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Michael Johnson >> Country Rock Legends >>


Teacher:
Welcome class to the lesson on Country Rock Legends, this lesson will cover the style of Poco. Poco was originally formed by ex-Buffalo Springfield members Richie Furay and Jim Messina in the late 60s. Like many country rock bands of the era, most were shunned by the Nashville labels and artists of the time as Hollywood rock musicians stealing the country sound. Ironically country rock of that era sounds very much like contemporary country of present day. Poco would play songs that had a heavy country sound and then go into a song that had a strong pop rock sound. Many of the musicians who played in Poco went on to play in bands like Loggins & Messina and The Eagles. Listen to the lesson sample of the licks and rhythms you will learn.

Lesson Sample - Lowband - 815k

Lesson Sample - Highband - 1.3 Meg

Teacher: Here's the rhythm we will play the upcoming licks over.

Part 1 - Rhythm

Part 1 - Rhythm

Teacher:
In this rhythm pattern you start with a common G country rhythm that uses hammer-ons in the G Major scale pattern. This progression moves from the G, to Bb. Notice how the bass note alternates form the root to 5 note while holding down the chord. Here's the 2nd half of the rhythm.

Part 1 - Rhythm 2

Part 1 - Rhythm 2

dan: Rhythm this time uses the pick, not fingerpicking then?

Teacher: Dan, yes that is correct. The video will help you visualize the chord and picking pattern. In this portion of the rhythm you start with the alternating bass rhythm in C, to Bb, to F. Notice how the bass pattern works on the C and Bb and then changes on F. Now here's the jam track for this rhythm pattern.

Looping Jam Track 1 - Lowband - Fast

Teacher: Here's a slower version as well.

Looping Jam Track 2 Slow - Lowband

walker: song is in key of G?

Teacher:
Yes Walker, we are in G. This rhythm might take some of you a awhile to build up speed, first practice on the rhythm on the slow speed and later try playing over the fast version. This rhythm has a heavy country sound, you can find these types of progressions in Bluegrass as well. OK, let's jump into some licks. These licks are mostly based in the G Major Pentatonic. We have blues and rock lesson in other series. Here's the G Major Pentatonic.

G Major Pentatonic

Teacher: These scale should give you a better idea of where the upcoming licks come from. Here's the first lick.

Part 1 - Solo 1

Part 1 - Solo 1

Teacher: In this lick you start in the first G Major scale pattern using a kind of major blues sound that includes a b3 in the major scale. The 2nd phrase uses an ascending run in the 2nd G Major Pentatonic pattern I gave you. Once you learn these licks try playing over the jam track I gave you earlier. The first part of the lick is very common lick used on banjo as well. Here's the next lick.

Part 1 - Solo 2

Part 1 - Solo 2

Teacher: Now here are some common double-stop country licks that are played over the G and Bb chords. Notice how the pattern starts with a G Major in the octave position, and then shifts to play in the Bb Major in the lower positions. Here's the scale patterns for the G Major Pentatonic and Bb Major Pentatonics.

G Maj Pentatonic 7 Bb Major Pentatonic

Teacher: Here's the next lick.

Part 1 - Solo 3

Part 1 - Solo 3

dh: The patterns looks like an Em Pentatonic and a Gm Pentatonic.

Teacher:
Very good observation dh, the minor pentatonic and major pentatonic box patterns are identical. The sound changes depending on what chords you are playing over. In this case they have a country sound while being played over major chords. Now for this lick you play over the second part of the rhythm I gave you earlier. Notice you play over the C, Bb and F using major pentatonic box patterns that correlate with the chord changes. The real challenge is to shift over the chords while playing the fast version of the rhythm track. Here's the next lick.

Part 1 - Solo 4

Part 1 - Solo 4

Teacher: This section uses the G Major again while ascending the scale using a pedal tone. Your resolve the lick by playing a turnaround.

jim: How do you get that snappy sound?

Teacher: Good question Jim, to get the staccato sound I fingerpick and palm mute using the same hand. This is a very common technique used by country and country rock players. Poco will also play rock sounding progressions as well, here's one you can try.

Part 2 - Rhythm

Teacher: Here are some intervals you can play over the barre chords.

Part 2 - Rhythm 2

Part 2 - Rhythm 2 Teacher: In this section you play a counter rhythm using intervals over the barre chords. Here's the jam track with both parts.

Looping Jam Track 3 - Lowband

Teacher: Time to go, thanks for joining the lesson!


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