Electric Country, Western Swing (Guitar Lesson)


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DJ Phillips

Electric Country, Western Swing

In this lesson, DJ begins to talk more in depth about modern electric country guitar. He starts with the western swing style.

Taught by DJ Phillips in Classic Country Guitar seriesLength: 11:11Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (01:35) Introduction Review

Welcome back to the Phase 2 Country Series with DJ Phillips! The past six lessons provided a brief overview of several country styles. Thus far, DJ has discussed the origins of country music, some colorful chord voicings, the Western Swing rhythm, the tic tac rhythm, hybrid picking techniques, and some modern country chicken pickin' licks. If necessary, review these concepts at this time.

Preview of Upcoming Lessons

With Lesson 7, DJ begins to explore some of the finer details of electric country guitar. He will explain important stylistic elements of country's most influential guitarists. An important song or guitar solo by each guitarist will be covered. In addition, DJ will explain how to apply key elements from these songs to your own country guitar playing. As DJ covers more guitarists and their styles, you will inevitably learn more about the history and origin of country music.
Chapter 2: (09:35) Western Swing The electric guitar first appeared in country music within the Western Swing style. Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys were pioneers of this style. Eldon Shamblin, the guitarist for The Texas Playboys has made a lasting impression on the Western Swing style of guitar playing. Like many other Western Swing players, Shamblin's style features jazz and blues idioms played with a country twang.

Twin Guitar Boogie

Twin Guitar Boogie is a popular Western Swing instrumental. It features "twin" or doubled lines played by Shamblin and steel guitarist Leon McAuliffe.

A. Intro Section

Note:
Tablature and standard notation to all musical examples presented in the lesson can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

Swing Feel

"Twin Guitar Boogie" is played with a swing feel. The swing feel is characterized by an emphasis of the backbeat (beats 2 and 4). Accenting these two beats contributes to the overall swing feel. In addition, pairs of eighth notes are played with a long - short shuffle pattern. The first eighth note in each pair is played roughly as a quarter note triplet. The second eighth note receives the value of an eighth note triplet.

Phrase 1

Typically, "Twin Guitar Boogie" is played in the key of Bb major. The beginning lick consists of an arpeggiation of a tonic Bb chord. The lick is played out of an abbreviated version of the sixth position Bb barre chord.

Next, the IV chord, Eb, is outlined. An arpeggiation of a sixth position Eb chord begins at the end of measure 1 into measure 2.

Practice this phrase along with DJ at 02:03.

Phrase 2

The second phrase begins with the same Bb arpeggio played in the first phrase. However, the second phrase ends differently. It resolves to a C note played at the fifth fret instead of concluding with an Eb arpeggio.

Practice the first and second phrases along with DJ at 02:51.

Phrase 3

The third phrase begins in measure 5. This phrase is identical to the first phrase.

Practice the first three phrases with DJ at 04:13.

Phrase 4

An Eo7 seventh arpeggio begins the final intro phrase. This arpeggio begins in eighth position. A position shift occurs once the fifth string is reached. Switch to seventh position to accommodate the notes on this string.

Note: DJ refers to this chord as Bbo7 in the lesson video. Due to the symmetrical nature of diminished chords, Bbo7 and Ebo7 contain the same notes. The notes in these chords are simply stacked in a different order. Compare the spelling of these chords listed below.

Bbo7 - Bb, Db, Fb (E), G
Eo7 - E, G, Bb, Db

The final measure concludes with a quick V - I chord movement. An F13 voicing and a sixth position Bb triad are used for these chords. Watch carefully as DJ breaks down the proper left hand fingering for these chords.

Practice Time

Practice the entire intro section by yourself along with a metronome. When playing in the Western Swing style, set the metronome so that it clicks on beats 2 and 4 only. This will force you to emphasize the backbeat.

Note: For more information on this topic, please refer to Matt Brown's Phase 2 Jazz Lessons.

When you can successfully play through the intro along with a metronome, return to the listen video and play it with DJ at 08:41.

