#1
So, I've got the little problem that I need to (or want to) achieve a contemporary country sound with a guitar that has no single coils. I've recently played a strat in a guitar store and I can't really imagine getting anywhere close to a country-esque sound with humbuckers.

I play a SG (copy) with humbuckers and no coil split. The amp doesn't have any controls at all (built by someone else twenty years ago), so the only things I can change about the tone are in post. It sounds pretty "dull", with not so much treble (unlike when played through a "real" amp as I tried the other day).

So, is there any way of getting a bit closer to a single coil sound? "Twang" is miles away with that setup, I know, but a bit less humbucker-ish would be nice, if anyone's got an idea how to achieve that.
#4
The amp is a bigger concern than the guitar. I wouldn't worry about the guitar as much since contemporary country guitar is closer to post-grunge these days than it is to James Burton or Ray Flacke or whatever. That being said, a lot of country sound is in the phrasing and ornamentation. Things like open string pull-offs, hybrid picking of double stops and rolls, oblique bends to (poorly) imitate pedal steel, use of 6ths, etc are more important to lead playing than tone. Rhythm guitar in country has traditionally been more dreadnought than electric but, as mentioned, kind of a 2000s mainstream rock sound is becoming increasingly common.
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#6
More like Nickelback with a fake Southern accent. Even the guys that are from the South exaggerate their accents. It's pretty awful really but "contemporary" country has always been pretty terrible as a whole.

In fact, I have a couple of posts from a recent thread that are relevant:

Facts about mainstream country through the years:

-Chris Stapleton is indeed very good.
-Zack Brown is alright but not great.
-Brad Paisley and Keith Urban are good guitar players but their music is terrible.
-some of the neo-trad guys of the 90s like Allen Jackson and Doug Stone did real good honky-tonk revival.
-otherwise modern mainstream country (90s-today) is terrible.
-mainstream country of the 60s-80s was far more terrible.
-mainstream country producers from that era should be flogged for their tasteless use of reverb.
-80s country ballads are even worse than 80s pop ballads.
-Johnny Cash had some good songs but 90% of his catalog is horseshit.
-Merle Haggard had less good songs and like 95% of his catalog is horseshit.
-Willie Nelson is somewhere between Johnny and Merle.
-trucker country of the 70s was the best country but largely ignored by the mainstream.
-old, old country was more mixed; the good songs were better and the bad were worse than ever.
-Hank Williams is the only country musician with a solid discography all the way through.
-Even someone like Ernest Tubb, who was great, had some real bad songs.

70s radio country was just the Carpenters with pedal steel guitar and southern accents and 80s radio country was just cheesy 80s Yamaha D7X electric piano ballads with southern accents and usually not even pedal steel guitar. Even talented people like George Jones were on absolutely trash records through those years. I can't imagine who in there right mind would listen to Eddie Rabbitt or John Conlee. Taylor Swift put out stronger country records than either of those guys. And don't even get me started on Anne Murray. Uggh.

Guys like Ricky Skaggs was a mediocre singer terrible songs a worse haircut. His only saving grace was that he was a hell of a picker and had the best of the best that Nashville had to offer backing him. George Strait was the same way except with even worse hair (think Coconuthead or Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and without instrumental chops of his own like Ricky.

So much bad stuff came out of those decades. Worse than the stuff they're putting out these days.
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#8
So basically you're saying, I can't go wrong with a dreadnought acoustic and lots of hammer-ons, slides and pull-offs, preferably with some open strings thrown in? Did I get that right?

Oh, and do you think a double-tracked ukulele could pass for a mandoline, if I detune the 2nd track by a few cents?
#9
Quote by HashtagMC
So basically you're saying, I can't go wrong with a dreadnought acoustic and lots of hammer-ons, slides and pull-offs, preferably with some open strings thrown in? Did I get that right?

Yes.
Quote by HashtagMC    Oh, and do you think a double-tracked ukulele could pass for a mandoline, if I detune the 2nd track by a few cents?

No, that's silly.
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#10
No, not what I'm saying. It's not just hammer-ons. It's about choosing the right notes but playing them the right way on the right strings. You sound fairly unfamiliar with country lead playing so check out some lessons. Danny Gatton, Brent Mason, and Johnny Hiland are some of the greatest country guitar players of the last 30 years and they all have great instructional material on YouTube. Acoustic is not commonly used for lead in country.

As for your question about mandolin and ukulele, that absolutely won't work. Mandolin and ukulele sound very different from a tonal perspective, partly because of nylon vs metal strings and partly because of differences in tone woods, among other reasons. You're not going to get a good mandolin sound without a mandolin. But again, it is more than just tone. Mandolin phrasing in country, bluegrass, Irish trad, etc is much closer to fiddle phrasing, especially when it comes to using double stops.
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#11
Quote by theogonia777
Acoustic is not commonly used for lead in country.

My bad, I meant to say open chords on dreadnought for rhythm, and bindings (hammer, slide, ...) on electric for lead. Like, short licks in between sung lines and such.
#12
Something like that. The way country is usually done is you have rhythm section (dread, bass, and usually drums) and during each verse, a different instrument plays lead. So one verse might be lead guitar, one might be fiddle, one might be piano, and one might be steel.
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#13
Well, I'll have to pass when it comes to steel and fiddle, but acoustic, electric and piano (albeit not a real) I can do.

What about slides? I have a bottle neck somewhere around, and while I'm not skilled enough with it to play "real" lead, I think that playing a few notes and slides with it could add to the country-ish atmosphere, right?
#14
You can, but slide guitar is not quite as common in country as you might think. But between a slide and some oblique bends, you can get some very basic steel sounds.
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