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Electric Country Guitar Lessons: “Lonesome On'ry and Mean”

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Country Guitar with Guthrie Trapp. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Electric Country Guitar Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

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[MUSIC]
So that was Lonesome,
On'ry and Mean by Waylon Jennings,
classic country song.
Man, Waylon was the best.
His half time feels for
those songs were such a blast to play.
There was some cool stuff on there.
I love the old country stuff, man.
Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash,
George Jones, Ray Price shuffles.
I mean, we're gonna get into
a lot of this cool stuff.
So this song is in D and it's using
a C chord that we didn't go over,
and I wanna introduce that right now.
So we're gonna go D and then the C
chord that we're playing on this song,
the C is gonna be the flat
seven of this song.
So that's one, two, three,
four, five, six, seven.
Flat the seven, that's your C.
So that's what makes kind of like,
makes a bluesy sound.
So if you're wondering why this song has
a little bit of a bluesy feel to it,
it's because that C is the flat
seven going to the G to
the one which makes this
song a blast to play over.
So what we'll do is I'm gonna
show you that C chord right now.
So we're going from D to this C
chord which is the bottom half of or
rather the top half of G
which is just your little
finger on the third fret
of the high E string,
your ring finger on the third
fret of the B string and
then your middle finger is on
the third fret of the low E string.
Excuse me the A string.
What I'm saying is this chord is
basically this part of a G chord, but
we're moving the base note
from G down here to C.
And what that does is creates this
chord that's, there's no thirds in it.
So there's none of that or that.
So it's a C, but
with a G in this in this top portion here.
So and
it's gonna be a fast change in this song.
So it's a little bit more advanced
as far as changing chords.
We're gonna move a little quicker here.
So with that being said,
this change is going to be D to this C and
then the G is gonna be,
you don't even have to move these.
These are gonna stay there and
this middle finger is just
gonna go from C to the G note,
which is the third fret
of the low E string.
So it's kind of a cool chord.
You hear it a lot in pop country
music in songwriting where they
don't want the most literal C chord.
They just go,
I'm getting off track a little bit just
to give you the sound of this chord.
[MUSIC]
You might hear that in an Eagles song or
something like that,
more of a singer songwriter kinda stuff.
So anyway, that's the different
kind of a version of a C chord and
that's the one we're gonna
be using in this song.
So with that being said,
this song starts out with the C chord.
It starts on the flat seven, which is C.
So it goes.
[MUSIC]
So those at the front.
Those are called we call those diamonds
in Nashville on the number system.
So if I was looking at a chart,
the first chord would be not circled.
But in a diamond and
that means just play one long note.
So it would be like one, two, three, four.
One, two, three, four and
then you are into the song.
So that's how this song starts and
then it goes into the strum as
soon as you get to the D chord.
So and this strum as I started doing,
you can do this for a couple of different
ways since the drums in this tune
are doing this half time kinda feel.
It's perfectly okay just
strum down strokes and go.
[MUSIC]
That's
the
demonstration
of that.
You can see that these chords are changing
a little faster once it goes.
[MUSIC]
And that's gonna take
a little bit of practice.
But the good news is with these two
chords, these two fingers can stay there.
They can stay right there.
So all you're moving is
a quick little move.
So this is getting one strum and
then the G is getting a full strum.
So that this is just a quick little
split bar, which is these are getting.
So this is one, two, three, four.
One, two.
One, two, one.
So that's called a split bar and we'll
get into more of that stuff as we look at
the number system, and all of that.
So this is just a quick change from C,
G and then back to D.
So if you listen to this, this sounds
really simple and boring right now.
This down stroke.
But if you listen to that with the drums
and the bass and the acoustic guitar,
it works and it kinda clears out of
the way of some of these other things and
makes a really nice rhythm pattern.
The other thing you can do
with this song is you can
add a little bit of
accents to your strumming.
Now, we haven't talked
a lot about strumming.
Because unless it's a song like this,
you don't do a whole lot of full
strumming in electric country rhythm.
I mean, you can and
we might get into some of that later.
