#1
This is not asking advice. This is a thread where I talk and you agree or disagree.

The one thing that I love about country guitar playing is that, from a technical point, it is the most "guitar" style of guitar playing. What do I mean by that?

Simply put, I feel that country guitar playing takes advantage of all of the strengths of the electric guitar's capabilities and unique strength in a way that no other guitar style does.

From open string pulloffs to all kinds of pedal steel style oblique bends (with or without a Bender), from hybrid picking for all kinds of uses (double stops, string skipping, chicken picking, etc) to all kinds of flat picking techniques (cross picking, alternate picking, even occasional and rather tasteful use of sweeping), and more.

It also fully takes advantage of the electric side of guitar in a way that many genres don't. Pickup switches are used for a more complete tonal pallet as opposed to the bridge for rhythm and maybe neck for lead approach used by metal guitarists.

Use of effects such as reverb, transparent overdrive, slapback delay, compress, and tremolo are tastefully used to add character without overwhelming the sound the way that some guitarists love to do with that whole "drown it in effects until it sounds like a Moog" approach.

There is a lot more that could be said, but I'll leave it up to all of you to give input.
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#2
I'm not really a country fan, but I've been paying a lot of attention to the genre for a lot of reasons you stated here, namely the way techniques like pull-offs and bends are used. I've also tried to make hybrid picking a solid part of my own personal style, I feel like everyone should try to grasp at least the basics of hybrid picking, it's beyond useful and can be used to completely surpass your abilities with a pick. And country is of course a gold mine for great hybrid picking.

I also think that the way you can approach atmospheric music with country is very fascinating. Using the staple country tones with slapback and spring reverb can yield some very eerie and beautiful results. You might completely disagree with me here, but Casualties of Cool is a beautiful album that uses this approach a lot. Daniel Lanois is an another one who comes to mind.

I'm still not a country fan though, since I don't often enjoy the feeling. I think it kind of has the wrong vibe for me. It's completely subjective though of course, and as this is the techniques forum I must say that technically country is very interesting and I'd love to get better at it.

I recall you being a fan of Brent Mason? Sorry if you actually hate him or something, I might be thinking of someone else. Point being, I'd be interested in hearing what guitarists you like and recommend in this genre.
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#3
well you obviously like country guitar but your dismisal of metal does your point a disservice.

metal is strictly guitar music whereas country is not. right there your argument loses some steam. metal uses a wide variety of tones from clean to heavily distorted it's not all just the one sound you imply. the fx you menton are an intregal part of electric guitar so again heavy use thereof is part of the great potential of electric guitar (as opposed to a just amplified guitar). techniques while often associated with a particular style can and often are incorporated in any number of styles. try listening to John 5 and Zak Wylde to hear country style techniques in a metal setting.

sorry guess i have to disagree with you.

should guitar playrs learn techniques not normally associated with their given styles absolutely. you never know what can come in handy or even be used in an innovative way outside of the normal confines it's found.

just for the record i like glen campbell, roy clark and chet atkins. i also was subjected to countless hours of Hee-Haw so absorbed a fair amount of country playing
#4
Um, when did she dismiss metal? She said that metal guitarists often use the bridge pup for rhythm and maybe the neck for leads, and that's 100% true, that's what most metal guitarists do. As far as I know Kristen likes her fair share of metal and in no way dismisses it as a genre. The point here wasn't "country vs. metal", it's just discussion about the techniques used in country music. If it's anything, it's "country vs. everything". And you have to agree with her at least a little bit, I mean country does use a wide variety of techniques and tones in a meaningful way. It is a very good genre for an electric guitarist who wants to really study the instrument.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#5
I take it you're referring to contemporary country guitar playing, which seems to me to be populated by ex-rock players who have gotten a bit long in the tooth....
Seriously, I listened to the last CMA awards show and the licks floating up from the (mostly back-lit and largely invisible) pickers backing up the various performers were awfully rock-influenced. Why, I even saw guys with cowboy hats playing strats!

"Country" playing spans an awfully big range. Back in the 20s, 30s, and 40s, The "Texas Swing movement attracted jazz and big-band guitarists from the East Coast and so there was a lot of jazz-influenced complex chordal rhythms.
The Nashville sound was strongly dominated by acoustic rhythm playing, either flatpicked or played fingerstyle ala Travis and all that crew. Leads were usually handled by other instruments with a few exceptions... With the steel being very prominent.
It was only when folks like the redoubtable Elvis began to become popular that a more rock-based lead guitar style became more prominent.
#6
Quote by monwobobbo
metal is strictly guitar music whereas country is not. right there your argument loses some steam. metal uses a wide variety of tones from clean to heavily distorted it's not all just the one sound you imply. the fx you menton are an intregal part of electric guitar so again heavy use thereof is part of the great potential of electric guitar (as opposed to a just amplified guitar). techniques while often associated with a particular style can and often are incorporated in any number of styles. try listening to John 5 and Zak Wylde to hear country style techniques in a metal setting.

