Country music is part of the fabric of American culture. It’s already evolving into new music genres incorporating elements of rock, hip-hop, and more. And if you’re a country fan, you just might be interested in learning some easy country songs on guitar. All of the country songs on the list use basic chords, and they’ll sound great on acoustic guitar or electric guitar.
Easy Country Songs on Guitar for Beginners
Here are some great songs from all different eras of country music!
1. “A Boy Named Sue” By Johnny Cash
“A Boy Named Sue” is one of the most easily recognizable Johnny Cash tunes. It’s also a country classic. The lyrics tell the story of a boy whose father names him “Sue” in order to help him become tough. It’s a strange story, but it’s certainly a memorable one! If you want to learn this nostalgic song, check out this useful video tutorial.
You’ll only need three chords — G, C, and D. Most tutorials suggest a strumming pattern of down / down / up / down / up / down / up. But as is the case with many songs, the best way to learn the rhythm is by watching or listening to someone play the song.
Just like many other Johnny Cash songs, this one has a simple melody with easy chords. That makes it an outstanding country song to start with if you want to get used to playing and singing at the same time. And if you really want an authentic Johnny Cash sound, play “A Boy Named Sue” on a dreadnought or jumbo with plenty of low ends!
2. “Cruise” By Florida Georgia Line
If you’re looking to learn the hot country songs from recent years, this Florida Georgia Line one is a great choice. This chart-topping country song is almost a pop song, so it’s great for crossover artists. You can check out the music video here (below left).
Luckily, the chords you need for this one are pretty easy — G, D, C, and Em7. If you add some palm muting to the strum pattern, you can really add some character to it, too. As for a rhythm pattern, most players suggest down / up / down / up / down / up. If you’d prefer a video tutorial, check out this video (above right).
3. “Take Me Home, Country Roads” By John Denver
This classic country theme is made up of all easy guitar chords. If you haven’t yet heard “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” you can listen to it here.
“Take Me Home, Country Roads” might be more accurately called a folk song/country song hybrid, and it’s definitely joined the ranks of trail songs, too. It just might be the most famous of John Denver’s songs, too. The song has become a sort of tribute to West Virginia, but the writers were actually inspired by the state of Maryland. But “West Virginia” fit the melody better, and the rest was history.
This video tutorial will show you a surprisingly easy chord progression. With a capo at the second fret, you will just need six chords: G, Em, D, C, D7, and F (video above right). Thanks partly to its simple chord progression, this easy song works with a few different rhythm patterns. The video tutorial above will talk you through them.
If you want to practice some fingerpicking, this John Denver tune would be a great one to start with, too. Just make sure you emphasize the bass notes with your thumb, too.
4. “Tennessee Whiskey” By David Allan Coe
This great melody compares a loved one to the smoothness of Tennessee Whiskey and the sweetness of strawberry wine. A recent version (video below left) by Chris Stapleton has become popular, but the song has actually been around for quite some time.
“Tennessee Whiskey” was originally performed by David Allan Coe in 1981. At that point, it reached #77 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It became more famous when George Jones covered it in 1983. At that point, it reached #2 on the hot country songs charts.
The rhythm of this song might be the easiest one to play on our entire list of easy country songs. As this video tutorial (above right) shows you, you will only need two chords: Am and G. That’s without a capo, too!
Thanks to that simple progression, this is another song that can help you master the somewhat challenging art of playing and singing at the same time. If you’re up for a challenge, you can learn the solo as well.
5. “I’m Gonna Be Somebody” By Travis Tritt
The lyrics of this easy country song tell the story of someone determined to make it in the country world. He ultimately makes it and then goes on to inspire others. “I’m Gonna Be Somebody” is a good first step if you’re working toward being somebody in the country world, too. This tutorial takes you through it.
The song includes some chords you may not yet be familiar with. You will need G, Cadd9, D, and Eb dim. If you’re new to guitar, the song might be your introduction to the strange world of diminished chords.
Of course, if you want to get creative, you can try out different strumming techniques with this song and others!
6. “Country Boy” By John Denver
This modern country song is catchy enough that it’s been featured in a recent commercial. It’s also been covered by prominent country artists, including Alan Jackson. As easy country songs go, this one is a little harder — the chord changes are pretty quick. You’ll need A, D, and G. Since it’s made of all open chords that most beginners learn, it’s an ideal song to use to master your chord changes. It’s a great song to practice your strumming!
This contemporary song is another good one to practice singing and playing at the same time. As a bonus, if you’re a woman who wants to do a cover, it’s easy enough to change “country boy” to “country girl.”
7. “On The Road Again” By Willie Nelson
This fun song is another country classic by the legendary Willie Nelson.
This video tutorial (below left) will take you through both the song and the strumming pattern. It uses a classic country rhythm: down / down / up / down / up.
This Willie Nelson song is a great one for beginner guitarists. You will only need five chords: C, E7, Dm, F, and G.
You’ve probably heard “On the Road Again” at some point. But if you haven’t, you can hear the original record here (video above right).
8. “Achy Breaky Heart” By Billy Ray Cyrus
This great country song is one of the many about heartbreak. It’s another country song that incorporates elements of rock music, too. You can check out the original music video here (below left).
