Watch the Rake It online guitar lesson by Ray Nijenhuis from 50 Western Swing Licks You MUST Know
To achieve fast, flashy sounding licks on the guitar there are several techniques to pick from. The early electric western swing players who started out on acoustic guitar, used a lot of down strokes.That way they were able to hit the strings harder and more volume meant people were able to hear what you played, if barely. Many of them stuck to playing downstrokes when they changed to electric and developed ways to increase their speed, like using rakes or sweeps. A technique that became a standard tool in rock, jazz and fusion decades and decades later.