Watch the Cowboy Chords online guitar lesson by TrueFire from Rock Guitar Greatest Hits Vol. 3

Cowboy Chords is a video guitar lesson presented by Angus Clark and is sourced from Essentials: Rock Rhythm Unplugged

This etude is in two sections. The A section is a typical strumming pattern with sixteenth note subdivisions, the B section is a more eighth note driven build. The chords used are all open voicings, what I usually refer to as the "cowboy chords", and they should be some of the first chords you ever learned on the guitar. In revisiting some of this material, I want you to take a fresh look at how precise you can be in changing chords, and how there's a real difference between a Cadd9 chord and an ordinary barnyard C.

In the right hand, we're going to focus on how to avoid accenting the upstrokes. This kind of strumming gets its relaxed vibe from the emphasis on the 1-2-3-4, rather than anything in between. The subdivisions are there, and we want them in the pocket, but we don't want the offbeat accents to stick out. I've been called out on this more than once by singers or bandleaders that want the acoustic guitar part just tucked in the mix like a tambourine. Keep it smooth, people!