Get your coun­try rhythm, lead and hy­brid pick­ing chops up to speed with our com­pre­hen­sive fea­ture

Guitar Techniques - - FRONT PAGE -

I thInk It's fair to say that coun­try mu­sic has re­ceived a bad rap in the Uk over the years. the very word 'coun­try', for many, has tended to con­jure up images of line danc­ing classes be­ing held in run-down vil­lage halls and so­cial clubs. how­ever, across the At­lantic coun­try is no laugh­ing mat­ter, but in fact the most popular mu­si­cal genre, boasting a ra­dio au­di­ence of 70,000,000 ev­ery day. In re­cent years we've seen coun­try mu­sic grow in pop­u­lar­ity on this side of the pond, too. We're now hear­ing more coun­try on main­stream ra­dio; artists such as Lady An­te­bel­lum and tay­lor swift spring to mind, not to men­tion home-grown coun­try stars such as the shires, and Ward thomas.

With this in mind, the pur­pose of this ar­ti­cle is to hone your coun­try skills. You may have been asked to dep in a coun­try out­fit; or a de­mand­ing bride and groom have re­quested your band learn some Nashville flavoured num­bers for their big day. What­ever the sce­nario, fa­mil­iaris­ing your­self with the in­for­ma­tion in this ar­ti­cle will af­ford you a sig­nif­i­cant head start and, per­haps more im­por­tantly, add some cool, coun­tryflavoured ideas to your tech­nique reper­toire - pulling out a flashy coun­try run in a rock or blues sit­u­a­tion can be a real eye­brow raiser!

Over the fol­low­ing pages I will be in­tro­duc­ing you to some of the scales,

Ed Sheeran

arpeg­gios, chords and tech­niques that fea­ture fre­quently in this style of play­ing.

It's im­por­tant that you do lots of lis­ten­ing when learn­ing a new genre. Do­ing so will en­sure that its nu­ances be­come en­grained on your sub­con­scious, and in­evitably find their way to your fin­gers. Or, to put it an­other way, if you are what you eat, then you are also what you lis­ten to. With tools like spo­tify and Youtube it's never been eas­ier to source the mu­sic of your per­sua­sion - and they even make sug­ges­tions for other, re­lated artists.

this ar­ti­cle is di­vided into three sec­tions: a rhythm boot camp, a lead boot camp and fi­nally a full piece that com­bines the rhythm and the lead. I could wax lyri­cal about the the­ory, the many tech­niques and the truly fab­u­lous play­ers that make up the world of coun­try gui­tar, but that would go be­yond the lim­i­ta­tions of this ar­ti­cle and could po­ten­tially over­whelm from a learn­ing per­spec­tive. so, in­stead I have tar­geted ma­te­rial that can be heard reg­u­larly on coun­try records - this will def­i­nitely help to get you up and run­ning.

If you're new to coun­try, you're likely to be pleas­antly sur­prised by how much of a plat­form is granted for the mu­si­cian to flex his or her mu­si­cal mus­cles. In an age where celebrity has some­times be­come more im­por­tant than abil­ity, it's re­fresh­ing to find a mu­si­cal com­mu­nity that still shows re­spect and ad­mi­ra­tion for the in­di­vid­u­al­ity and tal­ent of the mu­si­cian. I hope the fol­low­ing ex­am­ples will en­thuse you to delve even more deeply into the won­der­ful world of coun­try mu­sic, and check out some of the sim­ply amaz­ing play­ers that pop­u­late the genre.

Coun­try mu­sic is some of the best-writ­ten mu­sic in the world. So yeah, one day i would keep my mind open to do­ing a coun­try record.

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