You Are My Sunshine – Guitar Tutorial

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Hey everyone! In today’s lesson, we’re going to learn how to play, “You Are My Sunshine,” originally written by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell (but that is disputed – no one knows the true origin of this song!)

This simple three chord song has been covered a billion times and is a staple in my household (especially now with the baby) and is an excellent “first song” for any guitarist.

I want to keep things as simple as possible, so I’m going to show you the chords, some switching tips, we’ll practice the chords, we’ll learn a strumming pattern and, finally, we’ll practice putting it all together.

Throughout the video I mention some of my resources, like my free eBook, barre chord course, and complete beginner’s course. These resources are designed to help you do it better and faster.

Free eBook:
Beginner’s Course:



1:45 – CHORDS

The lesson begins with the chord shapes. A, D and E. I’ve chosen one of the easiest possible keys (A). If you want an example, Johnny Cash does it in the key of A.

I show you some switching tips for going between A and D, and then from A to E. After working on these chord switching tips and tricks, we practice playing the chords in order, using downstrokes only, counting aloud “1 2 3 4”.

Once we can do that, we’ll learn the strumming pattern. This one has a tiny bit of syncopation (that’s a strumming pattern that involves a miss). Otherwise it’s pretty straightforward. We break the strumming pattern down into two halves work through them, work on putting it all together.

Once we can loop the strumming pattern, we put it together with the chords, playing through the entire tune a couple times.

I hope you enjoy this one. It’s very easy, if you have a little bit of experience, and a great one to even learn as your first song (but will require a bit of work, haha).

Anyway, till next time!