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Country Chord Progressions

In that sense then there aren't that whole of a difference between standard chord progression (such as the ones I talked about on the three chord progressions page) and country chord progressions.

However, there are certain kinds of chords that country singers love to use and within their tradition they often find hundreds of ways to vary similar themes.

What's good to remember about country music is that, like Blues, it's often simple and fuss-free.  It never tries to impress with fancy musical impresarios, and the best and most well known country songs often use three simple open chords!


Three Corded Country Twangin


A country song usually consists of the basic three chord progression that can be found by again referring to the circle of fifths diagram below.

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NOTE: On the video below I'm dong a little trick with my middle finger by hammering it on the strings as I strum the chord.  You can read more about hammer on's at the Guitar Techniques page, but if your a newer player this might prove too difficult for now, in which case I recommend that ignore it.



How to remember and memorize these country chord progressions and others?  A chart will do the trick and I have one handy for you. 

Proceed to the next lesson for your free downloadable and print-friendly chord progression chart.
Circle of Fifths - Learning Guitar Chord Progressions
Downloadable Print Friendly Version
Country songs are often played in the keys of C or G, and finding the other two chords of our three chord progression, simply consists of looking to the left and right of the root chords.

So in the key of C, we'll also use F (to the left), and G (to the right).

In the key of G, we'll therefore use G, C & D.
Another aspect of country guitar chords is that it often involves seventh chords.  For a whole list of seventh chords I recommend you have a look at one of the guitar chord charts on this site.

Finding the chord to be played as a seventh is equally effortless:  It's usually the chord to the right of the root (on the circle of fifths graphic above).  So for a song in the key of C, the G will often be played as a G7. 

Seventh chords work well as intro chords leading up to the root.  If you play a G7 on guitar your ear will expect a chord to follow, which is always the root (C in our example).


Country Chord Progressions Example

In the video below, I'm playing a simple country melody in the key of C.  I start off by playing G7 and using it as a introductory chord, so that the root (C) is expected to follow.  I also play a melody using C & F.  Have a listen...
The strong connections and shared history between different styles like rock, blues and country, come to the forefront when you study chord progressions.  The truth is that many of the sets that classify as "country chord progressions" could just as easily be used in rock or even pop music.