very difficult—if not impossible—to find a country band
without a guitar or guitars. In fact, guitar is one of the
most popular instruments to accompany countless country
songs since country music was born in the 1920s. As you
listen to CDs or go to concerts, you will notice what a
prominent role the guitar plays in accompanying many country
songs. Guitar accompaniment is not only important, but also
one of the most enjoyable aspects of learning country
guitar. With this book, the beginning student can learn
gradually and systematically how to play the basic guitar
chords and accompaniment styles typically used in country
Chapter 1 reviews such
basics as the parts of the guitar, tuning, and basic music
notation and theory.
Chapter 2 introduces the
basic guitar chords and the accompaniment style called strumming.
You will first learn some of the most common guitar chord
forms and how to read and play simple rhythms. You will then
learn barre chords and how to transpose the basic
chords to different keys along the fingerboard.
Chapter 3 introduces an
important song form imported directly from blues music and
often played in country music—the 12-bar blues. You
will learn the basic 12-bar blues and its variations, along
with new strumming patterns. The last section discusses a
convenient device often used by country musicians, called a capo.
Chapter 4 fully discusses
one of the most important country-guitar accompaniment
styles, called the Carter style or Carter scratch,
invented and popularized by a country hall-of-famer,
Maybelle Carter of the Carter Family.
Chapter 5 presents one of
the oldest and most popular accompaniment styles, one which
predominantly uses fingers—fingerstyle. You will
learn some of the basic fingerstyles used in country music,
including arpeggios and Travis- or
Chapter 6 first introduces
some new guitar chords that are often used in contemporary
country music. Then it presents other country accompaniment
styles, such as country riffs and boogie-woogie.
The last section discusses alternative or open
Throughout the book,
various music examples and sample songs are included to show
how basic guitar chords, accompaniment patterns and styles,
and various techniques can be brought together to make up an
accompaniment. Similarly, I highly encourage you to create
as many of your own accompaniment examples as possible.
Lastly, this book presents many of the guitar chords and
accompaniment styles commonly heard in country music. If you
are interested in learning other guitar chords and
accompaniment styles, however, you can refer to the other
books in the Guitar Chords and Accompaniment Series.
(See page 126 in this book.)
Good luck! I sincerely hope you have lots
of fun learning some of the most interesting aspects of
country guitar while working with this book!