I feel like you could argue that country fully exploits the essence of electric guitar, whereas metal exploits its potential. I wouldn't say "fully" in the latter case simply because there are lots of things that you can do with guitars that aren't necessarily appropriate to metal. That said, I do think it's a bit bizarre to suggest that using the bridge mostly for rhythm and the neck mostly for leads differs in any meaningful way from using the pickups for a "more complete tonal pallet".

On the whole I can see where the OP is coming from but I think it uses a premise the guitar has a "default" set of characteristics which I don't think is necessarily the case. I think as soon as you're getting your sound from a transducer and a load of electrical components, saying that other electrical components adulterate this because the resulting sound is more different from that of the unamplified instrument is fairly meaningless. The strength of the electric guitar is that you can run it through a load of weird shit and make it sound like whatever. Otherwise it's just a better equivalent of the resonator guitar.

In short, I think the OP is an interesting idea, but one with which I disagree because I think many of the things which are suggested to contrast between country and other genres are, in my view, the same thing, differing only in extent.
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#7
Quote by Kevätuhri
Um, when did she dismiss metal? She said that metal guitarists often use the bridge pup for rhythm and maybe the neck for leads, and that's 100% true, that's what most metal guitarists do. As far as I know Kristen likes her fair share of metal and in no way dismisses it as a genre. The point here wasn't "country vs. metal", it's just discussion about the techniques used in country music. If it's anything, it's "country vs. everything". And you have to agree with her at least a little bit, I mean country does use a wide variety of techniques and tones in a meaningful way. It is a very good genre for an electric guitarist who wants to really study the instrument.


her statement implies things and in doing so kinda dismisses metal tones compared to country. since whe used meatl as a comparison i did the same. perhaps you need to reread the original post as a big part of it is to say that "country " is the most "guitar" style of guitar playing. this of course invites debate which i provided.
#8
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I feel like you could argue that country fully exploits the essence of electric guitar, whereas metal exploits its potential. I wouldn't say "fully" in the latter case simply because there are lots of things that you can do with guitars that aren't necessarily appropriate to metal. That said, I do think it's a bit bizarre to suggest that using the bridge mostly for rhythm and the neck mostly for leads differs in any meaningful way from using the pickups for a "more complete tonal pallet".

On the whole I can see where the OP is coming from but I think it uses a premise the guitar has a "default" set of characteristics which I don't think is necessarily the case. I think as soon as you're getting your sound from a transducer and a load of electrical components, saying that other electrical components adulterate this because the resulting sound is more different from that of the unamplified instrument is fairly meaningless. The strength of the electric guitar is that you can run it through a load of weird shit and make it sound like whatever. Otherwise it's just a better equivalent of the resonator guitar.

In short, I think the OP is an interesting idea, but one with which I disagree because I think many of the things which are suggested to contrast between country and other genres are, in my view, the same thing, differing only in extent.


well i would say that metal exploits both the "essense" and the "potential" of electric guitar more fully than country. now of course we need to define country a little better as like metal it is a fairly broad genre. much of the new "country" is just pop or rock music with good old boys (n gals) lyrics. the music itself isn't what i consider as country music per se. of course being an older guy colors my perceptions on this as well.
#9
I'll address more later, but for now:

Quote by K33nbl4d3
I feel like you could argue that country fully exploits the essence of electric guitar.


This is a good way of putting what I was going for. Compared to metal or jazz fusion, country certainly doesn't push the boundaries of guitar in terms of technical extremes in terms of things like speed, but a lot of metal leader guitar doesn't use the range of techniques, staying mainly with advanced flat picking and legato techniques and whammy bar and pinch harmonics.

Rhythm guitar is a bit of a different story, but I'm focusing mainly on lead playing.
Quote by Bikewer
I take it you're referring to contemporary country guitar playing, which seems to me to be populated by ex-rock players who have gotten a bit long in the tooth....


I'm talking mainly 70s to present Nashville stuff. Guys like Brent Mason, Albert Lee, Ray Flacke, Danny Gatton, Junior Brown, Brad Paisley, Clarence White, Johnny Hilland, Will Ray, etc. There certainly is a lot of rock, blues, and jazz influence, but what they are playing is still very distinct from any of those genres.

