Chris Stapleton’s 2015 cover is widely regarded as its definitive version, making this soulful country love song accessible to guitarists of any level.
This song uses only four chords and is an excellent way to develop your strumming skills. The strumming pattern is straightforward.
1. A Major
This song begins with a bass walkdown and strumming of an A Major chord – a common chord progression in country music. Set to 6/8 time signature, its beat counts between one and four beats per measure. When performing it live it’s best to keep all downstrums short for maximum momentum.
Chris Stapleton recorded an acoustic version of this song which differs significantly from George Jones’ original rendition by using an alternating bass line; this type of guitar allows musicians to simultaneously perform lead and rhythm parts at the same time.
This video’s acoustic version employs standard tuning. If you are just beginning as a guitarist, using an capo can allow you to tune down one whole step (to D standard). When practicing chords acoustically it is advisable to practice your timing by practicing them with a metronome.
2. B Minor
After performing a brief bass walkdown, we move on to the B minor chord. Although more advanced, this chord can add flavor to your strumming pattern while giving you the opportunity to practice hitting “h” with your fretting finger and open up vocal range by placing a capo on the second fret.
George Jones’ version of Tennessee Whiskey became an instantaneous classic when released as a single in 1983, yet its true glory didn’t arrive until 2015 with Chris Stapleton’s blues-tinged rendition breaking out after teaming up with Justin Timberlake for a performance at the CMA awards. Stapleton’s rendition is a brilliant rendition that seamlessly mixes country and R&B roots.
As you learn this song, make sure that you pay close attention to its time signature. Most songs follow 4/4 timing but this one requires 6/8 counting instead. Don’t worry too much about this until you become comfortable playing this piece of music!
3. D Major
Chris Stapleton’s Tennesseeean whiskey song features four simple chords that are beginner-friendly, and its chord progression only requires standard tuning; thus no capo is necessary. Strumming patterns may take more practice but are still simple once learned.
The basic D Major chord consists of three notes, D, F# and A. This subtonic triad chord is constructed using two root notes as the root or starting note and one minor third note as its third note – also referred to as the D major scale since its construction requires only two sharps in its major scale composition.
To play this chord, start with your thumb and index finger positioned on D. Then begin playing notes that ascend up until reaching D. Use a metronome when learning these chords; additionally practice with both hands apart so you can gain dexterity with your fingertips.
4. E Major
This song should prove no difficulty to beginner guitarists! The chord progression is easy and non-evolved without sudden shifts; additionally, its alternating bassline provides for some fantastic fingerpicking!
Assuming you use E Major scale as a guide, every chord will connect via its relative minor scale chord. This is your first step toward learning fretboard charts – mastering this step will make playing songs much simpler!
The chord viio (marked with roman numeral ‘vii’) is a subtonic triad in E Major scale consisting of D#, F# and A notes, commonly used to bring joy or add spirit to otherwise melancholy music pieces.