Guitar lesson for

Take Me Home Country Roads

by John Denver  •  Lesson #151

Video lesson


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Video timestamps

Lyrics w/ chords

(capo 2nd fret if you want to play along with the official version)

INTRO

    G ... G ....

VERSE

    G                Em
    ...Almost heaven... West Virginia
    D                          C          G
    ...Blue Ridge Mountains... Shenandoah River
    G                     Em
    ...Life is old there, older than the trees
    D                           C              G
    Younger than the mountains, growing like a breeze

CHORUS
                G              D              Em        C
        Country roads, take me home... to the place I belong             
                G               D               C             G
        West Virginia, mountain mama... take me home, country roads

    G                   Em
    ...All my memories... gather around her
    D                C                G
    ...Miner's lady, stranger to blue water
    G                  Em
    ...Dark and dusty, painted on the sky
    D                         C              G
    Misty taste of moonshine, teardrop in my eye

                G              D              Em        C
        Country roads, take me home... to the place I belong             
                G               D               C             G
        West Virginia, mountain mama... take me home, country roads

BRIDGE

            Em            D             G
            ...I hear her voice, in the morning hour, she calls me
                C       G              D
            The radio reminds me of my home far away
                Em               F            C
            And driving down the road I get a feeling
                   G                     D                D7  
            That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday

                G              D              Em        C
        Country roads, take me home... to the place I belong             
                G               D               C             G
        West Virginia, mountain mama... take me home, country roads
                C             G                C             G
        Take me home, country roads... take me home, country roads

Capo notes

If you want to use the chords above and play along with John Denver’s official version, you’ll need a capo on the 2nd fret. Without a capo, you’d need to use chords in the key of A to play along with John Denver (which makes a bit tougher, since a barre chord is needed for F#m). Otherwise, you can use no capo (using the chords I show) and you’ll sound just fine on your own.

Understanding the timing of each chord

We’ll have 4 counts per measure. Chords are either played for 1 or 2 measures, depending on the part of the song. Here’s a look at the chord progressions used for each section. Everytime you see a chord name, play that chord for 4 counts (1 measure). If you see a slash (“/”), repeat the prior chord for an additional measure.

Verse:

G  /  Em  /  D  /  C  G

Chorus:

G  /  D  /  Em  /  C  /
G  /  D  /  C   /  G  /

Bridge:

Em  D   G   /
C   G   D   /
Em  F   C   G
D   /   D7  /

How to play the chords

Here’s how to play the chords you’ll need. For the F chord, you can get away with the “easy” approach of only playing the middle four strings - this prevents you from needing to play a full barre chord, which is more difficult.

E –––3––––0––––0––––2––––2–––(1)–––
B –––0––––0––––1––––3––––1––––1––––
G –––0––––0––––0––––2––––2––––2––––
D –––0––––2––––2––––0––––0––––3––––
A –––2––––2––––3––––––––––––––3––––
E –––3––––0––––––––––––––––––(1)–––
     G    Em   C    D    D7   F

How to strum this song

Quite simply, the easiest way is to use all down strums – and accent the “2” and “4” counts in each 4 count measure.

1  2  3  4            D = downstrum
D  D  D  D            > = accented strum
   >     >

To take this a step further, for the “1” and “3” try only playing the bass note the chord with your picking hand. For example:

E –––––3–––––3––  –––––0–––––0––  –––––0–––––0––  –––––2–––––2––
B –––––0–––––0––  –––––0–––––0––  –––––1–––––1––  –––––3–––––3––
G –––––0–––––0––  –––––0–––––0––  –––––0–––––0––  –––––2–––––2––
D –––––0–––––0––  –––––2–––––2––  –––––2–––––2––  ––0––0––0––0––  etc
A –––––2–––––2––  –––––2–––––2––  ––3––3––3––3––  ––––––––––––––
E ––3––3––3––3––  ––0––0––0––0––  ––––––––––––––  ––––––––––––––
    G               Em              C               D          
    1  2  3  4      1  2  3  4      1  2  3  4      1  2  3  4  
       >     >         >     >         >     >         >     >  

Alternating bass notes

E –––––3–––––3–––––3–––––3––  –––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0––  
B –––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0––  –––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0––  
G –––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0––  –––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0––  
D ––––––––0–––––––––––0–––––  ––––––––2–––––––––––2–––––  
A ––––––––––––––––––––––––––  ––––––––––––––––––––––––––  
E ––3–––––––––––3–––––––––––  ––0–––––––––––0–––––––––––  
    G                           Em                         
    1  2  3  4  1  2  3  4      1  2  3  4  1  2  3  4    
       >     >     >     >         >     >     >     >    

Good luck!

Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you. Questions? Comments? Requests? Let me know!

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