When you are a beginner guitar player, one of the most satisfying and rewarding outcomes of your efforts is learning to play a song in your favorite genre. It is essential to play the songs you love to keep the motivation high and achieve the ultimate purpose of playing an instrument: enjoying the music.
Country music is a genre that emerged in the 1920s in the southern United States, in which folk music from immigrant European countries such as Ireland was combined with other musical forms of African-American origin such as blues, bluegrass, and gospel. For the newbie guitarists who are fans of the country genre, there are many easy country songs to play with a bit of twang in the tone.
Furthermore, the genre offers guitarists a rich pile of guitar techniques and progressions to add to their repertoire. From the bass note fingerpicking to the locomotive style strumming, the country guitar style can be recognized in songs of famous country legends like Willie Nelson or Johnny Cash.
These songs on the list are ideal pieces for beginners to get familiar with the country-style rhythm guitar so that they can have the right starting point for building on top of it in order to establish the basic skills and evolve as an all-around guitarist.
Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton
Chris Stapleton’s cover of the 1981 country hit song Tennessee Whiskey catches the ear with its elements from rock and soul into the original country tune. The song hit the top of the charts reaching huge popularity.
It is a simple and great song to play with its catchy rhythms and lyrics. Placing a capo on the 2nd fret will help you sing the song while you enjoy its easy chord progressions and strum pattern.
Everything Has Changed – Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran
Another country-pop hit from recent years on the list, Everything Has Changed by Taylor Swift, and Ed Sheeran’s collaboration shows a great blend of pop, folk, and country genres. It is ultimately an appealing song to play with its easy chords and slow tempo.
The tune consists of 5 chords which seem a lot, but the chords are all open basic chords to play. The strumming is also easy with main downstrokes and occasional upstrokes.
If you are into love songs you will need to check out the following list as well Top 30 Easy Guitar Love Songs To Impress Her/Him – Tabs Included
You Make It Easy – Jane Aldean
Released in 2018, You Make It Easy is a song written by Floride George Line and recorded by Jane Aldean. The romantic tune became famous immediately, topping the charts and becoming a top-selling hit.
With a very traditional chord progression G, D, Em, and C, and a slow tempo, it is a straightforward song to play.
Cruise – Florida Georgia Line
The most popular country duo of the 21st century, Florida Georgia Line’s Cruise, is another big hit on the list that is perfectly suitable for beginners. The duo is well-known for their great tunes where they brilliantly mix different genres, and Cruise is no different.
The tune features a catchy rhythm of traditional country music along with the rock and roll backing of banjos, drums, and guitars. It is a very fun song to play, also ideal for novice guitarists.
If you are into rock and wish to learn rock-country songs you may want to check out my other article 25 Famous & Easy Acoustic Guitar Rock Songs For Beginners
The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
Another viral song on the list is The Gambler by Kenny Rogers. Released in 1976, the tune has a swingy rhythm along with the cool, relaxing voice of Kenny Rogers, which the song is well-known for.
It is an absolute beginner song with 3 chords; G, C, and D. So give your focus to strumming and correct timing.
The Git Up – Blanco Brown
The Git Up is the hit song of Blanco Brown from 2019. As a synthesis of country and rap, the tune is a unique combination.
You can play this whole song with only two chords, E and A, while you can experiment with the strum pattern, trying different variations, playing as you like.
Boys ‘Round Here – Blake Shelton
The 2013 hit Boys ‘Round Here by Blake Shelton became the number one hit in Canada, with its soulful vocals blending well with the bass-like sounds of the guitar.
It is a great song to learn and to excite to play as it only consists of two easy chords and a straightforward strum pattern.
If you are liking this list, you might want to check out my folk songs list Top 50 Famous&Easy Folk Guitar Songs For Beginners – Chords Included
Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus
Although the tune may not seem like a traditional country song, Achy Breaky Heart is a great tune with a rock groove and country elements. The song was released in 1992 by Billy Ray Cyrus, the father of famous singer and actress Miley Cyrus.
