Down To The River To Pray | 3-String Cigar Box Guitar Lesson

In this post, you'll learn how to play Down To The River To Pray on your 3-string cigar box guitar.

What you'll find in this post are

The video lesson includes on-screen tablature so that you can easily follow along. 

Because of this, you can pause the video as necessary to identify where you should put your fingers on the cigar box guitar fretboard.

And the free-to-download tablature is in a PDF format. 

Therefore, you can print copies of it to have on-hand whenever you practice this beautiful, old gospel song.

Video Lesson


Below, you can preview the 3-string tab.

Click here to download the 3-string cigar box guitar tablature for Down To The River To Pray.

If you need some help learning how to read tabs, there is a short instructional video on the Tabs page of this website.

Plus, you can see the same video on my YouTube channel.

More Gospel Song Tutorials

Do you enjoy old, gospel songs like Down To The River To Pray?

Click here for a tutorial on how to play I'll Fly Away, another beautiful, faith-inspired song.

And while gospel tunes are not my focus, over time, you'll see more of them done as video tutorials with downloadable tabs here on this blog.

As I explore my faith and dive deeper into the art of creative worship, I'm fascinated by the gospel songs from American history.

They're steeped in so much love, strength, and surrender that I'm compelled to learn and share them here.

Do you have a favorite gospel tune you'd like to learn on your 3-string cigar box guitar?


  1. How about train songs like fossiom prison blues by Johnny cash

    1. Thank you so much for asking. I'll add that to my list of songs to do.

  2. Gospel tunes. Thanks for the tunes. You are doing a great job. Love those tunes. Every time I hear this tune about down to the river to pray I think about the movie O Brother Where Art Thou.

    1. Thank you for giving this lesson some of your time. I've fallen in love with gospel tunes and Appalachian music and think both translate well to CBGs. If I get off my duff, I'll post a few more lessons like this one. Hopefully, they inspire people to try something new and perhaps see the world a bit differently.

  3. How about Will the Circle be Unbroken? :) Lovely tune.

    1. Thank you for asking, Kristen. I agree with you, Will The Circle Be Unbroken is a lovely tune. I'll work on putting together a tutorial for that and will have it posted as soon as possible. Thanks again!