One of the most satisfying experiences for any beginner is to be able to play some simple songs while still learning the guitar. Country music has some of the easiest-to-play chords, songs and strumming patterns and they make a great choice for beginners who want to learn how to change between chords swiftly and learn other guitar techniques. Asides this, country songs are great options for picnics, sing-alongs and family outings; the moment you learn to play them, you need no formal rehearsals to play whenever you want to. Another good thing about country songs is that it is easy for people to sing along to as they are easy-to-learn songs and are very catchy. I’ve put together 10 simple and popular country songs that you can listen to, pick up, and play right away!
Jolene – Dolly Parton
This 90s song according to Dolly Parton, is her most-covered song. She sings about a woman begging another woman to leave her man alone, ‘Jolene’ ranked 217 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. It is a really simple song to learn with only three chord changes, and a tempo of 110bpm, but for beginners, it can be slowed down and it would still sound great.
Chords: Am – C – G – Em
Jambalaya (On the Bayou) – Hank Williams
This is a very simple country song with a beautiful melody and a strumming pattern that is just perfect for every beginner to catch on fast. Plus, it has only two chords! Yes, two chords! How easy is that?!
Chords: G – C
When you say nothing at all – Keith Whitley
This beautiful country song has been covered by many musicians since its release in 1988, the story talks about understanding a loved one without saying anything at all. Many beginner guitarists have confirmed the simplicity of this song, it has only three chords that are easy to switch between and the tempo is slow, so there’s no need to be in a hurry to change chords.
Chords: G – D – C
Friends in low places – Garth Brooks
With this playful campfire song, you can learn the chorus first and then come back to the more challenging verse as it involves more experience with fingerpicking exercises. The tempo is moderate, you can always slow it down and increase back to the original tempo as soon as you get a hang of it.
Chords: G – Am – D
Ring of fire – Johnny Cash
Every beginner guitarist knows Johnny Cash, not only because he writes great songs but also because it seems more like he puts beginners in mind before composing his songs – they are pretty easy to learn and ‘ring of fire’ is no exception, it makes use of only three chords, two of which are quite easy to change between, and a simple strumming pattern.
Chords: D – C – G
Cruise – Florida Georgia Line
This 2012 song featuring the popular rapper Nelly in the remix, is a fusion of country and hip-hop music, it has a contemporary happy tune has a very interesting ring to it, it uses only four chords in the entire song.
Chords: C – D – Em – G
Tennessee whiskey – Chris Stapleton
David Allan Coe is the original owner of this song with its first release in 1981 and it has since then been covered by many musicians. Chris Stapleton’s 2015 cover of the song happens to be the most popular version with a bit of R&B fusion into it. There are only two chords involved: A and Bm, but for beginners who have not yet mastered barre chords so well, you can put a capo on the 2nd fret and play a G instead of an A, and an Am instead of a Bm.
Chords: A – Bm
Achy breaky heart – Billy Ray Cyrus
A very catchy song from the 90s, easy to groove on with an upbeat tempo, has only two chords and is easy to sing along too. The only flip side to this song is that the strumming pattern is hard so you’ll need to focus more on the strumming hand once you’ve gotten a grip of the chord changes from A to E.
Chords: A – E
Blown away – Carrie Underwood
This Carrie’s 2012 hit song has some rock music infused into its country style but it is still pretty much easy to learn as the entire song involves only three beginner chords Am, C and G. it can also be played in fingerpicking style with Em, G and D.
Chords: Am – C – G
A boy named Sue – Johnny Cash
Here we are again with Johnny Cash! This is another simple Cash song that is beginner friendly and involves only three chords with a bright tempo. It is pretty straight forward and is perfect for absolute beginners.
Chords: A – D – E
I’m gonna be somebody – Travis Tritt
This song by Travis Tritt has a beautiful melody to play along with and a simple strumming pattern. Although it involves four chords and the movement of all four fingers along the chords, the switch is not so fast. The easy strumming pattern helps you concentrate more on your chord changing hand than on your strumming hand; a great choice of song for beginners indeed!
Chords: G – C – D – Em
It’s your love – Tim McGraw
This 1997 hit country song is really easy for beginners to learn and play in no time. Four simple chords G, C, Em, D are used and the progression and strumming pattern makes it easy to memorize. You’ll love this one!
Chords: G – C – Em – D
There are other genres of songs beginners can learn to play easily, check out this article to find out more:
30 easy-to-play beginner friendly songs