Yeehaw and a howdy partners! This week we’re looking at Country Blues over a 12-bar major blues backing track. ‘Country Blues’ is a case of country players taking on blues ideas rather than the other way around. A prime example of a blues-influenced country player is Pete Anderson, from Dwight Yokam’s band, but you might be more familiar with the lead style of of the Eagles. Generally speaking, a country player will take a more ‘major’ approach to soloing, making use of straight major scale and major Pentatonic ideas, whereas a blues player tends towards minor Pentatonic and blues scales.
Here’s a breakdown of the licks’ tricks:
Starting with a double stop figure, this phrase progresses to a G major Pentatonic phrase. In bar 2, bending the fourth string gives a bluesy feel.
Using the pick and fingers (AKA Hybrid Picking), this chromatic lick is really country, though this kind of phrasing is often heard in Jazz.
Using a hard picking attack and lots of pull-offs, this idea is particularly versatile and is easily translated to rock and blues styles.
This almost arpeggiated pattern is taken from the A minor Pentatonic scale, but using a Bb, which fits nicely over the C chord, implying C7.
This lick hints at a mixture of Country, Blues, and Rock styles. When using a distorted sound, take care to clearly articulate the phrase in bar 2.
Here’s another phrase using Hybrid Picking, with held bends on the third string. This is possible with a pick, but doesn’t achieve the same effect.
As always, below the YouTube video you’ll find the backing track to play along with, and below that, the tablature. Aren’t I nice?!
Feel free to ask questions or just share your thoughts in the comments!
Watch the video:
Play along with the backing track:
Read the tab:
Due to the limitations of the tablature software and the complexity of the bends in the last 2 licks, I recommend you refer to the video for clarification on how to play them.6 Country Blues Licks