The first time I heard Eric Church’s song, Talladega, on the radio I thought to myself, “wow, what a great acoustic guitar part!” The intro got me hooked immediately and it’s definitely become one of my favorite country songs lately.
Here’s my rendition of the intro:
There are 2 acoustic guitar parts playing the same chord progression in different locations on the fretboard. One guitar is playing a very basic strum pattern, while the other is playing the same chords but emphasizing the guitar riff. The song is in Db Major and the intro chords are Gb, Db, Bbm, Ab (IV, I, vi, V).
And here are the parts by themselves.
Guitar 1 plays the riff capo-ed at the 1st fret and uses open C chord shapes.
Guitar 2 playing the straight rhythm part capos at the 6th fret and plays open G shapes.
From a production point of view, I love how they’ve used 2 rhythm guitar parts to create the main hook of the song. It’s subtle, but very effective. The result is a great riff that sounds like one guitar. And of course both parts are played beautifully and the recording and mixing is stunning.
If you’re in a situation with 2 guitars, always be looking for simple ways to compliment the other’s playing. If you’re both playing rhythm parts try capo-ing at a higher or lower location on the guitar and adding some embellishments. Very simple and very effective.