can apply my theory, and still not SOUND country.


I didnt want to copy your entire post, but well said!!!

I've noticed the same thing... espeically when you get into the basslines. Both Jazz and Country typically use basslines based off chords not note scales. Especially when you get into walking basslines, lots of chromatics! And those runs can't be found in any note scales "Chromatic, exclueded of course". If you try to play straight scales, it almost never fits... like you said. Because the key changes and you would have to combine several scales at once.

It's a fine art, trying to seamlessly blend chordal tones with note scales. I really like Carol Kaye's view on it. She uses alot of the chordal tones and uses scales as more of traveling/transition notes from one chord to another. I really like that approach and find it works really well with Jazz, Country, Blues even Reggae.

Like Jazz, Country definitely takes a unique approach to playing it
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leader
Hey Guys

I've been learning rock/metal/blues over the last couple of years and I'm wanting to expand my musical horizons !

Basicly I don't have a clue about country guitar playing at all , I mean I know it's much like blues in the sence its based around the Mixolydian mode ( but this might not be true ).

So can anyone help me?

I did ask my old guitar teacher but he brushed me off on it a few times

Even name a few songs and I'll go have a listen

Thanks

Darryle



http://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ntry+music&aq=f


http://www.cmt.com/music/


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Country_music


start with the music. learn a few songs.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:51 PM   #13
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+ 1 to everything sean said.

I couldn't presume to play country, but I know that like jazz, it's focused on playing the chord changes, not playing scales. A good drill for this if you've never done it before, is take two chords you can easily change between - E and A for example. Barres or open chords, doesn't matter.

Play a bar of each chord until you can keep them going in your head without playing them.

Now, try and use the notes of the chord as the guide for your improvising. Try and land on chord tones on the beat and find the smoothest ways of connecting the chords through the melodies that you play.

If you're used to wailing with the minor pentatonic for a whole 32 bar solo, this will be an uncomfortable but enlightening experience.
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:33 PM   #14
Arby911
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Here are a couple of examples.

http://www.countryguitar.com/Videos...0The%20Tail.wmv



And a few classic 'country' songs.

(Early country rock)

Some Merle



Waylon



Hank Williams



Bocephus





Have fun!
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:12 PM   #15
food1010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean0913
I challenge any theory guy here to write a chord progression in I IV V and solo country over it and post up....they will see what I mean...it cant exactly be put in a box, like other styles. Even before I started learning it, I could HEAR that it was way different...I knew enough about music to hear THAT.
I'm not even willing to try. I'm a competent musician and music theory geek, yet I'm fully aware that I haven't the slightest clue about country. I'd have to listen to a lot of country and internalize the sound as a whole before I even tried playing it.
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven seagull
Take a blues progression.
Use the Major pentatonic to solo over it rather than the minor pentatonic.
Instant country.


You're thinking more bluegrass. Also, +1 to everything Sean said.
It's all a matter of listening to what you like, analyzing it, and playing around with it, and finding what works and what doesn't. There really isn't a magic bullet to learning any genre.
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Old 05-14-2011, 02:42 AM   #17
evolucian
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I'm no theory guy... but neither am I a country player...

It really has to be absorbed... whether its one of them quick picked things or slow ballads... hell, even those barn dance choons... its all about feel. Brent Mason is stop number one for chicken picking. Well, you can't do too bad if you go thru some other techniques and playing styles of Mason either. His debut solo album kicks ass... and its not just country he plays. Jerry Donahue is another one... frikkin mind warp of a player... great albums too.

I can wing some licks... and play till they make me sweat bullets... and at that stage I think I've only arrived at the first verse of a country choon. Country is really really hard...

A guy once gave me good advice concerning this. Learn banjo licks and rolls. And by learning that, it means you have to hear some banjo music to understand the speed at which these mofo's play. And not just listen... absorb... live it <--- well, in context of course. Wearing a stetson doesn't make you a cowboy, neither would chaps. More in the line of 24/7 ipod country choons (same as you would for any other genre).

Sean is correct, and it was very well said. You can play the licks and said scales... but if it doesn't sound country... make some life altering choices and move to nashville. Dann Huff was first laughed at when he arrived at some Nashville studios. LA session to anything country session is a big huge leap into hell. But he learned the hard way... woodshedding... then took their jobs away cos he is just so damn good.

Of course, you can mimic the style... but in doing that, remember that it will NEVER classify you as being country.

+1 to sean... again.
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:10 AM   #18
leader
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Ah thanks for all this

Looks like ill be studying for a while LOL there goes my summer
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:34 AM   #19
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A "Country" sound is going to depend on several things, and most of them have nothing to do with the guitar. I am taking guitar lessons right now from a teacher that happens to specialize in country (weird right?). I recommend learning some really really simple hybrid picking. You don't have to hybrid pick to play country, but there are a ton of easy country songs that use hybrid picking. The only tab I have for lessons that is on this site is Clutterbilly, which is not really all that hard, but definitly not easy. Send me a PM with your email (pref Gtalk) and I can send you everything I got before Clutterbilly. Youtube that song btw if you haven't heard it. Some country does use a swing rhythm, by the way.
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:16 PM   #20
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What is Clutterbilly?

Best

Sean
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