Country Guitar Classic Rigout

The easy to play country guitar is the one style many new guitar players like learning to play as their first full song on the guitar. Here are 5 easy country songs to play on guitar so you can move along to learning things like country guitar licks and solos in the future. Although these are ensemble performances, the focus is the chords and rhythm, and tempo. I’ve chosen artists who have a recurring style so once you grasp one song, you may have better insight into more of their other work. Some of these are also songs I learned in trial by fire on stage as a 16-year-old player Playing 15 years in Honky Tonks.

1:Waylon Jennings “Lonesome On’ry and Mean” 

THE outlaw Waylon had his signature ideas. It was a simple Telecaster and a Chorus pedal to the amp. Even the Lead breaks he plays are simple but Important and have their own elegant character. Based out on the Key of D and including a quick C to G dynamic accent, with the chorus also including C to G back to D it’s a quick study. The Rhythm and dynamics are the things you want under your belt to play this song perfectly but practicing this good country tune will help you achieve that in the long run. 

2: Johnny Cash’s “Big River”

Johnny Cash had the knack of using the guitars of his Rhythm echoed by The Late Great Luther Perkins. Luther was also Like Waylon as a lead man, economical yet impactful. Here again, The style is focused. 

Since there is some question as to what The root chord is and the issues that happen in recording speeds I’m including a Tutorial video as well. Remember the feel is equally as important as the chords.

♪♫ Johnny Cash – Big River (Tutorial) 

3:George Jones “If Drinking Don’t Kill Me” . 

George‘s voice often distracted everyone from what he was doing on the Guitar. In this case, he is using a Capo on the second Fret and working from there.

This song is a prime example of a “walk-up” a dynamic used greatly in Country Music and I’m 99% sure came from The Church and Gospel Piano. Remember even Rock Players Like Chuck Berry were being led to dynamics and keys that were originating from Piano. 

George Jones If Drinking Don’t Kill Me” (Her Memory Will) Chords on Chordify No Capo

George Jones 22If Drinking Dont Kill Me22 Her Memory Will Chords 1024x675 5 easy to play country guitar songs

4:David Allen Coe “ 33rd of August” 

33rd of August – David Allan Coe Sings From a Jail Cell 1975

Written by Mickey Newbury, this is a powerful rendition. In Truth, David delivers anyone’s song as good if not better. Here we find the beauty in the simplicity of a man and a Guitar and the easy to play country guitar progression just keep repeating it D-G-A for the Verse and G-D-E-A and D for the chorus.


Chords: D-G-A verse  

G D E A and D Chorus.

And Bob’s your Uncle. 

5:Hank Williams Jr. “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bent”

Bocephus is a Master songwriter, Rhythm, and Lead Maestro. Here you are finding the intro to a simple structure., but in the case of all these songs, the word simple is not there to downplay it. It’s about the Distillation of music same as Making Powerful Moonshine and Whiskey. Intro G and D  and again as you go you find the “walk-up” meaning quick notes or chords leading to the other primary Parts. G A B C  to the G in the verse and then at the end of the verse and extended G and then D. The chorus employs much of the same structure. Feel your way around it and you begin to be able to anticipate the changes. 

In General, I am not a guitar teacher at all. I use my own tunings which change many things but I find I can find bits of focus for a beginner. My Beginning was shouting” What key is it in? G ok Go” and I would figure it out , on-the-job training sometimes in front of 200 or 2 thousand depending on the gig.

I love old school Country as it is part of my life, and once you learn the intricate aspects you are gaining knowledge to use in many other forms of music. When I speak of things like “walkups” or “walk-downs” one mistake many guitarists make is that they more often listen to the guitar part. I advise people to listen to the Bass Player as well, the structure lies there and even though most might think Bass in country music is background, it is in actual fact Back Bone of any real band or song. Learning the Bassline can make you a better guitar player who finds it easy to play country guitar.

By Jimmy Flemming

Jimmy Fleming is a Dystonia advocate and Guitarist from Ohio. He authored and co wrote interviews on over 100 articles about guitar and bands on Guitardoor Listen to his latest music and full biography on his website.

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