Country String Bends Pt.1 | Guitargate

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Country String Bends Pt.1

In this masterclass, Lyle Brewer dives into the enchanting world of guitar pedals and gear, setting the stage for a comprehensive exploration of country string bands. He shares his recent acquisition, the King of Tone pedal, and discusses the curiosity that drives guitarists to constantly seek out the setups of their peers. Lyle humorously touches on the secret life of a guitarist's gear expenditures, suggesting that the true cost of their passion might shock their significant others. This introduction not only sets a light-hearted tone but also highlights the never-ending quest for the perfect tone among guitar enthusiasts.

Lyle then shifts his focus to the main subject of the masterclass: country string bands, specifically emphasizing the influential figures such as James Burton, Danny Gatton, Vince Gill, and Brad Paisley. He provides a historical perspective, aiming to dissect the techniques and sounds that define this genre. Lyle's approach to teaching involves breaking down complex topics into manageable parts, which is why he prefers to cover topics like this in multiple sessions. He shares a personal anecdote to illustrate the breadth of knowledge required to master various guitar styles, setting realistic expectations for his students.

The masterclass delves into the technical aspects of country string bending, comparing it to other styles like those of Steve Ray Vaughn and James Burton to illustrate the diversity within guitar techniques. Lyle explains the goal of serving the music's purpose and aligning with the vocalists and other instruments in a band. He elaborates on the technical components of pedal steel lines and how they influence country string bending. Lyle's detailed explanations and demonstrations aim to equip viewers with the knowledge and skills to recreate these iconic sounds, emphasizing the importance of precision and technical understanding in mastering country string bending.

Transcript Summary

  • Guitar Pedals and Tone Exploration (00:06.675 - 01:02.125)
    • Lyle discusses the curiosity guitar players have about others' gear and settings.
    • He shares a personal anecdote about acquiring a King of Tone pedal and seeking advice on settings.
    • The segment touches on the never-ending quest for the ideal tone among guitarists.
  • Introduction to Country String Bands (01:54.455 - 03:36.845)
    • Lyle introduces the topic of country string bands, mentioning its importance and historical context.
    • He highlights key guitar players in the genre such as James Burton, Danny Gatton, Vince Gill, and Brad Paisley.
    • The discussion includes the emulation of other instruments and the technical aspects of country guitar playing.
  • Country String Bending Techniques (03:39.275 - 06:40.725)
    • Lyle explains the significance of bending in country music and how it serves the song.
    • He draws parallels between country and blues bending styles, emphasizing their role in complementing the vocalist and other band instruments.
    • Lyle provides a detailed breakdown of pedal steel guitar mechanics and its influence on country guitar bending.
  • Practical Demonstration of Bending Techniques (07:11.215 - 08:49.645)
    • Lyle demonstrates bending techniques in the key of A, referencing the Grateful Dead song "Tennessee Jed".
    • He emphasizes the importance of accurate intonation and the pedal steel-like quality of straight bends.
    • Lyle offers tips on practicing bends and checking intonation to achieve the desired pedal steel effect.

Lyle has been one of my very favorite guitarists for the past few years, and I’m THRILLED to announce that he’s agreed to join the Guitargate teaching roster!

Lyle - if you didn’t know - is a big deal. He is a wildly respected member of the guitar community and is a monster player in what seems to be every genre. He is the lead guitarist of the band Neighbor, and also teaches at Berklee in Boston (so bring him the hard questions).

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