“Country Roads” Fingerpicking Guitar Tutorial | Easy + Intermediate Versions

Intermediate
Hey everybody! In today’s lesson, I’m going to show you how to play a fingerstyle/travis picking version of “(Take Me Home) Country Roads” by John Denver.

If you haven’t already, I recommend learning how to strum the tune in a simple way first (here’s a lesson where I do that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l1rFZ246cs)

That way we can take care of all the chords, playing each part, putting it all together – all that stuff. This lesson is going to focus heavily on the fingerpicking aspect of it all.

THINGS I MENTIONED DURING THE TUTORIAL:

► Tabs and Chord Sheets for this lesson available on my Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/posts/40399545/

► Need help with the basic chords and strumming? My beginner guitar course will help you build a solid foundation one step at a time:
https://goodguitarist.com/beginner-guitar-course/

► “Barre Chords Made Easy” shows you a gradual path from the power chord (a simple barre chord anyone can play) to the real deal:
https://goodguitarist.com/barre-chords/

► “Fingerpicking Mastery” covers everything from the most basic motions to the most useful fingerstyle patterns on guitar: https://goodguitarist.com/fingerpicking-mastery/

► And don’t forget to grab your copy of my free eBook:
https://goodguitarist.com/learn-rhythm-guitar/

TABLE OF CONTENTS

0:00 – INTRO
1:34 – THE PATTERN
6:26 – VERSE PLAY-ALONG
7:50 – CHORUS PLAY-ALONG
9:06 – ONE MORE CHORD (F)
12:53 – BRIDGE PLAY-ALONG
14:11 – INTERMEDIATE UPGRADES
16:22 – FINAL PLAY-ALONG

The lesson begins with the pattern that we’ll be using throughout the entire tune. It’s a basic four-motion pattern that involves alternating our thumb between a couple of strings. Our fingers are going to stay put the entire time, but our thumb needs to alternate between the three bass strings, hence the name “alternate bass” pattern. That is why, when you hear somebody talking about Travis picking you’ll often hear the thumb being mentioned, it’s the primary component of that style.

Anyways, we go through it shape by shape, adapting our pattern for the G chord C, Em and D. And then we use those four shapes with that picking pattern and play through the entire verse, and then the entire chorus.

Now, the song has three sections. At this point we’ve already covered the verse and chorus, but we still have to take a look at the bridge, which requires one more chord shape: F.

Now, F is a barre chord, which is a little trickier to play. However, there is a simplified version that we can play, so I’m going to give you these two options.

Now, here’s the catch. The harder chord shape (the F bar chord) lets you use the same picking pattern that you’ve been using a whole time and it’s actually quite easy, based on the chord that comes before it, and after it. We don’t really have to change anything as far as the picking is concerned.

Now if we use the simpler F shape, it is going to require that we change our picking, not a huge amount but enough that it might throw you off.

So… harder shape easier picking easier shape harder picking. Either way, you choose which way you’d like to do it – whatever suits your strengths.

We practice through a little snippet of the bridge, just the hard part with F chord on its own, and then we play through the entire verse chorus and bridge, just to give you a chance to work through the transitions and feel what it’s like to play along with the actual recording a little bit slower.

Now, once we’ve played through using that finger picking pattern, we can upgrade it to make it sound exactly like the recording and this involves changing the adding one more from stroke to it.

We work it out over each shape, and then we play through the tune. Just like before, but with these slight modification that make the picking pattern sound exactly like it is in the recording.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson. If you need any help, don’t forget to check out my resources, or ask away.

Have a good one and I’ll see you soon!
-James


http://goodguitarist.com/country-roads-fingerstyle/
http://www.patreon.com/goodguitarist/

#countryroads #johndenver #guitartutorial

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