Guitar lesson for
by Chris Stapleton • Lesson #352
Get the sheet music(4 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.
Patreon supporters: click here to get the 50% off discount code on this purchase
Hey friends! Here’s a new guitar lesson for Starting Over by Chris Stapleton, from his 2020 album of the same name. Super catchy song, great fun to play – and the intro & verse riff make very good use out of two very similar chords (G and Cmaj7), each of which has a single finger being added & removed for good effect. I’ll initially explain this (and the chorus) in a beginner-friendly way, before moving on and explaining some more advanced strumming techniques which’ll help you sound just like Chris Stapleton. Finally, I’ll end the tutorial with a full playthrough, showing you how it sounds when you put it all together. I hope you enjoy!
- 0:00 Preview & lesson summary
- 1:46 Intro chords w/ tabs
- 4:34 Verse chords w/ tabs
- 6:51 Chorus & bridge chords w/ tabs
- 12:15 Strumming patterns (simple + advanced)
- 16:51 Full playthrough w/ lyrics + chords
Lyrics with chords
Capo 3rd fret.
See PDF for lyrics with chords.
Chord shapes needed
Here’s the chords you’ll need for this song, broken into the verse and chorus sections. For the verse, note how the note on the 2nd string 1st fret is being added to both the G and Cmaj7, giving you a G4 (technically a Gadd11) and C, respectively. Keep your left pinky on the 3rd fret of the high-e string for the aforementioned four chords. For the chorus, the normal way to play these chords is below, but I have some tips further below if the D/F# gives you trouble.
Verse chords: Chorus chords: e ––3––––3––––3––––3––––2––––0––– e ––0––––2––––3––––3––– B ––0––––1––––0––––1––––3––––3––– B ––0––––3––––3––––3––– G ––0––––0––––0––––0––––2––––2––– G ––0––––2––––0––––0––– D ––0––––0––––2––––2––––0––––0––– D ––2––––0––––0––––2––– A ––2––––2––––3––––3––––––––––––– A ––2––––0––––2––––3––– E ––3––––3––––––––––––––––––––––– E ––0––––2––––3–––––––– G G4 Cmaj7 C D Dsus2 Em D/F# G Cadd9
Chorus chord shapes, as I like to play them
For the Em-D/F#-G sequence, I prefer to use the voicings shown below. This is mainly because the D/F# played with the wrapped thumb isn’t my cup of tea. In the voicings below, I’ll keep my left ring finger on the B string (3rd fret) for all of the chords shown. I typically don’t play the thinnest string in any of the chords (though by habit, I’ll leave my left pinky on the 3rd fret of the thinnest string – which sounds fine if you happen to play it).
e –––(3)––––––(3)––––––(3)––––––(3)–– B ––––3––––––––3––––––––3––––––––3––– G ––––0––––––––2––––––––0––––––––0––– D ––––2––––––––0––––––––0––––––––2––– A ––––2––––––––0––––––––2––––––––3––– E ––––0––––––––2––––––––3–––––––––––– Em D/F# G Cadd9
See PDF for chord progression diagram, with strumming included.
Strumming pattern basics
The simplest pattern you can use is a simple “bass-DOWN-bass-DOWN” on the 1-2-3-4 counts. The main idea here is to lightly play the bass string of whatever chord you’re playing on the “1” and “3” counts, and then do full down-strums on the “2” and “4” counts (with a bit more emphasis). This should feel like it has a bounce to it, alternating between light and heavy strums.
See my PDF for diagram.
From there, you can upgrade to this pattern if you choose – which uses up-strums to round thing out. Keep the bass note on the “1” count, and likewise maintain the heavier strum on the “2” count. The final three strums (up-down-up) can be light brushes on the thinnest couple strings.
See my PDF for diagram.
Basic strumming tabs for intro and verse
See my PDF for tabs showing you a simple way to strum the intro and chorus sections.
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).
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
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.
October 2, 2021
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.
September 28, 2021
A quick exercise where I share over 10 riffs based on a single arpeggio shape, using major 7th chord tones. Backing track included!
September 19, 2021
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.
September 12, 2021
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!
August 29, 2021
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!
Browse my all lessons
By lesson type
By song decade
By musical genre
By guitar technique
By musical key
By popular artist
- Johnny Cash
- Tyler Childers
- Tom Petty
- Neil Young
- Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Willie Nelson
- John Denver
- Guns N' Roses