Published on May 5th, 2015 | by Sam1
Long White Line – Sturgill Simpson – Guitar Solo
I wrote a fair amount on just how much of a
fan believer I am in Sturgill Simpson last week. But just to reiterate – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music is one of my favorite albums in a really long time. It’s just sonically, musically, everything-ly amazing. Enough gushing… let’s get to the Long White Line solo – undoubtedly one of the coolest on the album. Here’s tune so you can have some context:
Long White Line Solo
Loar Joamets is the guitarist who crafted this ridiculous piece of country-wholesome-goodness on Long White Line. The tune is in Gb and doesn’t off much in terms of harmonic inventiveness. The thing that will draw you to this song and solo first is it’s unique sound. The solo has been double tracked and panned – think “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton but even cooler. Both sides of the solo are note for note the same until the end where the solo switches to a harmonized line- Allman Brothers meets Roy Nichols.
Long White Line Solo – Rhythm
Joamets’ phrasing is particularly interesting on the solo. Check out some of the syncopated resolution notes in bar 3, 11. Also starting lines on beat 4 as in bar 13. This is then coupled with more typical phrasing in bars 6 and other areas throughout the solo. This helps to illustrate Joamets’ mastery of the genre – using it to establish a sense of context within a style, and purposely going against the grain to show personality (similar to the tone choice).
Don’t get thrown off by the 16th notes near the end of the solo. This is a rhythm that you’ll immediately get once you listen to the solo.
The harmonized portion of the Long White Line solo uses mostly 3rds, though it does break the ‘rules’ here and there. Also notice the masterful return to the B chord (really Cb because it’s the IV of Gb) at the end of the solo. He slides right into the new chord just as naturally as he could possibly have done.
Long White Line Solo Takeaways
This is a great solo – but I think the most could be learned from playing (memorizing) the solo as a whole instead of trying to find the sweet licks like I normally do. Sometimes things are best just kept as is, in context, and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This is one of those cases. There’s not really any new licks here. There’s nothing you probably couldn’t find even in a lesson on my website! But it’s put together in such a way that it sounds absolutely unique and compelling – probably two of the most desirable qualities you could have in a guitar performance.
Joamets also has a knack in this solo for both staying grounded and advancing the country music tradition. He does this in all areas – sound (doubling parts), technique (harmonized solo), rhythm (see above), and note choice. It’s a masterpiece solo and should be memorized by anyone wanting to play country guitar in the 2010s and beyond.