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).
You can also support me on Patreon. For only $3/month you'll get access to a print-friendly PDF of my notes for each lesson.
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 »
- Slap strumming basics (percussive rhythm technique)
Dect 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
- Spicing up a 2-chord song feat. Tennessee Whiskey (Practice Log #6)
Nov 15, 2018
- Adding pinky accent notes to a chord progression (Practice Log #5)
Nov 11, 2018
- Adding pentatonic licks w/ strumming in A-minor (Warm Up #9)
Nov 8, 2018
- Maybe It's Time from A Star is Born
Nov 4, 2018
- Palm muting basics
Oct 31, 2018
- "One Horse Town" riffing on A-minor and C (Warm Up #8)
Oct 28, 2018
- Transitioning between Em7 - D/F# - G (Warm Up #7)
Oct 24, 2018
- "Pretty Woman" lick, played 4 ways
Oct 13, 2018
- Shallow by Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga
Oct 11, 2018
- Mudfootball G-D7 shuffle (Warm Up #6)
Oct 7, 2018
- A-minor murder ballad groove (Warm Up #5)
Oct 2, 2018
- How to play Fadd9
Sept 27, 2018
- Blaze Foley country strumming (Warm Up #4)
Sept 25, 2018
- Acid Tongue by Jenny Lewis
Sept 22, 2018
- "Sultans of Swing" chorus lick (Warm Up #3)
Sept 19, 2018
- Learning how to Travis Pick with "Clay Pigeons"
Sept 13, 2018
- Lady May by Tyler Childers
Sept 7, 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.