Johnny Cash Guitar Lesson-Cry Cry Cry

Johnny Cash Guitar Lesson

If you want to learn a Johnny Cash song. Then you have come to the right place for this Johnny Cash Guitar Lesson.

What will you learn in this Johnny Cash Guitar Lesson? Johnny Cash Guitar Lesson Cry Cry Cry. Once completed you will know:

  • How to play Cry Cry Cry by Johnny Cash
  • First Johnny Cash Guitar Chords
  • Second Johnny Cash Rhythm
  • Then Johnny Cash Chord Progressions
  • Johnny Cash Guitar Tabs for Beginners
  • Notes in the Solo
  • Bonus Video

If your ready for me to show you this song, and how to play all the pieces. Grab your guitar and lets get started.

Johnny Cash Guitar Chords

Lets start with the chords in the song Cry Cry Cry. That’s one of the things that make this a fun song to play and that is the 3 easy chords. They are the E Major, B7 and the A Major Chords.

Let me show a chord diagram of the chords to help you with the finger position. If you don’t know how to read a Chord Chart. Take a quick peak at Chord Charts.


Here are the 3 Chords:

Johnny Cash Guitar Lesson
E Major Chord

On the E the E string is the 6th string. It is played open. Then your first finger is on the first fret of the third string. Your second finger is on the fifth string, at the second fret. Finally your third finger is also at the second fret, on the fourth string. On the E chord you can strum all the strings.


B7 The finger position is this:

Johnny Cash Guitar Lesson
B7 chord
  • First finger is on the fourth string, at the first fret
  • Second finger is on the fifth string, at the second fret
  • Third finger is on the the third string, at the second fret
  • You can add the pinkie finger to the first string. At the second fret.

The A Major All Your Fingers are at the Second Fret:

Johnny Cash Guitar Lesson
  • First finger is at the fourth string
  • second finger is at the third string
  • Third finger is at the second string
  • The 5th string and the high E string are open strings.
  • Notice the X over the 6th string don’t play this string.

These are the chord Shapes that we will be using. But we are playing using a Capo on the first fret. Which makes the chords actually different. To see a complete explanation What’s the Use of the Guitar Capo click the link.

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Johnny Cash Rhythm

Before we go over the intro of the song. Since we are discussing the chords. Lets take a look at the Rhythm of a lot of Johnny Cash songs.

When you are playing the E chord you have your fingers in position. You are going to play a base line and strum at the same time. Here is a video Baseline Picking see this in action.

So what you want to do is pick the E string. Which is the 6th string. Then strum the E chord. Then you pick the A string. Which is the 5th string, and strum the E chord.

  1. Pick E string – Strum E chord
  2. Pick the A string – Strum the E chord.

Back and fourth like that. This song is in 4/4 time so count when you are playing it. Then when you are playing the B7 chord. You are going to play the A string and strum the B7 chord. Then move your second finger up to the 6th string. Pick it and strum the B7 chord.

Again alternating back and forth.

When you are playing the A chord. You will pick the A string. Strum the A chord. Then pick the E string. Then strum the A chord.

So that’s all there is to the chords. The way I would approach this song. Is first learn the chords. Practice switching between the chords. Then practice the picking and strumming. After you get that down then you can practice the solo part of the song.

But next lets take a look at the chord progression.


Johnny Cash Chord Progressions

The beginning of the song the chord progression is E E E E E B7 E E E and A B7. Then It goes into the Solo part of the Song. Which we will cover in a minute.

Then after that the second verse starts which is the same as the first. E E E E E B7 E E E and A B7.

The chorus is right after that. The chord progression for the chorus is: E E A E B7 E. After the chorus there is the Solo. Which I promise we will cover.

After the solo there is one more verse. The same chord progression as the first two verses. E E E E E B7 E E E and A B7.

A solo after that Then another chorus and the Outro. So now that you know the chord progression. Lets take a look at the solo and connecting the chords.

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Notes in the Solo of Cry Cry Cry By Johnny Cash Guitar Lesson

The intro of the song is played like this open E string. Remember there is a capo on the first fret. So everything will be relative to the position of the capo. The capo is going to be the same as the nut of the guitar. So if I say “second fret”, that is the second fret from the capo.

So now we have that figured out. The intro of the song is: 0 2 4 on the E string. (6th string) 0 4 4 on the A string. The 5th string. On the 4th string play the 2. Then back to 4 on the 5th string.

When you play the 0 on the 4th string you are alternate picking like this: 0 0 0 0 Down up Down Up 4. So when you play the fourth fret of the 5th string your pick is in the downward motion. That’s a tip to make it easier to pick the notes.

After that you play 2 4 0, 4 2 0, on the 6th string. It goes right into playing that E chord.

Once the verse is played there is the Solo notes.

Notes After the Verse

The run of Notes after the verse is: 0 2 3 4. This run of notes are played 4 times on the 6th string. Move down a string and play the same run of notes. Now you are playing 0 2 3 4, on the 5th string.

Again you move back up a string. Play 0 2 3 4, on the 6th string. Then it goes 4 on the 5th string, 2 on the 4th string. 2 on the 5th string and 2 on the 6th string. Ending with an open E string, and back into the Verse.

Note that when you are playing the 4 on the 5th string you are alternate picking back and fourth. If you have trouble getting the picking down. It will help if you listen to the song. That’s why I have included a video with the lesson. To make it as easy as possible.

When you get to the 2 on the 4th string pick it two times. As I previous mentioned you then pick the 2 on the 4th string, pulling the string a little. Then when you get to the 2 on the 6th string you want to bend the string. To get the right sound.

The notes on the Outro of the song are the same notes played at the beginning of the song. So after the last Chorus there is the Outro. The notes are 0 2 4 on the E string. (6th string) 0 4 4 on the A string. The 5th string. On the 4th string play the 2. Then back to 4 on the 5th string. End by strumming the E chord.

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Bonus Video-Johnny Cash Guitar Lesson-Cry Cry Cry

This lesson was inspired by one of my Subscribers on YouTube. A request and a great song. I just want to say thank you for requesting it. If you like lessons like this be sure to check out my YouTube Channel. Have a look around and if you like what you see Subscribe for more guitar tips and tricks. Here is a link to the Bonus Video.


Related Questions

Johnny Cash Guitar Tabs for Beginners

What better way to start learning guitar than with some good ole’ Johnny Cash. His style of music is just perfect for acoustic guitar. But don’t let that stop you if you do have an electric it will still sound good. It’s a Johnny Cash song after all.

I have a Johnny Cash guitar tab for beginners to help you learn with. If your interested just click on the link to get the Johnny Cash Guitar Tab for Beginners.


Easy Johnny Cash Songs on Guitar

Johnny Cash has a lot of Great songs. Some of the Easy Johnny Cash songs on Guitar are ones like; Cry Cry Cry or Folsom Prison Blues. Some of the reasons that make them easy are they are 3 chord songs.

So you are not having to memorize a lot of chords and chord progressions. Those are big items when you are a beginner guitar player. Another reason these are easy Johnny Cash songs on guitar are the chords are easy to play.

The hardest part of the Johnny Cash songs are learning the Rhythm of the songs. Once you get that baseline picking down. Your off and running. Here is a guitar lesson how to play Folsom Prison blues on Guitar, check it out!