Country Guitar Songs for Beginners

I’ve never picked up a guitar before, but I want to play country guitar songs for beginners.  Where do I start?

The only step-by-step country guitar method in the world is Six String Country’s Guitar 101 Basics Course.

Six String Country Guitar 101 Basics Course

This 12-step program starts from the very beginning and teaches important fundamentals along with appropriate popular country songs along the way.

The tutorials that make up the program are all available separately as well.  If you learn better on your own, you can browse the Guitar Basics and Licks & Tricks areas of the website, and learn at your own pace.

Learning even the most basic country guitar songs for beginners can be a frustrating endeavor if you don’t have a couple of basic skills down.  First, learn how to hold a pick.  Once you have a comfortable hold on the pick, move along to learning a couple keys of chords.  The good news is that if you have a capo, and know just 5 keys of chords, you can play most country songs out there.  Here are the 5 keys to learn, in order of importance:

Key of C
Key of G
Key of D
Key of A
Key of E

If you don’t have a capo, you should get one eventually, but you can play tons of songs while you wait.  Just to go to a site like, find a song in a key you are comfortable in, and play away!

Another key skill for playing country guitar songs as a beginning guitarist is a basic knowledge of scales. Many riffs and melodic hooks used in country songs are worked into the rhythm guitar parts, and these usually follow the pentatonic or diatonic scale in whatever key the song is in.  I’d recommend starting with the pentatonic scale.  This is a free lesson on  The key with practicing scales is to start by playing them slowly and with a consistent tempo.  Gradually work up to speed.

When you ready to start learning some licks and riffs, start with some very basic blues riffs, and move to some basic chicken pickin’ licks.  These are both free lessons at Six String Country.  Blues soloing and country guitar soloing are closely related, and country guitar solos in hit country songs frequently use blues riffs.  Chicken Pickin’ is a technique where the guitarist plays the strings using both the pick and various fingers on the right hand.  This creates a “clucking” sound that is a signature calling card of country guitarists.