The song features only two simple chords, A and E. So, your attention should be on the strumming, giving the right accents, and feeling the groove as it is a perfect song to make people dance.
My Church – Maren Morris
One of the contemporary country songs, My Church by Maren Morris, was released in 2016 and got immense popularity, getting nominated to Grammy.
It is an easy tune to play with one of the most common chord progressions of D, G, C, and Em. It has a basic strum pattern with a moderate tempo: A perfect tune to learn and play to your friends.
Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show
Wagon Wheel is a peculiar song composed by Bob Dylan in 1973, and its lyrics written by Old Crow Medicine Show, the American country band. The song experienced a rising popularity thanks to its cover by many different country artists.
With a very traditional chord progression G, D, Em, and C, it is an ideal song for beginners. It is also a fun song to play, especially with the accompaniment of other instruments.
Ol’ Red – Blake Shelton
The Blake Shelton cover of the famous tune Ol’ Red is well-known for its bluesy rhythm and catchy melodies. Although the original version was released in 1990, it got its fame thanks to the Shelton cover.
The song is played with 4 chords, including a B7 chord which can be challenging for beginners. The palm-muted strum pattern is very basic, so it is a great song to practice chord transitions and chord finger positions.
Jolene – Dolly Parton
The next song on the list is the famous Jolene by the country superstar Dolly Parton. As one of the country superstar’s most covered songs, Jolene was released back in 1973 and is still one of the most known country songs of all time.
As the four chords are very basic to play, all your attention should be on the strumming. The 110 beats per minute tempo can push your wrists and fingers beyond their comfort zone, which is an excellent stamina practice for your hands.
Friends In Low Places – Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks chart-topper hit Friends In Low Places was released in 1990 with immediate success.
The song has a moderate tempo with four easy chords to play, making it an ideal song for beginners. The original recording uses arpeggios, but you can also strum the chords if you are not comfortable with fingerpicking.
Strawberry Wine – Deanna Carter
Strawberry Wine is a song by American country music artist Deana Carter released in 1996. The song topped the chard in Hot Country Singles and got vast popularity.
It is an absolute beginner song with D, G, A, and Em chord progression. Excellent song to learn and sing along with.
Blown Away – Carrie Underwood
The 2012 hit Blown Away by Carrie Underwood is a country-influenced pop song with a unique character. The melody resembles a pop song but with a country theme.
The song is plated with a basic down, down-up, up, and down-up pattern and a capo on the 5th fret. But you can adjust the capo according to your vocal range. The open chords to play the song are elementary: Em, D, and G.
Ring Of Fire – Johnny Cash
One of the most famous and must-learn country songs is, undoubtedly, Ring Of Fire by the legendary Johnny Cash. The tune is considered in the best 50 country songs ever written.
Without question, the song’s chords are elementary to play. The strumming pattern is basic, yet the fast tempo requires a strong strumming hand. Anyhow, it is a must-learn piece for country lovers.
The Story – Brandi Carlile
American folk-rock singer Brandi Carlile’s The Story is another great song to learn for country lover guitarists. The song is well-known for its guitar melodies and its appearance on Gray’s Anatomy, the famous TV show.
Just like many songs, this tune also uses G, D, Em, and C chord progression along with a basic strum pattern. It is an ideal song to learn and have fun playing for absolute beginners.
Talladega – Erich Church
Released in 2014, Talladega is a country hit by Erich Church about the NASCAR races and the city Talladega. The mid-tempo song features some mellow and lovely melodies for guitarists to learn and play.
The song’s structure consists of a typical C, G, Em, and D chor pattern. You can use a simple strumming pattern to play the song.
It’s Your Love – Tim McGraw
Released in 1997, It’s Your Love is a pop-country song by Tim McGraw. The tune hit the tops of the lists with its romantic elements and dancy rhythm.
