Is it really that simple, finding easy songs to play on guitar?
Even if it is, what kind of songs are "easy?"
None of us want to keep playing the same few pieces of music over and over again, just because they’re easy enough for us to pickup.
The good news is this:
On some level, almost all guitar songs are easy.
There’s a lot of great music out there that, when boiled down to simple chord progressions, make for incredibly easy and fun songs to play on guitar. That’s good news for you if you’re bored with the select few pieces of music you’ve been playing around the campfire for awhile.
If your song library is limited, I’d encourage you to learn a few more tunes, and this list will give you plenty to choose from.
Let’s be honest - you’ve got no excuse not to.
Pooling easy guitar songs
Not all songs are what I would consider beginners songs or “easy,” so whenever I find one that is, I learn it, write it down and make a kind of song library that I can refer to whenever me or the group I’m playing for needs a few good cover ideas.
That’s essentially what this is. A library with links to a bunch of easy songs to play on the guitar, that don't take long to learn.
At one point or another I’ve played through these pieces of music (some more than others), and now…you can to.
I guarantee you’ll find plenty that interest you and that you can play without a steep learning curve.
Gear I Used Playing These Songs
For those of you who like to know what gear other guitarists use, here’s a list of my set up that I jam along to these songs with:
- Taylor 114CE Acoustic Guitar
- Elixir Acoustic Strings
- GuitarMoose Sticky Picks
- Line 6 Spider IV 150-Watt Amp
- Line 6 DL4 Delay Pedal
- Guitar Tricks Free Trial (reference tool)
5 Seconds of Summer
This is a fun song by 5 Seconds of Summer, that’s only a scant three chords the entire way - E, D and A.
Aaron Lewis of Staind and His Country Guitar Album
I remember when I heard on the radio that Aaron Lewis had done a country guitar album and how surprising it was.
Staind's Mike Mushok gettin' down. | Flickr Commons Image via ComeCloser
What was equally surprising might have been how successful it became, largely due to the popularity of “Country Boy.”
I’m a big fan of this song, cause I grew up down an ol’ dirt road in a town you wouldn’t know. It's easy to play with lengthy chord duration on each note and a slower beat that's easy to follow.
If you prefer a video lesson, Mike from Lick Library has ya covered.
I always remember this song from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (2 I think?), because it got a lot of playing time back before I had a driver’s license. Maybe even a little bit after. The song is literally just E-G-A, just not necessarily in that order.
Rock or Bust
Four chords for this one. You just got to remember to tune down one half step if you want to play along with the track.
This is a popular one from Adele, who is quite possibly the most widely-recognized vocalist on the planet right now (at least at the time of writing this). The song is just D, Bm and G. Enjoy it.
Song of the South
G, C and D, anyone?
The song's chord progression is a cakewalk. The more full electric guitar version is covered by Guitar Tricks in their video lesson.
Don't Cross the River
Lots of minor chords in this one, but still firmly in beginner territory.
Nothing but Em, D, G and C in this one. The cadence makes for a fantastic acoustic and fingerpicking cover.
This one is nothing but G, C and a little Am thrown in here are there.
Hurts So Good
The F sharp minor chord might be a little tricky, but otherwise you're just rocking some combination of A, E and D.
This one sounds good with either an acoustic or a distorted electric (it's a particularly easy song to learn on acoustic guitar). If you can get the chords down, the lead sheet is easy to pick up.
Clap Your Hands
You almost need an electric guitar for this song, but if you’ve got one it’s just a matter of a few power chords and decent timing.
The guitar part of this song sounds more complicated than a simple chord sheet would suggest, but start with the progression and then move it to power chords to figure out the specifics.
Songsterr provides a lead sheet and basic chords along a lyric line for easy pickup.
Doesn’t Remind Me
My disclaimer here is that tackling the solo is not easy; however, the rest of the song is two chords for the verse, three chords for the chorus. A simple chord and lyric chart is the best way to learn this one.
Paul Andrews has a solid YouTube lesson for this one.
This was Audioslave’s first single, and the lesson comes courtesy of Songsterrr.
Audioslave's Tim Commerford. | Flickr Commons Image via Jordanuhl7
Like a Stone
The YouTube user (JTodd900) does an excellent job with this song and has the tabs included in the video itself, so it’s incredibly easy to learn. The effect on the solo seems to be a downloaded preset from a Line 6 POD, so if you don’t have that you might need to do some tweaking of your own.
