Brad Paisley: “He Didn’t Have to Be”
Telecaster master Brad Paisley has helped define the modern country sound, and this easy-to-learn smash hit shows why. This easygoing song – that was his first No. 1 hit – will help refine your strumming hand technique.
Hank Williams: “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)”
Hank Williams’ single-note-picking technique helped define country guitar playing, and this No. 1 Billboard Hot Country single proves he knew his way around song structure as well. This simple progression backing a catchy melody makes this tune into a country favorite. You’ve got two chords here!
Traditional: “Pay Me My Money Down”
This traditional song was performed by the Weavers during their influential 1955 Carnegie Hall concerts and further popularized by the Kingston Trio in 1957, but Bruce Springsteen gave it new life when he included it on his 2006 folk album, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. Its old-timey vibe helped familiarize younger generations with traditional country song structure and guitar work. Using one-finger chords, it will aid you in playing simplified chords and rhythm patterns.
Steven Goodwin: “City of New Orleans”
When your song (produced by Kris Kristofferson no less!) is covered by legends like Arlo Guthrie and Willie Nelson, you know you penned a winner. Steve Goodman’s ‘70s country classic will help you lock down your bass note strumming techniques.