The tune’s chords are simple, and the progression is always the same throughout the song. That is why many guitarists love to play this song. Also, it is a great song to play this tune with your partner.
Somebody Like You – Keith Urban
The country-influenced pop song from 2002, Somebody Like You, by Keith Urban shines with its catchy melody and rhythm, making the audience start humming the moment they hear the tune.
The song is played with simple open chords making it perfect for beginner guitarists. The original song is played with fingerpicking, but you can go with a simple strum pattern if you feel it is more comfortable for you.
When You Say Nothing At All – Keith Whitley
When You Say Nothing At All is mainly known for its covers from different artists, but the original song was created by Keith Whitley back in 1988. The older version is an excellent choice for guitarists looking for an easy country song to learn and play.
Aside from a chart-topping country song, the progression of the chords are elementary, and the strum pattern is straightforward. Its catchy tune also makes it ultimately entertaining to play.
He Didn’t Have to Be – Brad Paisley
The 1999 single from Brad Paisley, He Didn’t Have To Be, is a famous country song that reached number one on the hot country songs lists back in 1999.
The song is played with 5 basic open chords and a traditional strum pattern. To meet the original recording, you can use a capo on the 2nd fret.
Family Tradition – Hank Williams Jr.
Hank Williams Jr.’s most famous single Family Tradition from 1978 is another excellent country piece to play for beginners.
The tune is played with three chords E, A, and B7. The latter requires using all four fingers of the fretting hand unconventionally, making it a little challenging for guitarists who are not familiar with the chord. But, the song’s easy progression and strumming pattern help to develop the skill smoothly.
I Fall To Pieces – Patsy Cline
I Fall to Pieces is the country hit initially been recorded by Patsy Cline and was released as a single in 1961. The tune topped the country charts, crossed over onto the pop charts, and became among Cline’s biggest hits.
It is a beginner-friendly song with 4 open easy to play chords and a slow strum pattern that would not challenge any player.
On The Road Again – Willie Nelson
Everybody interested in country music definitely knows Willie Nelson’s famous On The Road Again. As a road trip tune, the song features a great rhythm guitar line and a bouncy melody, and iconic harmonica partitions.
It is entertaining to play and sing this song with friends some other instrument accompaniments to guitar. There is an F barre chord in the chord progression, which can be challenging for absolute beginners. But as this is one of the most famous country songs ever you should practice and add it to your repertoire.
Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days) – The Judds
The country duo, The Judds’ chart-topper single Grandpa from 1986, is considered one of the best western songs were ever written.
The two Grammy winner calm country tune is excellent for beginners as it features 5 different yet easy chords with a slow tempo. You can use a capo on the 2nd fret to sing along more straightforward with the tune while you practice chord transitions.
Coat Of Many Colors – Dolly Parton
The 1971 classic by the famous Dolly Parton, Coat Of Many Colors, is an underrated country tune that is a pearl for country lovers.
The 5 chords you will need to play the song are G, C, D, E, and A; all elementary chords. You can play this song with a basic strum pattern or try your chances with fingerpicking arpeggios to sound closer to the original recording.
Hope You Get Lonely Tonight – Cole Swindell
Hope You Get Lonely Tonight by Cole Swindell is a country hit from his self-titled album in 2012. Peaking at number 1 on charts, the tune uses country tropes in unique ways.
The song can be played with a basic G, D, Em, C chord progression and a simple strum pattern. It is a perfect song to play for beginner guitarists.
A Boy Named Sue – Johnny Cash
Country legend Johnny Cash’s other great piece, A Boy Named Sue from 1969, is actually a cover to the humorist, children’s author, and poet Shel Silverstein. The song shows significant country characteristics with a catchy rhythm and spoken lyrics instead of sung.
With three simple chords and a basic rhythm, it is a fun song to play and sing along with. You can sing as you like and change the lyrics as well to make it more fun.
