Instructor: Dwight H.
From big bands to rock ensembles, and even R&B groups, Dwight has played with them all. He's been teaching guitar for over 10 years. When teaching, he draws from his experience on stage, injecting the knowledge of what it takes to be a gigging musician into every lesson.

The 10 Best Country Guitar Chords


How to Play Major Chords 7th Chords Tips

What you'll learn:

  • The 10 essential country guitar chords and how to play them.
  • Popular Country chord progressions from the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd

The sweet sounds of Country & Western music are a uniquely American artform. You may well have heard your grandfather, passionately recalling the origins of the style and affectionately referring to it as "hillbilly music." That's because it has its roots in the Southern United States and drew inspiration from the classic folk songs of the working class, blending them with signature twang of the South.

How to Play Country Guitar Chords

If you're looking to replicate the Country & style on your guitar, you'll benefit from knowing a few essential chords and how they fit together in typical country song structures. Today, we'll be covering exactly that, along with an example to help put it all into perspective and help give you ideas for creating your own progressions.

The first and foremost thing you'll need to grasp about Country music is that you'll be playing a lot of major and dominant 7th chords, which you form using the first, third, and fifth scale tones of a key (and the 7th, in the case of those dominant chords).

Country Guitar Chords Charts & Diagrams

Pick a Country song at random, and you're bound to find more than a few, so let's recap some of the most prominent ones:

C Major Country Guitar Chord

C Major Country Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd string/1st fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 4th string/4th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 5th string/3rd fret
  • Play strings 1, 3, and 6 open

D Major Country Guitar Chord

D Major Country Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 3rd string/2nd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 1st string/2nd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/3rd fret
  • Play string 4 open
  • Mute strings 5 and 6

E Major Country Guitar Chord

E Major Country Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 3rd string/1st fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string/2nd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th string/2nd fret
  • Play strings 1, 2, and 6 open

G Major Country Guitar Chord

G Major Country Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 5th string/2nd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 6th string/3rd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 1st string/3rd fret
  • Play strings 2, 3, and 4 open

A Major Country Guitar Chord

A Major Country Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string/2nd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string/2nd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/2nd fret
  • Play strings 1, 5, and 6 open

C7 Country Guitar Chord

C7 Country Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd string/1st fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 4th string/2nd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 5th string/3rd fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 3rd string/3rd fret
  • Play strings 1 and 6 open

D7 Country Guitar Chord

D7 Country Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd string 1st fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string/2nd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 1st string/2nd fret
  • Play string 4 open
  • Mute strings 5 and 6

E7 Country Guitar Chord

E7 Country Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 3rd string/3rd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string/2nd fret
  • Play strings 1, 2, 4, and 6 open

G7 Country Guitar Chord

G7 Country Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 1st string/1st fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string/2nd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 6th string/3rd fret
  • Play strings 2, 3, and 4 open

A7 Country Guitar Chord

A7 Country Guitar Chord

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 4th string/2nd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/2nd fret
  • Play strings 1, 3, 5, and 6 open

Learn Country Guitar Chords by Example

You'll find plenty of simple I-IV-V-I chord progressions in Country-style music, but that's not the only way to get the job done. Check out "Hillbilly Blues" by Lynyrd Skynyrd to get a different perspective on how those Major chords can fit into the Country sound.

After an intro that treats you to a combination of G, F, G#, A, C, and D Major, you'll be playing a chord progression that takes you between D and C Major, up to G Major, and even stops at an E7 and A Major chord along the way. During the solo section, you'll make liberal use of the D Major scale to improvise a pleasing melody over D and C Major chords.

This is just one of many permutations you'll encounter when playing country music. Keep listening to the greats and pay attention to the chords and progressions they take advantage of so you can refine your own sound when devising Country chord progressions. Best of luck, and, as always, happy practicing!

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