PHOTO: Cindy Moorhead
Rock guitarists often say they don’t like country music, but countless rock guitarists we love have often included country licks in their music. Think Jimmy Page in “The Song Remains the Same,” or Steve Howe in Yes’s “All Good People,” or George Harrison in several of his early Beatles solos. You can even hear shades of country in some of Angus Young’s licks, and the genre is an obvious influence in the work of John 5.
The point is, even if you’re not a country music fan, you might find that knowing a few cool country guitar licks is just the thing to dress up your solos and fills and help you create your own signature style. Besides, playing just one genre is boring. Sometimes you’ll find that the greatest inspiration comes from styles of music that you’ve never paid much attention to. It can be just the thing you need to rewire the tried-and-true circuitry of your brain.
Of course, if you’re new to country, you probably don’t know where to start. Have no fear. In his latest video, Jim Lill teaches 10 beginner country licks that sound slick and can add some authentic country style to your playing.
“I thought it’d be good to have one video where I just teach country guitar to someone that doesn’t know the genre’s tendencies,” Jim writes. “I came up with 10 licks that give you the most bang for your buck theory-wise and muscle-memory-wise. Hope you enjoy it.”
The licks use an abundance of techniques, including pull-offs, sliding and bending, making them a great way to build your chops and dexterity as well. In addition, Jim has made tab for this lesson available, and you can get it right here.
As always, we encourage you to visit Jim’s YouTube channel for more of his great videos, many of which we’ve featured in our Guitar Essentials series. Be sure to give his videos a “like” and leave a thanks.