Country/Blues Lesson

by David OToole

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  • Hi all and welcome to my first GMC lesson - a bit of Yee-har to kick things off :).

    This lesson looks at some tasty Country/Blues style licks. The first piece utilizes a cool string bending technique that simultaneously bends two notes. One up and one down which produces a sound very reminiscent of a Pedal-Steel Guitar lick or a B-String Bender. This technique can be expanded on a lot and we'll look at some similar but more advanced uses of it in a later lesson.

    Also covered are some typical Country sounding licks which can be used in a Blues setting too.

    It can be difficult to get the right "feel" on these type of licks in the beginning, but once you get the feel for them, they get easy to run off (tastefully of course :).

    These licks often target notes in the underlying chords and are not just using notes from a typical Country/Blues type Pentatonic scale. The typical country sounding Major Pentatonic scale is used in parts, but it's mixed in with chord tones.

    Licks are played at a reasonably "slow" tempo in the main video (*94bpm) but they can be speeded up, and are very ear-catching when approached the right way (at any speed) - heads will turn when you blast out these on a Saturday night down at the local barn-dance :).

    Best played on a Strat or a Telecaster to get that authentic Country-twang sound. Use the bridge pickup or the out of phase switch setting between the bridge and middle pickups on a Strat, with the nowadays standard 5-way selector switch.

    Note: Original Strats only had a 3 way selector switch and it was a nice find that the switch could be "jammed" halfway between the pickups to achieve two new sounds. A happy accident as it turned out, as this was not intended in the original design.

    Effects used are minimal using a clean sound with a touch of reverb (Quadraverb F.X. Unit) and delay pedal (Boss DD3). These licks sound good on a transistor or tube/valve amp.

    Note: The Guitar Pro Tab had to be broken up into separate tracks for some of these special double bends, as it has problems reading them and playing them back. Because strings are being bent up and down simultaneously which it's not really designed for.

    The best way to learn it is to study the vids and the normal tab, AND use your musical ear. The Guitar Pro tab can be used as an extra guidance for these bend licks, if you want to see them pulled apart string by string. The rest of the solo tabs fine as normal. Use a Fender Strat RSE sound in Guitar Pro and it sounds vintagely nice.

    Look 4ward to answering any questions you may have on it and chattin' guitar. I love talking guitar like most guitar players and fans - or should I say fanatics :) ... see you on the forums!


    Chords/Tempo in the main vid are as follows:

    Country/Blues Licks Lesson 1

    4/4 94 bpm

    Key G

    G / / / : B7 / / / : C / / / : A7 / / / x 2

    G / / / : E7 / / / : G / / / : E7 / / / : G / / / : A7 / / / : G / / / : E7 / / /

    *BPM = Beats per minute
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