Starting out on the guitar can be daunting, but finding songs that are simple and easy to learn is a great way to kickstart your progress. Whether your instrument is an electric or acoustic guitar, this article has ten easy-to-play guitar songs for every beginner. These songs feature recognizable melodies of different genres and don’t require complex chords or techniques. What’s more, these tunes benefit all skill-level players by allowing them to quickly gain confidence in their playing. So, give yourself a head start with these ten simple yet impressive songs!
“I wanna be there” by the Blessed Union of Souls
The song has three simple major chords: G, C, and D, the easiest chords for a beginner. If you can play these chords, you can learn how to strum a song. The chord progression for this song goes like this: G | C | D | G. Once you can switch to each chord without any problems, you will play this song perfectly.
“White Stripes” by Seven Nation Army
With just seven notes played one after the other, this song is a famous guitar riff of this century. All of the notes are played on the fifth string, which is the second fattest string on a standard six-string guitar. Then play the following frets in order: 7th fret, 10th, 7th, 5th, 3rd, 2nd; end with G5 and A5 chords and repeat the whole riff – listen to the track carefully to pick up the rhythm. The real secret to playing this song in a proper tone is using a pitch shifter effect set that can reproduce each note an octave lower. Since you are a beginner, focus on playing each note as cleanly as you can.
Bob Dylan – “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”
This gospel song made its original appearance on the soundtrack of Sam Peckinpah in 1973.
The chord progression is as simple as G-D-Am, followed by G-D-C every other time. Additionally, there are different chord variations, like a C shape and an Am7 which you can easily create. However, if you are not conversant with these other variations, you could leave them out. Focusing on the main chord progression as you learn to loop in other chord variations will be the best idea.
“Stand By Me” By Ben E. King
The mellow introduction and short verses make this song the best choice for any beginner. The song is a product of a perfect blend of more complex and standard chords. From the piece’s tab, you will see four different chords with ample space in between for beginners to adjust accordingly. This particular song has a soothing melody that can help relax you and your audience.
“Three Little Birds” By Bob Marley
Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds has a soothing tune and a simple chord progression making it comfortable and enjoyable for beginners who are starting to play songs on the guitar. The song has three chords, which are foundational to learning the guitar. Additionally, the chorus – the bit we all know – requires a simple switch between A and D.
“Free Fallin’” – Tom Petty
Tom Petty is a master when it comes to beautiful, soaring anthems and surprisingly simple guitar work. Originally you can play this song with or without a capo on the 1st fret. You can play the entire song with three basic chords, making it a super easy guitar to learn quickly. The three chords to play Free Fallin’ are E major, Asus2 and Bsus4.
“I’m Yours” – Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” is a more contemporary option on our list. The song is ideal, especially when you want to impress your audience with more than just classics. As much as the song sounds complex lyrically, this is quite complex. The big part of the song has a simple G-D-Em-C progression- a perfect progression for duets. If you have a capo, you can use it on the 4th fret, but you can play it without it if you don’t have one.
Eminem/Rihanna – “Love the Way You Lie”
You may have seen Eminem or Rihanna on many lists of easy guitar songs. However, we want you to have some fun with it, so we are giving you something slightly different. Love The Way You Lie is an absolute hit, and many people – including yourself- probably already know its melody. You will pick it up quickly if you don’t know it since it is very catchy. You need to be familiar with four chords to play this song. There is nothing fancy about the chord progression, just a standard pop progression. The same applies to the strumming pattern, the standard pop music. However, there are different ways to tackle it. You can go for an eighth-note pattern, strumming downwards, making it easier to change chords while keeping a consistent pattern.
“What’s Up” by Four Non-Blondes
The song has a few extra chords than three. You will utilize chords including E, Am, G, D, and B. However, you can easily pick all these chords on the guitar. Everyone knows this is also a famous song, and it will be a big hit when you play it at parties and get-togethers.
“Brown eyed girl” by Van Morrison
The song is everyone’s favorite at parties and weddings. It is an easy-to-learn song using these chords: C major, G major, and D major. As you advance, you can add an E Minor chord at the chorus, where you get to the lyrics My brown-eyed girl. The pattern for Brown-eyed Girl” goes G | C | G | D, Then C | D | G | Em. Also, your strum pattern will solidify you as a true guitarist.
All of the songs in this article are good for beginners and enjoyed by listeners. Change between chords easily by adding other things like a capo or a barre chord to help you move up and down different keys. Check out our free guitar tabs for more selections of music!