If you want to learn this Billy Ray Cyrus song, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that there is a simplified version of this classic tune that only uses two chords! As this video tutorial (below right) will show you, you can play it just using E and A.
This is a pretty versatile tune that will sound good, either played acoustically or electrically. If you play it on an electric guitar, it sounds especially good with just a bit of overdrive! If you’re getting into effects pedals, “Achy Breaky Heart” is a fun song to start with.
9. “Jolene” By Dolly Parton
This timeless, catchy tune tells the story of a beautiful woman who just might take the singer’s man. But Dolly Parton chose the name of the song after meeting an eight-year-old fan named Jolene. And since Dolly Parton writes her own lyrics, meeting this little fan proved to be a pivotal point.
The song, written early in Dolly Parton’s career, became a kind of signature song. Even people who aren’t too familiar with country music have heard it! If you’re unfamiliar with the song, you can check it out here (below left).
Just like many easy country songs on the list, “Jolene” has an easy three-chord version. This tutorial (above right) shows you how to play it using Am, C, and G.
10. “Jambalaya” By Hank Williams
This Hank Williams tune is a true country song, but in terms of the topic, it’s a little different than what you might expect. Instead of being about pickups and dirt roads, it’s about having fun on the bayou.
It’s also the last song he recorded before his death. This great song features the beautiful and distinctive sound of the steel guitar. It’s definitely a common feature of older country songs, but you can still hear it on some country songs recorded today. This video tutorial will talk you through a simple two-chord version using just C and G.
11. “Sixteen Tons” By Tennessee Ernie Ford
“Sixteen Tons” is a song about the life of a miner. Tennessee Ernie Ford wrote it about his father, a coal miner who worked hard but was always in debt to the coal company he worked for. And as easy country guitar songs go, it’s pretty easy to play. You will need F, Am, G, and E for the chord progression. This video will talk you through how to play it.
12. “A Fire I Can’t Put Out” By George Strait
With only three chords in the whole song, this George Strait song is one of the easiest country songs to play. You only need G, D, and A7. Here’s a useful tutorial to talk you through it! As you may have guessed from the lyrics, this song is about being in love and unable to let go. Though it was released in the 1980s, it’s still an enduring favorite; it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Country charts.
“A Fire I Can’t Put Out” is a good one to learn to play if you’ve only learned a few chords. And if you haven’t ventured into the world of seventh chords, it’s a great introduction to using dominant seventh chords in your own songs and other songs.
13. “Friends In Low Places” By Garth Brooks
If you’re looking for a modern country theme with a catchy melody, this Garth Brooks hit is a great one for beginner guitarists and experienced players alike. This song is an anthem for drowning your sorrows. It’s a relatable theme for many of us. If you aren’t familiar with it, you can check it out here (below left).
This video tutorial (above right) shows you an easy three-chord version. You will just need G, Am, and D with a capo at the second fret. Most players suggest a rhythm pattern of down/down/up/up/down/up. It’s unique in that it involves two-up strums in a row, so it’s set apart from many of the other easy country songs on the list.
Just like virtually any song, there are seemingly endless versions of “Friends in Low Places” you can learn. Some, like this one, are a little more complex and might be better for more experienced players.
14. “House At Pooh Corner” By The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
This unique song takes its inspiration from the A.A. Milne book of the same name. It incorporates both Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin. But its subtext is ultimately about longing for childhood.
“House at Pooh Corner” (video below left) incorporates modern rock elements, and it has been covered by an impressive range of artists and bands since its release in 1970. It’s especially notable that Kenny Loggins of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band wrote it when he was 17 years old and still in high school.
This is a pleasant, easy song to learn to play. This video tutorial (above right) will take you through the chords you need: C, D, Bm, Em, G, and Fmaj7, with a capo at the second fret.
15. “Coal Miner’s Daughter” By Loretta Lynn
Quintessential country artist Loretta Lynn has released an astonishing 70 albums. One of her better-known songs is “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” an autobiographical song about hardships growing up. And though some performers might try to hide the fact that they grew up poor, Loretta Lynn is proud of her heritage and where she came from.
The song is an important part of her career — it was the title of a 1970 album and a 1980 film about Loretta Lynn’s life. Other female country artists, including Miranda Lambert and Sheryl Crow, have covered it many times. If you aren’t familiar with the song, you can hear it in this video (below left).
This video tutorial (above right) will teach you to play “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” a relatively easy song. To play a simplified version, you only need D, G, E, and A7.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to get better at playing guitar, it’s a good idea to have a learning plan. And with an online lesson site, you don’t have to worry about creating your own plan.
Whether you’re focused on learning easy country songs on guitar, want to move on to advanced songs, want to learn to play other musical instruments, or are working on writing your own songs, online lesson programs can help you steadily improve your guitar playing skills. Lesson sites are also surprisingly affordable, and they have the advantage of letting you learn on your own schedule.
One of the best parts of learning to play guitar is being able to play some of your favorite songs. You don’t need to have played for a long time to start playing songs, either — as you can see from the list, you can learn easy country songs with easy strumming patterns after you’ve learned only a few chords!
But what do you think? Are there any other easy country songs on guitar we should have included? Let us know in the comments, and please don’t forget to like and share if you found it helpful!
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