Country Girl (Shake It for Me) – Luke Bryan
Country Girl (Shake It for Me) by Luke Bryan features an uptempo playful rhythm with its catchy melodies. The lyrics could be considered sexiest, but the rest covers it really well.
The chords to play the song are very basic. Thus, I recommend you play the song with fingerpicked arpeggios like the original record to get familiar with the fingerpicking technique.
El Paso – Marty Robbins
The western ballad written by Marty Robbins, El Paso, is a great country tune released in 1959. The song became highly famous and won a Grammy in 1961.
The song is played with 6 basic open chords along with an easy strum pattern—a great song to practice chord transitions and country rhythms.
Ocean Front Property – George Strait
One of the most classic country songs ever written is Ocean Front Property by Geroge Strait. Released in 1986, the song gained popularity thanks to its melancholic lyrics along with its country character.
The song is great to play with its mid-tempo rhythm and simple chords. The strum pattern is also straightforward, making the song perfect to train your fingers for chord transitions.
Mama Tried – Merle Haggard
Mama Tried by Merle Haggard is a special country tune selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry due to its “cultural, historic, or artistic significance.” The song has considerable fame and was covered by many great artists like Grateful Dead and Joan Baez.
It is a straightforward song to play with three of the most elementary chords, D, G, and A. The strum pattern is also pretty easy with steady down and upstrokes—an essential and outstanding song to add to your country repertoire.
My Baby Loves Me – Martina McBride
Another underrated country tune is Martina McBride’s cover of Gretchen Peter’s My Baby Loves Me. The cover was released in 1993 and had positive critics thanks to its slide guitar and six-string bass riffs.
The 4 chords to play the song are all open, easy chords, and the strum pattern is a classic country one with a high tempo.
Whiskey River – Willie Nelson
Although it is not an original Willi Nelson song, Whiskey River got its popularity thanks to its Nelson cover in 1973. The tune became one of his signature tunes right after the release.
The song consists of 5 open chords with comfortable finger positions and uses a traditional rhythm pattern—an excellent signature country song to add to your repertoire.
I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton
Although I Will Always Love You is mainly known for its pop cover by Whitney Houston, it actually is a country hit from 1974 by Dolly Parton. The slow tempo song is a chart-topper and great for beginner guitarists to learn with its slow tempo.
The four simple open chords here are C, D, G, and Em. The strumming pattern is also slow and comfortable, making the song an ideal one to play for absolute beginners.
Jambalaya – Hank Williams
Jambalaya by Hank Williams is one of the most iconic country songs ever written. This 1952 song is still sung and listened to by many people today because of its catchy rhythm and lyrics that are easy to remember.
As the song consists of 2 simple open chords, it is extremely easy to play. You can and should experiment with different strumming patterns or even use fingerpicking techniques to enrich the song and make it more interesting.
I Walk The Line – Johnny Cash
One of the earliest and iconic songs of the country star Johnny Cash is I Walk The Line from 1957. The tune sold over 2 million copies and became globally famous, thanks to its unique sound.
The song’s easy version can be played with three chords; C, G7, and F. The barre chord F can be hard for novice guitarists who are not familiar with the technique. But, starting slowly and practicing is essential to learn this key technique to enrich your repertoire.
You Are My Sunshine – Jimmie Davis
The oldest song on the list, You Are My Sunshine by Jimmie Davis, is one of American pop music’s most commercially used musical pieces. Even though nowadays its country spirit is lost with many covers and renditions, initially, it is a country song that shaped the genre.
With three elementary chords and a slow tempo basic strum pattern, it is ultimately an easy and fun song to play, a must-learn for country lovers.
Sixteen Tons – Tennessee Ernie Ford
One of the oldest songs on the list is Sixteen Tons by Tenessee Ernie Ford from 1946. You may not be familiar with the lyrics, but undoubtedly you will recognize the melodies. The lovely piece of music was covered and performed by many artists throughout the years.
The song is played with 4 easy chords, but the F barre chord can be challenging for absolute beginners. You may take it slow and practice the chord transition with a basic strum pattern.