But for now, that's not something
that you run across very often.
You're doing more kind of like syncopated
rhythm things with your fingers and stuff,
and we're gonna get into all
that too in later lessons.
But for now, this is a good place
to start with this rhythm stuff.
So when you're strumming,
I'm hitting this bass note.
[MUSIC]
So I'm going.
[MUSIC]
So I'm hitting the D bass note one time
and then strumming all
four of these strings.
So I'm going.
[MUSIC]
So I'm hitting it once and
strumming twice.
[MUSIC]
So that's the pattern for that.
So it's.
[MUSIC]
With that being said, if you wanna add
a little bit of flair
to that rhythm pattern,
you can do this pattern that's
a little more like this.
[SOUND] Excuse me.
[MUSIC]
When I'm doing this,
I'm going down.
[MUSIC]
And then down up.
So I'm going.
[MUSIC]
And I'm catching those light strings.
I'm catching these higher strings.
I'm catching them lightly on the way up.
So I'm going.
[MUSIC]
And I'm just barely
catching those coming back up.
So I'm going.
[MUSIC]
So it's down,
down, and then back up.
So.
[MUSIC]
And you just wanna make
that as even and as smooth, and
light touch as you possibly can.
The harder you dig in,
the more clumsy and buzzy and harsh and
out of tune it's gonna sound.
So also, speaking of out of tune.
The more you strum up here.
[MUSIC]
There's more possibility up here for
it to be overplayed and
start getting out of tune,
because these strings aren't as
tight as I mentioned back here.
The string tension is tighter.
So if you strum an electric
guitar back here,
it gets a much tighter, clearer sound.
[MUSIC]
And it almost has the effect of strumming
an acoustic guitar,
because the strings are thicker.
There's more tension and
it gets kind of loose, and
rubber bandy up here
when you start strumming.
So try to keep that pick almost
in line with the pickup.
It's almost just like that.
[MUSIC]
That's actually a good way to remember
that.
So there's a little strumming
pattern there that you could use on
a song like this.
And so now, what we're gonna do is we're
gonna get into a simple melody for
this song.
So we'll be doing that coming right up.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
We've played through Lonesome,
On'ry and Mean, the great classic
Waylon Jennings country song.
And we've talked about
some rhythm patterns and
some different ways you
can strum along to that.
And the essence of the half time
groove that's so cool with that song.
Now we're just gonna do
a really simple melody
over this song that you can play along to.
So what I wanna start by doing is
we're gonna play a couple of little
notes to just cover the intro.
Which, the intro is just like we did,
it's C to G.
And then,
[MUSIC]
And then right into the tune.
So what we'll do is,
I just want you to play a single note.
And sometimes people call
this Marlboro Man guitar
which is kind of like
low string guitar stuff.
So Marlboro Man style would
be middle pick-up selection.
Both pick-ups together, middle position.
And picking back close to
the bridge to get into this sound.
Like
[MUSIC].
You've heard that a million times,
almost a Duane Eddy kind of sound.
But you're back here by the bridge.
And you're gonna play, you're gonna
dig in a little bit to get this sound.
If you don't,
[MUSIC]
It doesn't have quite the impact.
This is strong music so
you wanna kind of have a little
bit more of an attitude with it.
And really kind of dig in, don't be
afraid to dig into these low notes.
It's almost kind of a bluesy song
with that flat seven chord in there
going back to the one.
And with that cool half time feel it's
a lot of stuff you can do with this song.
What I want you to do is to cover
the C chord which is the first
chord of the song going to G.
We're just gonna outline that chord.
And the first note we're gonna play is
just a C note right along with the chord.
And then we're gonna walk
from the C down to the G,
[MUSIC].
And we're just gonna get this nice,
powerful, bright, clear sound.
Picking back by the bridge, and
a lot of down strokes with this style.
So we're gonna go C with the third fret
on the A string, with the middle finger.
And then we're gonna walk
down to the first finger on
the A string on the second fret.
And then open A to G with the middle
finger on the third fret.
So this riff over this is gonna be
[MUSIC].