I Am the Highway
Once again, you’ve got a simple acoustic-friendly piece, even if the vocals are tough to match. The chord progressions mix up a bit, but it’s still primarily four chords for the entire song.
Takin' Care of Business
The bass line is mostly just three chords, so you can learn an acoustic version quite easily. If you want to tackle the more nuanced electric guitar version, checkout the Guitar Tricks video lesson below.
One of the early 2000s most fun radio tracks is a simple progression, made up mostly of F, C and G. It’s a lot easier than it sounds.
These guys are actually still making music. They put out a record in 2015 that isn’t half bad.
They’ve even got a Christmas album out.
This one isn’t easy in the strictest sense of the word, but it is manageable for most intermediate players. The arpeggiated tab sheet is included beneath the chords.
I Want to Hold Your Hand
You’ll primarily be dealing with G, D, C and Em - so nothing to worry about.
Love Me Do
Very simple song and a great demo/lesson by Justin Sandercoe.
I Wanna Hold Your Hand
Once again Sandercoe takes you through all the details, though you might be able to pick it up simply by watching his demo at the beginning. Beware of speedy chord changes.
Let it Be
Same deal here. Sandercoe demos chords and then fills in the details after.
There are a few seventh chords in this one and technically an augmented chord, which the sheet leaves out. So it's a step up from your basic CAGED system patterns but, still doable.
Most of the song is C, B♭ and F, which can be easily handled on an acoustic guitar.
There's also a more complex rundown of the song for those trying to learn the nuanced version.
Ode to Joy
The only difficult aspect of this song is following the lyrics written in German. Otherwise, get your open chords on and you'll be all set.
The Black Keys
Gold on the Ceiling
The tab is linked to a “simplified” version which is just the bass chord progression for strumming on an acoustic guitar.
Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, throwin' down... | Flickr Commons Image via Aktivioslo
Blink-182's 2016 hit sounds like a fast punk rock mess, but it's actually an extremely easy song in the key of Am, running through Am, C, F and G for most of the tune. Acoustic or electric guitars can swing it.
Why have so many people covered this song? I'd bet it's because a lot of people know how to play G, C, D and Am.
More than a Feeling
The chords are nothing more than G, C and Em, though the tab I linked to covers the solos and lead portions as well. If you need help with those tougher segments, give the Guitar Tricks video lesson a spin. They'll let you do a free trial for 14 days, which gives you plenty of time to learn at least this song.
Mud on the Tires
I love the lyrics for this one. Just a great song to learn and sing on an acoustic guitar. Paisley does a lot of complex picking, but the chords themselves are incredibly simple.
Julie from Mahalo has you covered if you prefer a video lesson.
The studio track sounds a bit tricky, but it’s not. Paisley is just really good at making simple stuff sound fantastic.
It’s almost entirely E-A-B. Maybe a C# in there somewhere. (Ultimate Guitar Link)
You’ll hear some incredibly fast guitar and banjo work.
Not to worry.
If you want just the chords, it’s mostly G, C, D and F.
If you know the CAGED system, you're all in.
Just the Way You are
It doesn’t exactly sound like a guitar song, but this one can be handled just fine with four chords on an acoustic.
You can substitute Am7 and Bm7 for regular Am and Bm chords, if you don't want to mess with the more complex seventh voicings.
Otherwise, it's very basic and easy pattern.
If you can follow along with the lyrics, you can probably play as well.
The dude who posted this on Ultimate Guitar has a sweet cover he posted on YouTube with an acoustic guitar capo'd at the second fret. With the capo the chords are mostly D, A, E and F♯.
Hurts Like Heaven
You need a capo to play along with the track, but if you have one, this song is incredibly easy.
All you really have to do is rock back and forth between the G and the C with a few variations thrown in there.
There are a lot of chords but, none of them are complex.
Your basic open forms will, for the most part, do the job.
The tab provided is a non-capo version.
Remember this one from Varsity Blues?
Great song and perfect for rattling off on the acoustic guitar; though I’ve always enjoyed playing the electric parts as well.
The tab linked from user “Julia” has both.
Dean Rolland of Collective Soul. | Flickr Commons Image via Dot512.com
You still hear this one on the radio and I for one haven’t gotten tired of it yet.
The link is a YouTube tutorial from Jam Play, though I would also recommend you check out Ben Eller’s YouTube tutorial for this song, since he goes a little more in depth, particularly regarding the solo.
