Guitar lesson for
Take Me Home Country Roads
by John Denver • Lesson #151
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- 0:00 Playthrough & greeting
- 1:24 Chords needed
- 3:10 Strumming pattern
- 5:42 Verse, chorus, & bridge
- 7:16 Farewell
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
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.
G / Em / D / C G
G / D / Em / C / G / D / C / G /
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 > > > > > > > >
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