That covers this
[MUSIC].
And then so to cover
this chord
[MUSIC].
So when we go to the D we're gonna go, so
we've done this,
[MUSIC]
so that's gonna get us to the D, so
we're just covering the chords.
We're totally outlining the chords, which
you're gonna find further on in these
lessons is my style completely and
how I approach looking at country guitar.
And a lot of people do that because it
makes it sound like you're playing over
the chord changes.
And that's a big part of chicken
picking and developing this style and
getting into what we're gonna
discuss in later lessons.
This completely outlines the chords.
So we're going,
[MUSIC].
So that's,
[MUSIC].
So that last lick,
[MUSIC]
We're hitting the C note again which is
the bluesy note in D.
And we'll discuss more of
that as these lessons go on.
I'm not really getting into any
of the theory of this right now.
We're learning the licks and learning
a little bit of some melody stuff.
So we're gonna bend
down slightly on the C,
[MUSIC]
And then we're gonna hit the D note open.
So we're doing second finger,
third fret on the A string.
The C note,
[MUSIC]
And then open D,
[MUSIC].
And then we're gonna go
right under the C note,
we're gonna hit the F note on
the third fret on the D string.
So we're gonna go,
[MUSIC]
And we're also gonna bend down
a little bit on this F note.
So we're gonna go,
[MUSIC]
Just enough to give it a little bit of
character.
So if we didn't do that,
it would sound like this,
[MUSIC]
Instead of,
[MUSIC].
We're giving it a little bit
more of an attitude there, and
making it a little bit interesting.
Rather than just going,
[MUSIC]
We're
going,
[MUSIC]
And we're drawing that note out
a little bit.
Instead of going,
[MUSIC]
It's,
[MUSIC].
Because it's kind of bluesy,
those are blue notes in D.
So that's that lick.
So it's,
[MUSIC].
And the first words of this
song are on a Greyhound bus so
the melody is a flat line,
so I'm gonna play that.
Over the five note, the five is A and D.
So we'll get to the degree of the scale,
one, two, three, four, five.
So we're gonna start on the five,
cuz that's where the melody starts in D.
[MUSIC]
On a Greyhound bus, so that's that note.
We're gonna start here.
So you've got the intro.
[MUSIC]
So now we're gonna play the melody, and
that's just we're gonna hit twice,
with my right hand we're gonna go.
[MUSIC]
So
down, up and
then three.
So one up, open G,
[MUSIC]
and then back down to the A
[MUSIC].
And we're hitting that three times
because the vocal line is Greyhound bus.
So that's
[MUSIC].
It's like on a Greyhound bus.
That's the melody line.
So, it's that simple.
There's no real intricate
melody to this song.
We're going to do this line here.
We're just going to start on that A note,
and then it's all down strokes.
[MUSIC]
And then we're gonna work from there and
we're gonna go down back to the little
D string blues note, which is F.
We'll hit that.
We'll
go
[MUSIC].
So that second phrase,
here's the first one
[MUSIC].
And then A,
G, open A
[MUSIC].
And then F, slight bend, and then open D.
[MUSIC]
That
covers the D.
And then when it goes to G, we're gonna
start on the A with the middle finger and
we're going to use these strings
down here, the B and the high E.
So, we're gonna go when
it goes to the G chord,
we're gonna go
[MUSIC].
So that lick is A on the second
fret of the G string.
[MUSIC]
C with the first finger on the first fret.
[MUSIC]
D on the third fret with the B string,
ring finger cuz we're staying right here.
The second finger gets a second fret,
the first finger gets the first fret,
the ring finger gets the third fret.
And then the little finger
is open to do either here or
here, whatever you want to do.
With that being said,
we're going second finger
[MUSIC].
And then first finger on F.
Back to the D.
So the riff is
[MUSIC].
And that vocal line is
headed down to Shreveport.
[MUSIC]
So he's singing this line,
so that's what that is.
[MUSIC]
And
then the next line is Down to New Orleans.
So we're gonna,
[MUSIC].
So I'm giving you just
a little bit of vocals.
