Ray Nijenhuis's 50 Western Swing Licks

"Western swing is nothing more than a group of talented country boys, unschooled in music, but playing the music they feel, beating a solid two-four rhythm to the harmonies that buzz around their brains. When it escapes in all its musical glory, my friend, you have Western swing.” - Merle Travis

Uptempo, highly improvised and extremely guitar-centric Western Swing music pools influences from hillbilly bluegrass, raunchy Texas blues, pre-bebop jazz swing and early rock and roll to produce an infectious sound that, to this very day, gets people up on the dance floor and keeps them there all night long. Spend some time in the shed with Ray Nijenhuis’ 50 Western Swing Licks You MUST Know to get yourself off of the dance floor and up on the bandstand.

Video Introduction

Click below for a sample video from the course

About the Guitar Lesson Plan

Interactive Video Guitar Instruction

guitar courseAlthough the core of this lick vocabulary is focused on the pioneers of Western Swing guitar, such as Junior Barnard, Charlie Christian, Jimmy Wyble, Cameron Hill, Eldon Shamblin, Leon Rhodes, Bob Wills, Billy Byrd and many others, you’ll recognize their influence in the music of the Allman Brothers, Commander Cody, Asleep at the Wheel, Hot Club of Cow Town, The Time Jumpers, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, George Strait and many, many more contemporary artists and bands.

Ray expertly guides you through an impressive array of guitaristic techniques and ear-pleasing harmonic approaches that you’ll put to immediate use in your own playing whatever style you favor: repetitive fragments, chromatic horn-like lines, double-stop runs, double-stop-slides, two part harmony runs, syncopation combined with chord inversions, emulating the C6 lap steel sound, playing arpeggios with downstrokes only, two-part harmony licks rearranged in double stops for one guitar, counterpoint syncopated melodies, sliding up half-steps for tension and suspense, combining major pentatonic with chromatic passing notes and diminished scales and arpeggios, two-beat rhythm style, octaves, Western swing turnarounds, melodic moving bass lines, boogie woogie style harmonized piano parts, delay effects without a pedal, jangling lapsteel roll-the-bar effects, chromatically descending ninth chord sequences and three-part harmony chord runs.

All of the licks are presented over a rhythm track so that you can hear and practice them in a musical context. Each performance is then followed by a detailed breakdown of the line along with the techniques and harmonic approach being employed to perform it. Everything is tabbed and notated, plus you get all of the rhythm tracks used in the performances to practice the lines with on your own.

Long live Western Swing! Lets dance...

About Your Instructor

Ray Nijenhuis

educator“Guitar Ray has got the GOODS”, Duke Robillard writes in his liner notes for the cd Guitar Ray-‘ Live at the Nix’, to be released on october 24th, 2004 on Firesweep Records. “Rockin', stompin' and swinging guitar music that sets his audience on its heels”, Robillard continues.

There’s no better way to describe the Red Hot Roots & Blues played by dutch guitarist/singer Raymond Nijenhuis, better known as ‘Guitar Ray’. Both with his band ‘The Rhythm Dukes’ consisting of rock solid players Hans Molenaar (drums) and Jaap van der Sluijs (bass/vocals) and with various other groups he has appeared at many festivals and club gigs over the past few years and will be for many more years to come!

Ray toured and gigged all over West-Europe with many well known performing artists like Sax Gordon(USA), Teddy Edwards(USA) Mason Casey(USA), Madeline Bell(USA), Enrico Crivellaro (I) and the legendary Charlie McCoy (USA) to name but a few. Highlights include a solo performance at Muriel Anderson’s “All Star Guitar Night” in Los Angeles(1999).Also in ’99 he was invited by Fender Musical Instruments to play a show at their plant in Ensenada, Mexico with his wife, singer Debby Knol. Ray recorded cds with Jazz pianist Hod ’O’Brien (USA), New Thundering Swingmates, and Swingmatism.

Watch Now

Watch video samples on TrueFire TV. Enrolled students have full access.

Check out sample
lessons from this course on TrueFire TV

Video Order Options

Student Discounts and TrueFire Cash can be applied!


For PC, Mac & Linux computers only. Not compatible on iPad, iPhone, Android or other mobile devices. For a list of our mobile apps, click here >>

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What you Get:

Video software (Windows and Mac) with TrueFire's Lesson Player, PIP, full-screen, looping, slow motion, keyboard shortcuts, plus...

  • - 158 Minutes of Video
  • - Text Commentary
  • - Tab
  • - Standard Notation
  • - Jam Tracks
  • - Guitar Pro


Intermediate - Advanced

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Licks 1 - 50
    - 50 Video Lessons
  3. Conclusion

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