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Southern Rock Guitar

Southern Rock Guitar History

The southern rock guitar style combines a blend of blues, some jazz, bluegrass, country and rock guitar all into one. From the sing along favorites by Lynyrd Skynyrd that include intense rock lead guitar solo's, to the kick up your heels boogie woogie sounds of Charlie Daniels, southern rock music has been one most versatile music styles created in music history. This lesson contains the main song parts to top hit southern rock songs taught using easy to learn guitar tabs and guitar chords. Some of the lessons include featured guitar licks from the actual guitar solo's.
The Southern Rock Guitar "Twang" String Bend Lynyrd Skynyrd * Gimme Me Three Steps This portion of this lesson demonstrates how southern rock guitar licks are composed from major pentatonic scales. Although the minor scales are also commonly used, it's the major pentatonic scale that gives the southern rock country twang guitar sound. This lesson will clearly demonstrate this in sound by applying these simple string bends. It's the 2nd note (interval) which the string bend most often occurs to produce this sound.Use your ring finger to make the bend, while using the pinky finger to barre the 2 small strings. Strike (pick) all 3 notes, bending only the G string using your ring finger, then after the bend, returning to the tonic note. This scale often sounds best used this way. D Pentatonic Minor Scale D E F# A B D E F# A B D e :-----------------|------7-10-------|-----------------| B :-----------------|-7-10------------|-----------------| G :------------7-9--|-----------------|-----------------| D :--------7-9------|-----------------|-----------------| A :----7-9----------|-----------------|-----------------| E :-10--------------|-----------------|-----------------| Southern Rock Guitar String Bend f rel e :---10------------|-----------------|-----------------| B :---10------------|-----------------|-----------------| G :-9------(9-)-----|----7------------|-----------------| D :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| A :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| E :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| Guitar Practice Tip: Try moving this from D major pentatonic to A major pentatonic to demonstrate in sound the southern rock guitar sound that occurs in the song Gimme Three Steps by Lynyrd Skynyrd Twang Bends Part 2 The Actual "Twang" String Bend This section is focused on showing you the 3 most common types of "twang" string bends that are derived from the G major pentatonic scale.Example #1 shows making the string bend, then playing the barred notes at the 3rd fret of the B and small e string, while example #2 shows a slight different variation, by playing all 3 strings at once, while you make the string bend. Example #3 demonstrates playing all 3 strings, as you once again make the string bend, then releasing the bend so that the note returns to its normal pitch, then making a pull-off to the tonic note, G. Examples 4,5 and 6 demonstrate the same techniques in the octave position. #1 #2 #3 f f f. rel.p f e :----3------3-----|----3------------|-----15----------| B :----3------3-----|----3------------|-----15----------| G :-2------(2)------|-(2)---(2)----0--|-14--------------| D :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| A :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| E :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| #5 #6 f f. rel.p e :------15---------|-----15----------|-----------------| B :------15---------|-----15----------|-----------------| G :-(14)------------|-(14)-----(14)---|-12--------------| D :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| A :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| E :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| Adding "Twang" To Scale Combinations This lick is a quality example of how to combine the major diatonic scale with the major pentatonic scale, while adding techniques to help gain speed and adding the "twang" sound to your playing. This lick is in the key of G major. h h h h h h h h h h p p p p e :-----------------|-----------2-3-5-|-3-0-------------| B :-----------------|-------3-5-------|-----3-0---------| G :-----------------|-2-4-5-----------|---------2-0-----| D :-----------2-4-5-|-----------------|-------------2-0-| A :-----2-3-5-------|-----------------|-----------------| E :-3-5-------------|-----------------|-----------------| f.hold bend f. rel.p e :--------------3--|----3------------|-----------3-----| B :--------------3--|----3------------|-----------3-----| G :-2---------------|-(2)----(2)------|-0---------0-----| D :-----------------|-----------------|-----------0-----| A :-----------------|-----------------|-----------2-----| E :-----------------|-----------------|-----------3-----| Improvising Southern Rock Lead Guitar Solos Although good southern rock lead guitar solos may consist of many elements and scale variations and combinations, often they may also include the most basic of elements. One of the basic scales which is a good element to begin improvising with is the major pentatonic scale. This scale is famous for it's "southern twang" sound. The twang sound comes from making a string bend on the 2nd interval. In the key of G (as shown below), this would make the "twang bend" occur on the note B. It's also a good practice to combine various forms and shapes of box scales and ascedning and descending runs. Example #1 shows the G major pentatonic in the open position. Example #2 shows a combination of the ascending run with the box scale shape. Lessons that follow will give examples of guitar licks that you can learn to begin to experiment with improvising southern rock lead guitar. Example #1 Example #2 G A B D E G A B D E G G A B D E e :-----------------|-----0-3---------|-----------------| B :-----------------|-0-3-------------|-----------------| G :-----------0-2---|-----------------|-----------------| D :-------0-2-------|-----------------|----------12-14--| A :---0-2-----------|-----------------|-10-12-14--------| E :-3---------------|-----------------|-----------------| G A B D E G e :-----------------|-12-15-----------|-----------------| B :-------12-15-----|-----------------|-----------------| G :-12-14-----------|-----------------|-----------------| D :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| A :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| E :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| Review: Pentatonic is defined as; Pent=5 Tonic=Notes Meaning that it is a 5 note scale. The same 5 notes may repeat in order as shown above. Allman Brothers * One Way Out This lesson is a very important tool known as a 3 scale progression. Many artist and groups have composed and written number one hit songs using this tool. The basic outline for composing or creating guitar licks may consist of using the formula of 3 (major or minor) pentatonic scales. This lesson teaches this theory in the key of A. Example #1 demonstrates the 3 scales that are used (A,D, and E pentatonic minor)and their most common arrangement for composing and creating guitar riffs and licks. Example #2 shows the actual opening lead guitar lick from this song, which follows in order in the form of a 3 scale progression. Example #1 * Scales A D A A C D E G A D F G A C D A C D E G A e :-----------------|-----------8-10--|-----------------| B :----------8-10---|------8-10-------|----------8-10---| G :------7-9--------|-7-10------------|------7-9--------| D :-7-10------------|-----------------|-7-10------------| A :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| E :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| E D A E G A B D E D F G A C D A C D E G A e :------------10-12|-----------8-10--|-----------------| B :------10-12------|------8-10-------|----------8-10---| G :-9-12------------|-7-10------------|------7-9--------| D :-----------------|-----------------|-7-10------------| A :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| E :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| Example #2 p e :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| B :-10-10-10-8------|-10-10---8-8-10--|-10--------------| G :------------9----|-------9---------|-----------------| D :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| A :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| E :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| p e :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| B :----10--10-8-----|---10------------|-----------------| G :-----------------|-9---------------|-----------------| D :-7---------------|-----------------|-----------------| A :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| E :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
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