“December” is a bit more involved, but still adheres to four basic chords with simple lead parts.
Get Well Cards
G, Bm, C and Em make up the bulk of this song, so it's super easy to get started on.
The link has both a lead sheet and a chord sheet following the lyrics.
An underrated song from Creed in my opinion.
With Arms Wide Open
By the same token, I’ll call this one of Creed’s most overrated song.
Overplayed doesn’t even begin to cover it. However, it is simple to play on the guitar if you’re looking for an easy song.
Don’t Stop Dancing
The link from e-chords includes the solo if you’re interested, otherwise it’s a few simple open chords.
One Last Breath
Again, overrated and actually kind of difficult if you’re looking to play it exactly like Mark Tremonti does.
I’ve linked to a simplified chord sheet.
Creedence Clearwater Revival
You can tackle the intro if you like, otherwise you can just go with G, C and F. That's all it takes. If you want to nail each note, Henry Olsen has a fantastic video lesson that covers everything.
All you need to play through the entire thing is a firm grasp of G, A and D. Don't spend it all in one place.
While it's a little more complicated then the other CCR tunes I've listed, it's still just G, C, F and Am. So...four chords instead of three. Brutal!
This tab is was contributed to Ultimate Guitar by a guy named Leandro Koren.
I like it because he includes the chords and lyrics to go along with the intro notation.
I’m not sure who the guy is in the video, but he does a great job of explaining this up tempo piece from Dave’s solo work.
David Crowder Band
I Saw the Light
Originally a Hank Williams tune, I’ve always preferred David Crowder’s version.
His group does a great job performing it at Passion 2014.
Every Move I Make
It doesn’t get much easier than this. Crowder does a good job of vamping up an old campfire (ish) Christian standby.
O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing
This contemporary rendition of the old hymn has a pretty distinct electric and acoustic segment, though is an easy song to learn on an acoustic guitar with just a handful of strumming chords.
Start with the chords before you try to track the electric part.
It’s all pretty straightforward.
David Crowder doing his best Duck Dynasty impression. | Flickr Commons Image via Doug Oines
Be Lifted Or Hope Rising
I’m not sure that this tab is completely accurate, partially because I’m pretty sure that Crowder tunes down one half step, to use the seventh and fifth frets along with the open Eb instead of the sixth and fourth strings.
Either way, this is enough to get you started.
The song is in the key of D and uses a couple different progressions. However, the bulk of it is D, G, Em, Bm and A. Very doable.
Free and Easy
This one is just D, A and G.
You hardly even need the chord sheet.
An awesome song from a band that fairly puts out a bad track. Nothing but Dm, F and G chords on this one. The live version kills it.
This one made it onto one of the new Call of Duty soundtracks, which brought most of the band's initial attention. It's a bit more difficult than your average campfire tune, but easily picked up by an intermediate electric player familiar with drop D.
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors
Nothing Like a Woman
Drew and Ellie Holcomb are two fantastic musicians and songwriters.
Further, a lot of their music makes for easy songs to learn on acoustic guitar with plenty of CAGED system strumming.
The link is to a RiffStation web app that walks you through a lot of G, C and D for this song.
The chord progression is lengthy, but it’s not at all complex.
Try picking through an arpeggiated version of each chord to match the track.
Apparently Bruce Wayne made a few corrections to this chart on Chordie.
This is a simple blues tune that leans on E, A and B. It doesn’t get much easier.
A Little Less Conversation
This song just rocks back and forth between E and A for awhile, in a similar fashion to “Hound Dog” staying true to Elvin’s heavy blues leaning.
If you’re looking for easy guitar songs, this era was pretty much littered with them.
One of Clapton's most recognizable piece is also one of the easiest to play, that is, if you ignore all the lead work. Without it, you've just got to master G, C, D and Em.
Most of this song is just E and D. If you get really thorough, you'll find a C and B chord in there as well.
I don’t know enough about Eve 6 to be certain this was their only mainstream hit, but it was probably their most recognizable.
Here’s a video tutorial if you want someone to take you through it.
Here’s to the Night
I could live without the high school sap ballads.
They just don’t do it for me. But “Here’s to the Night” was a pretty popular song for a reason and it’s easy to play.
G, C, D and Em get it done.
Everclear’s most notable single is easily mastered by G, C and D in a standard tuning. Songsterr has you covered.
Everlast (Acoustic Set)
What It’s Like
You’ll still hear it on the radio, and have been for well over a decade.
