This lesson takes a look at the Bakersfield country guitar style. The Bakersfield sound is one that developed as a response to the over produced pop country sounds coming out of Nashville. Instead of lush orchestral arrangements, Bakersfield country focused on small groups playing the music straight from the honky tonks. The electric guitar tone comes the combination of a clean blackface style guitar amp with lots of picking near the bridge to get a bright, cutting guitar sound. This solo will teach you to play guitar licks in the style of famous Bakersfield sound groups like Buck Owens and the Buckaroos and Merle Haggard and the Strangers.

The solo begins with a pickup and two phrases using the E minor pentatonic scale. The guitar playing in this style of music is normally quite simple and straightforward. Muted notes can be used throughout your playing on upbeats to add more drive to your rhythm and solo. Pick close to the bridge to get that bright, authentic Bakersfield guitar tone.

The second lick is over the transition from the B chord back to the E chord. Over the B chord, hammer-on from the open D string to the D# (the 3rd of B major). Much like in electric blues guitar playing, you can give a slight bend to the G notes on the E string (3rd fret).

The third idea is a minor pentatonic bending phrase. Just like the previous licks, continue picking near the bridge for the bending ideas. In the third bar there is a double stop as well as another example of using muted notes.

The final phrase of the solo is a hybrid picked idea. For the first two bars, use the pick to strike the notes on the D string. Use your middle and ring finger to strike the notes on the G and B strings. Because hybrid picking can be uncomfortable to do near the bridge, I usually move my picking hand closer to the middle of the body. Move the picking hand back to the bridge for the last two bars.

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