twang 101

It doesn’t matter if you play in a ’90s country cover band or play in a band that only does metal versions of pop tunes—the system still works.

Intermediate

Intermediate

  • Understand the basic elements of the CAGED system.
  • Learn to visualize chords and phrases all over the fretboard.
  • Develop a more global view of harmony within a key.
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The CAGED system is simple way of visualizing the fretboard. Learn to visualize five chord shapes and pretty soon you will be flowing up and down the neck. The main thing I love about the CAGED system is that it can be applied to any type of music. It doesn’t matter if you play in a ’90s country outfit or play in a band that only does metal versions of pop tunes—the system still works.

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Steal inspiration, vocabulary, and picking techniques from legendary acoustic players.

Intermediate

Beginner

  • Improve your alternate picking.
  • Discover how to use the “country” scale.
  • Create a deeper understanding of chord shapes across the neck.
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Those who haven’t investigated bluegrass might write it off as simply another branch on the country music tree, but there’s so much more to dig into. Born out of the Appalachian mountain regions, bluegrass is the exciting meld of Irish and Scottish folk music with gospel, jazz, and blues elements. It’s a genre dominated by high-level playing on a variety of instruments, including flattop steel-string guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and Dobro.
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Learn how to cop the trademark sounds of country music’s California rebels.



Chops: Intermediate
Theory: Beginner
Lesson Overview:
• Create simple, melody-driven solos.
• Learn how to expand major pentatonic scales with bluesy color tones.
• Discover how to repurpose classic country licks. Click here to download a printable PDF of this lesson's notation.

From the outside, it’s easy to look at any form of country music and write it off as simplistic, but like any genre, you’ll find more complexity when you dig inside. Just as there’s a world of difference between Led Zeppelin and Bon Jovi, there are many sub-genres in country music, and some are fundamentally different from each other.

Nashville has always been one of the homes of country music, but as the music’s popularity grew in the ’50s and began to fill the airwaves, Music City’s record labels and producers began to influence and change its sound with the intention of expanding its audience. While the genre has roots in cowboys, drinking, hunting, and caricatures of men, Nashville began to adopt a softer, more romantic production style that featured strings and saccharine background vocals. Put simply: By the late ’50s, country lacked the attitude of days gone by.

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