Published on December 3rd, 2012 | by Sam1
Country Guitar Intros
Country music is one style that has been able to keep its roots while bringing it into the 21st century. I think that the main reason behind this is the musicians’ dedication to learning the traditional vocabulary. And the main reason for that is because it sounds cool!
We’re going to look at some traditional ways to start off a tune. First, we’ll look at a very traditional country guitar intro in the key of E. We start with 6ths leading up chromatically to the 3rd and 5th. Then the lick descends to imply a B7 chord, playing the 5th and 7th. Finally a bend on both notes brings us back to the I chord. If you can’t make the two finger bend (it’s tough!) just bend the F#.
The second intro is very similar to the first. Harmonically we’re looking at the same chords. This time though a common tone is kept on the top, imitating a fiddle sound.
Intro number 3 is again very similar to the first two. This time we’re using the open position and thirds. This lick ends with a bend on the D string to bring it back to the tonic.
You’re Still On My Mind
The final intro comes from Clarence White. The Byrds’ album Live at the Filmore is a text book for chicken pickin’ licks. Clarence introduces this tune in the key of A. The second bar has a run of eighth notes. Try to let each ring into each other when you release the bend. The ending lick is a great lick to add to your vocabulary to use even outside of an intro.
If you’re interested in checking out even more great country guitar intros, listen to some of the lap steel playing on Hank Williams records. Really any classic recording will have a variety to pick out and apply to your own music.