This style of guitar playing has become very popular in recent times – although I’ve labelled it as the “Johnny Cash” guitar style it can really be traced back to many country recording artists and lots of different songs at both slow and fast tempos in the genre – So it goes without saying that as a strum it’s pretty versatile and timeless!
The main point of interest about learning to play guitar like Johnny Cash is the alternating bass notes underpinning each chord in the system. This creates a lot of musical interest and will instantly give you that ‘classic country’ sound on guitar!
I’m a big believer in learning to play ALL styles of guitar even if they are not within your main point of interest. One of the best ways to improve your guitar playing is to walk through new musical doors – especially when they are easy to walk through!
You’ll find that once you put the work into learning the basic strum pattern and alternating bass notes associated with each chord, actually playing the songs involved is quite easy.
It’s very important to put your focus and attention on getting the strumming patterns down first before attempting any of the songs! In the following tutorials we’ll focus and isolate each technique you’ll need to create the full effect along with how to apply it to each individual chord you’ll come across before finally going into some famous Johnny Cash progressions in the Songbook.
Here’s A Breakdown Of The Video Lessons In This Series
- Lesson One – Let’s begin by getting the basic strum pattern down and everything else it going to be built upon that solid foundation.
- Lesson Two – Next we need to learn about bass notes within chords and which ones alternate so that you get the classic country sound.
- Lesson Three – With both these elements learnt we can now progress onto putting both the strumming and chordal patterns together.
- Lesson Four – Luckily there are just a handful of chords we need to learn with bass notes for this style. The next ones approached here are D, G and C.
- Lesson Five – Let’s put some progressions into those new chords now complete with alternating bass notes. This is very common in Johnny Cash songs.
- Lesson Six – This lesson is a kind of icing on the cake as when you take all we’ve learned so far and apply a muting technique you’ll expose the full flavour of the sound.
- Lesson Seven – For an extra bit of flare we’re going to look at some lead-in and lead-out lines so that the style becomes fully polished.
- Lesson Eight – Only attempt these songs once you’re fully comfortable with all the technical lessons done so far! Here’s Folsom Prison Blues.
- Lesson Nine – The second of our Johnny Cash songs is I Walk The Line. It actually modulates in a full circle across 3 keys! Crazy but brillant.