Guitar lesson for

Tennessee Flat Top Box

by Johnny Cash  •  Lesson #145

Video lesson

Get the sheet music(3 pages)

  • A properly licensed, print-friendly arrangement is available for individual purchase at Musicnotes.com
  • This sheet music was designed & hand-crafted by me (David Potsiadlo) with care, providing you with everything needed to both learn and play this song.
  • On the fence? Here's a video guide I made showing the purchase & print process.
Buy at Musicnotes.com

Patreon supporters: click here to get the 50% off discount code on this purchase

Editor’s notes

In this video I’ll teach you how to play “Tennessee Flat Top Box” by Johnny Cash, including a tutorial for the intro tab, the chords needed, strumming patterns used, and more! This is one of the funnest Cash songs to play, in my opinion – it combines simple verse chords & strumming with a complicated (but approachable) riff heard in the intro and interlude. Enjoy! Make sure you put a capo on 3 if you want to play along with Cash’s album version.

My full play-along cover

Capo to play along with Johnny Cash

If you want to play along with Johnny Cash’s version, use the chords I show you with a capo on the 3rd fret. I’m choosing not to play with a capo to keep things simple and accessible.

Chords needed

These are the chords you’ll need for the verse:

e –––3––––2––––
B –––0––––1––––
G –––0––––2––––
D –––0––––0––––
A –––2–––––––––
E –––3–––––––––
     G    D7

Intro riff

This is what’s heard in the opening measures of the song:

See sheet music for my tab.

Interlude riff

This one is very similar to the intro riff, the only difference being how it begins. Note that they both end the same.

Play through these two sections twice:

See sheet music for my tab.

Then, play this to end it and transition into the next verse:

See sheet music for my tab.

Lyrics w/ chords

See sheet music for the lyrics with chords.

Good luck!

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!

Get my lessons in your inbox!

Every couple weeks I send out an email newsletter with links to whatever new lessons I've made. Sign up here and stay in the loop!


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 new lesson (view free sample).

Thanks!


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:

📝 My "song" PDFs are now individually purcasheable! I've arranged a licensing agreement with Musicnotes, a service that lets you buy sheet music. Patreon suppoters get 50% off each purchase. Get the latest info here »   (last updated July 1, 2021)

Browse my all lessons

By lesson type

By song decade

By musical genre

By guitar technique

By musical key

By popular artist


← back to lesson list