Guitar Lesson 26: Country rock rhythm & licks inspired by Tom Petty & Mike Campbell

26 Guitar Lesson 26 - Country rock rhythm & licks inspired by Tom Petty & Mike Campbell

Guitar Lesson 26: Country rock rhythm & licks inspired by Tom Petty & Mike Campbell


In guitar lesson 26, I ask Dan for his advice about playing in the Country / Rock / Pop genre with the aim of supporting both rhythm playing in the style of Tom Petty and lead playing in the style of his guitarist – Mike Campbell.  In this lesson Dan begins by choosing a chord progression with a Tom Petty-like rhythm, then looking at incorporating bass runs, arranging songs for dynamic interest, adding some country bends and soloing using double stops.  The lesson ends with us looking at a series of licks and how to incorporate these into our chord progression; a quick study of mixing the major and minor pentatonics and a final challenge to play changes up the fretboard as a useful practice idea.

I also wrote an introduction and memorial to Tom Petty which you can read here:

  • 3:35 Chord progression, with a little chat about tone – Bm A / A G D (Dsus4)
  • 7:53 Incorporating bass lines / connecting runs using bass notes
  • 9:40 Dynamics: e.g. start mellow and build up, changing your chord voicings
  • 13:53 Country bends, including chordal bends and double string bends
  • 18:05 Dan demonstration of ideas so far, with Gary playing rhythm
  • 19:18 The importance of not conceptually separating lead and rhythm playing
  • 25:19 Major and minor 6ths double stops
  • 26:35 Demonstration of double stop soloing over our chord progression, Dan first and then my attempt
  • 34:35 Some soloing ideas for country rock with demonstration of licks
  • 36:59 Lick 1
  • 37:10 Lick 2
  • 37:28 Lick 3 (outlining the D chord)
  • 37:48 Lick 4
  • 37:59 Lick 5
  • 39:20 Mixolydian lick / mixing the major and minor pentatonics


  • 41:34 Demonstration of soloing ideas over our chord progression
  • 42:28 Further ideas on mixing* the major and minor pentatonics
Mike Campbell
Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performs in concert during their “40th Anniversary Tour” at The Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, July 1, 2017, in Philadelphia. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)
  • 44:13 A final challenge to find backing tracks which change from two scales; e.g. minor to major / dorian to aeolian* and play up the fretboard with the changes


A couple of useful backing tracks to go with our episode:

Major and Minor double stops on the G and top E strings:

High Hopes David Gilmour lap / pedal steel

Demonstration of Pedal Steel guitar

Country bends

Mixing major and minor pentatonics

Good backing tracks for moving from dorian to aeolian

Keep listening for more great lessons and ideas from Tune in, Tone up! Lesson coming up on songwriting….

We really appreciate all your support and engagement,

Gary and Dan – Tune in, Tone up!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s