Learning how to play guitar is not just acquiring some other skill but it’s a journey unlike any other. Especially if you’re so passionate about the craft then you’d definitely change your life for the better. It can be a bit challenging at first especially if you’re learning some tunes by yourself.
Fortunately, we come with valuable advice. Before you can go shred the fretboard you’re going to have to learn some easy tunes first and what better genre to start with than country music.
Here is the list of easy country songs on guitar to learn and play when you’re just starting out.
Easy Country Songs on Guitar for Beginners
1. Sixteen Tons by Merle Travis/Tennessee Ernie Ford
Go grab your acoustic guitar as we start our beginner country songs on guitar list with a classic hit, Sixteen Ton. This is one of the easiest old country songs to learn on guitar. Sixteen Tons was both performed by Merle Travis and Tennessee E. Ford on separate renditions.
Merle Travis recorded the song in 1946 and Ford later released his own version in 1955 with a Western Europe version also released by Frankie Laine in 1956. No doubt the song was popular enough to gain such interest with famous and relevant lines such as “You load sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt”.
It’s got this upbeat strumming pattern that’s easy enough for beginners to play and basic chord progressions involving the chords Am, G, F, E, C, and Dm. The beat and tempo should get your rhythm practice going in the right direction.
2. Mama Tried by Merle Haggard
Another easy popular song to play on guitar is Mama Tried by Merle Haggard. This great country song is most notably known for its plucked chords and signature but simple guitar riff during intros and interludes this one is a bit upbeat but would be a good challenge for beginners to try.
Here you will use the guitar chords D, A7, G, and Bm. Learning how to pluck for the first time would be recommended with this song to plus a simple lead guitar wouldn’t hurt as well. The song is based on a dark part of Haggard’s past when he was incarcerated and serves as a sympathetic song to his mother.
3. Jambalaya (On The Bayou) by Hank Williams
As a country music fan, If you want to learn how to play great songs easily then Jambalaya by Hank Williams is another easy slow country song to play on guitar. This song garnered multiple cover versions during its time testament to its popularity.
One of the easy songs on our list with a great melody and simple fingerpicking style. You wouldn’t even expect that the chords for it are just C and G. Yep, you read that right. That’s perfect for you as a beginner guitarist. And its strumming is basic enough for you to master fast.
The name is of course inspired by the Cajun dish Jambalaya because why not? It’s a great delicious dish.
4. Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton
Who does not love Dolly Parton? For the new generation, she may just be another famous or rich person but back Dolly Parton was a country music goddess.
The song Coat of Many Colors is a heartwarming song about Dolly and her mother stitching her a coat made out of rags. Chords-wise this tune is easy enough to play with just the chords G, C, D, E, and A.
The slow tempo helps you to master it in no time.
5. El Paso by Marty Robbins
If you’re the hopeless romantic type then you may like this easy acoustic country guitar song El Paso by Marty Robbins. This song is characterized as one of those gunfighter ballads and trail songs that was famous back then.
With basic guitar chords and two main chord progressions shifting from stanza to refrain this one should be easy enough for beginners to try. The first chord progressions begin D-Em-A7-D and the other G-C-G-D-D7.
Easy enough chords to master your strumming techniques and shifting around the fretboard alike.
6. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry by Hank Williams
This classic country theme song was penned by Hank Williams and released in 1949. It is one of the most well-known country songs of all time. There has a claim that Paul Gilley originally wrote the lyrics but sold the song with its right to Hank Williams. Multiple famous artists like B.J. Thomas, Elvis Presley, and Bob Dylan have covered this country classic.
The number of chords used in the original song is quite difficult for most guitar beginners. So use a simple strumming pattern and easy chords like E, A, and B7. Also, this song involves a moderate tempo which makes it easy to play on the guitar.
7. I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash
The original I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash is a classic and was one of his first singles. The song is about Cash’s dedication to his first wife despite the many temptations he faced while touring as a musician. The song has been covered by many artists over the years, but the rendition remains closest to the heart of Cash fans.
This tune is relatively easy to play as it uses guitar chords like A, D, and E. Absolute beginners can play this song with a basic strumming pattern and a little bit of practice. A great choice if you are looking to play some easy country songs on guitar for beginners.
8. Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash
Ring of Fire was made famous by Johnny Cash but it was written by his wife, June Carter Cash along with Merle Kilgore. The song is about the dangers of falling in love and has a very distinct sound that is recognizable even to those who are not fans of country music.
The chords G, C, and D have used in this song. The fast strumming pattern of this song can be challenging for beginner guitarists. But they can challenge themselves to learn the quick strum pattern of this song with a little bit of practice.
