Guitar lesson for

Take Me Home Country Roads

by John Denver  •  Lesson #151

Video lesson


Get the sheet music(2 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

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!

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)

October 14, 2021

How to Tune Half-Step Down (E-Flat Tuning)

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #394

A quick guide to tuning all your strings down 1/2 step (E-flat tuning), which is a very common alternate tuning used in many songs.

Patreon PDF

October 2, 2021

F Chord Cheat Sheet! 7 Easier Ways to Play It

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #392

A quick inventory of 8 different ways to play the dreaded F chord, 7 of which are easier than the dreaded six-string barred version.

Patreon PDF

September 28, 2021

Beginner Riffs with Major 7th Arpeggios

Warm-Up Exercise  •  Lesson #390

A quick exercise where I share over 10 riffs based on a single arpeggio shape, using major 7th chord tones. Backing track included!

Patreon PDF

September 19, 2021

Key of C Major Cheat Sheet!

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #388

A deep dive into everything you need to know when playing in the Key of C: notes, chords, fretboard map, tips & tricks, easier ways to play the F chord, and plenty more.

Patreon PDF

September 12, 2021

Major Scale Positions & CAGED Chord Shapes

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #384

A deep-dive into the common positions of the major scale, and how they each relate to the CAGED chord shapes... which makes it all easier to understand!

Patreon PDF

August 29, 2021

First Electric! 8 Things I Didn't Expect

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #386

I recently got my 1st electric guitar, and was surprised how many things immediately confused me. Here's a quick inventory, in case it helps anyone else starting out!

Patreon PDF

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