Country songs have a special place in people’s hearts. From the unique strung harmony to the simplicity of the chords, country songs are fun to listen to and play on the guitar as well.
But, as a beginner, which ones should you start with? You might be surprised to discover that most popular country songs only use a combination of three to six basic guitar chords.
So, country songs make a good starting point if you are starting your guitar learning journey. They allow you to explore the beauty of simplistic chords. Furthermore, you can strengthen your guitar skills and choose your ideal guitar playing style.
In this article, I’ll explore the top 10 country songs on guitar that are perfect for beginners to play.
Top Easy Country Songs on Guitar for Beginners
Music is beyond the realms of the short form content you witness on Tiktok and Reels. But, to be fair, country songs are way more than yodeling and the fiddle. The lyrical prowess in some of these songs is unparalleled and can give you goosebumps.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
1.“Wagon Wheel By Old Crow” Medicine Show
An oldie from the 70s, Wagon Wheel, is a popular song by Bob Dylan and Ketch Secor. The song gained popularity in 2013 when Darius Rucker released his cover version.
However, the original version of the song was released in 1973. It is one of those many country songs with simple riffs and guitar chords.
You have a constant repeat of four chords in this song, “G”, “D”, “Em”, and “C”, making it an ideal choice for beginners. Also, the calm strumming motion ensures that you don’t have to be rigorous with the hand movement.
2. “Jambalaya” By Hank Williams
You can’t deny that country songs are best from the retro age of the 50s to the 80s. Jambalaya by Hank Williams is a mega-hit song from 1952. It attaches a series of nostalgic elements to the song, which has made it evergreen.
Besides the soulful harmony, the guitar chords are pretty simple too. All you need to do is master two chords on the guitar. It also has a simple “straight-down” strumming, making it a fun play on the guitar.
Also, the song doesn’t demand constant changing of the hand position, which adds to the convenience of playing this tune. The chords involved are “G7” and “C.”
3. “Ring Of Fire” By Johnny Cash
Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash is a three-chord guitar play. Also, the strumming style is simple and involves a simple up-and-down motion while you switch between the chords.
It does have a fast-paced strumming. So, you need to be a little quick on the strumming process. The involved chords in the guitar involve “D”, “C”, and “G.”
If you know how to play “I Walk the Line” and “A Boy Named Sue,” you’d be able to play this too.
Read Next: Song About Fire
4. “Jolene” By Dolly Parton
You can’t have a country song list and not mention Dolly Parton in it. Jolene is a poetic, slow-paced, melodious tune you just can’t get enough of.
It is from 1974, and the lyrics are thought-provoking and heartfelt. Jolene is a four-chord song and each chord is pretty simple to play. It involves a repeated play of “Am”, “C”, “G”, and “Em” chords on the guitar.
The best part of playing this song on the guitar is its versatility. You can quicken the pace of the song or even slow it down. Either way, it sounds beautiful.
Compared to other Dolly Parton songs like Coat of Many Colors, which has six chords, Jolene is pretty simple to play.
5. “Take Me Home, Country Roads” By John Denver
Another 70s country song gem is Take Me Home, Country Roads By John Denver. It is a popular hit from 1971 and has remained evergreen since its release.
Even people who aren’t avid music listeners are familiar with the song. Besides the beautiful nostalgia this song evokes, the song is ideal for beginners to play on guitar.
It does involve six guitar chords – “G”, “Em”, “D”, “C”, “F”, and “D7.” But playing these chords and changing between them isn’t too hard. Although you might have a bit of trouble with that pesky F barre chord.
The strumming part is a little strategic. Some beats and parts of the song require a harder strum. So, that’s something you’d have to get better at.
6. “On the Road Again” By Willie Nelson
Country songs from the 1980s are etched in history. And, On the Road Again by Willie Nelson deserves a special mention.
It involves six chords – “C”, “E7”, “Dm”, “F”, “G7”, and “G.” Now, seeing so many chords can be a little mind-boggling. Is it ideal for beginners? Definitely. Is it a sure shot in the first go? No. You need to practice a bit.
Since you don’t have to switch between the chords very quickly, it makes it easier for beginners. Even the strumming pattern is pretty simple.
7. “I’m Gonna Be Somebody Someday” By Travis Tritt
Travis Tritt was a storyteller, and I’m Gonna be Somebody Someday is a testament to that statement. The song explores the life of Bobby, a struggling musician with a budding dream and a lack of finances.
The country song involves strumming seven chords – “G”, “C”, “D”, “B7”, “Am7”, “G/B”, and “Am.”
Thanks to its mellow tempo, you don’t need to rush through changing chords too quickly. Therefore you can play this song at its original pace while still having the benefit of going slowly.
8. “Sixteen Tons” By Merle Travis
Sixteen Tons isn’t a very mainstream country song since it came out in 1947 as a folk song. Tennessee Ernie Ford later released it as a country song in 1955. The song has very dark undertones, reflected in the melodies.
As for the chords, the song involves five different chords – “Am”, “F”, “E”, “Dm”, and “C.” The transition from one chord to the next isn’t too fast-paced. So, you get enough time for your fingers to adjust and shift to the next one.
This song also has a few simple licks throughout it which are also great for beginners to learn. If you want to take a break from chords and do a little bit of picking this song is perfect for both.
9. “El Paso” By Marty Robbins
El Paso is a popular western ballad released by Marty Robbins.
This is an easy six-chord guitar song that’s easy to play and master. The song uses the following chords: “D”, “Em”, “A7”, “G”, “C”, and “D7.”
10. “Strawberry Wine” By Deanna Carter
Strawberry Wine makes a great choice if you want to master a more recent country song on your guitar. The song is from 1996 and involves four individual sections in the song.
The song uses six guitar chords – “C”, “F”, “G”, “Am”, “Dm”, and “G/B”. Since the song is relatively slow-paced, you won’t have difficulty with the transitions.
Also, the strumming of the song is simple. The song sounds wonderful on an electric guitar, not just an acoustic, especially the bridge part.
And with that, you have a list of the best country songs you can play on the guitar as a beginner. All of these songs are easy to master and have a simple progression.
No longer will you struggle to move from one chord to the other. These songs will put your well on your way to learning how to transition between simple chords, do basic strumming, and keep a solid tempo.
So keep on practicing those country tunes and having fun!