How Do You Play Tennessee Flat Top Box

If you want to know how do you play Tennessee Flat Top Box. Then your going to want to look at what is in this guitar lesson.

How Do You Play Tennessee Flat Top Box guitar lesson? How Do You Play Tennessee Flat Top Box.

Learn Tennessee Flat Top Box:

  • Rhythm to Tennessee Flat Top Box
  • Tennessee Flat Top Box Riff
  • Chords to Tennessee Flat Top Box
  • The Chord Progression
  • Tablature to Tennessee Flat Top Box
  • Capo Position
  • 3 Bonus Videos
  • Tennessee Flat Top Box Lyrics

If this sounds like something you would be interested in learning. Then grab your guitar and lets begin.

Tennessee Flat Top Box Chords

First we need to take a look at what chords are in the song. And how to play them. So take a look at the chord diagrams. If you need help reading chords. Click this link to learn how to read chord charts.


How to Play the A Major Chord

  • Place Your first finger on the 4th string. The D string. At the second fret.
  • Your second finger is on the 3rd string. Which is the G string. Also at the second fret.
  • Then your third finger is on the B string. At the second fret. This is the 2nd string.
  • Strum from the 4th string down, and don’t play the 6th strings.

How to Play the E Major Chord

  • Place your first finger on the 3rd string. (G string). At the first fret.
  • Your second finger is on the A string. (5th string). Also at the second fret.
  • Then your third finger is on the D string. 4th string, second fret.
  • When strumming the E chord you can strum all the strings.

Now that we know what chords your going to be playing. Let’s look at the Country Rhythm next.


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Rhythm to Tennessee Flat Top Box

First if you want the guitar to sound just like the record. Then you need to place the capo on the first fret. If you don’t have a capo you can check out Electric Guitar Capos VS Acoustic.

To get that Classic Country Rhythm you want to play the bass note of each chord. I will explain how to play the chords. Start with the A chord. After setting your fretting hand up to play the A chord. Pick the A string. Which is the 5th string. Then strum the A chord. Then pick the 6th string and play the A chord again. Practice this Country strumming slowly until you get it. Then move to the next chord.

Playing the Bass note of the E chord. After fretting the E chord. First you want to pick the E string. The 6th string and then strum the E chord. After that Pick the 5th string. Which is the A string. Then strum the E chord again. This is the strumming pattern through out the song.


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The Chord Progression

The chords are A And E. Here is the chord progression. A A A, E E E E, A A A A, E E E E E, A A A, E E E E E. Remember the song is in 4/4 timing. So you count to 4 beats. One pick of a string is a beat, a strum counts as a beat. Then you have another string that is picked. And one more strum. That is a total of 4 beats. Be sure to get the Tab to help you play the song. It’s later in this lesson.

Bonus Video Tennessee Flat Top Box Tutorial Video 1 of 3


Tennessee Flat Top Box Riff


The intro of the song starts with that great guitar riff that we all have heard and have grown to love.
First you want to place your capo on the first fret. This becomes the nut of the guitar. If you want more information on how a capo works check out what’s the use of the guitar capo.

But after you place the Capo you want to start with your finger at the 4th fret on the D string. Pick that string, which is the 4th string.

Note: The frets are from the nut of the guitar which is now on one. Which is now the nut of the guitar.

After playing the 4th fret on the D string. Play an open G string. The third string. Next place your finger at the first fret of the G string and then pick the G string. Move up a fret still on the G string. Which is the third string, and place your finger at the second fret on the G string and play the G string.

Playing the Riff

Your going to pick the third string 3 times. This song is at a fast tempo so you are going to want to pick up and down. To be more efficient with playing the riff.

After picking that note on the second fret of the G string 3 times. Then place a finger on the second fret of the D string and pick the 4th string.

Next you place your finger up a string, back to the G string. Still at the second fret, and pick the G string two times. (up & Down).

Hammer on to the D string at the second fret. And then play the note at the second fret of the G string. Then play the open G string.

Next your going to fret these frets on the D string 4, 2, 0,0. Fret those frets and pick the D string. Which again is the 4th string. Of course zero is an open string.

