Country music’s popularity began in 1930s. This music started in rural south of United States and spread quickly to the West, North and East. Today, the genre still places the top position in the heart of musicians and music lovers. In 2000s, young singers even enliven this music genre such as Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift. There are two primary types of country music: traditional country and pop country. The first type includes blue grass music, hillbilly, western and country. The second type¬† is the combination between pop and rock that meets traditional country style.

Traditional Country

Traditional country is characterized by its simplicity. Originally, the music came from Appalachian Mountains where the people played musical instruments like guitars, banjos and fiddles. In 1960s, Johnny Cash, George Jones and Willie Nelson arose as the greatest traditional country singers. At the beginning of 2000, Alan Jackson appeared as the most popular traditional country singer. He gained popularity by achieving three Academy of Country Music awards in 2002.

Traditional country music itself is still divided into two types:

1. Country and western: This music type arose when western themes were mostly used by country musicians from Oklahoma and Texas. The popular western themes were horses and cattle, cowboys or life on the range. Two stars came as the most popular singers namely Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. This music gained more popularity in the 1940s and record industry used the words “country and western” to represent both genres.

2. Bluegrass: This genre presents acoustic music characterized by certain instruments such as acoustic guitar, bass fiddle, banjo and mandolin. To start writing bluegrass music, it would be great to immerse yourself in this genre. You can learn from anthology CD sets from Stanley Brothers or Bill Monroe. You should also learn the songs of current artists like Allison Kraus, Ralph Stanley or Nickel Creek.

Pop Country

This music type is quite different from the traditional one. Traditional country is characterized by its simple songs using three chords and present real-world issues. In the mean time, pop country usually has more chords than the traditional one. It uses 2, 6 and 3 chords more frequently and even the diminished or half-diminished chords. If you write pop country songs, try to avoid using negative themes since such songs will find difficulties in finding its home. To make the songs more interesting, stylistic elements have been added. Rock electric guitars, strings, drum loops and synthesizers are some catchy elements you can find on pop country songs these days. Some elements from traditional country are also added such as pedal steel and fiddle. Banjo and dobro are two instruments you can also find in this music.