9. A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash
Our list won’t just include easy guitar country songs to learn but quite famous ones. Obviously, songs need not be complex for it to become a hit and none embodies that concept better than A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash.
A generational artist Johnny Cash mixes fun storytelling with his singing and this tale tells a story of a boy named Sue and the trials that that brings.
This is a 3 chord country song for guitar and you’ll learn the guitar chords A, D, and E if you practice this tune. That’s super easy with an upbeat tempo you’ll be on your way to be a charismatic country guitar player.
10. Jolene by Dolly Parton
Jolene by Dolly Parton is a song inspired by a bank clerk who flirted with Dolly’s husband when they were newly-wed with another version that it’s inspired by her fan who asked for her autograph.
Regardless, this is a timeless classic and has been performed by artists like Miley Cyrus in recent times. The song is more upbeat and has this aggressive approach reflecting the thoughts of the singer about its theme.
But as always, it’s easy enough to learn and play on the guitar as it only incorporates the chords Am, C, G, and Em.
11. Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver
Another signature song that has transcended from its time is the classic country song Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver. Another popular and huge talent back in the day John Denver was a rockstar or should we say country music star.
You’ll be switching from chords G, D, Em, C, F, and D7 with this classic tune so it’s fit for you to practice basic and barre chords with just the right beat for you to learn the ropes of guitar playing.
This song has got one of the most memorable melodies on our list for sure.
12. King of the Road by Roger Miller
This hit song was released in 1965 and is one of Roger Miller’s most famous songs. The lyrics for this song are about a man who is proud to be a hobo and doesn’t want to live a wealthy life.
Roger Miller was born in Texas, but this song is about hobo life he learned about while traveling around the country. This song won two Grammy Awards in 1965, one for Best Country & Western Recording (Singles) and one for Best Country Vocal Performance (Male).
In 1995 some renowned artists, including Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton, delivered a live performance of this song at the CMA Awards ceremony in honor of Miller’s posthumous induction into the Country Music Hall Of Fame.
The chords used in this song are A, D, E, Bb, Eb, and F. This song has a moderate tempo and is easy to play on the guitar.
13. Okie from Muskogee by Merle Haggard
This song was released in 1969 and is one of Merle Haggard’s most famous songs. This song is about a man who doesn’t subscribe to the hippie lifestyle of the Vietnam War era, and he’s proud that his state, Oklahoma has its own identity.
American country artist Merle Haggard was born in Oklahoma, so this song is autobiographical. This song was number 1 in the hot country singles chart and was also a crossover hit, charting on the Billboard Hot 100.
The chords used here are A, D, Eb, and Bb. This song is primarily rotating around two-chord patterns that drive this whole song, namely D major and A major. This song has a moderate tempo and is easy to play on the guitar.
14. Thank God I’m A Country Boy by John Denver
The second John Denver tune on our list is one upbeat country song. Thank God I’m A Country Boy will teach you how to strum a little bit faster with a few more variations in its chord progression.
Probably the best way to introduce newer more common bar chords into the mix. You will play the guitar chords, A, D, G, E, F#m, and E7 with this popular hit and practice a different kind of strumming. This song was released as a smashing hit and was once number 1 on the Country Billboards chart.
15. On The Road Again by Willie Nelson
If you’re looking for a good country song to play while traveling then On The Road Again by Willie Nelson suits that occasion. This is a personal favorite of ours with its upbeat tempo and relaxing melody you’ll learn a lot while playing this song for sure.
Chords used in this song are E, G#7, F#m, A, B7, and B. With a faster tempo, it can be challenging but you’ll get the hang of it fast and you’ll be ready for more complex country songs on guitar in a jiffy. It’s a great song to lighten up any mood.
16. I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton
This song was originally recorded by Dolly Parton in 1973 and later on, Whitney Houston recorded this song for the 1992 movie The Bodyguard. Houston’s version made this song popular and became one of the best-selling singles of all time.
It is a classic country love ballad that has been covered by many artists over the years. The chords used in this song are C, G, Em, and D. This song is a great choice for beginner guitarists because the slow tempo of this song enables you to perform the strumming pattern accurately.
17. Rockytop by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
This song was written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and was first recorded by Osborne Brothers as a bluegrass version in 1967. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s version was released in 1976 on their compilation album Dirt, Silver and Gold.
The chord progression for Rockytop is G-D-Em-C. This country tune is a great beginner song to play on the guitar. The chord changes are easy to learn, and this song is about a made-up place called Rockytop, Tennessee. Give this song a try! You won’t be disappointed.
