This is a super easy beginner guitar lesson by Marty Schwartz who will teach you all the chords as well as the strumming pattern of the highly popular, groovy country song “Country Roads, Take Me Home…. By John Denver”.
You only need to learn 6 basic chords to play this song, including 4 Major chords (G Major, D Major, C Major and F Major), an E Minor Chord and D Dominant 7th or D7th Chord.
Nevertheless, it is highly essential as well as recommended to learn how to build these chords before you even try to learn them. It will enable you to build chords on the fly without depending on any kind of chord charts or chord building software. Above all, music theory will make you a more versatile, complete and expert musician and guitar player.
Learning Major Scale
All the chords required in this song can be derived from the Major Scale. So first you need to know the Major Scale Formula to derive the Major Scales. Then you will require the Chord Formulas to derive all the chords from the scales.
The Major Scale formula is W-W-H-W-W-W-H (W is a Whole Tone or Whole Step and H is Half Step or Semitone)
By applying the formula of the Major Scale you can easily derive all the Major Scales needed to build the chords required in this song as follows:
G Major Scale – G A B C D E F# G
E Major Scale – E F#G# A B C#D# E
D Major Scale – D E F#G A B C# D
C Major Scale – C D E F G A B C
F Major Scale – F G A A# C D E F
The Major Chord Formula is 1-3-5 (1st, Flattened 3rd and 5th notes of a Major Scale). By applying this formula, we could easily derive all the major chord notes as follows,
G Major Chord: G-B-D
D Major Chord: D-F#-A
C Major Chord: C-E-G
F Major Chord: F-A-C
The Minor Chord Formula is 1-b3-5 (1st, Flattened 3rd and 5th notes of a Major Scale). By applying this formula, we derived the E Minor Chord Notes as follows,
E Minor Chord: E-G-B
Dominant 7th Chord
The Dominant 7th Chord Formula is 1,3,5, b7 ( the 1st, 3rd, 5th and Flattened 7th notes of a Major Scale). By applying this chord formula, we get the D Dominant 7th Chord notes as follows,
D Dominant 7th or D7th Chord: D-F#-A-C
Here are the chord diagrams to make this lesson even simpler and easy to learn for you,