Difficulty: Level I
Length: 5:43
Hurt Wikipedia pageWikipedia page
Hurt music videoArtist website
Hurt music videoMusic video
With our guitar tutorial on Hurt, you will learn these guitar skills:
  • Bass note strum
  • Chords

Hurt is a wonderful beginner guitar song, which really plays with your emotions. It starts off a bit sad, then becomes energetic, which sort of lifts you up.

Several of my students said they play this song when they are feeling a bit down, but it always cheers them up in the end. I advise you to watch the music video on YouTube if you haven’t already, it is truly moving.

The guitar lesson on Hurt is a cover of Johnny Cash’s version, it’s rather simple that most beginner guitarists pick up pretty quickly. You’ll be learning several guitar chords, so you’ll get a chance to practice changing between chords while playing this song. You’ll also learn a variation of the bass note strum, which is really popular in country music. Once you learn the song, which shouldn’t take that long (a couple of days at most), you can actually sing the lyrics just like Johnny Cass does in the video.

Hurt song details

Hurt was originally written by Trent Reznor, the lead singer of Nine Inch Nails, and released on the 1994 album The Downward Spiral. However, the song became much more popular after Johnny Cash’s 2002, which was one of his last releases before his passing. The music video of Hurt, which shows the life of Johnny Cash, won a Grammy for best video of the year.

Trent Reznor, the original artist behind the lyrics said some amazing things about Johnny Cash’s cover of the song:

“I pop the video in, and wow… Tears welling, silence, goose-bumps… Wow. I just lost my girlfriend, because that song isn't mine anymore…”

The music video of Hurt won a large number of awards and recognitions. The music video was shot in a house that was Johnny Cash’s home for 30 years.

Hurt awards and chart rankings

  • Billboard Modern Rock Tracks: #33 (2003)
  • Grammy Awards: Best Video of the Year (2003)
  • Country Music Award: "Single of the Year" in 2003.
  • Country Music Television: #1 (2003)
  • Country Music Television - 100 Greatest Country Music Videos: #1
  • MuchMoreMusic - Top 40 Most Memorable Music Videos: #1
  • Rate Your Music - Top Singles of the 2000s: #1

If you want to refine the skills you learned in Hurt, check out these lessons on songs by clicking these links:

Download tabs for Hurt

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Download backing track for Hurt

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