In this guitar lesson, you’ll learn how to play an original composition which alternates back and forth between a D5 chord and a C. In addition to learning the strumming pattern for the rhythm, you’ll also be playing several lead fill licks in between the chords (and learn what scales they come from). I titled this “Country Blues Guitar Lesson” because I thought the rhythm part sounded country, whereas the lead fills sounded bluesy. This piece is played with no accompaniment – solo guitar.
Part 1 - Free Guitar Lesson
Part 2 - For Premium Members
Slow Walk-Through Video - For Premium Members
Video Tablature Breakdown
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Sweet one Brian!! Thanks!
Great lesson…more like this one please. Sounds amazing on my 1949 martin d-18, as though this is the style this guitar was built for.
Oscar M says
You wanna. Sell lol
Albie S says
Same experience with my ’61, thanks Brian !
Chris H says
thanks brian I like that
Well I was betting on a cruncher with the ES335….but if this is called country blues…then I am totally hooked…love that melancholy mood …….you hit an interesting nerve on my end!!
Thanks for another top lesson….
It could just be my take, but when I hear you play (anything) I spot so many wonderful guitar players I’m just amazed! As with this lesson my thoughts went right to Stephen Stills and Treetop Flyer. While not identical, your teaching opens new doors, and there’s so many directions/levels to go with it! fantastic lesson.
Hoping you have a great Christmas..
San Luis Rey says
Way cool Brian! Thanks for another great lesson that sounds great on its own.
Great lesson, I can hardly wait to dig in! This lesson and the last one have really helped my understanding as well as pushed my envelope. Great stuff!
I was refreshing the lesson page every few minutes waiting for the new lesson to post. When I saw “Country Blues,” I was a little disappointed because I’m not a big country music fan.
But, I decided to go through the lesson to learn what I could. I found that this is really a beautiful song. And it’s full of great musical insights and theory as always.
If you’re not a country music aficionado, don’t let the word “Country” in the title keep you from digging in to this one. It’s really a great lesson.
Yeah, I wasn’t really sure what to call it. It’s not country, it’s not blues. It’s not jazz, rock, etc. It’s somewhere between country and blues though.
Kip M says
Actually … the genre “Country” when referred to radio is misleading in and of itself. This lesson is appropriately named Country/Blues. It’s a great lesson and one I can really dig. Labels can be deceiving but picking the guitar is the real deal. Thanks for the lesson.
It’s funny how us humans like to label things so we can organize the world into neat little boxes. This is a great mix of genres that reminds us good things don’t need to come in a single package 🙂
On a less philosophic note, the lesson also reminded me that I suck at picking alternate base notes 🙂
David R says
It’s exactly what I would categorize as Alt. Country!
Reminds Me Tony RIce..I like it..was watching Tony RIce Church street blues after this
Todd H says
Puts me in mind of something Chris Stapleton would do, or maybe Steeledrivers, that’s a good thing, my ears love it
Eric J says
I agree with you .
To me, in some places it sounds kind of “Irish” . Amazing. Beautiful tune.
Oh, and the chord at 8:05 brought back instant memories of “From the Beginning” by Emerson, Lake & Palmer 🙂
“From the beginning” – awesome guitar song. Yes, that chord is in that song (with the open 1 string)
Great lesson Brian….I hear Steve Earle in there…..
Yeah man – definitely Steve Earle in there – I hadn’t even thought of that, but I love the way that Steve plays.
Kip M says
The Steve Earle method of finger picking would be a great lesson and I often get “cross ways” as Steve mostly uses 2 fingers to pick and I use mostly 3 so every once in awhile when playing his songs I get a finger tangled up … LOL … but it’s fun.
I love this one Brian Thanks
Another Beauty Brian!!Copperhead Road will now be enhanced as I advance!Have a Great Xmas Barry
Tom Van Bladel says
This is why I love this site. To find these little treasures, not every week – some of them are not my style, but that’s ok, but every now and then these beauties show up. I gues everyone has thas feeling, each in their own style, and that’s why we appreciate all your efforts., Brian. To me, I’m very pleased with this mix of styles. I’m looking forward to it every Saturday morning, like a 46 year old child opening gifts from under the Christmas tree. I am so grateful for that. Thank you!
alvin sears says
awesome again Brian….thank you!
If you learn E phrygian all the notes are there as it is all in C major – is it not?
