What are some easy guitar songs for beginners that you can learn as you start your guitar playing career? We'll cover some of the simplest, most basic guitar songs that you can start with, without needing a lot of up-front knowledge of the guitar.
However, there are a few things that you need to know about the songs we'll recommend.
While an extensive knowledge of the guitar is not necessary, you will need to know a few basic open guitar chords to get started.
I'd recommend at least the following:
- G major
- C major
- D major
- A major
- A minor
- E major
- E minor
If you know these seven chords (all open chords), you'll be able to play a ton of different songs.
For our roundup, I'll provide you with the song and three corresponding resources:
- Free tab/chord sheet
- Free YouTube lesson
- Paid video lesson
You can use whatever resources you like and whatever is helpful to you. If you have questions, feel free to drop us a note at the end of this article in the comments section.
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1. Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus (two chords)
This song uses an extremely simple strumming pattern and only two chords, making it a great starter tune.
2. Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd (three chords)
You can play "Simple Man" several different ways, but this is the easy version with just a few chords. It's a good introductory into the rock style and more comprehensive chord progressions (three chords this time).
3. Every Rose Has its Thorn by Poison (three chords)
Another rock tune with three chords, this time without any minor chords.
4. You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC (three chords)
Note that the G/B in this song (for chord charts that write it that way) can just be played as a regular G major. While this is slightly harder than the previous two - and a bit quicker - it's still just three chords.
5. Knockin' on Heaven's Door by Bob Dylan (four chords)
This song uses four different open chords - G, C, D, and A minor - though at a fairly slow pace. It's another great rock tune that's easy to get started with on an acoustic or electric guitar.
6. Ode to Joy by Beethoven
One of the simplest and easiest classical guitar songs to play, "Ode to Joy" employs primarily G and C, but will test your abilities with F and A minor as well.
7. Get Off My Cloud by the Rolling Stones
Another good rock song that'll challenge you, but still makes for a great beginner piece. This tune relies on E, A, and B - where the B chord is probably the trickiest of the three.
Read more: How to play the B chord on guitar
8. A Kiss from a Rose by Seal
An awesome song that can sound good in a rock or pop context, this one mixes in E, C, D, and A minor for a fun, and reasonably challenging beginner tune.
Can these songs work for acoustic or electric guitar?
These songs are ideal for beginners, regardless of whether you're playing an acoustic or electric guitar. While a lot of people start out on acoustic guitars because they're simpler to set up and play, electric guitars are actually easier to play because they're easier on your hands.
The important thing with these songs is that you know some open chords to get yourself started, and that you allow time to work with the songs to apply what you've learned.
Whether it's on an acoustic or electric guitar doesn't really matter, and is primarily a matter of preference.
What if these songs are still too hard for me?
It's possible that some of these songs are still going to pose some difficulty for you.
However, it's also true that this is part of what it means to be a beginner guitar player. Easy guitar songs for beginners should, at least in part, challenge you. If you aren't challenged by what you are doing, you won't be able to improve.
So I'd recommend working with the songs that you can play, perhaps the ones with only two or three chords, then tackle the songs that are more difficult.
As you improve, you'll be able to play more chords at a faster pace, thus allowing you to take on more songs.
These songs are just a few that can get you started and help get you used to playing actual songs on your guitar instead of just practicing chords. It's what we would call applied learning, where you get to use the knowledge you've accumulated to do something that corresponds to the real world.
It's a simple, but effective way to cement the chords you've been working on and to continue learning new chords.
Experience is the best teacher, so pick a few songs and have some fun with them.
If you have questions about these songs or about the chords mentioned, feel free to drop a line in the comments section below. I'll answer there and help out as much as possible.