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Country Strumming in the Style of Randy Travis

Lesson 2 – Country & Bluegrass Rhythm Course
Lesson ID: A0103

In the previous lesson of this course, I taught y’all one of the most important strumming patterns in country and bluegrass music. We also discussed how to use alternating bass notes with several different chords and we practiced strumming with a common country and bluegrass chord progression.

In this lesson, we’re going to practice this country strumming pattern using the song “Forever And Ever, Amen” by Randy Travis. This song is a great practice tool because it’s played at a relatively slow pace and the lyrics aren’t too difficult to learn. We’ll go over all of the song’s chord progressions and I’ll give you some important strumming tips as we work through the lesson.

Lesson Overview

Chords & Strumming

Video Start Time Lesson Topic
00:00 min Overview
01:38 min Alternating Bass Line over the D Major Chord
02:48 min Alternating Bass Line over the G Major Chord
03:31 min Alternating Bass Line over the E Major Chord
04:34 min Alternating Bass Line over the A Major Chord
05:10 min Alternating Bass Line over the B Minor Chord
06:07 min Counting the Strumming Pattern

Chord Progressions

Video Start Time Lesson Topic
00:00 min Intro Chord Progression
01:58 min Verse 1 Chord Progression Without Singing
03:44 min Verse 1 Chord Progression With Singing
05:27 min Chorus 1 Chord Progression Without Singing
07:05 min Chorus 1 Chord Progression With Singing
08:07 min Instrumental Break
08:47 min Verse 2 and Chorus 2 Recap
09:23 min Ending Chord Progression

Intermediate Breakdown

Video Start Time Lesson Topic
00:00 min Intro Chord Progression
00:51 min Verse 1 Chord Progression With Singing
02:28 min Chorus 1 Chord Progression With Singing
03:23 min Instrumental Break
04:04 min Verse 2 and Chorus 2 Recap
04:41 min Ending Chord Progression

Member Content

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Listen to “Forever And Ever, Amen” by Randy Travis below using the embedded player from Spotify. I’d highly recommend using Spotify for online radio. If you don’t have a Spotify account, click here to sign up free with your Facebook account or with an e-mail address.

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7 years ago

Your audio always sounds great. Nice job, Devin. I will be working on this song later tonight. Thanks!

Jared (@guest_449)
7 years ago

cool site

Tim Miller
Tim Miller(@tim)
7 years ago

Thanks! This is exactly what I was needing.

Gary (@guest_452)
7 years ago

Thanks, Devin. Very nice website and high quality lessons. keep up the good work!

Mark (@guest_453)
7 years ago

Great lesson as always!

7 years ago

Hey man, can you do a lesson on Granddaddys Gun Aaron Lewis?

7 years ago

This lesson alone is worth the membership cost!

7 years ago

Great lesson Devin thanks for the BM tip

7 years ago

I stayed away from Spotify for years thinking Pandora was fine, but I always hated that you couldn’t see what year stuff came out, thanks again. 100% Spotify user now!

7 years ago

Thanks Devin,

Finally a song without a major C chord, I struggle making this chord sound good, my fingers are not long enough.
Any tips, I would appreciate it?

Respectfully yours,


7 years ago

this is the best instruction on how to play a song that I have seen!

7 years ago

Thanks Devin, I am really loving your lessons, your website is excellent! I can see and I appreciate the hard work you put into it.

7 years ago

Thank you so much for singing in the lessons. I think you have a great voice!

6 years ago

Really, really great lesson. Thank you. kathy

leopoldo (@guest_1177)
6 years ago

excelente lección

leopoldo (@guest_1178)
6 years ago

me estoy iniciando en el estilo de la guitarra country y me gustan mucho tus lecciones,ojala y puedas ayudarme a tocarlo bien. Gracias

6 years ago

Dsus2/B is the name of the alternate chord you are using for the B. When you’re letting the e string ring out.

6 years ago

I’ve done a lot of straight strumming but struggle to get boom-chick patterns clean sounding. Should I stay slower until it’s completely clean or increase speed and know the clean sound will eventually be there?

