In this article we presented the 15 beginner country guitar songs that are fun and easy to play. You can skip our detailed discussion on these songs and read the 5 Beginner Country Guitar Songs that are Fun and Easy to Play.
If you are a newbie who is learning to play guitar and wondering what might be some of the beginner country guitar songs that are fun and easy to play, then, yes, you have knocked at the right door!
What kind of things does the phrase 'country songs' conjure in your mind? Cowboy hats and pickup trucks? Chet Atkins, Jonny Cash, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Patsy Cline, or Hank Williams? How about Atlanta-based hip-hop and string instruments such as fiddle, banjo, violin, harmonica, and guitar?
With an effervescent history stretching back to the 17th century, country music has continued to evolve into rhythmic modern adaptations which, in turn, has made American culture so unique.
The guitar is one of the most popular, portable, and versatile string instruments which is a must-have in nearly every type of music genre nowadays. Learning how to play guitar entails learning chords, notes, scales, riffs, and numerous other things. Just like every other musical instrument, learning to play guitar demands focused time, practice, and patience.
Learning anything new in order to achieve mastery is obviously a daunting task. For preventing this, one must have the best possible beginning. It goes without saying that when you first start playing guitar you should work your way up from easy guitar chords. And for the basic easy chords, newbie guitarists should always incorporate country songs in their repertoire. These songs are the easy, light, and touchy songs that carry relatable, down-to-earth messages. But if you are a beginner who doesn't want to be limited to a single genre and has a keen taste for a variety of genres, then don't forget to check our list of 25 Easiest and Best Songs to Play on Guitar.
History of Country Guitar Songs
Country music can be best defined as a genre of popular American music that came into existence with blues, old-time music, and different kinds of American folk music entailing Cajun, Appalachian, and the cowboy Western music styles of Texas, New Mexico, Tejano, and Red Dirt. It may have come to be known as 'country music' owing to the regional influence of the genre. In the past, the word 'country' was used to denote rural areas. Musical historians, record company executives, and Radio DJs saw the music pouring out of rural America and labeled it with a broad array of terms, namely hillbilly, western, southern folk, and eventually country music.
A large segment of country music's roots can actually be traced across the Atlantic Ocean. The USA is recognized as the country of immigrants, and immigrants always carry some of the native souvenirs with them. The immigrants who inhabited the southern Appalachian Mountains of the USA came with the folk music and instruments of the Mediterranean Basin, Africa, and Europe.
With the progression of the 19th century, different groups from Britain and central Europe moved to Texas and started forming a cultural hub that collaborated to give birth to a new type of music. Country music built its way to every corner of America and gained more exposure after the radios began to thrive since 1920s. Through the course of many years, it has undergone several generations of changes and as a result, many variations of country music are available now. Ballads and dance tunes are the two most popular types of songs associated with country music.
Essentially, country music is all about the arrangement of simple sounds. Country music compensates for the lack of musical sophistication through its ability to stir emotions by incorporating seemingly easy sounds and lyrics. They are usually composed of 2/3/4 chords and a plain melody. The most commonly employed 3 chords are the “I”, “IV”, and “V7” chords. For example, ''C “, ''G”, and “D7” in the key of G major.
In this article, we have prepared a list of easy and simple country songs that are appropriate for beginners who are learning to play guitar. While recommending the 15 country guitar songs that are fun and easy to play, we have not only considered the number of chords in the song but also paid attention to the chord progression and frequency of rhythmic change occurring through the song.
For references, we meticulously analyzed the sites related to country music and guitar lessons such as musicgrotto, guitarlobby, guitartopreview, etc. Taking these sites as the sources to choose the country guitar songs that are fun and easy to play, we listened to a wide range of songs and came up with 15 songs. So, grab your guitar and keep practicing. You never know, maybe you'd soon start composing your own songs!
For more inspiration, you can listen to some extremely good beginner country guitar songs on Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT), the leader in the music industry. Launched in 2008, Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT) has 345 million users, including 155 million subscribers. In addition to some great country music titles, you can also listen to hundreds of top quality podcasts for free on Spotify app.
15. ''It’s Your Love'' by Faith Hill/Tim Mcgraw
Released in 1997, this song was a chartbuster and recipient of numerous country music awards. Performed by real-life couple Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, it has a slow, sweet, and romantic rhythm which can make any couple claim the dance floor. We know you're not here to dance but, yes, this 90s country song is definitely a perfect and easy piece to practice on your acoustic guitar.
It contains what's known as a Driving Pattern for strumming which holds four beats at a time. The four main chords of this song are G, D, Em, and C and the progression is uncomplicated. Whether it is the verse or the chorus, the chords are played in the same progression.
14. “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line/Nelly
This 2012 musical hit is something that younger generations can definitely relate to. It has a joyful tune and the lyrics compares a girl to a song. ''Cruise'' by Florida Georgia Line/Nelly integrates the soulful elements of country music as well as hip hop and we deem that you, as a musician, should explore this too. The four chords that repeat throughout the song are just G, D, Em7, and C (Or, Cadd9) and it is fairly convenient to transition between them.
