6 Country Blues Licks

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:

Lick 1

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.

Lick 2

Using the pick and fingers (AKA Hybrid Picking), this chromatic lick is really country, though this kind of phrasing is often heard in Jazz.

Lick 3

Using a hard picking attack and lots of pull-offs, this idea is particularly versatile and is easily translated to rock and blues styles.

Lick 4

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.

Lick 5

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.

Lick 6

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

+ There are no comments

Add yours

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.