Really cool tune Brian I can hear bits of acoustic Jimmy Page in there, your right about the opening you just keep playing it very simple but grabs your attention and sucks you in there. Cheers mate
Brian, now you have me putting up my Les Paul and or strat and putting the acoustic in my hands.
This is the perfect lesson with a smokey sound that haunts your soul. GOD BLESS YOU !
Don D. says
Great sound, thank you, Brian! Reminds me of “The Chain,” Fleetwood Mac.
Michael Allen says
I love it / Thanks Brian
Philip m says
Nice arrangement. Thank you.
Another great one. I would also like to see this version in drop D. It opens up some cool solo rhythm fills with the fifth and six strings
Great Lesson!! Love those acoustic solo songs. Thanks.
VERDIER G says
I am fan of acoustic guitar, this lesson is super; merry christmas
Thanks Brian for sharing this beauty
old man says
Great lesson!!also really enjoy the variety of lessons. For me Doc Watson came to mind on measure 16 and 17 of the start of the C chord.
Great stuff. Normally into Clapton Page and Stones, but this was great Happy Christmas to all.
A great lesson Brian. Can’t help but think of the Allman’s Midnight Rider riff in this song. The D5 is a great go to chord.
Steve W says
Great lesson to finish the year off Brian More acoustic country blues in 2016 please
I am really enjoying this lesson! After it came out yesterday, I spent well over an hour, nonstop just learning and enjoying it. Great sounding lesson and not extremely difficult. After taking a break, I added drop D, than double drop D, palm muting and dynamics. Love this lesson Brian, thank you!
Kevin GA says
Great Christmas present for us all Brian ! Thanks for posting and seasons greetings to you and your family.
Man! Brian, you’ve hit everything that I’ve wanted to learn on guitar right on the nail, That is why I will continue being a member of Active Melody. I can’t wait to dig into this awesome country blues lesson.
From the Beginning……Greg Lake…..Hello it’s me…….Todd Rundgren…..Old Lang Syne by the late great Dan Fogelberg……….mellow and haunting break up tunes………”From the beginning” in my mind has the greatest two jamming chords in the history of acoustic guitar……..basically a form of an A chord and the open C chord moved up three frets……….if these songs don’t stir up haunting long lost loves mellowness in most of us…….nothing will. The cool thing here of course is how Brian can do his spin on a dime and go from some pretty cool upbeat jammin’ blues for several weeks and then get us all introspective with this cool acoustic lesson…………and again. we can jam for hours with the direction Brian’s laid out with this latest tune!!
I can’t stop playing this! Haunting and Intoxicating. I have been working on this ALL day! So good!
Love the Celtic/Appalachian sound of this original tune…bluegrass meets the blues. Many thanks and happy holidays to you and your love ones.
Thanks again Brian, merry Christmas to you & yours
love that piece , you are right intoxicating !!!
George C says
I am really enjoying these lessons. I am very happy to be a premium member of active melody. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Kevin A. says
Thanks for adding the music notation. Without it I wouldn’t have figured out the rhythm.
Cool cool lesson.
Michael J says
Merry Christmas to yourself & the family, Brian. Just appreciate so much what you’ve given me and everyone else over the journey. A Happy and Healthy 2016 to you all, and already looking forward to next year’s new stuff.
dennis k says
Hi Brian. Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year. Your teaching is by far the best I have experienced and with this lesson, it really opens many doors and whilst I have been playing what I thought was OK, nothing compares to you!!! take care, love the family and friends as you have many!
Thanks Brian. Good review piece for an ‘ol’ time player’ like me!
Howard B says
Great lesson, thanks and ready to hear more. Merry Christmas everyone!
gary m says
Morning brian . merry christmas everebody.
Gary here from NZ. Its christmas day here. I just had to get up early before the family woke up to do this one.
Every now and again you put a lesson up that I cant wait to get my hands on and this is one of those lessons.
good stuff. Thanks for the christmas present.
Reminds me in some way Allman’s Midnight Rider.
OK, Brian. Great song. Being a “not so good” banjo picker, it reminds me of a banjo tunes I have played. Question now….. I have been messing with this tune in drop-D. How would you do the rhythm differently in that tuning?
Thank you Brian. I really enjoy this type of music.
I’d do it the same in Drop D – just hitting that bottom D every other time
Brian this is a fantastic lesson! I would love to see more like it. This and the bluesy jingle bells are my two favorite lessons from you. Keep up the great work!
I think the drop D version does sound interesting as well.
Your lessons have been a blessing to me. I have learned so much from you. I like that you explain not only the licks but the principles which allows me to create my own licks. Your teachings have inspired me to write several songs which I have recorded.
