Watch the Nashville Waltz online guitar lesson by Ladd Smith from Modern Nashville Guitar

This is one of the things I'm most proud of in this course. I was able to find something that no one had really touched on at all in the vast TrueFire catalog of artists and courses; that being The Commercial Waltz. That really made me feel like a lucky duck to think that one up. This style is just an amalgamation of styles that I've picked up over the years by listening to some of my favorite artists. It sounds good on a Gibson 335 and a Strat or a Mini-Humbucker like what we've got going here. I love blending different styles together, thinking 'how would a keyboard player approach this line?' Here's one of the most important things that I ever figured out about writing and recording, it really applies to guitar work or anything creative in life; "Whatever you feed your brain is what your brain will give back to you." Which means basically, if you sit around and listen to Ernest Tubb all day for weeks, guess what? You're note selection and chords are going to start to sound a lot like Billy Byrd and Leon Rhodes. If you listen to The Police for days on end, maybe you're phrasing and diction is going to start to sound a lot like Andy Summers and Sting. Listen to them both in the same time period like crazy and you'll start to connect all these dots in your mind, kind of like Russell Crowe in "A Beautiful Mind" - but usually without the imaginary friends. Just mix those two things together and you might really have something no one has ever heard before. Imagine, what could that possibly sound like? And that's just putting two starkly contrasted influences together, imagine how crazy it can get when you throw in Django Reinhardt or Randy Rhodes as a 3rd or 4th simulcast influence. It's just how the brain soaks in information and then your subconcious spits out its own version of all of these influences in a hopefully euphonious and creative way. So basically, I look at it like this, if you can control what music you're feeding your brain, that's half the battle. If you're listening to crap, it's going to soak in whether you like it or not and you're going to start thinking and playing crumby. You will lose perspective on what is genuine. It's natural osmosis. We are so lucky though to be living in an age where the best songs and musicians ever recorded are at our fingertips in high-def and we can feed our creative subconcious an incredible diet of nothing but a variety of the greatest stuff ever done. This tune by the way is just another example of my efforts to do that and I also talk a lot about communicating the emotions of what the music is saying. Listen to those lyrics when you're recording and translate them into notes.


On the G&L, I'm using the Seymour Duncan 'Firebird Mini-Humbucker' in the neck position, I'm running that signal into the Keeley modded Boss Bluesdriver BD-2, then into 'soft-knee' CMAT Signa Comp-Drive compressor, into the Keeley modded Line6 DL-4 long analog delay then into the Mesa-Boogie Lonestar 1x12 tube amp at 30 watts - Again, I try to get the actual amp signal as clean as possible.