Monthly Motivation-Chet Atkins

TK Smith

I was recently talking to a friend about guitar playing and motivation to practice (it seemed like he had a hard time staying motivated).  I’ve always liked to practice, and have been easily motivated to play my guitar for hours. I told him that when I heard a solo  that really moved me, I had a hard time not picking up my guitar. He asked which solos ‘’moved me’’?  Then I started thinking about all the solos that I’ve found over the years that I have been really influenced by, that really got into my head and then can’t stop thinking about for days.

So once a month I’m going to post a song with a solo that makes me want to run for my guitar and practice for hours. Hopefully they’ll have the same effect on you.

The first one that comes to mind for me is Chester B. Atkins 1953 solo on Sweet Georgia Brown. I usually prefer solos that sound ‘’spur of the moment’’, as if they could possibly fall apart at any time, but don’t. Chet’s solo on this song sounds composed, but it’s composed perfectly from beginning to end. I can’t remember who turned me on to the ‘’Jazz from the Hills’’ by the Country All Stars, but even after years of listening to this, I still have to fight the urge to run for my guitar.

Sweet Georgia Brown


  • I’ve always loved Chet’s playing. You’re right–it’s worked out (or composed) and, to me, that’s as much of an art as being able to improvise. His solos are very creative and interesting.

    (I also love Jerry Byrd’s solo on this tune.)

  • I agree with you, Jerry Byrd’s solo is excellent! Every time I hear this song I think to myself that it would be really hard to follow that solo.

  • tough to better the steel and mando solos on this one..chet’s emulating a steel on this more so than i’ve ever heard him before…distinct jimmy bryant vibe as well

    lookin forward to your selections