Preview of Next Lesson

In the next lesson, DJ covers the rhythm guitar parts to "Twin Guitar Boogie." Stay tuned to JamPlay.com for more electric country guitar action!

Video Subtitles / Captions





Supplemental Learning Material

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Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


rubjaarubjaa replied on October 2nd, 2013

The last comment on lesson 6 promised some big country bends. No sign here of any bends??

jgipswjgipsw replied on October 5th, 2009

You know, some times you guys yap too much. Just get to it!

genesisgenesis replied on March 10th, 2009

wow i'm actually liking these lessons. i didn't think country would interest me at all. well, i think only the electric western interests me to be honest, but still, great lesson series so far.

dj.phillipsdj.phillips replied on February 15th, 2009

We couldn't fit it on the screen, so they made me ditch it. Consarn it, them rascally so-and-sos. Spit. (Ding.)

SylviaSylvia replied on February 14th, 2009

Where's yer hat?

Classic Country Guitar

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Having roots in Folk, Celtic, and Gospel music, Country and Country Western evolved rapidly in the 1920's. This genre of music has spawned two of the top selling solo artists of all time. Elvis Presley, and Garth Brooks.



Lesson 1

Introduction to Country

This short lesson will introduce you to the country style of playing and provide some necessary background information on how the genre got started.

Length: 2:04 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Western Swing

DJ gets to the roots of the country music genre with a lesson on Western Swing.

Length: 5:50 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Roly Poly

In lesson 3, DJ teaches a short song called "Roly Poly." If you ever find yourself jamming in a country circuit, you'll need this one in your repertoire.

Length: 5:22 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Classic Country

DJ discusses the classic country style. He explains the rhythmic and structural differences between this style and western swing.

Length: 6:30 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Chicken Pickin' and Modern Country

With lesson 5, DJ starts to discuss elements of the modern country style. This includes the technique known as "Chicken Pickin'."

Length: 12:59 Difficulty: 2.5 FREE
Lesson 6

Hybrid Picking

In this lesson, DJ discusses some of the finer points of the hybrid picking technique.

Length: 15:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Electric Country, Western Swing

In this lesson, DJ begins to talk more in depth about modern electric country guitar. He starts with the western swing style.

Length: 11:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Eldon Shamblin, Western Swing

Lesson 8 continues to cover the western swing style of electric country. Eldon Shamblin and his musical efforts are discussed further.

Length: 13:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Twin Guitar Boogie's Twin Lead

This lesson covers the twin lead section of the song "Twin Guitar Boogie."

Length: 17:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Twin Lead Solo: Part 2

DJ breaks down the second part of the twin lead solo from "Twin Guitar Boogie."

Length: 14:57 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Twin Guitar Boogie's Guitar Solo

Finalizing his teaching on the Twin Guitar Boogie with emphasis on Eldon Shamblin, DJ brings you this lesson on the guitar solo.

Length: 21:55 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Twin Guitar Boogie Techniques

Lesson 12 covers all the techniques involved in the previous lessons on the Twin Guitar Boogie.

Length: 7:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Solo Building

DJ takes the techniques he discussed in lesson 12 and helps you create a solo over a standard country rhythm.

Length: 17:33 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Fingerpicking

Lesson 14 delves into the realm of fingerpicking.

Length: 17:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

Solo and Improvisation

In lesson 15 DJ demonstrates the techniques used by Merle Travis to build a solo, and improvisation technique.

Length: 12:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Guitar Boogie Pt. 1

Lesson 16 starts a 3 part series on Arthur Smith's "Guitar Boogie."

Length: 47:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

Guitar Boogie Pt. 2

In lesson 17, DJ completes his note for note demonstration of "Guitar Boogie."

Length: 30:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 18

Guitar Boogie Concepts

In this lesson, DJ takes a look at some of the country guitar concepts used in the song "Guitar Boogie."

Length: 16:13 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Whistle Stop

In this lesson, DJ teaches the song "Whistle Stop" by legendary guitarist Jimmy Bryant.

Length: 19:41 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

Yodeling Guitar

DJ demonstrates the song "Yodeling Guitar" by Jimmy Bryant.

