This is a relatively simple song, but it has some time-tested elements to look at. There are cool ‘folky’ chord grips, a bass walk-down, and a soft yet driving strum. The song structure doesn’t have a lot of moving parts, but it still works. Miss Ohio is from an album called Soul Journey, and has become a staple in the Gillian canon. (If you’re new to Gillian Welch, however, I would recommend checking out the Revelator album first.) Hope you enjoy this lesson.
Another bonus folky grip that didn’t make the video: if you want, you can leave the 5th string out of any/all G chords in this song, and it sounds fine. Use the fleshy part of your 3rd finger (which is holding down the 6th string) to mute the 5th string so it doesn’t ring out.
Also note: in some video performances, you can see that they’re playing this song with a capo on the second fret (i.e. in D instead of C). Of course, if you’re trying to sing & play the song you might want to try different keys using the capo. You could also use the capo to play along with their performances, which is good practice.
00:04 – Play-through & introduction
00:59 – Chords & progression (Verse, Chorus)
05:30 – Progression play-through & count
07:10 – Song structure (to Bridge)
08:17 – Bridge chords & progression
10:04 – Song structure (from Bridge to End)
11:20 – Strumming pattern – Verse & Chorus
13:19 – Strumming pattern – Bridge
14:11 – Parting thoughts
Live performance of the song:
There are a ton of people who have covered this song, including Miranda Lambert, Counting Crowes, Sarah Jarosz, and Nick Mulvey. Here is an under the-radar version from a pre-Houndmouth Katie Toupin & Matt Meyers: