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Natchez Trace

SONG TITLE:

NATCHEZ TRACE

GENRE:

COUNTRY

TEMPO:

105 BPM

KEY:

A MAJOR

TECH FEATURES:

HYBRID PICKING
OPEN-STRING LICKS
COUNTRY BENDS

COMPOSER:
PERSONNEL:

q = 105

T
A
B

GLEN PARTRIDGE
KIT MORGAN (GTR)

Country

# ## 4 #
& 4
F
A

8 9 8

HENRY THOMAS (BASS)


NOAM LEDERMAN (DRUMS)

OVERVIEW
Natchez Trace is a country guitar piece inspired by
Albert Lee, Brad Paisley and Brent Mason. It features
pedal steel style country bends, hybrid picking, string
skipping and open-string licks among its techniques.
STYLE FOCUS
Country guitar can be challenging and players
within this style use a number of tricks that may be
new to you. A key element is hybrid picking. This
involves plucking one string with your pick while
playing another with the middle finger of your
picking hand. This can take place on two adjacent
strings or, more commonly, on non-adjacent strings
(e.g. you might strike the low E string with your pick
while playing the G string with your middle finger).
A clean playing technique is essential because country
players often use open strings that ring out against the
other notes to emulate the sound of a banjo.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Elvis and Gram Parsons sideman James Burton
and singer Jerry Reed were two high profile guitarists
who employed hybrid picking, pedal steel type bends

&
T
A
B

# ##

E7

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and open string licks in their playing throughout


the 1960s and 1970s. Both men were an influence
on the English guitarist Albert Lee. Lee worked as a
professional musician in the 1960s, but his big break
came in 1976 when he was asked to replace his hero
Burton in Emmylou Harris band when the latter left
9
8 signature
0 Lees
12 Elvis.
13 with
to play once
tune0
14 more
8
10
Country Boy was a hit for Ricky Skaggs in 1984.

After being discovered by country legend Chet


Atkins in the early 1980s, Brent Mason became a
[4] sought-after session player famous for his hybrid
picking and jazzy western swing influences. Mason
has performed with country giants Alan Jackson,
Brookes & Dunn and Shania Twain, and his first solo
album Hot Wired was nominated for a Grammy.

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&
RECOMMENDED LISTENING
B

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A
B

Brad Paisley is a contemporary country star and a


superb guitarist with a deft hybrid picking technique.

.
.

To hear Lees playing style, listen to Emmylou


Harris 1977 album Luxury Liner. Masons first solo
album, Hot Wired
combines
0 the guitarists
0
2 (1997),
0
4 Paisleys 22008 0Play
country and jazz influences.
4
features Cluster Pluck and includes performances by
Burton, Lee, Vince Gill and John Jorgensen.

[6]
Rockschool Guitar Grade 7

Copyright 2012 Rock School Ltd.

Natchez Trace
Glen Partridge
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Country

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[10]

Rockschool Guitar Grade 7

Copyright 2012 Rock School Ltd.


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RP

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[14]

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Let ring

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~~~~~~~~~~

To Coda

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[20]

Rockschool Guitar Grade 7

Copyright 2012 Rock School Ltd.

q q = q q Western Swing

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[28]

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Guitar Solo (16 bars)

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[34]

Rockschool Guitar Grade 7

A7

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(Solo through)

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Copyright 2012 Rock School Ltd.

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[46]

Rockschool Guitar Grade 7

Copyright 2012 Rock School Ltd.

Walkthrough
Amp Settings

D Section (Bars 2227)

Work with a clean, bright tone and generous reverb. Use


your guitars bridge pickup to help get the brightest tone
and give your phrases some snap, but boost the treble and
middle if you still feel your tone is missing a little edge.
Clean
Channel
4

Equalisation

4
7

9
0

10

GAIN

4
7

9
0

10

4
7

9
0

BASS

10

MIDDLE

Bars 2227 | Fast chord changes


Although it may appear complex, each bar is made up of a
single chord shape shifted up and down a semitone. Lock
your hand in position and move your whole hand rather
than individual fingers.

Reverb

Here the piece moves to a swing feel. Extended chord shapes


are used to give the section its western swing feel.

4
7

9
0

10

TREBLE

9
0

10

DRY WET

A Section (Bars 15)

The A section is a single-note line that is full of chromatic


notes. Slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs are used to give
notes a smooth, slippery feel. Allow open strings to ring on
to further enhance the flowing feel.
Bars 13 | Hybrid picking
Hold the pick between your thumb and index finger. Pick
the G string and pluck the E string with your ring finger at
the same time. It should strike the string at a slight diagonal,
moving up towards the heel of the thumb. Use your pick or
hybrid picking for the remainder of the phrase. (Fig.1).

B Section (Bars 613)

This classic country melody uses open strings, double-stops


and re-picked bends. The 6th interval is used extensively.
Bars 613 | Consistent hammer-ons and pull-offs
Avoid rushing hammer-ons and pull-offs, otherwise the first
note wont sound for the correct amount of time.

E & F Sections (Bars 2847)

The E section is the guitar solo, while the F section is a


reprise of the C and B sections. The final four bars consist
of a chromatic run that is followed by two diminished
arpeggios then an open string lick that leads to the last
chord of the piece.
Bars 3037 | Guitar solo
It is a common mistake for soloists to look for something
new to play in every bar. Usually, the most well-constructed,
memorable solos will have at least one element that is
repeated even if it is just a rhythm or melodic hook. Bear
this in mind here.
A
# # # # #
&
0

T
A
B

downstroke
A == annular

M = middle

10

0
9

10

10

0
9

10

Fig.1: Hybrid picking

C Section (Bars 1421)

This is based primarily on different types of string bends.


Bar 15 | Double-stop bends
This double-stop bend should be played with your third
finger on both frets supported by your first and second
fingers (Fig.2). As you push or pull the string, make sure
you maintain pressure into the fretboard to keep the note
ringing for the duration of the bend.
Bar 21 | Oblique bends
An oblique bend is a string bend played simultaneously with
at least one un-bent note. Play the bend in beat one with
your third finger supported by the first and second fingers
while playing the E at the 12th fret with your fourth finger.
Use the same fingering for the lick in beat two.
Rockschool Guitar Grade 7

&

C#m

# # #

T
A
B
Fingers:

BU BD BU BD
9 (10) ( 9 ) (10) ( 9 )
9 (11) ( 9 ) (11) ( 9 )

3
3

9
9

11

3
3

Fig.2: Double-stop bends

Copyright 2012 Rock School Ltd.