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Watch the Western Swing Techniques online guitar lesson by TrueFire from Play Country Guitar 8: Advanced Rhythm Principles

Western Swing Techniques - Concept 7 is a video guitar lesson presented by Johnny Hiland and is sourced from Ten Gallon Guitar: Rhythm.


Moving along, now let's get into some western swing. This is a very fun genre to play with lots of movement, now with the bass movement included in the chord. It uses "chunk rhythm," or chord comping, which we recognize as the western swing sound.

I'll show you some chord options for playing in this style, and some techniques like using double stops and triads to add variation to the rhythm part. If you want to add a filler lick, make sure you keep with the meter and are able to get back into the "chunk" easily.

If you're playing in a western swing band, and there's already someone playing comp chords, you need to play a different part! Try playing at a different position on the neck so you can set yourself apart and free yourself up to play a lead part if need be. You're still chord comping, but in a different register so you don't blend in with the "chunk rhythm."