6 years ago

Hey Devin,
Please tell me, when you do the “chick” phase, do you strum all chord strings, or only the rest of them – without “boom” string? For example C chord: 5th (boom), 4-3-2-1 (chick); 4th (boom), 3-2-1 (chick). Or possibly you “chick” only hi 3-2-1 strings every time? I ask you because I can hear unwanted repeated bass pattern when I play guitar, but I can hardly hear it in your videos. Thank you (and sorry for my English)

6 years ago

Lots of changing chords in this one

6 years ago

Thanks Devin for the great lesson. I am always trying to pick up the theory and techniques of a lesson as well. On alternate pick/strum-boom/chick strum sometimes you pick the lower bass string first and on other chords you will pick then higher bass string first. string 5 vs 4 for a “C” chord and 4 vs 5 for an “E” chord. Is there any logic to grasp here?

Edwin Nelissen
Edwin Nelissen(@edwin)
6 years ago

Hi there Devin,
I’m really enjoying these lessons, youre a very good teacher, thanks !

5 years ago

Devin, could you post a picture of the fingering for the alternate Bminor chord as quick reference? Cheers!

5 years ago
Reply to  Devin

thank you.

5 years ago

You sing just fine. I’d trade you any day 🙂

5 years ago

Another super lesson as always.

5 years ago

Great lesson really like the straight forward teaching

5 years ago

Very useful. I just integrated lesson 1 and 2 into my dayly warm-up program before practising. For more speed, safer playing and better memorizing, I use a metronome. Beginning each turn with 100 Bpm in steps of 5 Bpm up to 180 pm.


5 years ago

Nicely done. My 8 year old kid can also follow. Thanks

4 years ago

Combining chord progressions and lyric would be helpful. It is quite difficult to sing and strum this pattern. What gets me, is the beginning when the G chord only has one count. But I’ll keep practicing. Great lessons!

Tom Madsen
Tom Madsen(@tmadsen1235)
4 years ago

This really helped my rhythm and coming in on offbeats with vocals. Thank you.

4 years ago

Love this song….nice one Devin!

4 years ago

This is a great Randy Travis song. I love it.

3 years ago

Any tips for getting better right hand synchronization? I seem to be struggling to hit the correct bass note despite a lot of practice.

3 years ago
  1. I’m a new member and I like the way you lay everything out with your vocals and with the original also handy to listen to. Good job on your vocals, very helpful.
Mattias Åbom
Mattias Åbom(@mattiasabom)
3 years ago

Thanks for this great lesson!
Mattias from Sweden

3 years ago

Hi Kevin
This one has got me baffled. I just can’t get the words to match the chord changes at the beginning. I know that the boom chick is a straight forward 4 count downstroke strum but I find myself doing an other strum just to make that happen.

3 years ago

Hi, not sure if this is correct not to good with tech stuff, anyway love all the lessons, after the Randy Travis song I looked him up really impressed with all his songs brilliant country voice listen to him most days ( so sad what has happened to him such a talent ) was wondering if you could fit in a few more of his songs.
Thanks Byron.

Hubert Doherty
Hubert Doherty(@hughie)
3 years ago

How long do you guys recommend practice a lesson for , before moving on to the next .

Do you guys do them weekly .

William Atterberry
William Atterberry(@batterberry)
2 years ago

One never knows when and where s/he will be gobsmacked with an epiphanous bolt of understanding! When you correlated scale degrees and chords within each scale as numbers/Roman numerals, all of a sudden all those books and lessons I endured on transposition (yawn, where’s my capo?) gelled/clicked/slammed home and voila–I transposed the “Forever and Ever, Amen” piece into the key of G. I’ve been playing music my entire life and that’s the first song I’ve ever transposed on my own. Something otherwise viewed as complex explained with haunting simplicity. Wow! Thank you!

Tim Mason
Tim Mason(@deepwatermarine)
2 years ago

I’m a big fan of your course. The platform has me frustrated though. I get why you don’t have full videos on YouTube, but that format is so much easier to stop and start the video while playing a guitar. I find myself fighting my phone more and playing less on this. I can’t use a computer. I work on a boat in Houston harbor. If the video automatically went to full screen and also had the play/pause button in the middle of the screen like YouTube , that would be super helpful.