Here’s how to play “I Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash on guitar. This lesson shows you that some of the most iconic guitar songs are not as hard to play as you might think. Johnny Cash’s straightforward chord progression makes this a fun and rewarding song to add to your lineup.

Released in 1956, “I Walk the Line” was Cash’s very first #1 hit and went on to sell more than 2 million copies. You may have seen the 2005 film “Walk the Line” with Joaquin Phoenix that inspired you to play this song.

You’ll need a capo if you want to match the sound of the original recording. And you’ll need to know a few chords. Most you may have come across before, such as G major and D major. Others like B7 may be new, but don’t worry, chord diagrams for all of them are below. Click any diagram for a full tutorial on how to play that chord.

Guitar Chords

The chords you’ll need to play this song are below:

  • G major
  • D major
  • A major
  • A7
  • E major
  • B7

G chord

G Chord

D chord

D Major

A chord

A Major

a7 chord

A7 Chord

E Major chord

E Major

b7 chord

B7 Chord

 

If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to remember these and 25+ other essential chords, check out our free guitar chord flashcards.

How to Play I Walk the Line

For this song, make sure your guitar is in standard tuning. Grab your capo and stick it on the first tab.

Verse

                 B7                                               E
I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
                    B7                                     E
I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
                      A                                         E
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
                               B7                         E
Because you’re mine, I walk the line

Verse

                E7                                 A
I find it very, very easy to be true
              E7                                                     A
I find myself alone when each day is through
                   D                        A
Yes, I’ll admit that I’m a fool for you
                              E7                         A
Because you’re mine, I walk the line

Verse

                                    A7                        D
As sure as night is dark and day is light
                    A7                                             D
I keep you on my mind both day and night
                G                                                            D
And happiness I’ve known proves that it’s right
                              A7                          D
Because you’re mine, I walk the line

Verse

                         E7                                        A
You’ve got a way to keep me on your side
                           E7                                       A
You give me cause for love that I can’t hide
                     D                                               A
For you I know I’d even try to turn the tide
                                E7                            A
Because you’re mine, I walk the line

Verse

                 B7                                              E
I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
                    B7                                    E
I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
                      A                                        E
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
                              B7                         E
Because you’re mine, I walk the line

 

 

For educational purposes only. The materials on this page represent the author’s own work and his creative interpretation of the song shown. It is intended for private study, scholarship or research only.