Hey, everybody. How’s it going? This is Darrin Goodman with guitarcontrol.com, bringing you this video lesson. Today, I want to show you three country songs that only use two chords. These are really simple ones, great songs for beginners, and this is like older country, not like really contemporary stuff. So, be sure to click on the link in the description for the tabs, and let’s get close up and take a look at what we got going on.
All right, so the first song we’re going to look at is Jambalaya by Hank Williams. This song uses the chords G and C. For G, I’m on the second fret of the fifth string with my first finger, third fret of the sixth string with my second finger, strings four and three are open, and then there’s two ways we can do this. We can do the third fret of the second string with your third finger and the third fret of the first string with your fourth finger, or we can play that second string open. Either way is correct, because what it is is that if you were playing the second string open, that’s a B, and the second fret of the fifth string is a B, so you’re getting two Bs, but if you put your finger down on the third fret of the second string, it’s a D, so then we’re getting two Ds and just one B, so it just depends on which one you prefer on the sound. I’m pretty sure that he is doing with the second string open on this, but it’s not a deal breaker either way. Whatever’s more comfortable for you.
All right, so we’ve got that G, and then we have C. For C, we’re going to go to the first fret of the second string with your first finger, third string is open, first string is open, second fret of the fourth string with your second finger, and third fret of the fifth string with your third finger, and the sixth string, you do not play. C. This transition between C and G, if you are not really proficient at that yet, I would work on that, to get that down. Alternatively, you could also just move your second and third… Transitioning from C, you could just move your second and third finger down a set of strings, so now you’re on the fifth and the sixth string, and then drop your fourth finger to that third fret of the first string, lift your first finger off, and back to C. It’s just as easy for me to do this, because I’ve had a lot of practice doing it, but if the other way is easier for you, then do it.
All right, so for the rhythm for this, it’s got your basic classic country kind of a rhythm, where it’s all eighth notes. We’re starting with G, and we’re going to play the base note of the chord, which is the sixth string, on the downbeat, and then strum the chord on the offbeat, so it’s one-and two-and three-and four-and. Fairly, fairly common thing you see in a lot of old country music, or even when they do stuff with like the alternating bass lines. Same kind of idea. It’s just this doesn’t have an alternating bass line. So we’ve got the G, one measure of that, into C, same thing. I’m just going to go to C. Now I’m playing the fifth string as the base note, one-and two-and three-and four-and.
This is a fairly repetitive song. We start off just with the two measures, a measure of G and a measure of C. Then, when we go into the third measure, we stay on C, and this is the beginning of a repeat, by the way, so we have one measure, to G for two measures, back to two measures of C, two measures of G, two measures of C. Then, it just repeats. It just goes back to… You’re ending on C, those two measures of C, and then when it goes back and repeats, you’re still on C, so it ends up being three measures, and then two measures of G, two measures of C, and it’s just pretty much that, just over and over and over again, all the way through.
All right, next we have Copperhead Road by Steve Earle. This song uses the two chords D and G. For D, fourth string is open. We’re on the second fret of the third string with your first finger, the third fret of the second string with your third finger, and the second fret of the first string with your second finger, and you don’t play strings five and six. Then from that, we go to a G. Again, the same G we did before, you can do the same variations on it, like I talked about. If you are going to do the one where you’re fretting the second string, your third finger is already where it needs to be, so all’s you have to do is put your fourth finger down on the first string and then move your first and second fingers down to the fifth and sixth string. But if you want to do the other voicing, then you’re going to have to do that. Whichever way is more comfortable for you.
All right, so for the strumming for this is the same way all the way through, and it’s all 16th notes, so one-e-and-a two-e-and-a, down-up-down-up down-up-down-up. And he puts a little emphasis on like accents, where the downbeat of one, two, three, and four is, so it’s like one-e-and-a two-e-and-a three-e-and-a four-e-and-a, just like that. So, start off this little intro. We repeat that four times, then to G for one measure, back to D, and back to G, back to the G for one measure, and then back to D for two measures. So it’s pretty repetitive, just the same thing over and over and over again, and those parts just continue to repeat all the way through it. So, the whole thing, we start off, we have four measures of D, one of G, one of D, G, and then two measures of D, and then it will just repeat again, just go back to G, so it’s fairly repetitive, just kind of the same thing over and over and over again, like that. Easy to play, fun to play, a great song if you’re a beginner.
All right, and then finally we have Dance The Night Away by The Mavericks. This uses the chords E major, so sixth string is open, second fret of the fifth string with my second finger, second fret of the fourth string with my third finger, and first fret of the third string with my first finger, and strings two and one are open. Then B7. Now, to make this transition to B7, our third finger… or excuse me, second finger stays where it is, but we’re going to move our first finger from the third string, first fret, to the fourth string, first fret, and then we’re going to take our third finger and move it from the second fret of the fourth string to the second fret of the third string. Oh, and then your fourth finger will go down to the second fret of the first string. My bad.
And we don’t strum six, so when I play this, I just use my thumb over the top of the guitar, just to touch that string, so if I strum it, you don’t hear it, because you don’t want to hear that low E in there. So, the first thing, if this B7 is a new chord for you, that I recommend is that you practice being able to grab that, and then just practice transitioning between E and B7, until you have it down like that.
For the strum for this, it’s exactly the same as the last song. We’ve got one-e-and-a two-e-and-a, and then we switch to B7, three-e-and-a four-e-and-a, and then it just repeats. It’s literally just that for the whole song, back and forth all the way through. If you listen to the original song, there’s like horns and other things that are going on, but the guitar is just staying pretty just kind of the same. So, if you were going to play this and sing this by yourself, then you might want to maybe change up the strum a little bit here and there, just to kind of keep it interesting, but a fairly easy one to play, just…
All right, so I hope you enjoyed that and you got something out of it. If you like the video, give me a thumbs up. Leave a comment down below if there is anything that you’d like to see either myself or one of the other instructors at guitarcontrol.com do in a future lesson. Be sure to subscribe to the channel, and hit that notifications button so you don’t miss any of the lessons that are published during the week. Well, that’s all I’ve got for you today, so until next time…