Country Lessons Bartender solo featured image

Published on December 1st, 2014 | by Sam


Bartender Solo – Lady Antebellum

Most country guitar articles and lessons on this site are about the chicken pickin’ and older country styles.  I’m going to be putting out a few on some of the more modern, rock-country solos in the next few weeks and months.  This lesson is over Lady Antebellum’s Bartender solo.  If you like modern country, check out my Keith Urban transcription as well. Let me know in the comments if you’re enjoying the more modern take on this stuff!

Lady Antebellum’s hit, Bartender, has a great solo that uses some country vocabulary and a lot of rock vocabulary.  The Bartender solo is double tracked with a lower and higher octave through the first half.  I’ve tabbed out the lower octave here because I think it has a bit more balls (sorry for the crude term), but it can easily be transposed up an octave.  The solo falls mostly in the D major scale as the song is in B minor/D major.

Double Octave

This solo starts with some pretty regular bends and melodic playing in the first two measures.  The third measure has a pattern I always call an Allman Brothers lick – repeated notes with a slide on the off beat.  This is a lick that looks much more difficult than it really is.  Once you play it and hear it you’ll catch on really quickly.

The second half of the solo goes to one guitar, one octave.  These licks are a bit tricky because they go in a different direction than you’d expect.  Practice the right hand part of measure five to get a good pattern for you.  I prefer using alternate picking all of the time, but I know many players who would use sweep picking (picking adjacent strings with the same pick direction) or fingers.  The lick in measure 5 is then transposed down to the 5th fret.


The juice in this solo comes at the end.  The lick in measure 7 looks harmless but can be pretty tough to pull off… literally.  There are pull offs to the open E string from the 5th and 7th frets.  After the 7th fret pull off jump up to the 12th fret to make the bend on the B string.  This note is placed here because of the next line.  That phrase is then repeated up on the next chord tone.  During the F# chord the bend goes to the 3rd of the chord (A#), which is an interesting choice because it is clearly outside of the key of the tune.  This really helps to drive the solo, making it sound really well arranged instead of like a pentatonic scale slapped over the whole solo.

Bartender solo

Make sure to check out all of my country guitar materials on Amazon and for sale here!  Chicken Pickin’ Basics is available on Amazon, and Chicken Pickin’ Vocabulary is available here and on Amazon.


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