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Hole Notes with Dale Turner: A Shot of Zac Brown’s High-Octane, Modern Folk-Country Guitar Madness

This audio is bonus content related to the April 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at our online store.

With his beer-and-whiskey-fueled subject matter, pointy beard, skullcap and in-your-face performance style, Zac Brown projects an image that suggests contemporary country music’s answer to Zakk Wylde—and he has the chops to match.

Brown’s playing is influenced by bluegrass barnburners like Tony Rice (who appears on the the Zac Brown Band song “Martin”), Doc Watson and Brown’s older brother Wynn as well as flattop-wielding folk-rock singer-songwriters like James Taylor, Jim Croce and Dan Fogelberg.

His preference is for nylon-string acoustics, including models by Taylor and Collings, with which he has crafted a slew of Number 1 hits. This month, we’ll take a look at some of Brown’s lethal finger- and flatpicking moves, including a breakdown of his mind-boggling “slapped” passage in “Goodbye in Her Eyes.” (For all examples, tune your guitar down one half step: low to high, Ef Af Df Gf Bf Ef).