It’s easily Everlast’s most popular song and acoustic friendly. All you need is four chords.
Blinded by the Sun
Once again, four chords get the job done here with a great acoustic guitar song.
Erik Shrody, also known as Whitey Ford (Everlast) playing guitar with House of Pain. | Flickr Commons Image via Kmeron
Over my Head
If you know D, Em and G, you've got a good shot at nailing this down in just a few minutes.
Take A Picture
Filter’s most popular track is just a few chords and perfect for an acoustic guitar.
Brandon Slavinski serves this one up via Mahalo’s YouTube channel.
Foster the People
Pumped Up Kicks
There’s no guitar in this song, but if you want to rattle off an acoustic version, the chords won’t take long to pick up.
Terrible band, "ok" song - fantastically easy chord progression, made up mostly of F, C and G.
This song is just a simple walk down of a couple different bluesy chord progressions and is in my opinion one of Gavin Degraw’s best tracks.
Here’s a link to the lead sheet if you’re interested in the electric part.
This song has the unique distinction of not sounding like many other Godsmack songs.
It’s slow and subtle with a bongo-style drum beat.
The guitar part is understandable just by watching someone play it.
Time of Your Life
Maybe learn the violin part of you want more of a challenge?
Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong. | Flickr Commons Image via Victoria Morse
Welcome to Your Life
Though it splits electronic and heavy rock 50/50, this tune from Grouplove is mostly B, F sharp and E. Power chords will do the trick.
Guns N’ Roses
If you don’t want to take the details, most of the song can be played with G, C and F chords.
Sweet Child O’ Mine
Jack Long from LearnGuitarTunes.com goes over what is probably the easiest way to play this song with mostly open chords and simple picking technique.
Hank Williams Jr.
Country Boy Can Survive
“Skip” posted this one on cowboylyrics.com with chords and lyrics to match.
It’s a simple progression for both verse and the chorus (common of guitar country music), so if you learn them both, you can tackle the electric guitar part later.
This guy on YouTube tackles that part in drop-D.
Redneck Paradise feat. Kid Rock
This is fun song from Hank and Bob Ritchie (Kid Rock) that suits their persona quite well.
Food for the soul of the southern boy.
Hootie and the Blowfish
Let Her Cry
There are a few minor chords in this one, but otherwise you’re looking at G, C and D for most of the song.
Guitar Jamz and Marty Schwartz has your video lesson.
Hold my Hand
The F# in this song might be a little tricky, but that’s the only real hurdle in an otherwise straightforward group of chord progressions.
This 2012 hit from Imagine Dragons is layered with a thick electronic sounds that overshadowed the guitar playing.
However, the actual bass line and chord progression are easy, to a fault.
Only four chords here, and we’ve got chord sheets for both the capo and non-capo versions.
Aaron Tomberlin covers this popular acoustic track from Incubus.
It helped to push them into the mainstream back in early 2001 and has been has stood as one of the easiest songs to learn on acoustic guitar ever since.
A, G and D run the show in this catchy tune that doesn’t have much of an audible guitar track.
It’s ripe for the acoustic picking.
Girls Chase Boys
G, C, Em and D are all you need. You also need soul. Can't help ya' there.
You Were Meant for Me
Speaking of Jewel, she is apparently a big fan of the Cadd9 chord and G6.
If you are to, this song is another great choice for the acoustic guitar.
Please Don't Go
Joel Adams wasn't very well known before this song, but it's a great tune on the piano and easily moved over to guitar. The transposition here (via Ultimate Guitar) is close, if not completely accurate.
His version is a bit more guitar friendly, and personally, I like it better then the NIN rendition.
I’ve Been Everywhere
As far as fun songs to play on guitar, this one is up there. Moreover, the chords are an easy E-A-B progression, in a kind of 12-bar blues -- very simple.
Want a challenge?
Try and memorize the lyrics. “I been to Boston, Charleston, Dayton…”
Ring of Fire
One of Cash’s more popular songs is all G-C-D.
If you want to play it the way he does, just focus on palm muting the lower notes of each chord and picking through them.
Folson Prison Blues
There’s a great cover of this song that Everlast does.
Personally, I like it better than the original, but they’re both the same chords.
It’s nothing more than a bluesy E, A and B progression.
Gods Gonna Cut You Down
There isn’t a lot of this song that isn’t just an Am chord.
For the rest of the progression, Songsterr has you covered.
