8 Amazing Country Guitarists You Should Check Out

... regardless of your musical taste...

Ultimate Guitar

So Mark Tremonti brought up an interesting matter of country music during a recent UG interview, saying that while he may not be the style's biggest fan, he has massive respect for the "insanely talented" guitarists that can be found within the genre.

Here's the man's full quote in case you missed it: "I really respect any good player in any genre. I may not be the biggest country music fan but their players are insanely talented.

"You can walk into any bar in Nashville and there's somebody that's just brilliant. It's just so inspiring and it's a little intimidating. It's good, if you ever feel comfortable with the way you play, go to Nashville and go to a bar and watch some 16-year-old kid just annihilating and it will make you get back to practicing.

"There's always somebody out there to inspire you and I'm never afraid to try new stuff. I think it only makes you more rounded and more unique."

Anyhow, a lot of you folks gave respect to country six-string players, so we thought a rundown highlighting some of the genre's greats would be in order. Here goes...

Chet Atkins

Let's kick things off with the man who started it all in many ways. Known as the originator of the so-called Nashville sound, give it up for Mr. Chet Atkins. If you want some flashy stuff, check out around 1:10 in the first clip for some sweep picking... in 1975.

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Brad Paisley

As one of the most successful country artists of all time, with 12 million albums sold and plenty of awards under his belt, Brad Paisley is also one lean 'n' mean guitar player.

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Brent Mason

Discovered by Chet Atkins, Brent Mason is a renowned session guitarists who played on over 1,000 albums from a variety of artists ranging from Shania Twain to Zac Brown Band. He has two solo instrumental studio albums under his belt, as well as top-level playing skills.

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Jerry Reed

Singer, guitarist, songwriter, actor, legend - Mr. Jerry Reed!

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Albert Lee

While most notable country players are from the States, Mr. Albert Lee comes from the UK. He's renowned for his finger-style and hybrid picking technique.

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Vince Gill

26 million albums sold, lots of commercial success, killer guitar skills behind it all...

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Johnny Hiland

Y'all up for some chickin' pickin'?

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Merle Travis

We started this with an icon, and we'll wrap it up with an icon. Merle Travis, the man who inspired Chet Atkins...

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And here's one with a whole bunch of top-notch players in one place...

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32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Anyone who can't acknowledge the genius and innovation of the early country players, regardless of whether or not you like the genre, is either a fucking idiot, or doesn't have ears.
    Some of these guys shred harder than most metal guitarists, and with more tasteful phrases too.
    I'm a sucka for this track. Quite possibly the funkiest country track ever written, even the Primus cover can't compete
    No Glen Campbell? The man is a genius and was also a session guitarist for artists, such as the beach boys. He has a documentary on Netflix, called I'll Be Me. I highly suggest watching it. Was moved to tears.
    Word. We all know him as the "Wichita Lineman" or "Rhinestone Cowboy", but he was so much more than that. As a member of the "Wrecking Crew", he's probably played on more 1960s hits than most of us realize....
    Does Danny Gatton count as a country player ?? He does many genres and I believe country is one of them. Give credit to the telemaster!
    PD: I know he is playing a LP in the video but he still is the telemaster
    Check out the video Jerry Reed playing Lightening Rod on YouTube. Amazing! Swingin' 69 and Picky, Picky, Picky are couple more good ones also.
    I actually like oldschool country. But the past couple decades country and rap have become essentially the same terrible crap, one version for hicks and one version for thugs
    Too true. Both genres seemed to have started with a certain purity, or at least integrity. The modern equivalent of both seem to be designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
    Zac Brown!
    I don't know, as much as I really like Zac Brown and his band, and Zac Brown is not really a slouch on the guitar, it's like saying that Dave Grohl is a amazing guitarist (again, he's no slouch, but that's not really an important reason why we go see their bands in their shows).
    Not guitar related, but thought you guys might like this. Roy Clark and Buck Trent playing Dueling Banjos. Pretty funny stuff.