10

Some players will tend to use, for example, the A pent min. scale notes all through a 12 bar in A. It sort of works, if they're careful (or lucky!) but when playing the changes, they will tend to use the Am pent notes while the tune is on A, change to using the Dm pent notes on D, and the Em pent notes on E. This then starts to sound like he knows where he ...


10

I'm not sure of any stylistic implications, but my understanding has always been that "the changes" simply refer to the chords themselves---in other words, the chord "changes" that make up the progression. Thus "playing the changes" or "playing over the changes" simply means you're playing with an awareness of the harmonic environment. This is especially ...


7

You could also ask “why do artists outside of the country genre use complex chords instead of the simpler harmonies of country music?” The complex harmonies are not necessarily better. In the country genre, there is a culture where an artist will make a song, and millions of everyday people who may not have had access to musical schooling can get themselves ...


5

A lot of country stuff is written on guitar to be played on guitar. A is just about perfect for playing, as it will use the I, IV and V of A - A, D and E in open position, making the three open bottom strings the three roots of those chords. This is easy to play, and sound good - and means that more people will be able to perform those songs. If they were ...


5

It's the same formula/theory to write any music: listen to it. Listen to as much as you can and get it in your head. I have been trying to write and improvise solos on guitar for country and it is really difficult coming from a rock background. Country guitarist use reverse bends, major pentatonics and play with the chord changes targeting notes of those ...


5

One of the important roots of country music is the folk music brought to the Appalachians by European (particularly Irish) immigrants in the late 18th and early 19th century, with influences from African music (the banjo being the most obvious one) and the parallel development of congregational church music (the development of which was itself influenced by ...


4

I think it is hard to answer a question like this in any other way than with an opinion, even if it is based on some experience. When I look at a general cross section of country bands, there are, in many cases, a lot more players on the stage. Fiddles, lap steel, lead and rhythm guitar, bass, piano, etc. This typically means that you need to leave larger ...


4

I'd say it's probably a joke in that context, but it contains a kernel of truth: A might be the easiest key to play on a guitar for simple progressions. (Maybe that's part of the joke.) You can play simple barre chords on the 5th fret, and everything is nice and accessible and almost entirely symmetrical, and you just have to move in ascending order to play ...


3

I'd say it's for the same reason that pop music is like that: sticking to triads creates a mood of straightforward, pure, clear emotion. This comes right down from Celtic music--would you enjoy Danny Boy or Auld Lang Syne any more with a bunch of sly jazz upper partials? (Well, it's been done, but even jazz guys often stick closer to triads when they're ...


3

Because that's the style of what we call "Country Music". The "3-chord trick" plus maybe a few more. There's no "why" beyond that simple fact. If a songwriter wrote more complex harmonies or a player started slipping in jazz substitutions you'd say "That doesn't sound like Country!"


3

All music styles are overlapping hybrids, so you consistently find elements of one in another. However, there are identifiable characteristics of American Country Music, as long as you understand you will often see those very characteristics in blues, rock and roll and other popular forms with a common heritage. Probably the most prominent feature would ...


2

The other thing they really like to do is hybrid picking, to get all those major sixth double stops, etc. If you learn that technique, it'll be a whole lot easier to sound like a country virtuoso.


2

Yes. The last 4 are definitely a blues turnaround. Limited to I IV and V chords is consistent. In fact I can't seem to play it without making it bluesy. But I also agree with @herman's answer. The ear is the true judge. Since it is so short, it could even be just a phrase in a larger lyrical structure. If you play it in 2/4, with a Motown kinda beat... ...


2

There are many variations possible on the 8 bar blues, so this could certainly be one. I'd say it depends on the tune: does it sound bluesy?


2

As a songwriter who writes Country songs and records the demos as a guitar/vocal, this question is right up my alley. Country music is characterized by both the subject matter of the lyrics as well as the instrumentation, style of play, and vocal style. Although modern country songs topping the country billboard charts today have incorporated many ...


2

Much Country harmony is improvised on the spot, and does usually, as you say, fall into the category of 3rds & 6ths and 4ths and 5ths. I advise the people who are going to be doing the harmonizing to listen to a great deal of recorded country music, especially from the 20s through the 80s, and pay close attention to how the backup vocalists approach ...


2

Look up the scores of idiomatic guitar pieces (Tárrega's a good composer for this--he incorporates advanced guitar-specific techniques into his pieces). Listen to them, too. Do this for several, if not 100+, such pieces. Find trends between them. Failing that, listen to pieces written for ensembles that include a guitar, and pay specific attention to the ...


2

Brian Wampler has actually explained what he means in this podcast, so I'll include it here for completeness. In short, basing his solos around the chord shapes of the progression.


1

I would say he is commenting or paraphrasing the soloist. Look up paraphrase in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. A paraphrase /ˈpærəfreɪz/ is a restatement of the meaning of a text or passage using other words. The term itself is derived via Latin paraphrasis from Greek παράφρασις, meaning "additional manner of expression". The act of paraphrasing is also ...


1

The short answer is that, in the 12-tone scale, accidentals are used either as transitional notes, as tension-builders, or because the key and/or mode (major,minor, Ionian, etc) can change many times from the titular key of the piece. As to the tone-set used in Indian music, and the continent's development of harmony & theory, that's a major block of ...


1

Often country harmony is accompanied a third above the main melody. Here sare some examples. The instrumentals also exhibit typical harmony. Here are some examples which explain things better than I can. Some three part harmony.


1

You can go with the decent ASIO soundcard (Focusrite 2i2 is one cheap good choice) + some guitar plugins (I use Overloud TH2, Bias FX. You can go cheaper and simpler with Toontrack EZMix + some country emulation addons pr even with free plugins). Or you can go for something like Line6 Amplifi (http://line6.com/amplifi/amplifi-30/). You'll know when you need ...


1

In terms of technique, it doesn't matter. In terms of sounding like you want to sound playing country music, I suggest you get a headphone amp that allows you to adjust the effects to the sound you're looking for. Alternatively you could buy a guitar multi-effects board that has a headphone jack. If you plan to play country music on an electric guitar ...


1

"Over the changes" (to me) is a relative perception and no one is necessarily going to see it in the same way. 'For me' it is about a few things ... my timing relative to the rhythm section, my choice of notes, phrasing, release times ... "IF" I find a place in time that is slightly ahead (above / over) the groove, I sometimes seem to be released from the ...


1

The quote has been attributed to many, but country music is "three chords and the truth." Harlan Howard said it first. The musicianship in country has typically taken a backseat to lyrical songwriting and telling the truth through words- at least the truth as the songwriter sees it. The depth of the song is usually- note the word usually- in the lyrics, ...


1

Listen to others who play country and western. How could you do it any other way if you aren't familiar with the genre. Pick out an artist like Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, or Johnny Cash. Listen to there vocal technique and mock it. Copy the boom-chuck rhythm of the acoustic guitars. Again just copy what they do and eventually you will get a feel for it.


1

Scoop between two and three of any chord, both with your guitar and with your voice. Don't over do it, but it is the fundamental Country element. The rest should follow. On the guitar, if you are playing a G chord, it is the hammer on you perform on the fifth string from the open A to the B. Transpose that relationship, and you are fine. That scooping ...


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