If you want to rise to the ranks of guitar greats such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page, you need to start at the beginning. Luckily, starting from the basics doesn’t have to feel tedious if you know what songs to play.
Top Easy Beginner Guitar Songs
Plenty of songs exist with easy chords for beginners to master during their guitar journey. We’ve compiled a list of the top 33 easy guitar songs for beginners.
The following tunes vary in genre, chord progression, and technique. While they differ, each song includes standard chord progressions with clear tabs illustrating the chords to help you along the way. Most importantly, these songs introduce you to the fundamentals of playing the guitar. Master these, and then you can overcome more complicated pieces.
1) “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith
This song’s relaxed melody and few chords make it a perfect beginner guitar song because it doesn’t require advanced techniques, and the pace allows you to take a beat and situate yourself.
The chords repeat, which will benefit you in the long run as you build up muscle memory for the essentials. The combination of pace, chord repetition, and spacing between strumming patterns won’t leave you struggling to remember many new components.
2) “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
“Hallelujah” is a pretty much universally easy song for many instruments, guitar included. It repeats the same five chords and four strings to hit fairly consecutively, making it a perfect piece to improve your muscle memory. Much like “Stay With Me,” this song moves at a slow pace allowing you to think through your hand and finger placements with ease. Hallelujah is great around the campfire, try out more easy campfire guitar songs next!
3) “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King
With a mellow introduction and short verses throughout, King’s song “Stand By Me” is the perfect blend between more complex and standard chords. The piece’s tab illustrates four different chords with ample space between each for beginners to adjust accordingly. If you have anxiety before playing, the soothing melody of “Stand By Me” can help relax your nerves. Consider more good fingerpicking guitar songs too!
4) “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix
Even as a beginner, you can play one of the greats. This classic Jimi Hendrix song not only involves basic chords, but the tab clearly illustrates them to help you follow along and build your essential guitar skills. It also has a solo, which is a cool aspect of the song that’ll make you feel like a rock star.
5) “Love Me Do” by The Beatles
With only two major chords, you can master this classic Beatles song while improving your necessary guitar skills. There is an additive chord within the music, too. However, following along with the music’s tabulature will prepare you for the upcoming change adequately.
6) “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan
To play like the greats, you don’t always have to play boring, primary songs. Bob Dylan’s song, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” is a prime example. It’s a popular, classic song with a standard set of chords illustrated in the tab to make it an easy guitar song for beginners.
7) “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison
Even though this song is upbeat and faster-paced than some other novice-level guitar songs, it only uses five chords. If the tune isn’t enough for you to follow from memory, you can follow along with what chords to play and when on the music’s tab.
8) “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley
This song’s soothing tune and simplistic chord progression make it a comfortable and enjoyable guitar song to learn. It only has three chords, after all, but they are foundational to learning the guitar.
9) “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus
Billy Ray Cyrus’s hit country song makes an excellent introduction to beginners’ guitar with its simple tune easy to follow chord progressions that the tab clearly illustrates. Not only that, the song’s catchy tune will make it easier for you to remember finger positioning.
Consider more easy country guitar songs now.
10) “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
While “Bad Moon Rising” only has three chords, they progress quickly as shown on the tab. “Bad Moon Rising” is not only a fast-paced, fun song to learn, but it’s also an ideal piece to enhance your transition speed from chord to chord.
11) “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution” by Tracy Chapman
Once you get a handle of Chapman’s introduction to “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution,” you’ve mastered the entire song. From beginning to end, the piece is the same four chords repeated, making it a straightforward guitar song with an even more clear-cut tab to follow as you pick it up.
12) “Muddy Waters” by Mannish Boy
“Muddy Waters,” a lesser-known song, gives you and beginners alike an excellent introduction to folksy guitar music, basic and advanced chords along with standard strumming combinations illustrated on the tab.
13) “Twist and Shout” by The Beatles
While this Beatles song is predominantly overwhelmed with loud vocals, it has a nice, easy-to-follow guitar tune. Not only that, but the music serves to give you an understanding of guitar basics through a core grouping of chords that you can easily pick up after noting the song’s tab.
14) “Wildest Dreams” by Taylor Swift
An unlikely song for guitar beginners, Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” serves as a perfect introductory song to essential chords. You’ll notice on the tab the chords’ even distribution. Not to mention, the piece’s popularity will make it easier to remember and maybe more enjoyable to play--if you favor Taylor Swift.
