Guitar World Presents: 20 Tasty Country Guitar Licks!

Modern country guitar is an amalgam of traditional and not-so-traditional playing approaches borrowed from several related homegrown American styles. As such, it includes elements of blues, bluegrass, rock and roll, and even jazz, and it offers a tasty mix of expressive and challenging playing techniques.

The key musical building blocks that form country guitar’s foundational vocabulary are the major and minor pentatonic scales, the major scale and the Mixolydian mode, major and minor chords and their corresponding arpeggios, dominant sevenths and ninths, and the judicious use of chromatic passing tones.

Mainstay country guitar-playing techniques include flatpicking, fingerpicking and hybrid picking (pick-and-fingers technique); the exploitation of open strings and licks played in the “open position,” which have a characteristic “twangy” tone; and lots of string bends and finger slides.



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