Merle Haggard Guitar Lesson: The Running Kind

When I was growing up I listened to Merle Haggard just like millions of other Country fans. But I, for what ever reason didn’t think about doing any Merle Haggard Guitar Lessons. Until a Super Fan requested The Running Kind on my YouTube channel. From that request came Merle Haggard Guitar Lesson: The Running Kind. Enjoy!

What is going to be covered in Merle Haggard Guitar Lesson: The Running Kind.

Merle Haggard Guitar Lesson: The Running Kind.

  • Merle Haggard guitar chords.
  • How to play the Running Kind.
  • Country Strumming The Running Kind.
  • The Running Kind Chord Progression.
  • Bonus Video from Merle Haggard guitar lessons YouTube
  • Merle Haggard the Running Kind Lyrics.

Merle Haggard Guitar Chords

In this lesson I will show you the chords. But also I will show you how to play these chords up the neck. So stick around to see open chords and then take the same chords and play them up the neck. So first we are going to look at what chords are in the song. Check out the chord diagrams below. And how to place your fingers to make these chords.

Need Help Reading the chord diagram? Look at this quick reference. How to read a chords diagram.

How to Play the G Major Chord

  • Place Your first finger at the second fret of the A string. Which is the 5th string.
  • Put your second finger at the third fret on the E string. The 6th string.
  • Your third finger is at the third fret. On the B string. (2nd string)
  • Then place your pinkie on the third fret of the high E string. The 1st string.
  • When strumming the G chord you can play all the strings.

Playing the Open D Chord

  • Place your finger on the 3rd string. The G string. At the second fret.
  • Put your second finger on the 1st string. (E string). Also at the second fret.
  • Then your third finger is on the 2nd string. (B string). At the third fret.
  • Strum from the 4th string down. Don’t play the 5th or 6th string.

How to Play the C Chord

  • Place your first finger on the B string, at the first fret. (2nd string).
  • Your second finger is on the D string. 4th string, at the second fret.
  • Then your third finger is on the 5th string. At the third fret. Which is the A string.
  • When Strumming the C chord. Don’t play the 6 string.

Related Article: Friends in Low Places Chords.

How to Play the Running Kind

As you can see there are three easy chords. If you are not familiar with Country music a lot of the songs have a cool Country style Rhythm. You could just strum the chords. The song is in 4/4 timing, but if you want it to sound like how Merle Haggard plays it, then try this out. Alternate Picking the bass notes and strumming.


Related Article: Tim McGraw and faith hill: It’s Your Love Guitar Lesson.

Country Strumming is The Running Kind Rhythm

On each chord I will explain how to pick the bass root note and strum to get that great Country sound. So what you are going to do when your playing the G chord. You are going to first pick the root note and then strum the chord. I will show where the root note is for this lesson, but if you want to learn the notes and how to find them check out the guitar boot camp course. You can learn this and a lot more.

First set up your fingers to play the G chord. Then you are going to pick the bass root note. Which on the G chord is at the third fret of the E string. The 6th string. Since your finger is already fretting the string at that fret. All you need to do is pick the low E string.

Then you are going to strum the G chord. After that your going to pick the A string and strum the chord again. Grab your guitar and give it a try. It takes a minute to get used to strumming like this. If you haven’t strummed like this before. But just take it slow and practice with the G chord. After you can do that go to the next Chord.

On the C chord what your going to do is find the root note of the C chord. The lowest root note. Which is the C. It is on the 5th string at the 3rd fret. As you know when you have placed your fretting hand to play the C chord. The Root C note is covered. What you need to do is play the A string and then strum the C chord.

After that you want to move your third finger up to the 6th string. Place it on the third fret of the E string (6th string). Pick the 6th string and then strum the C chord again. It sounds like a lot. But really your playing the C chord. Picking the 5th string strumming and moving your third finger up to the 6th string and picking and strumming again.

Just like the G chord, try practice playing the C chord Country Style. Do this before you go to the next chord. You might also practice playing the G chord and then going from the G to the C chord and keeping the Rhythm going.

Next to play the D chord you are going to play the Root bass D note. Which is the D string. So after fretting the D chord. Play the open D string. Meaning not fretted. Then strum the D chord. After that Pick the open A string. Which is the 5th string and strum the D chord again.

Practice playing the G C and D chord and picking the bass notes.


Related Article: Palm Muting Tips You Must Know for Beginners.

The Running Kind Chord Progression

Now for the good stuff the chord progression. Here is how you are going to play the song. It’s in the key of G and that is where your going to start with a G chord. Then it goes to C and then D. Remember your counting to 4 so when you pick a note that is one. Then you strum the chord, this is two. Picking the next note is 3 and another strum is 4.

Each chord has the same beat of 4 whether you are picking or strumming. The G is played 5 bars. G G G G G Then there is C played and then 3 bars of D. Which is D D D. And then it starts over again at the G. You play this throughout the entire song, until you get to the outro and it fades out.


Picture from Reverb

Take a look at all the acoustic guitars on Reverb

Merle Haggard the Running Kind Lyrics

I was born the running kind 
With leaving always on my mind 
Home was never home to me at anytime 
Every front door found me hoping 
I would find the back door open 
There just had to be an exit for the running kind 

Within me there's a prison, surrounding me alone
As real as any dungeon with its walls of stone
I know running's not the answer 
yeah but running been my nature 
And the part of me that keeps me moving on

I was born the running kind 
With leaving always on my mind 
Home was never home to me at anytime 
Every front door found me hoping 
I would find the back door open 
There just had to be an exit for the running kind 

I was born the running kind 
With leaving always on my mind 
Home was never home to me at anytime 
Every front door found me hoping 
I would find the back door open 
There just had to be an exit for the running kind 


Related Article: How to Play Go Rest High on That Mountain.

Related Questions

How to Play These Chords up the Neck

To play the Chords up the neck is fun too. But it is a little more advanced as you need to be comfortable with playing bar chords. Here’s the chords to play the song up the neck of the guitar.

When your playing these chords in Country Strumming style. Starting with the G chord, after fretting the G like shown in the above diagram. You are going to pick the low E string. Which is the 6th string and then strum the chord. Next pick the 5th string, the A string and strum.

Playing the C chord next you are going to pick the C note. Which is under your first finger on the 5th string. Then strum the C chord. Then move your first finger up to the third fret on the 6th string. And then pick the E string, and play the C chord again.

Playing the D chord just move up two frets to the D and pick the 5th string. Then strum the D chord, raise your first finger up to the 5th fret on the 6th string. Play the E string, and then strum the D chord again.

This will let you play The Running Kind up the Neck. And with Country strumming and rhythm.


Related Article: How to Play Guitar in Different Positions on the Neck.

Who Wrote The Running Kind By Merle Haggard

The song The Running kind was written and song by Merle Haggard. And was released in 1978 as a single on the album A Working Man Can’t Get Know Where Today. Source

If you liked this lesson maybe you would like this guitar lesson too. Click to check it out: What is the Easiest Country Song to Learn on Guitar? Or if your into The Blues check this cool lesson out Beth Hart Tell Her You Belong to Me (chords Tab & Lyrics).

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