Starting Over

by Chris Stapleton • Lesson #352 • Feb 20, 2021

Video lesson

Print-Friendly Song Sheet 4 pages

Follow along with my print-friendly guide for this song! It’s available for purchase at, the web’s leading provider of licensed sheet music.

On the fence? Here's a guide I made showing the purchase & print process, including answers to common questions about my song sheets.

Buy at

Save 50% on this song sheet by applying the April 2024 code at Musicnotes checkout: N7AYZ9ADNV (click to copy). Thanks for being a Premium supporter!

Song Notes Premium includes a 50% discount code you can use when buying any of my licensed song sheets. For the current month's code, upgrade to premium or log in.

Editor’s notes

Hey friends! Here’s a new guitar lesson for Starting Over by Chris Stapleton, from his 2020 album of the same name. Super catchy song, great fun to play – and the intro & verse riff make very good use out of two very similar chords (G and Cmaj7), each of which has a single finger being added & removed for good effect. I’ll initially explain this (and the chorus) in a beginner-friendly way, before moving on and explaining some more advanced strumming techniques which’ll help you sound just like Chris Stapleton. Finally, I’ll end the tutorial with a full playthrough, showing you how it sounds when you put it all together. I hope you enjoy!

Video timestamps:

  • 0:00 Preview & lesson summary
  • 1:46 Intro chords w/ tabs
  • 4:34 Verse chords w/ tabs
  • 6:51 Chorus & bridge chords w/ tabs
  • 12:15 Strumming patterns (simple + advanced)
  • 16:51 Full playthrough w/ lyrics + chords

Lyrics with chords

Capo 3rd fret.

See PDF for lyrics with chords.

Chord shapes needed

Here’s the chords you’ll need for this song, broken into the verse and chorus sections. For the verse, note how the note on the 2nd string 1st fret is being added to both the G and Cmaj7, giving you a G4 (technically a Gadd11) and C, respectively. Keep your left pinky on the 3rd fret of the high-e string for the aforementioned four chords. For the chorus, the normal way to play these chords is below, but I have some tips further below if the D/F# gives you trouble.

Verse chords:                         Chorus chords:

e ––3––––3––––3––––3––––2––––0–––     e ––0––––2––––3––––3–––
B ––0––––1––––0––––1––––3––––3–––     B ––0––––3––––3––––3–––
G ––0––––0––––0––––0––––2––––2–––     G ––0––––2––––0––––0–––
D ––0––––0––––2––––2––––0––––0–––     D ––2––––0––––0––––2–––
A ––2––––2––––3––––3–––––––––––––     A ––2––––0––––2––––3–––
E ––3––––3–––––––––––––––––––––––     E ––0––––2––––3––––––––
    G    G4 Cmaj7  C    D  Dsus2          Em  D/F#  G  Cadd9

Chorus chord shapes, as I like to play them

For the Em-D/F#-G sequence, I prefer to use the voicings shown below. This is mainly because the D/F# played with the wrapped thumb isn’t my cup of tea. In the voicings below, I’ll keep my left ring finger on the B string (3rd fret) for all of the chords shown. I typically don’t play the thinnest string in any of the chords (though by habit, I’ll leave my left pinky on the 3rd fret of the thinnest string – which sounds fine if you happen to play it).

e –––(3)––––––(3)––––––(3)––––––(3)––
B ––––3––––––––3––––––––3––––––––3–––
G ––––0––––––––2––––––––0––––––––0–––
D ––––2––––––––0––––––––0––––––––2–––
A ––––2––––––––0––––––––2––––––––3–––
E ––––0––––––––2––––––––3––––––––––––
      Em      D/F#      G      Cadd9

Chord progression

178 BPM.

See PDF for chord progression diagram, with strumming included.

Strumming pattern basics

The simplest pattern you can use is a simple “bass-DOWN-bass-DOWN” on the 1-2-3-4 counts. The main idea here is to lightly play the bass string of whatever chord you’re playing on the “1” and “3” counts, and then do full down-strums on the “2” and “4” counts (with a bit more emphasis). This should feel like it has a bounce to it, alternating between light and heavy strums.

See my PDF for diagram.

From there, you can upgrade to this pattern if you choose – which uses up-strums to round thing out. Keep the bass note on the “1” count, and likewise maintain the heavier strum on the “2” count. The final three strums (up-down-up) can be light brushes on the thinnest couple strings.

See my PDF for diagram.

Basic strumming tabs for intro and verse

See my PDF for tabs showing you a simple way to strum the intro and chorus sections.

Unlock My Secret Stash!

Gain instant access to my library of 220 print-friendly cheat sheets! Also includes my extended video lessons, jam tracks, courses, and more.

Join Song Notes Premium

Have questions? Watch video tour »

Browse Related Lessons

Click any tag below to view other lessons I've made in that category:

Enjoy my lessons? Buy me a beer!

If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider making a one-time donation to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it).

Fun & Helpful Tools I've Made

Fret Monster

Interactive fretboard map! See the patterns behind every scale in any key.


Capo Captain

An easy way to calculate key & chord combinations, for any capo location!


Subscribe to my YouTube channel

Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!

Recent Lessons

  • April 18, 2024

    "Moonshadow" by Cat Stevens

    Learn how to play Cat Stevens' 1971 classic! I include campfire-friendly chords and strumming, and a step-by-step breakdown of the intro fingerstyle riff.

  • April 9, 2024

    Chords & Music Theory... 9 New Lessons!

    A roundup of a batch of new chord-related video lessons & PDF cheat sheets I just added to my library! Lots of good stuff here, be sure not to miss 'em.

  • March 30, 2024

    Gordon Lightfoot's "Carefree Highway"

    Learn how to play Lightfoot's 1975 classic, with plenty of tips to help simplify some of the quicker chord changes.

  • March 22, 2024

    Lead Guitar & the F1 Theme Song

    Let's look at the catchy Formula 1 theme song and learn how to play it on lead guitar...including handy trick for dealing with the key change.

  • March 15, 2023

    Pink Floyd's "Breathe" - with Simpler Chords Included

    Learn to play through Pink Floyd's 1973 classic! I'll teach the chords they use, while also showing a handful of useful simplifications and riffs to make this work on a single acoustic guitar.

  • March 6, 2024

    Q&A: 8 Tips to Avoid Muting Strings

    If you're frustrated by muffled, muted, or buzzing strings when playing chords, you're not alone! Here's 8 tips to avoid this common issue.

  • March 1, 2024

    Blues Shuffle Riffs - Using Just 2 Strings!

    A step-by-step introduction to blues shuffle riffs in open position, which are an amazingly fun-to-play way to get that blues sound with just a few fingers.

  • February 16, 2024

    Soulful Lead Guitar with "America the Beautiful"

    Here's a few ways to approach playing melodic lead guitar over America is Beautiful - shown both on an acoustic and electric guitar. Lots of fun!

  • February 8, 2024

    Country Honk by The Rolling Stones

    Let's learn how to play The Stones' acoustic & countrified version of Honky Tonk Women — with all the riffs included!

  • January 31, 2024

    Beginner Blues - New Course Sneak Peek!

    Watch the first three videos of my upcoming course, Beginner Blues Guitar — where I'll teach youthe 12 bar blues, dominant 7th chords, and the shuffle (swing) rhythm.

Browse All Recent Lessons →

Browse All My Lessons

By lesson type

By technique

By musical genre

By decade

By musical key

By popular artist

← back to homepage