Easy Country Guitar Songs
I feel the first line I must write on this page is simply this: Most country guitar songs are easy! And you know, it really is true. Once you've put in the necessary time practicing the strumming patterns and can change between your chords with a reasonable level of fluency you'll suddenly discover that there are literally 1000's of country songs just waiting to be played and enjoyed.
In this guide I'll give you all my best tips and advice for how to find the easiest country guitar songs to play and how to avoid making some of the most common beginner mistakes.
Rule #1: Don't Jump In Too Soon!
A classic mistake that many beginners make is to rush too quickly from country guitar lessons and into learning songs before they are truly ready. Now the reason most of us even picked up a guitar in the first place was so we'd be able to play our favorite songs so it's understandable that many fall into this trap. My best advice here is not to confuse learning to play guitar with learning songs. They are two separate things.
Once you've put in the "hard yards" practicing and perfecting your strums and chord changes you'll be able to play practically any song you like so be patient and put in the necessary preparation work first!
Rule #2: Slow Songs Are Best
The easiest country songs will always be the slower tempo ones. By sticking with slower tempos in the beginning you'll have more time to get from one chord to the next, it's very important that your chord changes keep up with the song at all times and that you never fall behind.
Rule #3: Preparation Is Key
In order to play the songs you like you'll need to have mastered the two principal aspects of guitar playing - the chord changes (the progressions) and the strumming pattern. When you put both these elements together you'll have the complete song.
It's important to do some early preparation work...
1. Put the orginal recording on and mute your strings, play the strumming pattern in time to the song - no chords, just isolate the strumming side. Are you able to strum in time with the song? Does it feel right? Does it feel like you're in the groove with the song?
2. Write out the chord progression for each part of the song i.e. the verse, chorus, bridge, solo and so on. You need to work through each progression making sure that you are able to change between each chord quicly enough to keep up with the song at its original tempo. If you cannot do this then it's time to design a practice session where you can drill those specific chord changes until you get them up to speed.
3. Put the song on (*Tip: many times you can find the songs for free on YouTube.com) and perform a single downstrum on each new chord. This will help you to familarize yourself with the changes and overall structure.
4. Depending up the song itself you may want to get some alternate bass notes and bass runs happening throughout the chords. Isolate these and play through it on your own.
Can you see how I created a little stepping stone ladder? This is the best way to approach learning country guitar songs and will give you the highest level of success with them.
Rule #4: Buy A Capo
A capo is one of the most useful guitar accessories you can own. Its a device which attaches to the guitar neck and will allow you to easily change the key of a song by making the pitches of the chords higher or lower.
Country guitar singers and songwriters write tunes in many different keys so having the flexability to play in all the keys they use is important. A guitar capo is the easiest way to do this.
Here's a video where I demonstrate exactly how to use a capo.
A List Of Beginner Country Guitar Songs
You'll find a huge catelog of wonderful songs perfect for beginners from early country recording artists like George Jones and Hank Williams. I would recommend that you start off by learning songs such as
What My Woman Can't Do
Things Have Gone To Pieces
When My Heart Hurts No More
She Thinks I Still Care - YouTube Example
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Your Cheatin' Heart
Why Should We Try Anymore
Never Again (Will I Knock On Your Door)
The easiest song sheets to follow are the ones where you have the just the lyrics of the song with the chord changes written above. The following two links are excellent examples...
Sometimes country songs will be tabbed instead of simply having just the lyrics and chords, you can find my guide on how to read country guitar tabs here.