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Watch the 50 Western Swing Licks online guitar lesson by Ray Nijenhuis from 50 Western Swing Licks You MUST Know

Hi, I am Ray Nijenhuis. Welcome to 50 Western Swing Licks You MUST Know. Western swing is a melting pot of all kinds of styles from hillbilly buegrass to raunchy Texas blues, to pre-bebop jazz and early rock and roll. Never was there such an unlikely but gloriously rich musical hybrid as western swing. Combining the infectious swinging urban dance rhythms of 30's and 40's jazz with the down home sounds of rural Texas, a new and exciting style was created with a very important role for the electric guitar. Western swing began in the dance halls of small towns throughout the lower Great Plains in the late 1920's and early 30's, growing from house parties and ranch dances where fiddlers and guitarists played for dancers. It started out as a mixture of New Orleans jazz and blues, Mexican melodies, Texas fiddle tunes and popular songs. This happy dance music influenced countless players from Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones who performed San Antonio Rose live in Austin, Texas at Zilker Park for their DVD The Biggest Bang. In a 1968 issue of Guitar Player, rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix said of Wills and the Playboys: 'I dig them'. Ever wonder where the Allman Brothers got the inspiration for their Twin and Triple leads from? Jimmy Wyble and Cameron Hill, two western swing players, are the inventors of twin lead guitar, taking Charlie Christian solos and harmonizing them. And you don’t even need a second guitar player to do those exciting twin lead runs! You will learn to play it western swing style, playing both guitar parts on your own, all by yourself. We'll look at examples of melodic rhythm playing in the style of Eldon Shamblin with inner voicings and moving basslines that will surprise your band members. We'll look at way cool lap steel and steel guitar simulation without even bending a single string. You'll learn the ins of sounding out, like in the hard driving stye of Junior Barnard, with risky and off-sounding ultra fresh pre-bebop runs with a rock n roll twist. He was one of the pioneers of the electric guitar and the first ever to use natural distortion by driving the power tubes of his amp to the hilt. We'll look at more jazzy western swing licks in the style of Leon Rhodes. And Western swing players were among the first sweep pickers. Western swing licks can still be heard in southern rock bands like The Allman Brothers, Commander Cody, Asleep at the Wheel, Hot Club of Cow Town, The Time Jumpers and in more country oriented settings with Merle Haggard and George Strait. This style of guitar playing has also had a lasting influence on rock and roll and rockabilly. Although the core of this 50 licks course is focused on the pioneering guitar players of western swing in the 1940's, all of these licks can be used in a modern day setting and in a variety of styles. So let's start swinging!