We're not doing exactly like he's
singing because there's a few little
inflections that the vocal line of that
song it stays a little bit kind of static.
So we're embellishing around
the melody a little bit, but
this will give you a good
starting place for this song.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Second finger on the A,
second finger on the G string,
[SOUND] first finger C,
first fret B string, [SOUND].
It lays out perfectly, [SOUND] you
almost don't have to move your hand.
So ring finger, third fret, B string,
D note, [SOUND] and then the first finger,
[SOUND] first fret F,
[SOUND] back to D with the third finger.
And then the next phrase
is first finger on C,
[SOUND] open B [SOUND],
second finger on the A,
second fret G string, so [SOUND].
And then open G, [SOUND] and
then F, [SOUND] and then open D.
So, that whole phrase is
[MUSIC].
And that last part is just the third
fret of the D string on the F note, and
you can bend that.
[SOUND] You can kind of get
into that a little bit.
So that's the first part of that melody.
And then it repeats again.
And it'll go,
let's see,
it'll go
[MUSIC].
Okay, and then it'll go to G again,
and we'll repeat this next
section right after that.
So again,
it'll go
[MUSIC].
And then it's gonna go C to G.
So we're gonna do the same lick.
[MUSIC]
So that's
really the whole
section, so
it will go
[MUSIC].
And then
[MUSIC],
and then G.
[MUSIC]
And I'm hitting that last one twice
because that's a phrase,
it's an ending of that phrase, so.
[MUSIC]
And then,
[MUSIC]
so two hits on the D.
[MUSIC]
And
we're walking into that C because
we're getting ready to do,
that's a little turn around, so
[MUSIC].
Walking into there by hitting the D twice,
[MUSIC]
and then A.
[MUSIC]
And we're gonna walk up to the C
by hitting the B note right there
[MUSIC].
Open A
[MUSIC],
C, and then walk down like we did [SOUND]
in the beginning to the G, and
then a little cap off lick.
[MUSIC]
So that's C, [SOUND] open D, [SOUND] F,
[SOUND] and then [SOUND] open D again.
So that's the full melody for
Lonesome, On'ry, and Mean.
Okay so, at the end of Lonesome, On'ry,
and Mean, there's a turn around or a tag.
And what that does is,
that's gonna play this part.
[MUSIC]
And it's gonna do that again.
[MUSIC]
And
that's gonna
go,
[MUSIC].
So it's gonna do those quick changes like
the intro three times after the tag.
So the tag is, I'm feeling
lonesome, on'ry, and mean.
And then it goes again,
I'm feeling lonesome, on'ry, and mean.
[MUSIC]
So that, and
I'm not a singer, obviously.
But that's the way that this song ends.
So it does that tag,
[MUSIC]
one more time.
[MUSIC]
So
that's how
the song
ends.
So what I'm doing there is I'm just going,
I'm covering this.
[MUSIC]
With [SOUND] C, [SOUND] B, which is,
[SOUND] that's the third of the G,
so we're outlining that chord.
So, we're just going a simple low C note,
[MUSIC]
to D.
It's just super simple,
[MUSIC]
just playing the notes right out of
the chord.
So it really doesn't get
any more simple than that.
If you have any questions
of any of this stuff,
please utilize the video exchanges
that this whole system is built on.
And it's amazing to be
able to have that access.
So any questions, please reach out to me,
and I can answer anything
that you have in mind.
There are one or
two notes might have changed
from the way I'm accenting
a few of these things.
It's very hard for
me to play the same thing twice, but
it's pretty much all there.
And if you have any questions,
I can help clear that up for you.
But this is simple enough to where I think
you kinda can get the program of what
we're doing.
So, like I said,
we're just outlining that,
[MUSIC]
very simply by just playing, [SOUND] which
that B note is the three of G [SOUND],
so that outlines that perfectly.
[MUSIC]
And then open D, which outlines that.
So that's the ending of Lonesome,
On'ry, and Mean.
So any questions and feel free to
video me and ask me, thanks a lot.
[MUSIC]