Goober Peas
A Civil War Song for Guitar

Goober Peas, fun free online guitar tabs! Kids love this silly but authentic song from the Civil War.

This is a great sing-along song

Along with having goofy words that are fun to sing, there's something really catchy about this song's rhythm, and the tune! When my students play it, I can't help singing along.

Here's a version of this Civil War-time song, with a slightly different chord progression than my version, below: 

Goober Peas easy guitar tabs

Printable free online guitar tabs Goober Peas 

With easy beginner chords

The chords of this song can be played even by beginners, if you use "small" chords. Both C and G can be played with just 3 strings, using 1 finger. (Study the Giant Chords page to see how to make "small" C and "small" G.) 

Good practice for learning D7 to go with G and C chords

This is a good song with which to learn the D7 chord, which is easily moved into from the small C chord: Leaving the Left Hand 1 finger in position on fret 1, string 2 (C), add the 2 and 3 fingers alongside on fret 2 to make the D7 chord. When it's time to change to G, leave finger 3 down on string 1, and slide into fret 3 for the small G chord (and the same approach for the BIG G chord, plus arching the index and middle fingers across to the other side of the neck, if that is your preferred fingering).

Try a Bass note plus single strum pattern

Goober Peas is a good candidate for a strong chord accompaniment featuring "thumb, strum --- thumb, strum ---." I tell kids there are two pulses per measure in this song: one of them is the thumb (or pick), and one is the strum. Because the rhythm seems to "swing," the song has a relaxed feeling to it, just like a bunch of guys "sittin' by the roadside on a summer's day...lyin' in the shadows underneath the trees." 

Goober Peas free online guitar tabs

Download free guitar tabs for this song

Learn where the chord roots are, with full chords

Because each of the three chords used in Goober Peas has its important bass note on a different string, this song is good memory practice for where the real bass of each chord is.

With the G chord, the thumb should pluck string 6 when using the full G chord). With the C chord, the thumb should pluck string 5. And with the D chord, the thumb should pluck string 4. It's great to watch kids as they pick this up and begin to hear when they've plucked the wrong string.

We use the pick sometimes, and the fingers sometimes. It's easier to be accurate with the bare thumb, but the pick sounds so good, and students need practice doing both.

Where the pattern changes

There are two spots in the song where suddenly there's no room to do "Thumb, strum." It's where there are two different chords in the measure. We always drop the thumb pluck in those measures and just do one strum per chord. I sing, "Goodness, how delicious! STRUM, and STRUM, and THUMB, STRUM!" (Right back into the regular pattern on the next measure.)

The two-strums-in-a-row measures give a fun "punctuation" to those spots. Kids feel the "rightness" of it musically, and how it breaks up the monotony of the primary pattern, yet how fresh the old pattern feels when you go back to it after the interruptions.

And... just what are these goober peas?

So have you figured out just what "goober peas" ARE? Peanuts! Hope y'all enjoy this free easy guitar tabs sheet music! 


Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? I'd love to hear it!

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