Guitar Lesson 3: A Country Vibe


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This lesson starts off with a discussion of how to get a decent twangy tone for a Country music feel.  On my Les Paul, we go to the bridge/treble pickup and turn the volume back to about 4 and tone to 10.  Dan makes a nice comparison between guitars and having good friends, as in with different qualities, strengths and weaknesses.  Try to find the sweet spot on your guitar by spending some time rolling the volume back and experimenting with your level of tone.

At 8 minutes 30 Dan introduces the ideas we’re going to look at:  chicken picking, double stops and bending (at this introductory point giving a great demonstration of some of the variety of types of bends).  Dan introduces me to Jerry Donahue: Jerry Donahue MySpace.

At 11 minutes Dan directs me to a great exercise around a G chord to get my fingers working around the chicken picking idea.  5 rounds of third finger (B string) to middle finger (G string), then 5 rounds with reversed order.


At 15 minutes, Dan gives me a great use for this using a similar technique which he once used to create a great country-style rhythm for Brown-Eyed Girl.


At 19 minutes Dan shows me a new riff in the Key of E, which is a rolling riff using the open strings across all the strings of the neck.


At 21 minutes and a half Dan teaches me about what a compressor does and talks about pedals he likes and advises.  Great for country music because it raises the troughs and lowers the peaks which when you’re chicken picking or playing at speed, it will help you to maintain a more consistent sound and attack.

We return to the E riff again at 29 minutes and return back to the discussion about compressors again.

At 39 minutes Dan gives me a really difficult riff which I have tried to tab out.  Good luck with it!


At 47 minutes I play some country backing for Dan to demonstrate some double stop ideas. Following we look at a couple of the double stop ideas.  In 4ths at 47 mins:


At 49 mins:


At 52 mins:


Just after 55 minutes 30 seconds – Dan introduces me to Danny Donato (Danny playing) and gives me the riff outlined below.


59 mins 30 seconds:  With alternate picking for the three notes chromatically before each note on the G string then finger picking the top string – G, Am, Bm, C, G7, Em, F, F#, G.

At 1 minute 1 second we get onto some bending.  Firstly, Dan shows me some pedal bend ideas – e.g. bend quickly and surely up to the note required.  Some guitars have a lever to help emulate the pedal steel licks like the B and G Bender.  This is what we are trying to achieve through our bend.

At 1 hour 4 minutes we looked at sets of bends in the key of D.  Start on the 12th fret of the B string and bending up a semi-tone to the note of C, hold it then hit the 10th fret on the top E string, then hit the bent note on the B string again.  Now hit the 14th fret on the top string, then hit the bent note on the B string again and end on the 10th fret.

1 hour 5 mins lick 2: start on the B string, 10th fret bend up to fret 12, fretting the top string with the little finger on the 10th, repeat those two notes, then fret behind on the 8th fret and release the bend from the B string.

1 hour 7 minutes – B string:  11 up to the root (c) with 12 fret on the top E, down to 8th fret on B and top E strings.  Then a similar bend on the 7th fret of the G string while holding the 8th on the B string to 5th fret and ending by bending from the 3rd fret up to the 5th on the G.

Guthrie melodic bending riff with descending bassline from G on the A string at 1 hour 11 minutes:


The final bends Dan show me are difficult to tab, but involve holding a G7 on B – 12th fret, G – 10th fret and D – 12th fret; then grabbing the G string behind the 10th fret (e.g. at roughly 5th/6th fret) and then pulling the string away from the neck to increase the pitch up to the 12th fret (G) note.  Dan also demonstrates on his strat how you can push the string down behind the nut where the tuners are to create another type of bend.

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