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Country Guitar Chords is part 10 in a 15 part series on Learn to Play Guitar Lessons.
Country chords are all of the open chords we have discussed.
The major pentatonic scale is the most popular of guitar scales used in country music.
Below are the most popular chords used in country music. These chords will cover almost any country song you want to play or write.
Chord progressions are the order of the chords you play. Often they repeat over and over in a section such as a verse. The progression will often change slightly when you go to a different section such as the chorus or the bridge.
Typical country progressions often involve only the I chord, the IV chord, the V chord and maybe the VI minor chord. In addition, below are the typical keys country songs are in because they are the easiest to play on the guitar.
In the key of G this would be: G, C, D7 and E minor
In the key of A this would be: A, D, E7 and F# minor
In the key of D this would be: D, G, A7 and B minor
In the key of E this would be: E, A, B7 and C# minor
In the key of C this would be: C, F, G7 and A minor
For a review of how 3 note chords (called triads) are built visit: C Guitar Chord.
Experiment with these chords in these keys to create country patterns. The use of a capo can be effective if the key you want to play in is too high or low for your voice.
A capo just clamps on to any fret on the guitar to give you a new key. This way you can still just use the chords above that you have become comfortable with.
To view this capo or to purchase, click on the image below.
MAJOR PENTATONIC SCALE
The major pentatonic is a 5 note major scale that is the most popular of guitar scales played over country music.
The major scale is: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti or 1,2,3,4,5,6,7.
The major pentatonic is: do, re, mi, sol, la or 1,2,3,5,6. You don't play the 4th or the 7th (or fa and ti). You skip over them. This gives your improvisation a real country sound.
In addition, the interval of a sixth is used a lot in country improvisation (see the video at the top of page).
Country chords are the same as rock or folk chords. Let's take a look at some rock guitar and the minor pentatonic scale!