The song contains two major shifts in the pattern when it comes to strumming. However, they are not too fast and we know that beginners will enjoy it.
13. “I’m Gonna Be Somebody” by Travis Tritt
This 1990 song conveys the story of a boy called Bobby who dreams of becoming a musician despite being surrounded by financial adversities. If you are going through tough times, maybe this song can give you the zeal to fulfill your ambition. There's no doubt that aspiring musicians can relate to this theme.
The tempo of the song is modest enough for amateurs to imbibe its tempo. To play the song all the fingers should be moved along the four chords G, C, D, and Em. However, the switch isn't too quick and you won't have to move up and down the guitar's neck. The melody just makes the strumming easy. This song will prove to be a great lesson that will help you to move to more complex country songs.
12. “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver
Since its release in 1971, this has become one of the greatest country songs ever and it still savors a substantial following corroborated by the sheer volume of digital downloads. This also happens to be the signature song of John Denver who is one of the globe's renowned country-folk artists. “Take Me Home, Country Roads” is a nostalgic song that makes you go on an excursion through the country roads to West Virginia's mountain.
It only because of the four chords (G, D, Em, and C) this song is positioned on the 13th rank. Otherwise, it would have topped our list. Despite having four chords it's easy to play. When you switch between its chords, you only need to move your first two fingers. Though the strumming seems a bit more nuanced, that's what renders the song its touching ambiance.
11. ''A Boy Named Sue'' by Johnny Cash
It is not necessary for a song to be complex in order to become a hit and no other song exemplifies this idea better than ''A Boy Named Sue'' by Johnny Cash. With an astonishing background of being recorded live at California's San Quentin State Prison, this song conveys the story of a boy named Sue.
Well, it's time to lower the number of chords and this is a very entertaining comical 3 chord piece to play on guitar. If you practice the tune, you'll get to know the A, D, and E chords. The patterns of lyrics are like speech with the peculiar AABCCB rhyme scheme. Who knows, you may be inspired to create your own lyrics.
10. ''Ocean Front Property'' by George Strait
This is a deceptively simple 1986 classic country song that is about wooing an ex-lover. The lyrics portray the heartaches of love and Strait's vocal has kept the subtle sad undertone fully intact throughout the song. This slow tempo piece which incorporates rather easy chords is definitely a must for beginners. If the context of the song resonates with you, well, that's a plus point. But if it doesn't, then just ignore the lyrics and pay your attention to the strumming of the chords. However, owing to its midtempo rhythm, you're bound to enjoy everything this song has to offer.
With just DM9 (D major 9, D, G, and A chords), you'll nail this song in a short time.
Since DM9 is only employed in the chorus section, you can skip that chord and make use of D, A, and G chords throughout the entire song.
9. ''I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash'' by Jonny Cash
This song owns one of the most spirited intros and it is also proof of Jonny Cash's proficiency regarding guitar. You can employ a relaxed strumming technique for this 1956 country classic. With this piece, there is certainly a prospect of improving your fingerpicking skills. The concerned chords are A, D, and E.
Absolute beginners should pay more attention to the up and down stroke concerned with strumming. The tempo of the original version has an average speed.
8. ''Blown Away'' by Carrie Underwood
Regarding the recent hits, this 2012 musical piece ticks all the boxes for a great country song. Classified as country-pop, this song claims unique and intriguing musical composition that integrates rock elements and country music.
This song uses three chords Am, C, and G for its entire length. You can perform this song using basic down, down-up, up, and down-up pattern which is pretty easy to memorize. It would be great to go for fingerpicking but it is good to master the fundamentals and aspire for the complex stuff.
7. “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks
Another song that found its way into the list of beginner country guitar songs that are fun and easy to play is ''Friends in low places'' which carries another fascinating story. The inspiration for this song occurred when the co-writer Earl Bud Lee went out to eat at a renowned restaurant and found out that he had forgotten his wallet. When the waitress inquired how he is going to pay the bills, he replied to his friends at the table, ''Don't worry! I have friends in low places. I know the cook.''
Dewayne Blackwell wrote this song with Earl Bud Lee and made the popularity of Garth Brooks rise higher in 1990. Although the original composition comprises a different set of chords, the beginners can make use of the alternative version that consists of just three major chords G, Am, and D.
6. ''When You Say Nothing at All'' by Keith Whitley
We are continuing our list with another perfectly easy country guitar song that can be dedicated to a loved one. This multi-generational song has been performed by Alison Krauss, Ronan Keating, and Keith Whitley among which Keith Whitley was the pioneer.
You'll stick to three main chords G, D, and C throughout the entire song. Pinky and ring fingers can be locked in the same spot and the other two fingers can be used to switch between the chords. The pattern of strumming is straightforward and the chord progression is simple.
Bonus: In 2015, Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT) launched Spotify’s Hot Country playlist. Since then it has garnered a whopping 6 million followers and has been streamed more than 5 billion times. So don't forget to check out the latest country music titles on Hot Country playlist.
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Disclosure: None. 15 Beginner Country Guitar Songs that are Fun and Easy to Play is originally published on Insider Monkey.