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Steve Trovato - Country Style Guitar Part 9: Blazin’ Chromatics

Lesson Notes

** As featured in issue 34 **

Objective: Create blazing country guitar licks that combine major and minor pentatonic scales with chromatic connecting tones. Learn to play two great country guitar solos that demonstrate the technique.

Modern Country guitar players have created a new, more sophisticated style where major and minor scales are combined within a single lick or line. Examples of such players are Albert Lee, Brent Mason, Brad Paisley and Vince Gill to name a few.

The idea is to outline the chords in a progression by weaving the major and minor pentatonic scales together with chromatic tones. The resulting sound is fresh and modern.   

The progression for this lesson will be a I, IV, V7, I in the key of G. It's 8 bars long with each chord being played for two measures. The rhythm style is two beat country. The lesson consists of two solos. The first being in the open position and the second moving up the neck. The rhythm for the solos will be steady 16th notes.

Example 1

The first solo will be in the open position.

Start with G on the sixth string then play A to B chromatically on the fifth string. Next: D , E, D on the fourth. Move to the third string and play open G then E on the fourth and back to G on the third.  Follow this by playing Bb, A and G on the third and moving to E and D on the fourth. Next play down a G Mixolydian scale starting with G , F, E and D on the fourth string, C on the fifth and back to D (fourth string). Now, play chromatically from Bb to C on the fifth string. Moving up to the fifth position continues the solo by playing chromatically down from E to D on the fifth string. Move up again to the 7th position and play chromatically from E to F#. Then A, B A on the fourth string.

The next run is a series of ascending chromatics: D to F on the third string and F# to A on the second string. The ending of the lick is a series on chord tones with half step or whole step approaches. Bb to B on the first string. F# to G on the second string. E to D on the third string, Bb to A on the fourth and then end on a fifth string G.

Example 2

This one starts in the 7th position. Begin with a chromatic run down from D to C on the first string then slide from Bb to B. Next: G on the second string followed by E and D on the third string followed by two chromatic runs. One descending and one ascending. Play chromatically down from F to D on the third string. Then play chromatically up from A to C on the fourth string. Then back to the third string for a chromatic run from D to E. Watch for the third string slide from Eb to D on your way back down. The first half of this solo ends on a fourth string C.

The second half starts with G on the 15th fret of the first string. Play G to F on the first string followed by a chromatic line from D to C on the second string. Move to the 10th position and play chromatically from A to B on the second string. The next chromatic run is also on the second string from B to A.  The lick ends with a chromatic run from D to C on the fourth string, slide from a half step below into B and finish on a third string G.

Have fun!


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