Country Rock With a Twist of Jazz

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BY STEVE TROVATO

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HERE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITELICKS. It’s really fun to play and it’s guaranteed to turn heads in the crowd. It sounds a bit like country but with a rock edge and a jazz twist. It’s in the key of G, and the progression is eight measures long. The chord changes every two measures: G for measures 1 and 2, C for measures 3 and 4, D for measures 5 and 6 and finally back to G for the last two bars.

The lick is a two-bar eighth-note phrase. I change one note every two bars to make the lick fit the progression. One of the things that’s cool about it is the time feel. It stays in 4/4 but sounds a little off balance because of the way the phrase breaks down: two six-note groupings followed by one fournote grouping.

I have notated it in the third position but tabbed it out an octave higher. It really sounds supersonic when you add some overdrive and play it in the higher octave. The trickiest part of this lick is the picking directions, so follow closely. Strike the first note of the lick using a downstroke; bend it up a half-step using an upstroke. Then release the bend to its original pitch without picking at all. This is very important. Use alternate picking for the next three notes of the grouping beginning with an upstroke. Repeat this phrase. The third grouping of four notes is played using alternate picking. This is the whole lick.

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Now comes the jazzy part. When the chord changes to C in measure 3, all you need to do is drop the highest note of the phrase a half-step. Every thing else is identical. Do the same thing over the D chord and start the lick a half-step lower on an A note. Bend a whole-step to from F to G in measure 7 before the pickup into the repeat. Yeah!

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