About Ken Carlson of Country Guitar Chops

Country Guitar Chops is the home to a variety of well constructed, and easy to understand instructional videos. These lessons are designed to teach everyone who wants to learn how to play country guitar, in a simple, no nonsense method for playing lead and rhythm, from hot “Chicken Pickin” to nice slow ballads. Available in DVD or download format, each lesson is played over a popular progression, so you can hear how the guitar licks work in context with the music. This method of teaching is far more effective than just than other video lessons that only show you how to play licks without hearing the music behind them.

Ken Carlson, a professional guitarist, has been playing for more than 40 years. His unique approach to teaching guitar has helped thousands of guitarists all over the world. His influences include great pickers from the old days like Don Rich, James Burton and Roy Nichols, as well as others like Albert Lee, Ray Flacke and Vince Gill, not to mention today’s hot country guitar pickers, including Brent Mason, Brad Paisley and many more.”

“I started this website in 2011 as a hobby, with the release of my first guitar instructional video lesson “Modern Chicken Pickin’, and a handful of free lessons. I just wanted to share some of my 40 plus years of experience with other players who wanted to learn how to play country guitar style music. I’m pretty much a self-taught player, and learned most of what I know by studying VHS videos and cassette tapes.

Now I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, so I had a pretty tough time trying to figure out many of the licks from most of the videos. Many of the video instructors didn’t explain things very well, and you had to “imagine” the music in the background, so it could be difficult to decipher quite a few of those licks.

So, I try to always keep that in mind when I make my video lessons. I try to put myself in your shoes. My teaching style is very detailed, and I use backing tracks as much as possible to help students hear the licks in context, making it much easier to understand.

I try to teach players how to be a “thinker”, by understanding the thought process behind every lick, rather than someone who just memorizes them. This method allows you to greatly expand your playing abilities. You’ll be able to decipher licks you hear on recordings much faster, and also create your own. I’m proud to say that I’ve received hundreds of emails from customers and subscribers who compliment me on my teaching style.

I grew up in Alaska listening to country music and started playing the guitar when I was 10 years old. I played my first gig at age 17, and became a fulltime working musician by the age of 20, gigging 5 to 7 nights a week. Over the years I’ve opened many concerts for artists like Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Tracy Bird and other popular artists from the 80’s and 90’s.

Playing Guitar In Nashville

I moved to Nashville at age 30, and lived there for 5 years before returning to Alaska. It was a great experience for me, and I was fortunate enough to play with a fellow named Don Kelly for a while. If you’re familiar with Don, you know that he’s always had the best guitar players in town working in his band. Guy’s like Brent Mason, Redd Volkaert, Johnny Hiland and many others.

Now, I wasn’t much of a player back then, and still couldn’t hold a candle to those guys, but I’m very grateful to Don for giving me the opportunity to work with him. I learned a lot from him, and he inspired me to do some serious wood shedding and take my playing to a new level.

I returned to Alaska and lived there until 2009. My wife and I were getting kind of tired of the long cold winters, so we now live just outside of Boise Idaho. The winters here are much milder, and we still have mountains to look at, but more importantly, there’s some good fishin’ here too! As you can see in the photos below, fishing is my favorite hobby.”