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 »
- 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)
Apr 13, 2019
- If I Had a Boat by Lyle Lovett
Apr 10, 2019
- Triad exercises w/ A, D, & E (Warm Up #17)
Mar 30, 2019
- Travis picking finger technique (Practice Log #11)
Mar 22, 2019
- Let Him Roll by Guy Clark
Mar 17, 2019
- Plush by Stone Temple Pilots
Mar 15, 2019
- Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Mar 9, 2019
- Adding flourish to C-F-G-Am
Mar 7, 2019
- The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
Mar 3, 2019
- Always Remember Us This Way from A Star is Born
Feb 28, 2019
- Cowboy chords & walking bass lines (Warm Up #16)
Feb 23, 2019
- Improv blues guitar in A-minor
Feb 21, 2019
- 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
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.