Chromatic Country Rock
November 1, 2010
BY STEVE TROVATO
HERE IS A CROWD-PLEASING LICK
that changes directions so many times it
will keep the audience guessing. It works
great as a country/rock or bluegrass phrase
with a clean tone, and it really sings with
some sustain and grit. It’s in the key of G
and is four measures long. Play it in the
open position as straight eighth-notes and
use alternate picking throughout.
The first two notes are played on the first
string and then the lick immediately changes
direction using a chromatic note on the second
string. The first beat of bar 2 is an
ascending chromatic run beginning with a
Bb on the third string and continuing on to
the second string.
The lick ends with a classic pedal-steel
bend. Barre across the E and B strings at the
3rd fret using your little finger while bending
an A up a whole step to B on the third
string using your second finger. Pluck all
three strings simultaneously using your pick,
middle, and ring fingers and allow the ending
chord to sustain. To help ensure correct
intonation of the bend, support your second
finger with your first finger. Try adding
a compressor for sustain.
Steve Trovato is an instructor in the Studio
Jazz Guitar Department at the University of
Southern California. His past students include
Scott Henderson, Frank Gambale, and many others.
His new CD will be released soon.