Country chords

When it comes to country guitar, it's not so much about learning new chords, but congenial techniques and strumming patterns. You can use the typical "cowboy chords" in most cases, but to make it sound country there are some new concepts to look closer at.

If you need some advice for chord and diagrams, here are nevertheless three central chords in the style:


  • G chord diagram alternative fingering 320003


  • C chord diagram X32010


  • D chord diagram XX0232

You could strum the chords, but should as well try plucking which will distinguish the style to a higher degree. A tip is to sometimes include the bass note on the string above the root (see and listen to the following examples with tabs and sounds below).

Learn from video

Country in 3/4 time

Country, and sometimes specified as country waltz, has a special touch and since the tempo often is quite low, this can be considered as a relatively easy concept. The following example splits the chord into the bass note and the rest of the notes, a common feature in country.

tab chord progression

Country in 4/4 time

The second example is in 4/4 time and alternating between bass note and the rest of the chord.

tab chord progression

Chord lick

bluegrass lick

A typical figure in bluegrass and country styles based on the G major chord.


Examples of progressions suitable for country:

G - C - D7 - G

C - A7 - D

A - D - A - E


Free guitar lessons for this style.


Country artists

Listen to country music with guitar as a central instrument to get more familiar with the style. Here are some great artists listed:

  • Johnny Cash
  • Gram Parsons
  • Merle Haggard
  • Willie Nelson
  • Hank Williams

Drum tracks

Here are sound tracks with only drums to jam with in country style.

Jam track 1
Jam track 2
Jam track 3

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