Guitar Styles - Folk & Country

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Writing Country Songs Plain and Simple

Country music prides itself on being the heartbeat of the working class. The common messages and plain language ("Write it like you talk it" is a popular saying among country songwriters) of its song lyrics [more…]

What is Carter-Style Guitar Playing?

Carter-style playing is a guitar picking style named after the famous Carter family, whose members included June Carter, “Mother” Maybelle, and “Uncle” A.P. To play Carter style, you play the melody on [more…]

How to Play Travis Picking on Guitar

One of the most popular fingerstyle folk guitar techniques is known as Travis picking. By learning how to use the Travis picking technique on guitar, you can add interest when you play not only folk music [more…]

How to Create a Travis Guitar Picking Pattern

The Travis picking pattern is one of the most popular folk guitar techniques; however, creating a Travis picking pattern is fairly complex. Create different Travis patterns by varying the timing that you [more…]

Guitar Tablature: "Freight Train"

"Freight Train" is a short folk guitar piece that employs a technique known as a bass run. This technique is a single-note line — played by the thumb — that leads to the next chord and serves to break [more…]

Guitar Tablature: "House of the Rising Sun"

"The House of the Rising Sun" is traditional American folk song that tells the tale of a wasted life in New Orleans. The most famous version was recorded in 1964 by the English rock group The Animals. [more…]

Guitar Tablature: "The Cruel War Is Raging"

"The Cruel War is Raging" is an American folk song about a soldier during the Civil War. To play “The Cruel War Is Raging” on guitar, you need to know how to play the “lullaby” pattern; how to finger basic [more…]

Guitar Tablature: "All My Trials"

The song "All My Trials" was a social protest folk song during 1950s and 1960s. To play “All My Trials” on guitar, you need to know how to play a Travis-style accompaniment; how to play hammer-ons; and [more…]

Guitar Tablature: "The Three Ravens"

If you’re old enough, you may recognize “The Three Ravens” from the Peter, Paul, and Mary version of this folk song. Playing "The Three Ravens" on guitar gives you a chance to practice your harmonic minor [more…]

How to Tackle the Folk Guitar Thumb-Brush Technique

The thumb-brush technique is an accompaniment pattern that has a "boom-chick" sound. Here, the thumb plays normally (plucking a bass string downward), but the fingers strike [more…]

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