18. Act Naturally by Buck Owens
Act Naturally originally by Buck Owens is another popular country song on our list. It’s one of those easy country songs with a storyline that is common in the country genre. This one is about a jilted person who is then brought to Hollywood to play the part of a movie.
Amongst many of the renditions of the song is the one from The Beatles themselves and was prominently featured by Ringo Starr in some of his other ventures as well.
This song is just as easy as the previous country songs we’ve discussed with its chord progressions including the guitar chords G, C, D7, and A7 only.
19. Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up by Ed Bruce/Willie Nelson
Another one of those country songs that tells quite a touching story is Mammas Don’t Let Your Babiesfirstperformed by Ed Bruce and then covered by Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson, Gibson/Miller Band on varying releases.
You can take it slow with this classic tune regarded as one of the best country songs of all time as you learn newer chords.
This song employs the guitar chords D, G, A/A7 for Verse 1 and Chorus but Verse 2 is a tone higher so the chords are E, A, B/B7. So that’s a good mix of basic and barre chords that will speed up your progress.
20. When You Say Nothing at All by Keith Whitley
Allison Krauss, Ronan Keating, nope, Keith Whitley performed this multi-generational hit first. When You Say Nothing at All should be a must-learn for guitar learners. Pretty easy song to learn but with a melody that is just as relevant as the day it was first released.
If you’re new to guitar playing you’d know that this song employs the famous DAGA country style guitar chords progression and we’re sure that you’ll learn it fast. Did you know that composers Paul Overstreet and Dan Schlitz wrote this song because they were coming up empty on one of their songwriting sessions?
Thus the line “You say it best when you say nothing at all”. Crazy, right? Little did they know that strumming through some common chords while having nothing in mind to write about would create such a smashing hit.
21. Ocean Front Property by George Strait
Another song for the hopeless romantic people, Ocean Front Property is really just a love song wooing an ex-lover. So if that catches your attention then learn this slow tempo song that employs rather easy guitar chords.
With just DM9, that’s D major 9, D, G, and A chords, you’d be playing this song with confidence rather easily in no time. Here DM9 only used in the chorus part but you can skip that chord to use only three chords D, A, and G throughout the whole song.
One of the easy country love songs that capture the essence of country music and definitely a must for guitar players to learn.
22. Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks
Another song with quite an interesting story behind it and definitely one of the best country songs to learn for beginner guitarists is Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks.
The song was actually inspired when composer Earl Bud Lee forgot his wallet when out eating on a famous restaurant, when asked by the waitress how he is going to pay for the meal he then quoted the famous line “I got friends in low places”.
It’s got a moderate tempo, but a few challenging chord changes involve the guitar chords A, Bbdim7, Bm, E, E7, Dm7, and A7. If you are an absolute beginner, you can also try an alternative version that includes only 3 chords G, Am, D7 (or D). It’s a great song for people to sing along to.
23. I’m Gonna Be Somebody by Travis Tritt
Another song with a moderate tempo and will help you play more complex country songs is I’m Gonna Be Somebody by Travis Tritt. A country song in all aspects this smash hit is about someone who aspires to reach his dreams despite tough times.
This song employed guitar chords G, C, D, B7, Am7, G/B, and Am. It’s got a structure closer to newer songs so even guitarists of this generation can surely appreciate it.
24. Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus
Who does not recognize this groove? Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus was a smash hit back then and even today’s generation would be left dancing if they hear the famous riff from this tune.
But what’s amazing about this Achy Breaky Heart song is that it’s only a 2 chord country song. All you need to play are chords A and E and you have yourself one groovy song to hype up everybody.
25. Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show/Darius Rucker
If you noticed a trend about country music it’s the fact that they’ve been covered by multiple artists over and over again. Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show is one such country music song, written by Bob Dylan and Ketch Secor in 1970.
A slow tempo song that employs the G, D, Em, and C harmonic progression is sure to get you to learn the ropes in guitar playing.
26. It’s Your Love by Faith Hill/Tim Mcgraw
One of the number one Hot Country Songs on Billboard chart (1997) and definitely one easy 90s country song to practice on your acoustic guitar is It’s Your Love by Faith Hill/Tim Mcgraw.
A smash hit and recipient of multiple country music awards this love song is performed by real-life couple Tim Mcgraw and Faith Hill. It’s so easy to play too with just the progression of chords G, D, Em, and C.
This country song embodies the passionate songs that reigned supreme back in the 90s.
27. Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton
Initially released way back in the 1980s this one has had many renditions including Chris Stapleton’s version. Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton is one sensual country music with a slow tempo that will get you learning those guitar chords the right way.
All you need to learn to play this song are the chords A, and Bm (or G, and Am if you use a capo on the 2nd fret). pretty common chords for a great song. And, did you know, Justin Timberlake himself made this song more popular recently.
A song is so popular that artists all over the globe have covered it and each time became a smash hit. It’s a song about love and passion that’s shared by its initial songwriters which probably started with a bottle of you guessed it, Tennessee Whiskey.
28. He Didn’t Have to Be by Brad Paisley
Country music does not go short of heartwarming songs and this modern classic He Didn’t Have to Be by Brad Paisley is definitely one of them. Pretty easy to learn this song with just the basic chords G, C, D, Am, and Em, you’ll master this one in no time.
The song is about a child, his mom, and stepfather that latter who didn’t have to be but became like a real father to the child who’s about to be a father himself.
29. Hurricane by Luke Combs
Hurricane by Luke Combs was just a recent 2015 country music hit. A very emotional song with a modern structure is sure to get you to appreciate the genre if you don’t already.
Relatively easy to play employing the chords Em, C, G, D/F#, and D only. This is a smash hit with the meaning of the song comparing a former lover with the impact of a hurricane for both good and not-so-good reasons. Definitely worth checking out for newer country music enthusiasts.
30. Blown Away by Carrie Underwood
Speaking of more recent hits, Blown Away by Carrie Underwood already incorporates modern rock elements into country music but that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn it rather easily.
This is a 3 chord country song for guitar as it only employs Em, G, and D for the entirety of it. This song is classified as country-pop and part of the genre’s popularity during the 21st century. You may check out Carrie Underwood’s contemporaries like Kelly Clarkson or the Band Perry.
31. Cruise by Florida Georgia Line/Nelly
Not that we’re talking about fusion genres, Cruise by Florida Georgia Line/Nelly is a mix of hip hop and country music and as a musician, we think that you should explore it too.
A little bit unconventional to play on the guitar but the chord progression is still just G, D, Em7, and C (Or, Cadd9). Recent country music hit just within the past decade, this one is definitely something younger generations can relate to. It even features popular rapper Nelly.
32. Just a Woman by Jaime Wyatt
The last entry on our easy country songs on guitar list is Just a Woman by Jaime Wyatt. This is also the most recent song we’ve included on our list and it’s characterized by classic country music instruments and vintage mood generates from typical bass note strum technique.
The song’s chord progressions are dominated by the chords, F, C, and B with a capo on the first fret and it’s pretty easy for anyone to master. It’s an emotional song about being a woman which is quite relevant in this genre as women country musicians have as many hits as men if you check out its history.
What makes a song easier to learn for beginners?
As we have ended our list of country songs to learn, let’s go through some valuable advice about learning the guitar the easy way.
- Learn the songs that you love. It’s easier to play the rhythm of a song you already know by heart. It’s easier to learn the guitar chords and the whole experience would just be more enjoyable that you won’t quit on it altogether rather easily.
- Go with songs with only 3 to 4 chords in a progression. Learning some basic chords first especially with common progressions like G-Em-C-D or D-Bm-G-A would first help you familiarize yourself with the basic chords and the feel for the fretboard. Also, your body rhythm as you strum would improve as that’s a skill that most beginners struggle with and is quite hard to teach.
- You don’t necessarily have to go for bands or music genres that you love either. While we said that you need to play the songs you love, we also encourage you to explore easier songs from a different genre. Pop songs, pop rock, country, and classic love songs are much easier to learn at first compared to say metal or rock.
- Work your way from basic chord progressions to practicing how to solo if you want to be a lead guitarist. Be patient. It’s important that you nail the fundamentals down first before you go for anything advanced. You’ll just make it harder for yourself.
- Familiarize yourself with tabs and learn from a mentor. You don’t necessarily need to pay for guitar lessons. There are tons of materials on the internet, tutorials on YouTube, and even access to famous guitarists’ best practices. Model your playing style after a known guitar player then develop your own style from there.
- Learn how to tune your instrument and practice, practice, practice! music genres.
There you have it! These are some of the most enjoyable and easy country songs to play on guitar for the beginner guitar player. You don’t need to listen or practice all of them, when I was starting out I learned about a dozen basic songs then proceeded to practice or rehearse the ones I really loved to play.
Remember, the most important thing is to nail the fundamentals of the craft down like rhythm, tuning, notes, and chords, and everything else will follow. You never know, you’d be composing your own songs in no time. So keep on practicing.