What Are the Common Types of Country Music?

If you approach your music with a particular point of view, you can find gem after gem. One way to do that is to look at the subgenres of music and find the ones you like.

If you love music and think country music is brilliant but need help figuring out where to dive in and start listening, you’ll want to know the types of country music.

There are plenty of categories, and many of them sound very similar. It would help if you listened to some music to know how to categorize each artist. In this short guide, we will break down the different types of country music for you to listen to.


Bluegrass is a genre of music that originated in the Appalachian region of the United States in the early 1900s. It has become one of the most distinctive and widely known forms of country music. Common types of bluegrass music consist of swing, folk songs, and old-time.

The swing style of bluegrass features three-finger picking on the guitar, banjo, and mandolin. It is while folk songs are usually created with lyrics that tell stories of rural life. Old-time music typically has simple compositional structures and a strong fiddle influence.

Bluegrass is frequently played at festivals and gatherings and is well known for its upbeat and lively instrumentation. With Thomas Rhett tickets on sale, you can experience it if you want to listen to country genres.

Traditional Country

Traditional Country is a form of country music that dates back to the 1920s. It includes the classic “hillbilly” or “hillbilly music” sound of the Appalachians. Traditional Country typically features a steel-string guitar, acoustic guitar, fiddle, and banjo.

It includes hummed verses or songs that tell a story. Typical instruments to create the traditional sound are a pedal steel guitar, fiddles, stand-up bass, and mandolin. The music is often danceable, with a waltz, two-step, or sometimes a polka. Which also includes a blues feel in many of the early recordings.

Also included in traditional country music is a wide variety of vocal styles, which include the straight honky-tonk sound, as well as crooning types in the Cowboy music genre. Traditional Country is often slower than today’s commercial sounds and is known for its sentimental ballads and stories from the heart. With the rise of classic country music in the mid-1970s, there was a push to ensure traditional country music didn’t die out.

Bakersfield Sound

Bakersfield Sound is a style of country music particularly associated with Bakersfield, California. The sound typically has acoustic accompaniment and a twangy, heavily-reverbed sound. Though they first popularized the genre in the 1950s, the style has evolved dramatically.

It incorporates elements of rock, bluegrass, and pop along the way. Among the most well-respected common types of country music in Bakersfield Sound are honky tonk, western swing, and folk-infused honky tonk. The sound of Bakersfield is often seen as a more traditional take on country music. It has developed and adapted to fit the times and still influences contemporary acts in various ways.


HonkyTonk is a style of upbeat and lively country music. Twangy vocals, electric or steel guitars, drums, and catchy beats typically characterize it. HonkyTonk has inspired the Western Swing movement, a blend of jazz, blues, and country music. Since its introduction in the late 1930s, HonkyTonk has seen its popularity wax and wane. While it has experienced a recent resurgence in popularity, there are some commonly recognized types of HonkyTonk.

These include Western swing, folk-based Country, and rockabilly (which is a mix of Country, rock, and pop music). While each style uses many of the same instruments and vocal country styles, they are often heavily influenced by the culture and geographic region in which they are usually performed.

Red Dirt

Red Dirt is a type of country music that originated in the 1960s. Its roots come from the music of Merle Haggard, Bob Wills, and others. The term “Red Dirt” comes from the soil of the Oklahoman panhandle.

Which is often rust-colored due to its high levels of Iron oxide. Red Dirt is known for its unique sound, characterized by lyrical storytelling, a blend of honky tonk, blues, rock, and folk influences, and a focus on traditional forms of country music.

A few common types of Red Dirt music are road songs, which tell stories of epic journeys or the struggles of everyday life. Ultimately, whether singing about life’s struggles, love, journeys through Oklahoma, or all of the above, Red Dirt is a unique and vibrant sound that speaks to a shared experience of the people of Oklahoma and beyond.

Roots Rock

Country music roots rock is a unique style of country music that developed during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It combines the traditional elements of traditional country music, such as honky-tonk, bluegrass, folk, and swing, with a rock ‘n’ roll attitude. It also includes a rockabilly style and a psychedelic slant.

On the surface, the resulting sound is usually characterized by hard-driving rhythms, elements of twang (a form of yodeling), steel guitar, and 10–32 bar blues progressions. Subgenres include bluegrass rock, cowpunk, alternative Country, and Southern rock. Standard instrumentation includes guitars, banjos, fiddles, mandolins, and the occasional organ or electric guitar.

Country music roots rock is often seen as a combination of rock and Country, with elements of the former creating a more mainstream appeal. It has been a mainstay in American music for over half a century and continues influencing new bands and artists.

Try Listening to the Different Types of Country Music

In conclusion, Country Music is a genre filled with many different types of music. From traditional Country to more modern Pop Country to outlaw Country, there is a type of music for everyone.

With so many options, it can be hard to navigate the genre, so take some time to explore the common types of Country Music and discover which one speaks to you the most. Go out there and find your favorite style of Country Music!

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