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Country Guitar Lesson: Advanced Rhythm Techniques


For many, the approach to guitar is often divided into two camps: lead and rhythm guitar playing. Throughout the lifetime of the electric guitar, in particular, and the course of pop culture history, there has become a prominent perception that lead guitar playing is the more complicated of the two approaches to the instrument, and that rhythm playing is simpler, more straightforward, and easier to perform. However, that is simply not the case, especially in the context of the country music genre.


Rhythm guitar playing can be equally intricate, complex, and technical when compared to lead playing in country music, and there is an expansive variety of methods that you can employ to make your rhythm playing more elaborate.


In this online guitar lesson, ArtistWorks electric country guitar instructor and one of Nashville’s most sought-after session musicians, Guthrie Trapp, teaches a handful of advanced rhythm guitar techniques in the context of a country shuffle that you can adopt to expand your rhythm guitar vocabulary and utilize in a variety of musical scenarios.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play country guitar from a master musician like Guthrie Trapp? Try some free online guitar lessons now!


“In my course, we really cover a huge number of rhythm techniques,” Guthrie explains. “The reason for that is because rhythm playing is so important. As a gigging guitarist, you’re going to be using your rhythm skills far more often than you’ll be taking solos or playing lead. So, it’s really important to get these techniques under your fingers.”


In this lesson, Guthrie outlines critical rhythm practices that can be applied in nearly any context within country music—such as the use of open strings, double-stops, and hybrid picking. Plus, Guthrie delves into essential music theory concepts including the use of passing tones and inversions to improve voice-leading, and diads and triads to outline major, minor, and dominant seventh harmonies across the neck.


“Focusing on your picking hand is really important when you’re working on these more advanced rhythm topics,” explains Guthrie. “In this shuffle, we’re adding all sorts of picking embellishments that heavily impact the tune’s groove and we’ll really want to get those tight.”


To learn more about the various approaches you can use to expand your country rhythm guitar playing, dive into this online guitar lesson from Guthrie Trapp:


Advanced Rhythm Techniques with Guthrie Trapp:




Have you always wanted to learn how to play country guitar? Through our comprehensive guitar lessons online and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned players, like Guthrie Trapp, and get personal feedback on your playing.


Guthrie’s course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner guitar to advanced performance techniques, classic country tunes, improvisation methods, and beyond. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as guitarists and musicians.


Sample some free music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



Guthrie also has two guitar courses that are now available at our sister company, TrueFire:


“Roots Recharge: A Genre-Bending Masterclass in Artistic Soloing”

“In The Jam with Guthrie Trapp”


These courses are both great supplements to his curriculum at ArtistWorks. Click the links above to learn more!



Country Guitar Lesson: Two-Note Harmonizing with Guthrie Trapp

Blues Rock Guitar Lesson: Phrasing with Jared James Nichols

Bluegrass Guitar Lesson: Tony Rice Rhythm Fill Sweeps with Chris Eldridge




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Each subscription is for a single school. Pricing and features can vary slightly per school.

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