Tips for Playing “I Still Miss Someone” by Johnny Cash

Cash played the original version - which features just three chords - with a capo on the first fret.

In 1958, Johnny Cash quit working with Sun Records and signed with Columbia for his next album, The Fabulous Johnny Cash. “I Still Miss Someone” first appeared on this record, but was also included on dozens of other Johnny Cash recordings and compilations. The song was one of several tunes penned by Cash and his nephew Roy Jr., and it has since been covered by a host of other musicians, such as Joan Baez, Fairport Convention, Crystal Gayle, and many others. 

Cash played the original version of “I Still Miss Someone” in A position with a capo on the first fret. The song starts with a single-note walking bass line that outlines a D–E chord progression before falling into an alternate-bass strumming pattern on an A chord. The intro pattern repeats itself as a break after the third verse. Behind the verses and choruses, use an alternate-bass strumming pattern similar to the last two measures of the intro pattern. For the A chord, alternate between the open fifth and sixth strings for the bass notes; for the D chord, alternate between the open fourth and fifth strings for the bass notes; for the E chord, alternate between the open sixth string and the fifth-string B note for the bass notes.


The song features just three chords throughout, although the final A chord is played with a slightly different voicing that keeps a high A note on top. Instead of fretting each of the middle three strings with a separate finger, barre across the second, third, and fourth strings with your index finger. This allows your pinky to reach up and fret the fifth fret of the first string for the high A note.

Due to copyright restrictions, we are unable to post notation or tablature for this musical work. If you have a digital or physical copy of the May 2010 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine, you will find the music on page 14.

This live performance comes from The Highwaymen’s “American Outlaws: Live at Nassau Coliseum” concert film.

Andrew DuBrock
Andrew DuBrock

Singer-songwriter Andrew DuBrock was the music editor for Acoustic Guitar from 1999 to 2007 and wrote the popular book + video guide Acoustic Rock Basics.

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