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June 04, 2012

Impromptu Country Gig

So, I got a call on Saturday at 9:15am. A guy asked if I could play a country gig, playing tunes I have never heard, and with some people I have never met. They asked if I could be on stage at 10:00am.... their lead guitar player had just hurt is back and somebody had mentioned my name.

I wasn't too busy that morning, and they sounded desperate, so I decided to try and give them a hand. It was old school country, from the 50's and earlier. I look at the rhythm guitarist's chord sheets and followed along best I could. The issue here was that he used a capo on most songs, so when it said "D", it was usually an E, or a G chord... not easy to instantly transcribe in my head!

country gig

That's when experience pays off. The songs were not hard, but the chord changes didn't come where you might have expected, like in a blues. In this style of music, it's very important to not over-play, and disrupt the vocals. I mostly finger-picked my Hell guitar No. 2, and played some twangy country fills when opportunities came by.

I listened hard, played some licks here and there, and got smiles and agreeing nods from the band, so I must have done okay.

Even though doing something like this can lead to some kind of heart failure, I recommend trying it! Cool experience, and you learn tons by being put on the spot.

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on June 04, 2012

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