QUICK HIT: A reference that includes chord and tab resources for 22 easy acoustic guitar songs that are perfect for beginners getting started and aren't dead boring to play.
It's unfortunate that a lot of the beginner guitar material available is somewhat boring and uninteresting to play. While it's true that early music lessons can't be overtly technical or difficult, that doesn't mean the songs need to be redundant or lame. Even for the acoustic guitar, there are a ton of great beginner songs out there that can be easily picked up by those who know a few basic chords, especially if you boil the song down to just its raw chord progression.
We'll do that in this article, listing only songs that fit the following criteria:
- Use only a three to five chords
- Don't require fast chord changes (slower tempo)
- Have a melody line or rhythm that's easy to remember
- Work well for basic acoustic strumming patterns.
In this piece we're limiting our selection to 22 songs, though if you have additional suggestions, go ahead and leave them in the comments section below. For each song we've provided as many resources as possible, but primarily the following:
- Individual Chord Diagrams
- Link to Ultimate-Guitar tab or chords page
- Link to Songsterr tab or E-Chords chord page (read our Songsterr review)
There's plenty of easy acoustic guitar songs for beginners to get started and get their feet wet with some songs that are fun to play. Let's get started.
Full Professional Song Tutorials
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Here are a few full song tutorials from GT that I'd recommend checking out:
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1. "County Boy" by Aaron Lewis (Staind's singer)
2. "Open Your Eyes" by Alter Bridge
3. "Love Runs Out" Black Stone Cherry (OneRepublic cover)
4. "Forunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
5. "What It's Like" by Everlast
6. "Centuries" by Fallout Boy
- Ultimate-Guitar Chords
- Chord Progression: Em, G, C, Am, D
7. "Stacy's Mom" by Fountains of Wayne
8. "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons
9. "God's Gonna Cut You Down" by Johnny Cash
10. "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash
11. "Blue on Black" by Kenny Wayne Shepherd
12. "Blackbird Song" by Lee DeWyze
13. "Teardrop" by Massive Attack
14. "Madness" by Muse
15. "Spirit in the Sky" by Norman Greenbaum
16. "Fireflies" by Owl City
17. "Runnin Down a Dream" Tom Petty
18. "King of the Road" by Roger Miller
19. "Stay with Me" by Sam Smith
20. "We Are Never Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift
21. "RX (medicate)" by Theory of a Deadman
- Ultimate-Guitar Chords
- Chord Progression: Em, G, D and A
22. "Beverly Hills" by Weezer
Conclusion and Other Resources
We've cherry picked songs we like and that we think are easy to get started with, but the truth is that there are a ton of songs that could go on this list. If you reduce a song down to a simple bass line or chord progression, most of them are between three and five total chords.
This means even songs that sound more complex are actually quite simple and easy for the acoustic guitar to handle.
If you know just a few basic chords, you're good to go.
We have some more song resources as well, if you don't find something that interests you here.
Plenty of the material in the easy guitar songs article is ideal for acoustic players and would overlap with some of what we've listed here. The easy guitar solos piece is better for electric guitarists and lead guitar players.
Questions and Suggestions
If you have questions about the songs listed here, the chord diagrams or additional songs you'd recommend for acoustic beginners, feel free to drop them in the comments section below so we can continue to improve and expand this article.
Flickr Commons image via Libby H