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Guitar - country songs and chords

Updated on February 05, 2012

Country Guitar Chords

Although I'm normally found playing jazz chords like A13b9 or Ebm7b5 I do have a soft spot for country guitar playing - and if you are a beginner it's a great style to learn, as the chords are easy and the tempo is often slow, giving you some extra time to change chords. The songs of Hank Williams are easy to play, but strong compositions too - you might try Your Cheatin' Heart, Hey Good Lookin', Cold,Cold Heart, You Win Again.

We're looking at 4 chords maximum - in the key of G these would be G,C,D or D7, A7. With this little arsenal of chords, let's look at Ernest Tubb with the great Leon Rhodes on lead guitar, and a drummer who is probably asleep. Try playing along to the video - chords are G,C,G,D a couple of times. Bridge part C,G, A7, D or something like that.

You could play some lead guitar using Em pentatonic scale, or G major scale - just watch out for the A7 chord, which is non-diatonic. For that you could just play notes from the A chord (A, C sharp and E)

Country Guitar

Guitar info

Usually, you'll find country players using a Fender Telecaster, which is a great guitar for clean sounds. Leon Rhodes is using an Epiphone semi-acoustic here, nice tone through a Fender amp, probably. Those green cowboy hats will be coming back into fashion any time now. There is also some rule about having your name inlaid on the guitar neck, leather strap etc. It's OK for Tubb, but more problematic if your name is Rainbow Snell Van Gogh or Rimsky-Korsakov.

Very bad news for crustaceans everywhere.

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    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Yes, and the chords for country will get you through loads of traditional folk music too. It's a good starting place for ear training. (Though there are some surprisingly complex country songs too - ever looked at the chord changes in Stand By Your Man?

    • Jon Green profile image
      Author

      Jon Green 7 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Hi Paraglider. Willie Nelson's "Crazy" is another one with complex chords.

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Yes, and a much better song too!

    • Jon Green profile image
      Author

      Jon Green 7 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      And the winner is - Yellow Roses by Ry Cooder. The best-ever country song by a country mile.

    • Complaicency profile image

      Complaicency 7 years ago from Wales, UK

      Fantastic jon. great work. i think my favourite country song has to be east bound and down from smokey and the bandit :). Fantastic hubs. Been following you for a while.

    • Jon Green profile image
      Author

      Jon Green 7 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Thanks a lot. Don't know that song, but will check it out.Have a nice day!

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