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Country Strumming & Fills in the Style of Willie Nelson

Lesson 3 – Country & Bluegrass Rhythm Course
Lesson ID: A0143

In this guitar lesson, I’ll teach you a classic country strumming pattern in the style of “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” by Willie Nelson. First I’ll break down the strumming pattern and give you some strumming tips that will help you get those clean alternating bass line picks. Then I’ll show you a couple of Willie Nelson style chord progressions to use for practice. After that, we’ll start working in some classic country bass line walks and I’ll teach you a couple of Willie Nelson riffs that’ll spice up your country rhythm guitar.



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Video Start Time Lesson Topic
00:00 min Strumming Pattern Breakdown
01:09 min Right Hand Pick Technique
02:46 min Willie Nelson Hammer-On
04:11 min Alternating Bass Line over B7 and A Chords

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Video Start Time Lesson Topic
00:00 min Progression 1
00:54 min A Major Accent Chord
02:37 min Progression 2
03:24 min How to Practice with “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”

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Bass Walks

Video Start Time Lesson Topic
00:00 min Bass Line Walk 1
01:17 min Bass Line Walk 2
03:42 min Bass Line Walk 3
04:50 min Bass Line Walk 4

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Fill Riffs

Video Start Time Lesson Topic
00:00 min Willie Nelson Style Fill Riff 1
04:14 min Willie Fill Riff 2 for a Song Ending

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Practice with Willie Nelson

Practice your classic country strumming and fills over the song “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” by Willie Nelson using the player from Spotify. We’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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6 years ago

Thanks once again Devin. Great song choice and GREAT teaching.

James J Wood
James J Wood(@james-jax-woodxtra-co-nz)
6 years ago

Great start back to the basics to rebuild a style that’s got a little loose

6 years ago

Very nice, love the slower stuff like this. Sounds good and not crazy tough to play, and really helps with developing rhythm. Keep up the good work Devin.

6 years ago

Thanks Devin. I had a blast learning this. Any other Willie Nelson songs?

5 years ago

nice lessons with great tabs , been learning it today , getting better day by day. This website is my new drug honestly ! Great teacher in front with great details of each parts. THANKS ! finger crossed to get the pick this month

5 years ago

Another great lesson.

5 years ago

Devin, do you have any Waylon lessons?

5 years ago

Simple and sweet. Genius.

5 years ago

Perfect lesson for my level. Thanks!

Jocelyn Beauregard
Jocelyn Beauregard(@jocelyn)
5 years ago

Beautiful song ending…I like that…thanks Devin

5 years ago

Wonderful song with interesting bass walk ups and downs. The
fill riffs seem to be easy, but are a bit tricky.


4 years ago

Love the new AB looping and video speed control options, really makes practicing eaiser!

4 years ago

So cool, Devin! Thank you for unlocking that sweet little flavor of Willie’s guitar runs.

4 years ago

I see the chord progressions and tablature, but where is the song lyric with chords? This is regard to lesson three and the song “Blue eyes crying in the rain”.

Susan Wagner
Susan Wagner(@shysue)
4 years ago

Great lesson! I’d love to see the solo portion of the Willie Nelson version done in Tab form.

Jeff Martinez
Jeff Martinez(@jjmtz1)
2 years ago

Bittersweet,,, I say that because as you’re explaining the walk down at the 6+ minute mark and starting with middle finger on the A cord you don’t mention that there are two strums on it then the walk down to ring finger-4th fret middle finger-2nd fret, its not clearly visible, especially when one wears corrective lenses. I love this style playing, its classic Willie, whom I love, & you by far make it look easy, which I really appreciate. If you could help by adding a 10 or 15 second back button would be the kitty-Kat’s meow!!! Thank you

1 year ago

I finally found my level, and feel like my playing ability is about to double.

I’m new to Country music, but I love everything on this site.

I came here for the guitar lessons, and I’m coming away with the Country!

Brad Cox
Brad Cox(@brad-cox)
1 year ago

I have been finger picking folk songs for over 7 years and it may sound crazy but I am finding it challenging to strum with a pick. Do you offer a lesson on basic pick grip and strumming?