Looking for some beginner-friendly country songs to play on guitar? Here, Katy, TX guitar instructor Zachary A. shares some of his favorite classic country songs that are easy to learn and fun to play…
Whether you’re a fan of country music or not, there’s no denying the appeal of the acoustic guitar when it comes to playing traditional country songs. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the best country songs for guitar.
Country music has changed a lot over the past couple decades, but the classic country songs from the 50s and 60s still highlight the country music genre. The music written by Hank Williams Sr., George Jones, Carl Perkins, and Waylon Jennings was revolutionary. Each one of these artists has left a profound footprint on the genre, and paved the way for new country artists.
Country songs are generally pretty basic, which makes them fairly easy to play when you’re learning guitar. Most of the songs consist of three or four basic chords, and use the blues chord progression of I-IV-I-V. Country songs are perfect to play around a campfire, and sing along with your friends. Classic country songs have simple rhythms, but they are powerful, timeless, songs that resonate with listeners. Country songs are heartfelt and emotional, and perfect to play or listen to when you feel sad or blue.
Whether you’re looking to learn some new tunes or just enjoy listening to some great music, you’re sure to find something here that you’ll love! So without further ado, let’s get started with our list of some easy country song for beginners on guitar options!
What is the Easiest Country Song to Play on Guitar?
Did you know that many classic country songs are perfect for playing on acoustic guitar? Some of our favorite country songs for guitar are:
- Hey Good Lookin – Hank Williams
- Honky Tonk Blues – Hank Williams
- Your Cheatin’ Heart – Hank Williams
- Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain – Willie Nelson
- Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys – Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson
- Mama Tried – Merle Haggard
Not sure you have what it takes to master these country songs for guitar quite yet? Don’t worry – taking guitar lessons can help. You’ll learn everything you need to know, from chords to crooning. Check out an example of a lesson in the video below:
6 Best Country Songs for Acoustic Guitar
Here are six country songs that are easy to play on guitar.
1. “Hey Good Lookin”
By Hank Williams Sr.
This song uses G7, C, C7, F, and D7. The song uses a few basic chord progressions, the I-II-V and the I-IV-I-V, all in the key of G major.
2. “Honky Tonk Blues”
By Hank Williams Sr.
This is another great song that you can learn fairly quickly. It’s in the key of C major, and it uses the I-IV-I-V-I basic blues chord progression. The chords used in the song are C, F, and G. This one may be one of the easiest songs to learn and play because it’s just one simple chord progression.
3. “Your Cheatin’ Heart”
By Hank Williams Sr.
This song uses a couple basic sets of chord progressions, which are pieced together throughout the song. Those are the V-I, and the I-IV-V-I, which repeat in the sequence V-I-I-IV-V-I. You will use the G7, C, C7, F, and D7 chords, and you will play the song in the key of G major.
4. “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”
By Willie Nelson
Play this simple, timeless classic in the key of E major. The song uses the G#, F#, E, E sus, B7, and A chords. The song is mainly in two different chord progressions: IV-I-V-I-VI, which repeats and ends the second progression on the IV, and III-II-I-I-I.
5. “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys”
Performed by Waylong Jennings and Willie Nelson
This song was performed first by Ed Bruce, and made famous by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. The song actually only consist of two simple chord progressions I-IV-V and II-V-IV. The song is in the key of D major. You will use the D, G and A E, B chords to play this song.
6. “Mama Tried”
By Merle Haggard
To close out this list of epic classic country songs, I want to include my favorite country song of all time, “Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard. The song is in the key of D major and primarily uses the I-IV-I-V chord progression. You will use the D, G, and A chords to play this song.
All of these legendary country songs provide a foundation to help you create and write your own music. So if you want to write a country hit, or record a song that’s number one on the charts, then these songs are a great place to start!
Easy Country Songs to Play on Guitar for Beginners: Acoustic Guitar Songs
Looking for even more easy country songs for guitar? Here’s a more detailed list:
- A Boy Named Sue By Johnny Cash
- Achy, Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus
- Act Naturally by Buck Owens
- Boys ‘Round Here by Blake Shelton
- City of New Orleans by Steven Goodwin
- Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton
- Country Girl (Shake It for Me) By Luke Bryan
- Cry! Cry! Cry! by Johnny Cash
- El Paso by Marty Robbins
- Family Tradition by Hank Williams Jr.
- Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks
- Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Day) by The Judds
- Guitars, Cadillacs by Dwight Yoakam
- He Didn’t Have to Be by Brad Paisley
- I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink by Merle Haggard
- I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash
- I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton
- I’m Gonna Be Somebody by Travis Tritt
- I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry by Hank Williams
- It’s Your Love by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
- Jambalaya by Hank Williams
- Jolene By Dolly Parton
- King of the Road by Roger Miller
- More of You by Chris Stapleton
- Ocean Front Property by George Strait
- Okie from Muskogee By Merle Haggard
- On the Road Again by Willie Nelson
- Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash
- Rocky Top by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
- Sixteen Tons by Merle Travis
- Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter
- Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver
- Thank God I’m a Country Boy by John Denver
- The Fightin’ Side of Me by Merle Haggard
- The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
- Together Again by Buck Owens
- Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show
- Waiting on You by Lindsay Ell
- Whiskey River by Willie Nelson
How Do You Play Country Songs on Guitar?
Wondering how to play country songs on guitar for beginners? Here are some tips.
Country songs often have a simple, catchy tune that is easy to play on guitar. The most important thing to remember when playing a country song on guitar is to keep the rhythm steady.
Many country songs use a 4/4 time signature, which means that there are four beats in a measure and each quarter note gets one beat. The key to playing a country song on guitar is to find the right balance between the lead guitar and the rhythm guitar.
The lead guitar should provide the melody, while the rhythm guitar should provide the steady pulse.
In addition, it is important to add in some embellishments, such as slides and vibrato, to give the song its unique country sound. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to play any country song on guitar.
What Are the 3 Chords of Country Music?
Country music is often known for its simple chord progressions. In fact, many popular country songs can be played using just three chords.
The most common chords used in country music are the I, IV, and V chords, which are based on the major scale.
These chords are typically played in a progression of I-IV-V-I, which gives the song a feeling of resolution.
Additionally, the IV and V chords often have a personal quality that helps to convey emotions such as yearning and sadness.
As a result, these chords are commonly used in ballads and slow songs. While three chords may seem limiting, they can actually provide a wide range of emotions and textures that can be used to create beautiful and moving country music.
What is the Easiest Country Song to Learn on Acoustic Guitar?
If you’re a beginner guitarist who is looking for an easy country song to play, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve shared with you some of the easiest country songs that you can learn to play on guitar. Each of these songs uses simple chords and strums that are perfect for beginners.
Best of all, they’re all well-known songs that are sure to get your toes tapping.
Can’t get enough country music? Here are some more great country songs for guitarists.
Looking for a great guitar instructor in your area? Search here for guitar teachers near you!
Zachary A. is a guitar instructor in Katy, TX specializing in beginning and intermediate students. He is currently earning a degree in music theory. Learn more about Zachary here!