15) “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles
If you’ve listened to “Elanor Rigby” before, you know that it’s relatively short and somewhat repetitive. The chords required to play this song on the guitar resemble the same as you’ll notice on the tab. The repetition and fluidity of the chord progression make “Eleanor Rigby” an optimal choice for a beginner.
Try some more easy Beatles songs on guitar next.
16) “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol
This song’s steady pace will give you plenty of time to adjust your hands and fingers to the more complex chord progressions. You’ll notice the ample spacing and chord consistency on the tab. The tune’s speed makes it perfect for learning the more advanced yet fundamental chords that beginners will need to know for progressive songs.
17) “Otherside” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
This easy guitar song involves six chords, making it a perfect piece to introduce you to additional chords. Both the strings and chords repeat the same patterns with slight additions of chords A and Em which you can clearly see on the tab.
18) “Fire” by Bruce Springstein
When you learn to play the guitar, you can learn from the greats like Bruce Springstein, a rock icon. The “Fire” tab will show you that the song involves standard sets of chords for you to know, conquer and use when you advance in your lessons.
19) “Zombie” by The Cranberries
The Cranberries song’s tab for “Zombie” will not only introduce you to some fundamental chords but will help you build muscle memory of them because the entire song repeats the same progression.
20) “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver
Bon Iver’s song’s slow pace makes it the optimal beginner guitar song to learn some more advanced chords, although it primarily focuses on three. The tab displays the chords’ pattern, but if you listen to the tune, you can easily pick up on the chords by ear.
21) “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult
If you want to get straight into the classic rock genre right off the bat as a beginner, Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” might be the best, easy rock guitar song for you since it only requires four chords.
22) “I Wanna Be There” by Blessed Union of Souls
With only four chords with stretches between changes, this Blessed Union of Souls song is incredibly easy for beginners to grasp while implementing a fundamental lesson in guitar essentials. It’s perfect for beginners to get acquainted with foundational chords.
23) “I Can’t Explain” by The Who
“I Can’t Explain” focuses predominantly on three chords with an additive, more advanced fourth. This chord progression--paired with the solo section you can follow along with on the tab--makes the song a bit more advanced than other beginner songs but still an easy challenge to overcome.
24) “Mockingbird” by Carly Simon & James Taylor
While it’s not an intense rock song like those typically associated with the guitar, “Mockingbird” provides you with a simple introduction to chords at a gentle, slow pace that you can peek at on the tab to follow. You might want to memorize this song before moving onto the hardcore punk rock genre.
25) “Imagine” by John Lennon
With more chords, 12, “Imagine” seems like a more advanced piece. However, you’ll note from reading the tab and listening to the song that the melody is relatively slow-paced and that the chords repeat in sets, the maximum of which is six. Once you learn the introductory verse and bridge, you have the entire song mastered.
26) “Free Fallin” by Tom Petty
Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin” is an easy guitar song for beginners to learn with only four chords and three riffs. If you get confused with the three riffs, you can check out the chords on the tab. It’s also a popular song that, once you conquer, you can perform to please and impress crowds.
27) “Die Young” by Ke$ha
This pop song is not only fun to play but informative. The song and the tab introduce you to some of the essential guitar chords in a simple way, repetition. You can learn the chords and strengthen your basic knowledge.
28) “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton
If you’re a beginner looking for a challenging yet still relatively simple song, Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” might be your best option. The tab illustrates a range of chords you will play at a decent pace.
29) “Time of Your Life” by Greenday
Like most of the other beginner guitar songs, this Greenday song involves chord repetition as you’ll see on the tab. Repetition is essential in building up your memory and improving your physical positioning. “Time of Your Life” is another perfect example of repetition and an easy guitar song.
30) “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Steelers Wheel
“Stuck in the Middle with You,” a popular tune that can get stuck in your head quickly, is also one of the most straightforward songs to learn to play on the guitar. The basic structure of the song follows repeating chord progressions with upbeat but steadily paced strums.
31) “Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke
This song has six chords of repeating patterns that you can pick up on relatively fast because the song’s overall pace is mellow. The chord patterns found on the tabs follow a simple design and will relax you as you start learning.
32) “Hand in My Pocket” by Alanis Morrissette
While you may not compete with Alanis Morisette’s iconic voice, you can overcome her song on the guitar, even as a beginner. The theme predominantly focuses on a single chord with some others thrown in the mix so you’ll want to pay attention to the tabs while you play so you can look out for them.
33) “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Another feature song from Creedence Clearwater Revival is straightforward, making it an easy guitar song for beginners. The verses focus on a single chord while the bridges include more range. Then, the patterns repeat. You can focus on the tabs to see what the bridges involve, but overall the song isn’t complicated.
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