Guitar lesson for
Ring of Fire
Print-friendly PDF of this lesson available!
Support me on Patreon to get access to a print-friendly PDF chord sheet (w/ tabs, etc) for this lesson. This will also give you access to chord sheets I’ve already made for other lessons. Thanks for your support!
Lyrics w/ chords
INTRO e –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– G –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– D ––––––––0––0–0––0–0––2–––––0–––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A ––2–3–4–––––––––––––––––3––––––––2––2–2––2–2––3––0––2––– E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– G C G G D7 G VERSE G C G G D G Love is a burning thing... and it makes a fiery ring G C G G D G Bound by wild desire... I fell in to a ring of fire CHORUS D C G I fell into a burning ring of fire D C G I went down, down, down... and the flames went higher G And it burns, burns, burns G C G D G ...The ring of fire... the ring of fire G C G G D G The taste of love is sweet... when hearts like ours meet G C G G D G I fell for you like a child... oh, but the fire went wild D C G I fell into a burning ring of fire D C G I went down, down, down... and the flames went higher G And it burns, burns, burns G C G D G ...The ring of fire... the ring of fire [ repeat chorus ] ENDING G And it burns, burns, burns G C G D G ...The ring of fire... the ring of fire
The whole song can be played with standard G, C, and D chords:
e –––3––––0––––2–––– B –––0––––1––––3–––– G –––0––––0––––2–––– D –––0––––2––––0–––– A –––2––––3––––––––– E –––3–––––––––––––– G C D
If you want, you can use a D7 in place of any D chord (it looks like Johnny Cash did this when he played the song):
e –––2–––– B –––1–––– G –––2–––– D –––0–––– A –––––––– E –––––––– D7
Likewise, an easy way to approach these chords is as follows. Note how your ring finger is on the same note (3rd fret of the second string) for all the chords. This makes switching easy.
e –––3––––3––––2–––– B –––3––––3––––3–––– G –––0––––0––––2–––– D –––0––––2––––0–––– A –––2––––3––––––––– E –––3–––––––––––––– G C D
For simple starters, do all down strums… one per each count… and accent the 2 and 4 counts.
d = light down strum D = heavy down strum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + d D d D down DOWN down DOWN... > >
From there, you can fill things out a bit by doing this. If you can, accent the 2 and the 4 if you can - but that becomes less important here.
D = down strum U = up strum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + D D U U D U down, down up... up down up > >
Mariachi riff on guitar
Here’s the main melody notes for the distinctive mariachi riff. Start by learning these notes and hearing the riff in your head.
e –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– G –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– D ––––––––0––0–0––0–0––2–––––0–––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A ––2–3–4–––––––––––––––––3––––––––2––2–2––2–2––3––0––2––– E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– G C G G (D7) G
From here, I recommend keeping your hands in the G and C chord shapes - and if you wish, feel free to strum notes from those chords. See my video lesson for context here.
e ––––––––3––––––––––––3–––––3–––––3––––––––––––––––––3––– B ––––––––3––––––––––––3–––––3–––––3––––––––––––––––––0––– G ––––––––0––––––––––––0–––––0–––––0––––––––––––––––––0––– D ––––––––0––0–0––0–0––2–––––0–––––0––––––––––––––––––0––– A ––2–3–4–0––––––––––––3––3––2–––––2––2–2––2–2––3––0––2––– E ––––––––3––––––––––––––––––3–––––3––––––––––––––––––3––– G C G G (D7) G
Let me know if you have questions. I hope this was helpful. Be sure to check out my other Johnny Cash lessons, I have a bunch!
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 »
- St James Infirmary Blues
Feb 16, 2019
- Barre chord strength & Smells Like Teen Spirit (Warm Up #15)
Feb 14, 2019
- Faking open chords in key of D w/ major & minor triads (Warm Up #14)
Feb 10, 2019
- Copperhead Road by Steve Earle
Feb 7, 2019
- Guantanamera by Pete Seeger
Jan 31, 2019
- "Blue on Black" grooving on D5-Cadd9-G (Warm Up #13)
Jan 26, 2019
- Adding fills to the "Wild Horses" intro (Practice Log #9)
Jan 24, 2019
- Light On by Maggie Rogers
Jan 19, 2019
- Improvised pickin' on The Gambler (Practice Log #8)
Jan 17, 2019
- Faking open chords in key of A
Jan 12, 2019
- My Top Lessons of 2018
Jan 8, 2019
- Heart of Gold by Neil Young
Jan 5, 2019
- Auld Lang Syne (traditional)
Dec 31, 2018
- Faking open chords in key of E
Dec 27, 2018
- Last Christmas by Wham!
Dec 24, 2018
- Please Come Home for Christmas by The Eagles
Dec 17, 2018
- Guitar chords on a ukulele
Dec 13, 2018
- Slap strumming basics (percussive rhythm technique)
Dec 8, 2018
- How to practice with a backing track, feat. Tennessee Whiskey (Practice Log #7)
Dec 1, 2018
- Playing A-major with big fingers or a small fretboard
Nov 27, 2018
- E-major backyard groove (feat. Posters by Jack Johnson)
Nov 21, 2018
- How to play F#m (F sharp minor)
Nov 18, 2018
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.