How To Play Take Me Home Country Roads

How To Play Take Me Home Country Roads

How to Play Take Me Home Country Roads

"Take Me Home, Country Roads" is a classic folk-country song written by John Denver and released in 1971. It has since become an iconic anthem for West Virginia and a beloved tune for music enthusiasts worldwide. If you’re a beginner guitar player looking to add this timeless piece to your repertoire, here’s a step-by-step guide:

Chords and Strumming Pattern

The song is played in the key of G and uses three basic chords: G, C, and D. The strumming pattern is a steady 4/4 rhythm:

  • Down-down-up-down


Step 1: Tune Your Guitar

Ensure your guitar is tuned in standard tuning (E-A-D-G-B-E).

Step 2: Practice the Chords

  • G: 3-2-0-0-0-3 (index finger on 2nd fret, middle finger on 3rd fret of 6th string)
  • C: 0-3-2-0-1-0 (index finger on 1st fret, middle finger on 2nd fret, ring finger on 3rd fret)
  • D: xx0232 (ignore the x’s, index finger on 2nd fret, middle finger on 3rd fret)

Step 3: Play the Strumming Pattern

Practice the strumming pattern (down-down-up-down) until it feels natural. Use a gentle downstroke and a lighter upstroke.

Step 4: Combine Chords and Strumming

  • G: Strum down-down-up-down
  • C: Strum down-down-up-down
  • D: Strum down-down-up-down

Step 5: Transition Between Chords

When switching chords, make sure to lift your fingers from the strings cleanly and place them quickly on the new chord. Practice the transitions until they become smooth.

Lyrics and Chord Progression

Verse 1

G                               C
Almost Heaven, West Virginia,
D                              G
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River.
Life is old there, older than the trees,
Younger than the mountains, growin' like a breeze.


G               C        D
Country Roads, take me home,
G               C        D
To the place I belong.
G               C        D
West Virginia, mountain mama,
G               C        D
Take me home, country roads.

Verse 2

G                               C
All my memories gather round her,
D                     G
Miner's lady, stranger to blue water.
Dark and dusty, painted on the sky,
Misty taste of moonshine, teardrops in my eyes.


D                               G
I hear her voice, in the mornin' hour, she calls me,
C                               G
The radio reminds me of my home far away.

Additional Information:

Release Date1971
ArtistJohn Denver
GenreFolk, Country
Length3 minutes, 10 seconds
AlbumPoems, Prayers & Promises
Peak Chart Position#2 on the Billboard Hot 100

Interesting Trivia:

  • The song is often mistakenly credited to John Denver as the sole writer. However, it was co-written by Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert.
  • "Take Me Home, Country Roads" was originally titled "Country Roads" or "Almost Heaven."
  • The song has been covered by numerous artists, including Dolly Parton, Olivia Newton-John, and Neil Young.
  • It has been used in TV shows and movies, such as "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "Mama Mia!"
  • The song has been recognized as one of the top 500 songs of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.


Q: What is the fingerpicking pattern used in the song?
A: The song does not have a fingerpicking pattern. It is strummed with a pick.

Q: Can I play the song without using a capo?
A: Yes, you can play the song in the key of Am without using a capo. The chords would be Am, Dm, and F.

Q: What other songs by John Denver are good for beginners to play?
A: "Rocky Mountain High," "Sunshine on My Shoulders," and "Annie’s Song" are all good beginner-friendly songs by John Denver.

Q: How do I practice my chord transitions?
A: Practice switching between chords slowly and smoothly. Gradually increase the speed as you become more comfortable.

Q: Is it possible to play the song with only two chords?
A: Yes, you can play a simplified version of the song using only the G and C chords.

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