Chicken Pickin' CD-live-at-billy-bobs-168-c

Published on April 14th, 2014 | by Sam


Redd Volkaert Licks – Chicken Pickin

Redd Volkaert is one of the unsung heroes of country music these days.  He’s a little off the beaten path, based in Austin, TX instead of Nashville.  But his playing with Merle Haggard has made many country fans take notice.  He also ripped a great solo on Brad Paisley’s “Cluster Pluck” all star jam. His own solo albums are no slouch either!  We’re going to look at 4 Redd Volkaert licks from Merle’s tune Swining Doors from Haggard’s Live at Billy Bob’s recording.

If you find these licks (and Redd’s playing in general) interesting, make sure to check out my new Chicken Pickin’ book here.  Tons of great stuff in there by all the country masters.

Redd Volkaert Lick 1

Redd starts us out with a lick over the Bb7 chord.  This lick is really simple – just following the chord tones from the flatted 7th (Ab) to 5th, and then a bend from the second degree up to the third to complete the top part of a Bb7 chord.

Redd Volkaert Licks

Redd Volkaert Lick 2

The second lick we’re going to check out features a really cool hemiola. Hemiolas are musical figures that imply one time signature while another is happening.  Here, Redd is implying 3/4 over 4/4.  The lick starts on 1, then 4, then 3.  He then resolves the lick with a blues-y line that resolves to the root of the chord.  This one is over an F chord.

Redd Volkaert Licks

Redd Volkaert Lick 3

Our third Redd Volkaert lick uses some creative bending.  He starts with the flatted 7th on the 11th fret of the E string and bends the flatted third up to the 3rd of the chord.  He then changes the high note from the Eb to C, but continues the bend.  Really cool way to keep a bend going while changing the notes around it.

Redd Volkaert Licks

Redd Volkaert Lick 4

The final Redd Volkaert lick we’ll look at is a classic lick taken from the history of country music.  Redd’s probably studied the roots of country as much as anyone and pulls this one out of the old Merle Haggard tune “Strangers.”  Check out the original on YouTube.  This is a really cool throwback to some of the great, original country music from the 1950s.

Redd Volkaert Licks

Make sure to check out my chicken pickin’ book for even more great stuff inspired by Redd Volkaert.  He is one of the best country guitarists out there – and one to definitely check out.


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