Guitar lesson for
Take Me Home Country Roads
PDF link for Patreon supporters
- Get the PDF here -- after clicking and logging in to Patreon, look for the file attached to the bottom of the post.
Supporting me on Patreon gives you access to the PDF for this as well as 130+ other lessons. One month minimum ($3, cancel anytime) gets you access to everything... here's a free sample. Thanks for supporting me and this project!
- 0:00 Playthrough & greeting
- 1:24 Chords needed
- 3:10 Strumming pattern
- 5:42 Verse, chorus, & bridge
- 7:16 Farewell
Lyrics w/ chords
(capo 2nd fret if you want to play along with the official version) INTRO G ... G .... VERSE G Em ...Almost heaven... West Virginia D C G ...Blue Ridge Mountains... Shenandoah River G Em ...Life is old there, older than the trees D C G Younger than the mountains, growing like a breeze CHORUS G D Em C Country roads, take me home... to the place I belong G D C G West Virginia, mountain mama... take me home, country roads G Em ...All my memories... gather around her D C G ...Miner's lady, stranger to blue water G Em ...Dark and dusty, painted on the sky D C G Misty taste of moonshine, teardrop in my eye G D Em C Country roads, take me home... to the place I belong G D C G West Virginia, mountain mama... take me home, country roads BRIDGE Em D G ...I hear her voice, in the morning hour, she calls me C G D The radio reminds me of my home far away Em F C And driving down the road I get a feeling G D D7 That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday G D Em C Country roads, take me home... to the place I belong G D C G West Virginia, mountain mama... take me home, country roads C G C G Take me home, country roads... take me home, country roads
If you want to use the chords above and play along with John Denver’s official version, you’ll need a capo on the 2nd fret. Without a capo, you’d need to use chords in the key of A to play along with John Denver (which makes a bit tougher, since a barre chord is needed for F#m). Otherwise, you can use no capo (using the chords I show) and you’ll sound just fine on your own.
Understanding the timing of each chord
We’ll have 4 counts per measure. Chords are either played for 1 or 2 measures, depending on the part of the song. Here’s a look at the chord progressions used for each section. Everytime you see a chord name, play that chord for 4 counts (1 measure). If you see a slash (“/”), repeat the prior chord for an additional measure.
G / Em / D / C G
G / D / Em / C / G / D / C / G /
Em D G / C G D / Em F C G D / D7 /
How to play the chords
Here’s how to play the chords you’ll need. For the F chord, you can get away with the “easy” approach of only playing the middle four strings - this prevents you from needing to play a full barre chord, which is more difficult.
E –––3––––0––––0––––2––––2–––(1)––– B –––0––––0––––1––––3––––1––––1–––– G –––0––––0––––0––––2––––2––––2–––– D –––0––––2––––2––––0––––0––––3–––– A –––2––––2––––3––––––––––––––3–––– E –––3––––0––––––––––––––––––(1)––– G Em C D D7 F
How to strum this song
Quite simply, the easiest way is to use all down strums – and accent the “2” and “4” counts in each 4 count measure.
1 2 3 4 D = downstrum D D D D > = accented strum > >
To take this a step further, for the “1” and “3” try only playing the bass note the chord with your picking hand. For example:
E –––––3–––––3–– –––––0–––––0–– –––––0–––––0–– –––––2–––––2–– B –––––0–––––0–– –––––0–––––0–– –––––1–––––1–– –––––3–––––3–– G –––––0–––––0–– –––––0–––––0–– –––––0–––––0–– –––––2–––––2–– D –––––0–––––0–– –––––2–––––2–– –––––2–––––2–– ––0––0––0––0–– etc A –––––2–––––2–– –––––2–––––2–– ––3––3––3––3–– –––––––––––––– E ––3––3––3––3–– ––0––0––0––0–– –––––––––––––– –––––––––––––– G Em C D 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 > > > > > > > >
Alternating bass notes
E –––––3–––––3–––––3–––––3–– –––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0–– B –––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0–– –––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0–– G –––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0–– –––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0–– D ––––––––0–––––––––––0––––– ––––––––2–––––––––––2––––– A –––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––– E ––3–––––––––––3––––––––––– ––0–––––––––––0––––––––––– G Em 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 > > > > > > > >
Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you. Questions? Comments? Requests? Let me know!
Enjoy my lessons? Buy me a beer!
If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider making a one-time donation to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it).
Subscribe to my YouTube channel
Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!
Recent video lessons:
📝 Print-friendly PDFs now available for all new lessons I make, including all those listed below. Get a free sample »
- Peace of Mind by Tyler Childers
Aug 23, 2019
- Angel Flight by Radney Foster
Aug 17, 2019
- The Year Clayton Delaney Died (PDF) by Tom T. Hall
Aug 16, 2019
- California Dreamin' by Jose Feliciano
Aug 10, 2019
- We Are The Champions (PDF) by Queen
Aug 8, 2019
- 2-finger chords in the key of C
Aug 2, 2019
- On the Road Again (PDF) by Willie Nelson
July 31, 2019
- Surf Rider (from "Pulp Fiction") by The Lively Ones
July 24, 2019
- Fingerpicking C-G-Am-F (Vampire Weekend's "Hold You Now")
July 16, 2019
- You've Got a Friend in Me (fingerstyle intro)
July 5, 2019
- Ring finger barre strength exercise
June 26, 2019
- F chord with wrapped thumb (for fingerstyle)
June 21, 2019
- Stairway to Heaven (Interlude) by Led Zeppelin
- Yesterday (full lesson) by The Beatles
June 8, 2019
- An easier way to play F#m (no barre chord required)
June 4, 2019
- Yesterday (cover) by The Beatles
May 27, 2019
- How I change my acoustic guitar strings
May 19, 2019
- "My Old Kentucky Home, Goodnight" (fingerstyle intro) by John Prine
May 17, 2019
- Outlaw fingerstyle warmup ("Sleeping on the Blacktop") by Colter Wall
May 11, 2019
- First Call (horse racing / military bugle wake-up call)
May 4, 2019
- Imagine by John Lennon
May 2, 2019
- Jenny of Oldstones from Game of Thrones
Apr 23, 2019
- Wildflowers by Tom Petty
Apr 20, 2019
- Breezy strumming on E-Bsus4-Asus2 (Warm Up #18)
Apr 18, 2019
- How I composed a fingerstyle guitar arrangement (Practice Log #12)
Monthly email updates
If you want to keep posted of new lessons over email, sign up for my newsletter. I'll email once a month with a digest of all my new videos. I promise: no spam.