Michael S says
Super thank`s Brian, please show me more like this
k.r. from Austria
Happy New Year Brian
Another great lesson that I love. I’m assuming this lesson is in the key of D. I’m really trying to understand chord progressions more . Although this works and sounds great I don’t understand why.
PS. Why do you so dislike the Taylor you play in this lesson
Tom l says
Thank YOU !
I got my fingers around this one more quickly than some other lessons. It lends itself to drop D, and you can also try lots of other variations of licks in D and C.
George K says
Hello Brian great arrangement and note combination here, like it. In fact your whole site is brill, top man and a top guitar teacher you’re one in a million.
Best wishes and a happy new year to you and your family.
George (Newark, Nottinghamshire. UK)
Pete Lee says
I love this! I’m not too good with a pick and a finger picking arrangement works well, but it loses that nice twang that I think is so important in this piece. I’ll keep plugging away with the plastic. Thanks again Brian for pushing me along.
Aaron P. says
Another amazing lesson Brian! I love your taste in music and I take so much from each lesson. I love this lesson because I often get into a rhythm rut of just strumming the same old patterns. This lesson helped me learn how to pick out chords and improvise with fill in licks. Thanks for all you do!
Really great. Even a rotten player like me can manage to sound good! I don’t like playing finger style and these with pick/without accompaniment lessons are great.
Clarence 'riverbank' Johnson says
Yeah cool. I want more like this – i’m still only a novice really on the guitar but can just get this sounding nice now! what’s anyone gone to similar to this?
Harry H says
The more I learn and practice this, the more I love it and realise that I have eventually found my musical style to follow. Big thumbs up from the UK.
T. Frolicker says
Just went back to this one last week. It sounds great when played slowly and languidly.
T. Frolicker says
And I can add a lot of the previously-learned licks to it.
eyal r says
you are amazing, keep it up!!
Chris S says
Just started working on this one , love It..
Paul M says
This has got a banjo roll feel to it. You’re right it is intoxicating and you just want to keep rolling with it! Awesome lesson!
Steven D says
Hi, any members in the Charlotte area interested in getting together to practice please let me know. Thanks
Patrick R says
I love this one, after watching the David Rawlings lessons I feel I blend the two of these please let me know what else you have along these two lines.
I hear a bit of celtic in mixolydian .major minor pentatonic scales in key of D
Jeff H says
Interesting, all the artists and styles people are hearing in this. What I flashed on was Neil Young’s “New Mama”, at least the first few bars. At any rate, excellent tune and one I think I can tackle. Thanks again, Brian.
Jeff S says
Great song! There is such a wealth of material here, I recently upgraded to a yearly membership and have no regrets. My only problem is I’m violating my resolution to focus on learning a song start to finish before taking on a new one- there’s so much stuff here I want to learn!
Paul D says
Brian as a recent subscriber I cant thank you enough for how I enjoy your site. I stumbled across this lesson EP131 which highlights your plectrum picking technique. I note you use what I would call a closed fist technique to hold the plectrum with the index finger pointing across the plectrum. Other teachers would recommend a more open hand technique and where picking using the pinkie to rest on the guitar as an anchor with the index finger finger point down the pick, like holding a pencil. Interested in your thoughts and whether you have a lesson on this.
Hey Paul, you may be correct on this. My fingers aren’t very long and I”ve never felt comfortable trying to anchor them with my right hand. I see fingerstyle players doing that but not using a pick as much.
Dan P says
Hello Brian. Love this one. Two things – Is there a lesson in Drop D and what model is your Taylor.
Here are 3 Drop D lessons – https://www.activemelody.com/lessons/?_sf_s=drop%20d
Joe Z says
I absolutely love this lesson, starting part 2. Brian you’re right that the rhythm is “mesmerizing” I’ll pick up my guitar just to play that rhythm. Thank you
Todd H says
Great great lesson
I put this in my folder marked “Come Back To” as I was working on other lessons. I’m so glad I came back to it, it is wonderful…..and of course the longer I keep working these lesson, the less time it takes me to come back to this folder……..
Can’t get this tune out of my head! Thank you for another great lesson!
I added a little twist in the 6th bar to make it more country- pull off 3rd string 4th fret to 2nd fret (B to G) then bend the 4th string 3rd fret up a half step the pull off to open to make it more country (minor third bent to major third then pull to D).
Thomas M says
Right On Time!!! Thanks Brian!!!