More Of You – Chris Stapleton
More Of You is the old-school country waltz in which Chris Stapleton serenades his wife. Released in 2015, the slow tempo song stays loyal to the country roots with its guitar and vocal partitions.
The song can be played with 6 chords making it a great song to practice chord transitions for beginners as its slow rhythm will not challenge you in the transitions.
The King Is Gone – George Jones
The King Is Gone is a country hit by George Jones from 1989. The song is well known for its unique and ironic lyrics.
You can use a capo on the 4th fret to play the song’s conventional G, D, Em, and C chord progression. The two different strum patterns of the song are pretty straightforward and suitable for absolute beginners.
Your Cheatin’ Heart – Hank Williams
Released in 1952, Your Cheatin’ Heart by Hank Williams is considered one of the most important standards of the country genre. The guitar partitions, the vocals, the song’s structure shaped the genre for future generations.
The song can be played with 4 easy chords and a standard strum pattern. It is an entertaining song to play and sing with your friends.
Okie From Muskogee – Merle Haggard
One of the most successful and famous songs of the genre is Okie From Muskogee by Merle Haggard. It is also a great song to play for beginners as it only features 2 chords.
It is ultimately a fun song to play and sing along with its easy structure.
Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
Folsom Prison Blues sits somewhere between country and blues. It is a great song composed by the country legend Johnny Cash in 1955.
The song is played with single-picked bass notes with traditionally strummed chords coming after in an upbeat structure. There are some simple solo fills in between verses that create a bluesy character. Ultimately a great song to add to the blues repertoire for guitarists.
Thank God I’m a Country Boy – John Denver
Thank God I’m A Country Boy is an upbeat country hit by John Denver, which will get you to tap your boots dancing to its catchy vibes. The 1975 song is entirely enjoyable to play, thanks to its swingy rhythm.
The chords used here are all easy-to-play open chords. What will give you the struggle is the 132 BPM rhythm of the song, which will push the limits of your hands’ stamina.
Act Naturally – Buck Owens
Act Naturally is a country tune initially recorded by Buck Owens and The Buckaroos, whose version reached number 1 on the lists in 1963. The song was also covered by the legendary The Beatles.
The song features four chords A, A7, D, and D6, with a capo on the 2nd fret. You can use a basic strum pattern or play the riffs if you feel comfortable with them.
Blue Moon Of Kentucky – Elvis Presley
Originally composed in 1947 by Bill Monroe, Blue Moon Of Kentucky got its fame thanks to its Elvis Presley cover. Elvis’ added a more rock and roll feel to the song while keeping the country roots, giving it a nice blend of genres.
The song has a high tempo yet basic strum pattern. It also features many chords, but they are all easy-to-play open chords, perfectly suitable for beginners.
Something To Love – Jason Isbell
Something To Love is an old-school country tune by Jason Isbell, yet it was a newly released song in 2017. The tune stays loyal to the genre’s roots with a quick tempo rhythm guitar and some lovely solo guitar partitions.
The song’s chord progression features some new chords for beginners, but they all have comfortable finger positions along with a simple strum pattern. You can start slow and build up the speed later.
I Shall Not Be Moved – Johnny Cash
I Shall Not Be Moved a Black slave spiritual, hymn, and protest song dating to the early 19th century American south. The song got famous as an iconic song in Civil Rights Movement and covered by many artists, including the most appreciated version by Johnny Cash.
This last song on the list is played with 6 easy open chords and is ideal for beginners. As it is a slow tempo song, it is a great song to practice chord positions and transitions.
To be an all-around guitarist, every player should check what country genre offers to their technique and musical approach. There are some precious and challenging techniques, songs, and playing styles that everyone can benefit from.
Keep in mind that the most crucial element is to have a solid foundation of the fundamentals like rhythm, tuning, notes, techniques, and chords, and the rest will follow. So keep on practicing!
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