Guitar lesson for

Whitehouse Road

by Tyler Childers  •  Lesson #109

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Editor’s notes

In this lesson, I’ll teach you how to play “Whitehouse Road” by Tyler Childers. This is a great song in drop-D tuning with a capo on the 5th fret - and it only needs 3 chords! I’ll teach you the chords, explain the intro riff that Tyler Childers plays, and break down the strumming pattern. I hope you enjoy!

I’ll be basing this lesson off of this solo acoustic performance of the song, which is great – you can hear so much more intricacy in his guitar work (especially compared to the album version, where the guitar is harder to hear).

Lyrics w/ chords

(drop-D tuning, capo 5th fret)

    E ––––––0––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––
    B ––––––3–––––3–3–3––|–––––––––––––––––––|––––––3––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––
    G ––––––2–––––2–2–2––|––––––2–2–2–––2–2––|––––––2––––––––––––|––––––0––––––––––––
    D ––––––0–––––0–3–0––|––––––0–0–0–––0–0––|––––––0–––––0–0–0––|––––––0–––––0–0–0––   ...repeat
    A ––––––0––––––––––––|––––––3–0–3–––0–3––|––3–––3–––––0–0–0––|––––––x–––––0–0–0––
    D ––0–––0––––––––––––|––0––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––0–3–5––|––5–––5–––––0–3–0––
        D                   D                   C                   G
        1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

    Early in the morning when the sun does rise
    C                      G              D
    Layin' in the bed with bloodshot eyes
    Late in the evenin' when the sun sinks low
         C                    G              D
    Well that's about time my rooster crows

    I got women up and down this creek
             C                    G             D
    And they keep me going and my engine clean
    Run me ragged but I don't fret
                C              G                      D
    Cause there ain't been one slow me down none yet

        Get me drinking' that moonshine
        C                      G
        Get me higher than the grocery bill
        Take my troubles to the highwall
        C                         G
        Throw'em in the river and get your fill

        We been sniffing that cocaine
        C                             G
        Ain't nothin' better when the wind cuts cold
        Lord it's a mighty hard livin'
              C                    G                 D
        But a damn good feelin' to run these roads

    I got people try to tell me, Red
    Keep this livin' and you'll wind up dead
    Cast your troubles on the Lord of Lord's
    Or wind up laying on a coolin' board

    But I got buddies up White House Road
    And they keep me strutting when my feet hang low
    Rotgut whiskey gonna ease my pain
    'N all this runnin's gonna keep me sane

        [ chorus ]

    When they lay me in the cold hard clay
    Won't ya sing them hymns while the banjo plays
    You can tell them ladies that they ought not frown
    Cause there ain't been nothing ever held me down

            Lawmen, women or a shallow grave
            Same ol' blues just a different day

        [ chorus ]

Drop-D Tuning, Capo 5th Fret!

To play this song like Tyler Childers, you’ll need to put a capo on the 5th fret. Also, tune your guitar to Drop-D tuning, which is where your low-E string is tuned down a whole step to a D.

How to play the chords

Here’s how to play the chords, in the manner of Mr. Childers. Technically, these are a Dsus2 and Dsus/C and Gadd6 (if you leave the high E string open), but don’t get bogged down in these details. Think of them as D C and G. You can replace them with the “regular” voicings of D C and G if you want, too.

E –––0–––0––(0)–––
B –––3–––3–––0––––
G –––2–––2–––0––––
D –––0–––0–––0––––
A –––0–––3–––x––––
D –––0–––––––5––––
     D   C   G    

Strumming pattern

Start out by realizing you want to begin with two downstrums, the first of which targets the bass note of the chord in question. Then, on the “2” count do a full strum.

E ––––––0––––––––––––|––––––0––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––
B ––––––3––––––––––––|––––––3––––––––––––|––––––3––––––––––––|––––––0––––––––––––
G ––––––2––––––––––––|––––––2––––––––––––|––––––2––––––––––––|––––––0––––––––––––
D ––––––0––––––––––––|––––––0––––––––––––|––––––0––––––––––––|––––––0––––––––––––
A ––––––0––––––––––––|––––––0––––––––––––|––3–––3––––––––––––|––––––x––––––––––––
D ––0–––0––––––––––––|––0–––0––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––5–––5––––––––––––
    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
    d   d               d   d               d   d               d   d

Once you have that, add an “up down up” on the “+ 4 +” counts. Get this down pat, then you can move on to the riff if you want.

E ––––––0–––––0–0–0––|––––––0–––––0–0–0––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––
B ––––––3–––––3–3–3––|––––––3–––––3–3–3––|––––––3–––––3–3–3––|––––––0–––––0–0–0––
G ––––––2–––––2–2–2––|––––––2–––––2–2–2––|––––––2–––––2–2–2––|––––––0–––––0–0–0––
D ––––––0–––––0–0–0––|––––––0–––––0–0–0––|––––––0–––––0–0–0––|––––––0–––––0–0–0––
A ––––––0––––––––––––|––––––0––––––––––––|––3–––3––––––––––––|––––––x–––––x–x–x––
D ––0–––0––––––––––––|––0–––0––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––5–––5––––––––––––
    D                   D                   C                   G
    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
    d   d     u d u     d   d     u d u     d   d     u d u     d   d     u d u

Intro riff

Pay attention to the notes you’re adding (usually with your middle finger) within each measure. Also, on the final two measures, note how you’re playing those three strums consistently on the “+ 4 +” parts of those measures. See my video lesson for context!

E ––––––0––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––
B ––––––3–––––3–3–3––|–––––––––––––––––––|––––––3––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––
G ––––––2–––––2–2–2––|––––––2–2–2–––2–2––|––––––2––––––––––––|––––––0––––––––––––
D ––––––0–––––0–3–0––|––––––0–0–0–––0–0––|––––––0–––––0–0–0––|––––––0–––––0–0–0––   ...repeat
A ––––––0––––––––––––|––––––3–0–3–––0–3––|––3–––3–––––0–0–0––|––––––x–––––0–0–0––
D ––0–––0––––––––––––|––0––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––0–3–5––|––5–––5–––––0–3–0––
    D                   D                   C                   G
    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
    d   d     u d u     d   d u d   d u     d   d     u d u     d   d     u d u

Good luck!

Let me know if you have questions. I hope this was helpful.

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