Brad Paisley – Me Neither

GT155

Brad Paisley

Me Neither

Guitar Techniques 155

Unfortunately I’m not allowed to put the actual transcriptions on the website.

I posted everything else though!

FULL BAND BACKING TRACK

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TEXT

I remember 1999, it was a tough year for country guitarists. The Players (Brent Mason, Paul Franklin, Eddie Bayers, John Hobbs, Michael Rhodes and a few others) were a group of session musicians who were recording 9 albums out of 10 in country music. The quality of their playing, tones and creativity was so high and so perfect for country music that every artist and producer wanted them for their records.

They started in the early 90s and by 1999 they were already considered like the Funk Brothers for Motown. The other musicians in Nashville were all pretty much trying to emulate The Players’ sound because that was what the marked asked for and also because their work was really of the best quality around. For guitarists it was especially tough because Brent Mason’s sound was so strong and his creativity seemed so endless that to come up with a new sound was almost impossible.

After a few years the result was that all the records were starting to sound a little bit ‘the same’, just the lead singer was slightly different.

But right when everybody was starting to think that country guitar couldn’t get anywhere else, this 27 years old good looking guy came out with a strong sound that was completely different, an incredible voice and a sense of humor that was second to none.

Straight away he had a different sound, it wasn’t ‘just another country singer’, he was different, and in a brilliant way. But what made him sound so instantly different from anybody else?

Well, there are lots of reasons:

1) Equipment

Brad Paisley was using a 68 Fender Telecaster Maple Cap as Brent Mason but instead of using a Fender Deluxe Reverb (like most of others) he was using an old VOX AC30 amp which is now part of his trademark sound along with Dr. Z amps. Also, Brent was using a B-Bender while Brad decided to go for the G-Bender which again led him in a completely new direction.

2) Technique

Brent was playing with thumb-pick and nails while Brad was using a pick combined with the fingers. Also, Brad was combining legato, open strings, picking, and sweep in a way that was completely new. Another trademark of Brad was the use of descending (or reverse) banjo rolls. In fact almost in every solo he seems to use this technique to create his amazing licks.

3) Note choice

Brad has always had a very unusual and personal choice when it comes to which note to play. Just have a look at the solo of ‘Me Neither’ and you’ll see what I mean. The basic choice in country music is to play a combination of Major and Minor Pentatonic (in C this would be: C – D – Eb – E – F – Gb – G – A – Bb) but he was going for Maj 7 (B) or b9 (Db)!!

4) Phrasing

Brad has the power to make every note and every lick sound amazing. The way he keeps the tempo, his timing and groove is again second to none in country music. Also, his sense of humor can be heard in most of his licks and appear to be a big part of his inspiration.

When you combine all these elements with a strong songwriting and an amazing voice the result is of course the new country music star.

After the first album ‘Who Needs Pictures’, where this track is taken from, Brad did other 5 amazing albums always keeping part of the traditional sound of country music while still trying to pushing the boundaries.

For the GT recording I had the pleasure to have some great musicians with me: Darren Ashford (drums), Dave Marks (bass), Bruce Bouton (pedal steel), John Permenter (fiddle), Johan Englund (mixing) while I did guitars and piano. Enjoy!

TONE SETTINGS

Brad has done 6 albums in total and I consider them all great. In each album you’ll find an instrumental track that usually is a killer one. 1999 Who Needs Pictures, 2001 Part II, 2003 Mud On The Tires, 2005 Time Well Wasted, 2006 A Brad Paisley Christmas, 2007 5th Gear.