Our previous lick (Lick 005 Hendrix Style Double Stops) looked at a unique way of playing double stops. This lick uses double stops again (double stop means to play two notes at once) but to get a country feel. There are a few pull-offs between double stops so its important you think about which fingers you use to play the notes.
How to get a country feel
The key to getting this lick to sound authentic is to control your tone. If you’re playing an acoustic guitar you don’t have any choice with pickups but you can still choose how to play the notes. Using your fingers (or hybrid picking) will give this lick a more interesting sound compared to playing with a pick. When playing the double stops, try to pluck the strings hard enough that they slap back against the fretboard. This snapping sound adds to the character of the lick.
If you’re playing electric guitar, use a single coil pickup around the middle position (depending on your type of guitar). This will give your tone a very hollow sound and will sound great when you pluck the strings hard with your fingers.
What makes this lick sound country?
While playing the lick, have a think about each part and why it makes it sound country. Is it the double stops? Is it the hammer-ons? The chords at the end? Learning to critically analyze a piece of music this way will help you understand what gives it certain characteristics. Many players don’t think about music this way and have trouble coming up with their own music as a result. If you can figure out what makes this lick sound country then you can recreate it in your own licks.
We won’t give the answers away because that defeats the whole point of this lick! Learning how to figure out what makes this lick sound country will help you grow as a musician. So practice the lick over and over until it feels natural then figure out what makes it sound good. Once you can do this you can start trying to come up with similar licks.
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Even if you don’t plan on learning how to play country style guitar, it’s still worth learning this lick as it will help you understand how to copy a certain style. It will also help you learn different ways to play double stops. By adjusting the way you play this lick you can transform it from dull sounding to an authentic country lick. Merely playing the notes as written isn’t enough – you need to put some feel into it!