The trick with music theory is to break everything down into
baby-step i.e., guitar scales for country music, guitar scales
for bluegrass music, guitar scales for jazz music, guitar scales
for rock music.
Let's say your primary style of music is country music. we could
subdivide the subject of music theory into: what guitar scales
for country, what chord progressions for country, what style of
country music, what guitar techniques for country.
What guitar scales for country:
major pentatonic, major diatonic, cascading scales ...
What chord progressions for country:
two chord songs, three chord songs, four chord songs ...
What style of country music:
Traditional country, modern country, country rock ...
What guitar techniques for country:
Hammer-on's, pull-off's, bends, slides ...
As you zero in on the specific skills you need to learn the
complex subject of music theory becomes a lot less stressful
and much more achievable.
By dividing and sub diving any complex subject you also learn how
to accelerate your progress on guitar. The scales you would
learn for country guitar would be determined by what style of
country music you intended to play.
Instead of just saying "I want to play country guitar", if you
are prepared to dig a little deeper, you will decrease the amount
of information and skills you need to acquire by looking at each
area of country guitar playing i.e., chord progressions, if you
predominately played three chord songs in the keys of G and D,
you would only have to learn four chord shapes.
Three chord songs in key of G: G - C - D
Three chord songs in key of D: D - G - A
Although country guitar has spawned no shortage of modern greats
(Albert Lee, Ray Flacke, Danny Gatton, and the Hellecasters come
quickly to mind, although there are many others) in general,
however the music buying public doesn't really know how hip and
entertaining instrumental country guitar is.
Here's ten top country guitarists to get listening for specific
country guitar playing techniques.
1. Chet Atkins
2. Merle Travis
3. Jerry Reed
4. Roy Clark
5. Hank Garland
6. Albert Lee
7. Maybelle Carter
8. Doc Watson
9. Norman Blake
10. Tony Rice
The classic electric guitar sound for country music is
characterized by the undistorted sound of single-coil guitar
pickups, usually a Fender Telecaster or Fender Stratocaster, and
the employment of fairly undistorted amplification most often a
Fender Twin Reverb 100watt amp.
Guitar scales for country music are: major Pentatonic, major
diatonic, and to a lesser degree the minor pentatonic scale and
the blues scale.
The most popular guitar scales for country music are without
doubt the major pentatonic. the two most common ways of playing
this scale for country music is :
A major pentatonic scale (PATTERN 1)
sixth string, fifth fret, fourth finger
fifth string, second fret, first finger
fifth string, fourth fret, third finger
fourth string, second fret, first finger
fourth string, fourth fret, third finger
third string, second fret, first finger
third string, fourth fret, third finger
second string, second fret, first finger
second string, fifth fret, fourth finger
first string, second fret, first finger
first string, fifth fret, fourth finger
A major pentatonic scale (PATTERN 2)
sixth string, fifth fret, first finger
sixth string, seventh fret, third finger
sixth string, ninth fret, third finger
fifth string, seventh fret, first finger
fifth string, ninth fret, third finger
fourth string, seventh fret, first finger
fourth string, ninth fret, third finger
fourth string, eleventh fret, third finger
third string, ninth fret, first finger
third string, eleventh fret, third finger
second string, tenth fret, second finger
The fingering for the A major pentatonic scale (pattern 2) may
seem a little unusual at first, however with a little practice,
it will work out fine.
Both these patterns feature the same notes in the same
sequence, if you play each scale slowly and listen carefully you
will notice however a tone from certain notes, this is because
the notes are being playing on different strings resulting in a
different tone. Thicker strings produce a more mellow tone.
By learning these guitar scales for country guitar you will soon
be playing your favorite country guitar sounds.
About the Author:
Mike Hayes is a teacher, author, speaker and consultant. Get his
tips and tested strategies proven to boost your guitar playing
visit his membership site at