workin man blues

The path from ripping electric blues to snappy twang is shorter than you might think. An in-demand Nashville player dishes out a few hands-on tips for getting your country chops together.

Chops: Intermediate
Theory: Intermediate
Lesson Overview:
• Learn how to transform stock blues licks into twangy country riffs.
• Create solos and phrases that outline the changes.
• Supercharge your hybrid picking. Click here to download a printable PDF of this lesson's notation.

“I grew up playing blues, but now I want to play country!” These were my exact words in the mid ’90s. Back in the day, I remember surfing TV channels and breezing by a country music show called American Music Shop. I was exposed to some country music in my youth, but I mainly listened to and played blues, R&B, rock, and metal. I didn’t stay tuned into the show for very long but, one particular night I stumbled onto an episode just as Brent Mason was annihilating a blazing chicken pickin’ solo. I had never heard playing like that before and my life was forever changed. To get a taste of what I heard that day, check out the clip below of Mark O’ Connor’s tune, “Pick It Apart.”

The quest to play country guitar had begun. But here was the problem: I was a hardcore blues-rock guy who idolized Stevie Ray Vaughan, Hendrix, Clapton, and the Allman Brothers. True, I could play major pentatonic ideas because I loved the Southern rock guys who could really navigate that stuff. Little did I know that would be the jumping off point for me.

Read More Show less

Can an entry-level modeler hang with the big dogs?

Excellent interface. Very portable. Nice modulation tones.

Some subpar low-gain dirt sounds. Could be a little more rugged.


HeadRush MX5


The allure of portability and sonic consistency has become too much to ignore for some guitarists, making smaller digital modelers more appealing than ever.

Read More Show less

The signature Kasper Jalily guitar features a chambered Alder body, stainless steel frets, and roasted maple neck & fretboard.

Read More Show less