Guitar lesson for

Wagon Wheel

by Old Crow Medicine Show  •  Lesson #9

Video lesson

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Editor’s notes

This video will teach you how to play “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show on acoustic guitar. I’ve posted the chords, tabs, and lyrics for this song at the link above. This will also work for the Darius Rucker version.

Chords w/ lyrics

(capo 2nd fret)

INTRO (played twice)
    G ... D ... Em ... C ...
    G ... D ... C  ... C ...

    G                        D
    Headed down south to the land of the pines
        Em                   C
    I'm thumbin' my way into North Caroline
    G                          D                 C
    Starin' up the road... and pray to God I see headlights

      G                         D
    I made it down the coast in seventeen hours
    Em                      C
    Pickin' me a bouquet of dogwood flowers
              G                           D             C
    And I'm a-hopin' for Raleigh... I can see my baby tonight

           G                    D
        So rock me Mama, like a wagon wheel
        Em                C
        Rock me Mama, any way you feel
        G      D          C
        Hey........ Mama, rock me

        G                      D   
        Rock me Mama, like the wind and the rain
        Em                   C
        Rock me Mama, like a south-bound train
        G      D          C
        Hey........ Mama, rock me     =>  [ intro chords x1 ]

        (intro chords x1)

    Runnin' from the cold up in New England
    I was born to be a fiddler in an old-time string band
    My baby plays the guitar... I pick the banjo, now

    Oh, the North country winters keep a-gettin' me
    And I lost my money playing poker so I had to up and leave
    But I ain't a-turnin' back... to living that old life, no more

        [ CHORUS ] =>  [ intro chords x2 ]

    (let chords ring)
    Walking to the south out of Roanoke
    I caught a trucker out of Philly, had a nice long toke
    But he's a-headed west, from the Cumberland Gap... to Johnson City, Tennessee

    (normal strumming)
    And I gotta get a move on fit for the sun
    I hear my baby callin' my name, and I know that she's the only one
    And if I die in Raleigh... at least I will die free

        [ CHORUS ]

Notes and tabs

Capo 2nd Fret, Standard Tuning

If you want to play this along with the Old Crow Medicine Show album recording, apply a capo the 2nd fret and use the chords shown above. You don’t need a capo – without one, the chords above will still sound perfectly fine – but you’ll be in a different key if you try to play along to the album version.

Guitar Chords Used

Here is how to play the guitar chords used in this song. Only four chords, nice and simple. Note, these chords work perfectly with the Darius Rucker version of this song as well.

      G   D   Em   C

On Bob Dylan Originally Writing This Song

Obligatory note that Old Crow Medicine Show did not originally write this entire song. It was based on a sketch/incomplete recording by Bob Dylan, which featured only the chorus sections (the verses were mumbled and indecipherable). Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show then completed the verses and used them with Dylan’s choruses. Read more about it on the Wikipedia entry for this song:

Chord progressions

| G . . . | D . . . | Em . . . | C . . . |
| G . . . | D . . . | C  . . . | C . . . |

"Headed down south to the land of the pines..."
| G . . . | D . . . | Em . . . | C . . . |
| G . . . | D . . . | C  . . . | C . . . |

"So rock me Mama, like a wagon wheel..."
| G . . . | D . . . | Em . . . | C . . . |
| G . . . | D . . . | C  . . . | C . . . |

Good luck!

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