Learn to Play These 10 Traditional Country Songs

Play Your Own Country Music

Brad Paisley playing guitar
Brad Paisley playing guitar. Shelly Fabian

If you like to play guitar and enjoy country music, you may want to play some of the classic country hits. Here are 10 classic country songs that you can play by knowing only two, three or four guitar chords. 

  1. Johnny Cash - I Walk the Line (Four chords)
  2. Dwight Yoakam - It Only Hurts Me When I Cry (Three chords)
  3. Marty Robbins - Big Iron (Three chords)
  4. George Jones - White Lightning (Four chords)
  5. Bob Wills - Take Me Back To Tulsa (Two chords)
  1. Don Williams - It Must Be Love (Three chords)
  2. Merle Haggard - The Bottle Let Me Down (Two chords)
  3. Merle Haggard - Mama Tried (Four chords)
  4. Hank Williams - Cold, Cold Heart (Four chords)
  5. Hank Williams - Honky Tonkin' (Two chords)

Basic Guitar Chords

Here are some of the basic guitar chords with tips on how to play them:

  • A major:  The A major chord, which is also known as an A chord or noted in music as Amaj, requires three fingers to fit on the second fret, on adjacent strings. As you practice, be sure the open first string is ringing clearly and keep your third ring finger curled to solve that problem. 

  • A minor: To play this chord, just do as you would when playing an E major chord, but ove the chord whole shape over a string. Make sure your first finger is curled, so the open first string rings clearly. Try to avoid playing the open sixth string when strumming the A minor chord.

  • D major: This is a relatively easy chord to play. M ake sure to curl the third finger on the second string so the first string rings properly. Only strum the top four strings, avoiding the open sixth and fifth strings.

  • D minor: When you play this chord, pay attention to your third finger on the second string. If not curled right, the first string won't ring. Be sure to play only the top four strings when you strum a D minor chord.

  • C major: The C major chord (also known as the "C chord") is often the first chord guitarists learn. The fingering is fairly straightforward - the key again is to concentrate on curling your first finger, so the first string rings open properly.

  • E major: This chord is simple to play, just make sure that your first finger (holding down the first fret on the third string) is properly curled. Then strum all six strings.

  • E minor: The E minor chord is one of the simplest to play as it only requires two fingers. Just be sure not to let your other fingers touch the open strings. With this chord, you will put your hands in place and strum all six strings.

  • G major: Again, curl your fingers so the strings ring clearly and your fingers do not hit multiple strings. Then strum all six strings.

More Guitar-Playing Resources

Learning how to play guitar or brushing up on your skills? Try these resources for more information: 

  • Learning Guitar
  • Learn Chords Free
  • Beginner Guitar
  • Guitar Lessons