Length: 32:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Joy Ride

DJ teaches the song "Joy Ride" as performed by Jimmy Bryant.

Length: 30:37 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 22

Jimmy Bryant Concepts

Now that DJ has covered "Whistle Stop" and "Joy Ride," he'll be looking at some of the concepts used to play these songs.

Length: 23:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 23

Got a Lot of Rhythm

This lesson covers the tune Got a Lot of Rhythm which features the playing of Hank Garland.

Length: 10:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 24

I Need Your Love Tonight

In lesson 24, DJ takes a look at an Elvis Presley song "I Need Your Love Tonight."

Length: 19:55 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 25

Sugarfoot Rag

In lesson 25, DJ continues his in depth look at Hank Garland's playing with a demonstration of Sugarfoot Rag.

Length: 32:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

Walkin' the Floor

DJ takes a look at "Walkin' the Floor" by classic country guitarist Leon Rhodes.

Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 27

Honey Fingers Pt. 1

DJ Phillips teaches the progression, structure and melody of the song "Honey Fingers."

Length: 35:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 28

Honey Fingers Pt. 2

In lesson 28, DJ demonstrates the entire guitar solo for the song "Honey Fingers."

Length: 27:13 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 29

Applying Concepts and Skill Building

Looking back on the lessons on Leon Rhodes' playing, DJ offers up a lesson on applying the new concepts.

Length: 11:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 30

Luther Perkins

DJ discusses the tic-tac techniques used by Johnny Cash guitarist Luther Perkins.

Length: 18:53 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 31

Tic-Tac Rhythms Applied

Looking at guitarist Luther Perkins, DJ helps you to apply the tic-tac rhythms in your playing.

Length: 7:34 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 32

Style of James Burton #1: Open String Licks

DJ returns to his country lesson series to profile legendary country guitarist James Burton! In the first lesson of this mini-series, DJ takes a look at open string licks that are common in James' playing.

Length: 16:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

Style of James Burton #2: Chicken Pickin'

DJ is back with the second lesson in his James Burton mini series. For this one, DJ takes a look at how James Burton started the Tele sound with the use of hybrid picking and chicken pickin'.

Length: 13:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

Style of James Burton #3: Double Stops

In lesson 34 of his country series, DJ is expanding on his look at James Burton. In this lesson you'll be taking a look at double stop and partial chord concepts utilized by this country great!

Length: 12:40 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 35

Style of James Burton #4: Bends

To finalize the concepts and techniques portion of his mini-series on James Burton, DJ offers up a look at bending technique.

Length: 11:57 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 36

Style of James Burton #5: Combining Elements

Now that you have all the lick based elements and concepts under your belt, it's time to apply them. In lesson 36, DJ plays all of the licks you've learned with a backing track.

Length: 4:50 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only

About DJ Phillips View Full Biography Like many guitar players who began playing around the same time, DJ began plunking out Nirvana and Soundgarden tunes when he first picked up the guitar in the mid-nineties. While these grunge-y roots certainly have their merit, it wasn't until DJ's eldest sister took him to a Led Zeppelin laser light show that the full potential of the guitar began to come into focus.

With Jimmy Page's Les Paul pyrotechnics as his inspiration, DJ began fervently practicing for hours on end in the suburban jungle of Southwestern Ohio. This newfound passion (combined with his complete lack of athletic prowess and physical coordination thus completely ruling out all sports) led him to form rock bands in junior high and high school. He grew to love the performance aspect of music and soon decided on it as a career path.

College led him to Nashville, Tennessee where he began to pursue a degree in Commercial Music at Belmont University. He also started another band and got his first professional theater gig the following summer. Since that summer, DJ has spent nearly every waking hour finding ways to play music and avoiding a real contribution to society in any other way.

He moved to Minneapolis after college, rocking out between theater gigs with his current rock band Brother Big Bad. He has now convinced the band to move to Nashville where music flows like water.

DJ is elated to be a part of JamPlay and is thankful for everyone's warm welcome and says "Now, let's ROCK, people."

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