And even though those guys have done a lot of work in the more modern styles of post-grunge, rovk, and synth pop sounding pop stuff, a lot of them have done work with a number of outlaw and honky tonk revival artists.
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Last edited by theogonia777 at Oct 4, 2015,
#10
Quote by monwobobbo
her statement implies things and in doing so kinda dismisses metal tones compared to country. since whe used meatl as a comparison i did the same. perhaps you need to reread the original post as a big part of it is to say that "country " is the most "guitar" style of guitar playing. this of course invites debate which i provided.



Perhaps I know how to read, and I fail to see how this is a debate between country and metal. A lot of metal nowadays is boring and uninspired from the guitars viewpoint. Modern metal bands just suck at innovating and being creative.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still a metal fan and I don't like country. So I think metal is more interesting in a lot of ways. I agree that dismissing metal when talking about guitar techniques and tones is silly. And I'd probably still say that metal is more about guitar playing than country is. But I still think that the OP has some valid ideas and you probably shouldn't ignore country as an electric guitarist.

EDIT: I don't really know why I included the part about metal being widely boring and uninnovative, it has little to do with the topic here, sorry. Still, I agree with both of you, on the other hand metal is great and is the flagship genre for electric guitar, but on the other hand country is technically very interesting.
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Last edited by Kevätuhri at Oct 4, 2015,
#11
Quote by Kevätuhri
Perhaps I know how to read, and I fail to see how this is a debate between country and metal. A lot of metal nowadays is boring and uninspired from the guitars viewpoint. Modern metal bands just suck at innovating and being creative.


It's not even necessarily that. A lot of metal, particularly a lot of stuff I listen to, isn't even particularly guitar based, with traditional folk instruments and keyboards handling a lot of the sound.

Something like this for example:

http://youtu.be/_lFGWBNBn88

It is unquestionably metal, but the guitar plays a minimal role, providing a repetitive power chord riff and a short solo at the end, which is simply copying the pipe melody.

In a lot of folk, viking, doom (including stoner and sludge), symphonic, industrial, etc metal uses guitar in that manner, even when guitar is the main instrument and keyboards and acoustic instruments are absent. Rhythm consists of low power chord riffs. Solos and lead fills aren't nearly as common as in thrash, metalcore, or traditional heavy metal with the exception of stoner metal which has a lot of solos, but they are very basic pentatonic solos closer to blues than other subgenres of metal. Otherwise, solos in the rest of those styles can be fairly uncommon, and when present are often very simple.
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#12
Quote by Kevätuhri
Perhaps I know how to read, and I fail to see how this is a debate between country and metal. A lot of metal nowadays is boring and uninspired from the guitars viewpoint. Modern metal bands just suck at innovating and being creative.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still a metal fan and I don't like country. So I think metal is more interesting in a lot of ways. I agree that dismissing metal when talking about guitar techniques and tones is silly. And I'd probably still say that metal is more about guitar playing than country is. But I still think that the OP has some valid ideas and you probably shouldn't ignore country as an electric guitarist.

EDIT: I don't really know why I included the part about metal being widely boring and uninnovative, it has little to do with the topic here, sorry. Still, I agree with both of you, on the other hand metal is great and is the flagship genre for electric guitar, but on the other hand country is technically very interesting.


again it's not a debate between country and metal per se. since metal was mentioned directly for comparison purposes i stuck with it for my rebutal. no one is saying that both genres don't offer plenty for guitarists they do. i never said anytng about ignoring country (or any other genre ofr that matter) guitar playing. all guitar styles are valid and worth at least a listen. certainly something can be learned from any style whether you favor it or not.
#13
Quote by monwobobbo
aall guitar styles are valid and worth at least a listen. certainly something can be learned from any style whether you favor it or not.


I agree with that, but more can be learned from some styles than other, especially on a technical front.
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#14
Quote by theogonia777
It's not even necessarily that. A lot of metal, particularly a lot of stuff I listen to, isn't even particularly guitar based, with traditional folk instruments and keyboards handling a lot of the sound.

Something like this for example:

http://youtu.be/_lFGWBNBn88

It is unquestionably metal, but the guitar plays a minimal role, providing a repetitive power chord riff and a short solo at the end, which is simply copying the pipe melody.