Now we are at the 5th bar, and you are going to pick the notes out on the A string. Which are the notes at the fourth, and second fret, and then the open 5th string.

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Playing the Verse Tennessee Flat Top Box

After that little intro, the verse starts.

The verse starts on A with that country strumming that was discussed earlier. You are going to strum and pick 3 A Major chords. And then you play the E chord for 4 measures.

Then back to the A chord for 4 Measures, and play the E for 5 Measures. Next play three measures of A and another 5 measures of E.

Then the riff starts again. To start the riff from the E chord. You are going to pick the A string (5th string) open 2 times. Then still on the 5th string, fret the second fret and pick the A string. Then fret the 4th fret and pick the A string.

After that pick the open D string. (4th string). And then pick the open A string again. Fret the second fret on the A string and pick the A string. Fret the fourth fret on the A string and pick the 5th string again. Play the open D string and then fret the fourth fret on the D string and play the 4th string.

Now moving up to the G string place your fringer at the second fret on the G string and pick the G string two times. Remember you want to use up and down picking. To make playing this as easy as possible. And it sounds better too.

Then fret the fourth fret on the D string and play the 4th string. After that pick the open G string.

Fretting & Picking the Strings

Back on the D string you are going to use your finger to fret the 4th fret of the D string and pick the string. And then fret the second fret of the 4th string, then play the string. Again on the third string place your finer at the second fret. And play the G string. Your going to pick the string 3 times.

Move to the D string and place your finger at the second fret and pick the 4th string 2 times. Go back to the second fret of the G string place your finger there. And then pick the G string two times. Place your finger on the D string again at the second fret and play the 4th string.

Next play the open G string, hammer on the G string at the 2nd fret, and then play the open G string. Next play the notes on frets 4, 2, and 0 on the D string. Picking the open D string two times.

Now on the A string. The 5th string. Play the notes on these frets 4, 2, and 0.

We are almost there!

On the D string fret the 2nd fret and hammer on the 4th fret. Do this two times. Then play the open A string. Fret the 2nd fret on the D string and hammer on at the 4th fret of the D string. Again play the open A string and fret the D string at the second fret. Hammer on the 4th fret of the D string.

So you are picking the A string and then placing your hand on the second fret of the D string and hammering on the 4th fret. You do this 3 times.


If you like this lesson you may also enjoy these Acoustic guitar riffs. Famous guitar riffs, that you can learn too!

Tennessee Flat Top Box Tab


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Tennessee Flat Top Box Lyrics

In a Little Cabaret
In South Texas Border town.
Set a  boy and his guitar, and the people came from all around.
And all the girls, from there to Austin.
Were slipping away from home and putting jewelry in hawk. 
To take the trip, to go and listen.
To the little dark haired boy who played the Tennessee flat top box.
And he would play...

Well he couldn't ride or wrangle, and never cared to make a dime. 
But give him his guitar and he'd be happy all the time.
And all the girls. 
From 9 to 90.
Were snapping fingers, tapping toes and begging him don't stop.
And hypnotized and fascinated.
With the little dark haired boy who played the Tennessee flat top box.
And he would play...

Then one day he was gone.
And no one ever saw him around.
He vanished like the breeze. 
And they forgot him in that little town.

But all the girls, still dreamed about him.
And they hung around the cabaret until the doors were locked.
And then one day.
On the hit parade.
Was the little dark haired boy that played a Tennessee flat top box. 
And he would play...

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Related Questions

What is a Tennessee Flat Top Box

Specifically an acoustic guitar with steel strings. The song is about a little dark haired boy. That played guitar locally. Girls of all ages would go to see him play. Until one day the boy was no where to be found. Then later in the story (song) He reappears on Television playing the Tennessee Flat top box. Source

Tennessee Flat Top Box YouTube

Want to get a complete tutorial on Tennessee Flat Top Box? I have 3 Tutorials to share with you. There is a video on how to play the riff. Then a detailed lesson on how to play the Rhythm. And I show you how to put it all together. Check the playlist on my YouTube Channel. Here: YourGuitarGuide.