How to Play Folk Music on Guitar

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Folk music is a genre of music that is often passed down through generations. It can be played on many different instruments, but is most commonly heard on the guitar. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to play folk music on guitar.

Learn some chords

Learning some basic chords is essential for anyone wanting to play folk music on guitar. Folk music is often based on simple chord progressions, so if you can learn a few basic chords you’ll be well on your way to being able to play folk songs.

There are many different ways to learn chords, but one of the simplest and most effective ways is to use chord diagrams. Chord diagrams are pictures of the fretboard that show you where to place your fingers to form a particular chord. They can be a bit confusing at first, but with a little practice you’ll be reading them like a pro in no time.

Once you know how to read chord diagrams, the next step is to learn how to finger the chords. This can be a bit tricky at first, but there are some great resources available that can help you out. One of our favorites is this video tutorial from which does an excellent job of breaking down how to finger different chords.

Once you’ve mastered a few basic chords, the next step is to start putting them together into chord progressions. Chord progressions are simply sequences of chords that are played in a particular order. Many popular folk songs make use of only a few simple chord progressions, so once you’ve learned a few of them you’ll be able to play dozens of different songs.

Play some simple songs

Now that you know a few basic chords and strums, you can start playing some simple songs. Remember, there are no rules in folk guitar playing; just because a song has been around for generations doesn’t mean you can’t put your own spin on it. Here are a few easy songs to get you started:

“You Are My Sunshine”: This classic Folk song is perfect for beginners. Just use the chords G, D7, and C.

“This Land Is Your Land”: Another great Folk tune for beginners; just use the chords G, D7, Em, and C.

“Devil’s Dream”: A slightly more challenging Folk song that uses the chords Am, G, F, and E7.

Experiment with different genres of folk music

Folk music encompasses a wide range of styles, from traditional ballads and sea shanties to modern folk rock. While the genre has its roots in the oral tradition, many folk songs have been adapted for guitar.

If you’re new to folk music, start by listening to different artists and styles. As you explore, you’ll find that some songs are easier to play than others. When you’re ready to start learning, there are a few things you can do to make the learning process easier:

– Choose simple songs to start with. – As you progress, you can tackle more complex pieces.
– Find guitar tabs or chords for the song online. – This will help you learn the melody and accompaniment.
– Listen to the song multiple times. – This will help you get a feel for the rhythm and flow of the piece.
– Practice slowly at first. – Once you have the hang of it, you can speed up.

Folk music is a great way to expand your guitar repertoire and try something new. With a little practice, you’ll be playing folk songs like a pro in no time!

Folk music is a great way to relax and have fun

Folk music is a great way to relax and have fun. You can play it solo or with a group, and it’s a great way to connect with other people who love music. Folk music is also a great way to improve your guitar playing skills. If you’re new to folk music, start by learning some basic chords and strums. Then, practice playing along with folk songs. Once you’re comfortable with the basics, you can start adding your own personal style to your playing.

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