In a lot of folk, viking, doom (including stoner and sludge), symphonic, industrial, etc metal uses guitar in that manner, even when guitar is the main instrument and keyboards and acoustic instruments are absent. Rhythm consists of low power chord riffs. Solos and lead fills aren't nearly as common as in thrash, metalcore, or traditional heavy metal with the exception of stoner metal which has a lot of solos, but they are very basic pentatonic solos closer to blues than other subgenres of metal. Otherwise, solos in the rest of those styles can be fairly uncommon, and when present are often very simple.


while that was a very interesting tune i'd be hard pressed to call it "metal" it incorportates some metal ideas but in itself isn't really metal. Blackmore's Night incorporates electric guitar in some of their music but i wouldn't call that metal or hard rock either. of course it does go to show you that you can sound heavy without a crushing distorted guitar if you want to. cool tune thanx for sharing.
#15
Quote by monwobobbo
while that was a very interesting tune i'd be hard pressed to call it "metal" it incorportates some metal ideas but in itself isn't really metal.


Sure it's metal.
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#16
Quote by theogonia777
I agree with that, but more can be learned from some styles than other, especially on a technical front.


i dunno about hat mny styles seem deceptively simple n the surface but once you dig in there is far more to them.

for example for a country song all you need is a tele a fender amp adn just play some twangy cowboy chords with a couple of simple single note lines. mention pickup trucks, drinking and hot country girls and bam you have new country hit. i did this at a gathering at my house last week. i'm not a very good country player at all but i did tjust that and most though it was great (and funny). of course i would hope that musicians would know better than that.
#17
That's different though since you're not really playing lead and as I mentioned in the OP, I was talking specifically about country lead playing.


Anyway... Here are a couple of examples that may be more acceptable to you as being metal.

http://youtu.be/OIc4VHxU7iM

The guitar plays second fiddle (no pun intended) in that style of folk metal.

For somthing very different:

http://youtu.be/n3L0O7xlZj4

Here the guitar says a bit more of a lead role, but it is still very simple lead playing that doesn't offer much in terms of technique.
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Last edited by theogonia777 at Oct 4, 2015,
#18
I was a bit shocked to hear how much Keith Richards likes American country music. He said "that lap-steel is a heartbreaker". I was distinctly getting the impression it was the old-timey stuff he likes.

Show was called "Keith Richards - Under the Influence".
#19
I do get the point. I live next to one of Germany's more succsesful country band and have been friends with their guitarist for years and yes, there's a lot of things that country guitar playing requires.

But personally I think the ultimate way to play a guitar is the more heavy / modern kinda funk guitar. Talking guitarist like Tom Morello, Buckethead and Ler LaLonde for example. They use nearly all of the techniques country guitarists use too and add even more to it, they are in constant search of new ways to get a sound out of your guitar - even without the effects ( yeah I know, these 3 use a heavy load of effects, but still!) they still tend to find new weird sounds. The modern crossover funk guitar is probably the weirdest and best thing a guitarist can try - in my opinion. But yeah, I do get the point, country guitar is awesome....I'll still stick to (complex) black metal cause I suck.
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#20
Quote by theogonia777
That's different though since you're not really playing lead and as I mentioned in the OP, I was talking specifically about country lead playing.


Anyway... Here are a couple of examples that may be more acceptable to you as being metal.

http://youtu.be/OIc4VHxU7iM

The guitar plays second fiddle (no pun intended) in that style of folk metal.

For somthing very different:

http://youtu.be/n3L0O7xlZj4

Here the guitar says a bit more of a lead role, but it is still very simple lead playing that doesn't offer much in terms of technique.


folk metal what will they think of next . waiting for Ukrainian Polka Metal.

ok now as i see it the difference between these two and the first you posted is that you could easily take out the "folk" element and they'd still be metal. the first one you take out the lone electric guitar part and it wouldn't be metal nor was the song really dependent on the guitar to work as a song.

now perhaps this is the old fart in me as back in the day metal was metal there weren't all these secondary catagories.

ok so you posted some tunes where the guitar parts are fairly simple what does that prove. any number of super complex technique driven songs could be posted as well. not really getting the point. many country songs have lead guitar that is real simple as well. lets face it most people just want a song they can hum and sing along with. my wife loves country but could care less about the guitar.
#23
In all honesty it isn't really good to look at the genres of music like this because for the most part we are going to start looking for specific examples for what we want. I could look up a mastadon lick that has banjo-like rolls going on and say metal has techniques for days, and post a simple country song and say it hasnothing too boundary pushing. I think if you like country and find its many techniques something you want to learn go for it. I like a lot of music but find that jazz studies help you learn the most theory but metal and blues have the bends and slides and string skipping and classical piano and violin peices have the best arpeggio work and nuance in timing and changes in volume. Country to me has finger and chicken pickin to offer but it seems to come down to the tone more than anything.

Someone else can come in and say the complete opposite or any number of things and still be correct. I just don't see any genre having everything to be the most guitar centric sound.