How to Play Electric Guitar like Johnny Cash

Learn how to play electric guitar like Johnny Cash from country guitar player Boo Reiners in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Here's some picking that comes from Luther Perkins who was in Johnny Cash's band, The Tennessee Two. Cut so many incredible recordings at the Sun Studios. They had an extra tape machine there that was used for echo. You can get a little echo or delay pedal for your guitar. If you can hear me just hitting those strings muted you can hear a slap back echo there. That echo adds an extra note really to the rhythm.

And you want to set your tempo that you're playing at to match the echo slap back or vice versa. I generally like to know what the tempo of the song's going to be and then I'll set the echo to match the tempo of the song that I'm in so that it gives me the right syncopation.

Right now I've got the pick-up selection set in the middle. I can go back to the bridge pick-up, and I'm muting by the saddles once again, and that just gives it a real solid momentum and you're not really missing that there's no drummer. But, I'll still play this type of rhythm even when there's a drummer that I might be playing along with.

So all that just real, simple, triadic chord work down on the low strings is what gives you that great Johnny Cash Tennessee Two sound. Add a little bit of echo that's set at the right time so you get that nice syncopated rhythm, and do some muting back here. You might even want to experiment with some flat wound strings on your Telecaster, give you that nice thumpy Luther Perkins sound.

Anyway, thanks for listening.

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