Watch the Nashville Waltz online guitar lesson by Ladd Smith from Modern Nashville Guitar
I think I've pretty much covered everything I wanted to say about this guitar tone and how the waltz is so important to music in general. At the risk of sounding like a report from the 'Department of Redundancy', this breakdown is pretty self explanatory as far as the approach and all, there are some great chordal things and bends in there. It reminds me how the waltz dates back to the Minuet, that's supposedly the most relaxing and mentally stimulating music in the world according to many brainwave researchers. I really don't see it ever going out of style. You know what though, I was just looking at the list of artists/guitarists that I mentioned on the last breakdown and I noticed that I forgot to mention how much classic country was recorded in California. Country music has never been an exclusive Nashville thing (although I'm sure that the board of tourism wouldn't want you thinking otherwise). RCA would have never signed Chet Atkins if it wasn't for Merle Travis kicking the crap out of everybody on the west coast with his thumbpicking (Merle Travis was originally from Muhlenburg County, KY however). Bakersfield was a small but potent Country Music epicenter. Artist/Songwriters like Bill Woods, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Tommy Collins and Wynn Stewart all played a huge part in making Bakersfield world famous for it's own brand of Honky Tonk music. One aspect of the 'Honky Tonk' sound that is instantly recognizable is when you hear a Pedal Steel trading licks with, harmonizing with or 'twinning' a twangy Telecaster. What's interesting though is that most of those 'Bakersfield' records were actually recorded in Hollywood. At places like Capitol Records and supposedly Goldstar Studios (they were famous for their Live Reverb Chamber, popularized by Phil Spector - no comment). Anyhow, much like the 'Outlaw Music' mentioned earlier, the 'Bakersfield Sound' flew in the face of 'Countrypolitan' or 'The Nashville Sound' of the 60's. It really changed the musical landscape of country music outside of Nashville forever. Among other things, some of it had a very strong Rockabilly vibe. Buck Owens and Don Rich used to always sing 'Johnny B. Goode' live on every show. However, it also blended a very traditional country influence. Merle Haggard was noted for his versions of Lefty Frizzell and Jimmy Rogers songs. Because of the subconcious soaking in of influences that I was talking about earlier; I find these threads of history to be very fascinating. Who was doing package shows together? Who was using the same studios? Why did John Lennon's whole lyrical approach change ('Norwegian Wood'; another waltz) after hearing Bob Dylan? Why did Paul McCartney's whole thing change after he heard "Pet Sounds" by The Beachboys (AKA Brian Wilson and The Wrecking Crew - Also recorded at Goldstar)? How did the Sitar and East Indian music affect George Harrison's eventually coming up with his own indelibly beautiful and unique brand of Electric Slide Guitar? It's all very interesting. Hey, speaking of the Beatles, we can't leave out Ringo. If you want to connect some more dots on who was listening to who, check out The Beatles' version of Buck Owens' first #1 hit "Act Naturally", it was on "Help!" - That one put my long past and dear friend Johnny Russell on the map as a writer. Johnny would always say; "This one made me a lot of money boys, and I spent it."