where to start with country?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by deepestend, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Website and Social Media at Sadowsky
    The guitarist I play with is starting to get more into country stuff. I've been faking it so far and wuold love to get more of a foudation in this style. Any suggestions? People to listen to? Any opinions of Grahm Parson's band?

    The search feature is down, so that's why I didn't just look for it msyelf.

  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Gram Parson's band was country-rock. Good band, but not really pure country.

    For the "real deal" get ahold of some "greatest hits" CDs by Hank Williams, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Bob Wills, Buck Owens, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson...the list could get real long :D

    Here's a good book to check out: http://elderly.com/books/items/49-695107.htm
  3. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    The VERY generic rules for country basslines are as follows:

    1. root-five and root-3-5 works a great deal of the time. The 6 of whatever chord you're dealing with often sounds a little 'out', but it's not totally taboo.

    2. passing tones are a no-no. Chromatic walking lines to the next chord are generally not acceptable in the country setting.

    My best advice would be to listen to a lot of country music that is similar to what your friend is doing. Be it old bluegrass country, the new 'young country' or what have you. I'm definately not an expert, but I played in a country/metal/rap band for 8 years and a lot of my lines during the country bits followed these two simple rules and sounded authentic. Yes, you read that right, country/metal/rap. All three styles in all the songs; often times with very abrupt style changes. It was a humorous group, that was the point of it. Weird Al's band loved us... so that should give you an idea of the spastic nature of the beast. :)
  4. chardin


    Sep 18, 2000
    Someone once told me this about playing old style country music:

    Think about playing as few notes as possible. Then cut that number in half.