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Electric Country Guitar Lessons: Luther Perkins Style

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Okay, now that we've covered a little bit
of an intro into the kind
of Luther Perkins style of
rhythm playing,
this is just something to touch on.
It's a cool rhythm style and
it's pretty based in the traditions
of Johnny Cash, one of the great
country artists of all time.
And I was lucky enough to play with his
bass player in Nashville for a long time.
He's actually on his backing tracks
that we're gonna incorporate here and
do some stuff soon, but
very interesting and what a character.
And his guitar player is very famous for
this style.
And we're gonna have some fun here.
We're gonna get into some more musical
stuff after having done some serious
fundamentals and covering a lot
of stuff that's very important.
So it's serious and
it's stuff that you'll have to work on and
really take some time to get into.
But once you get over these
humps with these things,
the fun is gonna to start coming and we're
gonna start making some music here and
learn some really awesome concepts and
styles and techniques for
the country aspects of electric guitar,
which are gonna be a lot of fun.
And right now,
I wanna get into some of just a couple
little exercises and
I think we're just gonna do two
cuz this works best as a basic
level in the keys of E and A.
And what we're gonna do right now
is we've covered the left hand for
the Luther Perkins style.
And what we're gonna do now is, we
are gonna get into the right hand of what
makes this such a cool rhythm pattern.
And there's a lot of stuff that can
come from this once you get this down.
There's a lot of cool
syncopations that you can do
that we'll get into in the next
segments of this curriculum.
So with that being said,
we're gonna get into exercise one here,
which will just be getting the alternating
picking patterns of the right hand down.
And it's a little tricky,
but it's not hard.
And the main thing too is to
keep in mind that you wanna
focus on keeping that muting happening.
And to expand on that just a little bit,
when you're muting with your right hand,
everything that we're doing here with
this lesson plan should be relaxed.
that's the key word to the whole
thing is don't stiffen up.
That's the main thing I
could keep saying over and
over again with all this
is just keep it loose.
Keep it fun, keep it from being stressful,
tense, any of those words.
So with that being said, we're gonna
lightly mute with the right hand and
you almost don't even
have to think about it.
Just lay it there and then this,
your right hand is gonna be anchored there
a little bit more than normal
because you are muting.
But don't let that hold you up.
This still's gonna have
a nice easy flow to it and
the sound we're going for is this
where you're hitting the low E string
And then, you're hitting
that the middle octave of E,
which is the first finger E right
there that we've been going over.
And you're barring the B string,
so you're focusing on these three,
the three wound low strings of the guitar.
So you're gonna go down [SOUND],
down again [SOUND].
And then,
you're gonna go down on the B string.
So you're gonna go E [SOUND],
high E again [SOUND],
and then low E [SOUND].
So you're gonna go [SOUND].
So that's the basic pattern for
this Luther Perkins style.
And I'll do it one more time and
you can do it with me.
It's very simple, but
there is a pattern there.
And it's E, [SOUND] downstroke.
E again, downstroke [SOUND],
B downstroke [SOUND],
E again [SOUND] downstroke,
and then low E again [SOUND].
So that's [SOUND] all downstrokes and
something that I just realized
while I'm sitting here,
this is maybe slightly advanced or
not, it's just an effect thing,
not really a playing thing.
Part of the cool thing with this muting
sound is when you mute like this and
you play this style, [SOUND] you can
hear the reverb as I play these notes.
When you mute like that it
makes the reverb more enhanced,
which I think is really cool.
And it's a cool effect that
happens when you do this, and
I'll do it again, but
that's something you can focus on.
I love using reverb, and
we're going to get into effects and
all that kind of stuff
a little bit later on, but
it's great to have a Fender amp with
a really nice spring reverb for this.
It's making me think about it right now
cuz it sounds nice coming out of here, but
this is that effect.
You can hear that reverb trailing
off [SOUND], I think that's pretty cool.
So now we're gonna do it in A,
we're just gonna do the same pattern in A.
And you know what,
first play along with me real quick.
We'll do this,
so one, two,
three, four
Now we will do it again
a little bit slower, one,
two, three, four
That's the basic
Luther Perkins style rhythm.
Now we're gonna do the same thing in A and
that's gonna sound like this
And I'll get you to play along with
me with that two, just once or twice.
So we'll do this in A,
one, two, three,
We'll do that one more time,
a little bit slower, one,
two, three, four
Okay, that's the basic pattern.
What I'm gonna show you now is
the same exact thing, but we're gonna
add the double attack on the right hand,
and that's gonna sound like this.
That's gonna give it this sound.
The syncopated sound.
That sounds like this in E.
It's going to sound like this.
Now, what that is is I'm doing
downstrokes like we
just did with the basic
pattern but on the high octave of the E,
I'm doing a down, up, down.
So that's gonna look like this.
Down, [SOUND].
Down, up.
[SOUND] Down on the B string,
I mean on the A string on the B note.
Down up again, and then [SOUND] Low E.
So that's gonna be
So it's down, [SOUND].
Down up, down,
down up, down so
and that's gonna sound
like this up to tempo
Okay, and now one thing I'm doing
that's a little hard to explain,
but it's happening here,
is there's a rhythm and
a groove going on here that's implied.
And it's a right hand thing but
I'm hitting this low E string pretty hard,
and letting it ring a little bit.
I'm still muting, but it's like
the foundation of this lick or riff.
So I'm hitting this low E string
And that's the accent.
I'm accenting on the downbeat
And I'm accenting pretty heavy on
the downbeat of that B
note on the first fret.
So I'm going
Cuz the bass would be going,
So I'm going,
And you can hear that.
When I'm doing the down up,
That's almost an accent, in between
the harder hitting, more accented downbeat
so of the low E string and the B string.
And that's what creates the coolness and
the feel and
the groove of that lick and
it's that what I just described,
it's accenting those two down beats.
And that to me is what makes this really
cool and it's fun I mean this is,
it's a fun lick and a fun rhythm thing
to play if you're doing some old
style country music because you
can groove so hard with this lick.
I mean it's just a fun rhythm
pattern to play and so
that's the style it's down,
down, up, down.
Down up down.
And not to take a lot of time on this, but
it's the same thing in A.
You just move everything down one string.
So we're gonna go
We're gonna go to A and
it's gonna be the same exact pattern.
Back to E.
I'll get into changing some
chords in the minute here too.
So play that along with me and
we'll move on.
So in E we'll do the Luther Perkins with
the syncopated octave on the high E.
So here we go.
One, two, three, four
And I'll do it again a little bit slower,
one, two, three, four.
now we're gonna move on.