I'm fairly certain that Cash's version has a capo somewhere. Otherwise it's just A, D and E. Easy breezy.
It’s only three chords, but you’ve got to sing it, cause there’ll be time enough fir countin’ when the dealin’s done.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
Blue on Black
It’s not often that you see a low-profile blues guitar player like Kenny Wayne Shepherd make it big in the radio world.
But “Blue on Black” has been playing on rock stations for a long time.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd rocking one of his many Fender Stratocaster. | Flickr Commons Image via Abbi Gillardi
It’s just a catchy, popular tune that has a lot of staying power.
It’s also easy to play.
The video is of Shepherd explaining how to play the song, but if you just want the chords, Ultimate Guitar has you covered.
This patriotic piece by Kid Rock made its rounds on the Mitt Romney campaign in 2012 and has also been used in Major League Baseball commercials.
It’s simple to learn on the acoustic or electric guitar.
I know what you’re thinking, “Korn, really? What do they play that’s easy?”
Well, it’s true that they play “Hater” (and most of their songs) on 7-string guitars with a super-low tuning.
But if you just look at the chord progressions, the song is actually quite simple.
You could even rattle it off on an acoustic guitar if you wanted. This one is served up from your’s truly.
This song show up in Walking Dead during Bob’s flashback scene.
It’s a great acoustic run with just three chords.
The tabs show you how to play it in open D, the I recommend drop D with the following progression: D - F - G.
Bring Me My Shotgun
G, F and D are all the chords you'll need, and the RiffStation app (linked) makes it really easy to play through. You might have trouble hearing the chord changes, but it won't matter much. The song just kind of blends together.
Limp Bizkit’s cover of George Michael’s “Faith” is pretty much the same as the original, aside from the heavy-metal chorus, which is still the same chords.
Behind Blue Eyes
No, Limp Bizkit didn’t write this song, but they did improve on it.
When you click on the link, just scroll down through the tabs until you get to the chord sheet. It’s basically C, D and G with a few friends sprinkled in.
Here's the video lesson with tabs included.
Wes Borland and his backwards Jackson guitar. | Flickr Commons Image via Edgar Sagra
You could even give it a whirl on an acoustic guitar.
One of Live’s most popular radio hits also happens to be a pretty simple play on an acoustic guitar.
Aside from the pre-chours, you only need four chords.
Don’t forget to tune down a half step if you want to play along with album version.
Lots of barre chords and pretty simple strumming.
This guy is pretty funny and does a good job with the tune.
Flowers in your Hair
This one is a great song for the acoustic guitar, running through G, C, D and Em.
Sweet Home Alabama
It’s overplayed (and perhaps a bit overrated) but could we really avoid putting it on this list?
I don’t feel like I even need to link to chords because you’re looking at D, C and G for the entirety of the song.
If you’re interested, Jewel does a nice cover of this song.
Both the Skynyrd and Shinedown version are a repeating pattern of C, G and Am.
It's easy enough to learn in less than five minutes. Very basic stuff here.
This song got most of its notoriety from House and the Assassin’s Creed video game series.
It’s a great guitar song to learn and I’d recommend starting with just the chords before you try and dissect the arpeggios.
10000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)
This is a great song from Matt Redman with a powerful chorus; one of his best in my opinion.
You need to know an open D-C-G with a few minor chords in there, not unlike a lot of contemporary Christian music.
It’s not a bad thing though; sometimes simpler is better. Another good song here from Redman.
Got my Mojo Workin’
This is just a simple 12-bar blues chord progression, so you can play it in a number of different keys pretty easily.
Personally, I like it in B, which is how Needtobreathe plays it live.
Baby Please Don’t Go
I’ve saved this one in a Google docs file.
You can also access it via the Guitar Tricks song lesson, where a fella by the name of Henrik Linde will teach you the entire thing, top to bottom.
There is, of course, a lot of soloing that goes on in this piece, though I'm fairly certain that it's largely improvised. As for the chords, it's just A and D.
AwwNaw (Remix feat. Marcos Curiel of P.O.D.)
This song sounds ambiguous but it’s incredibly simple if you tune to drop D. It’s also far more catchy than the original.
This is user-submitted and doesn’t cover the entire song, though it does give you enough to get started.
Lay ’em Down
I’m fairly certain that Needtobreathe doesn’t use a standard tuning for this song, but you can play it that way all the same.
You only need three chords for most of this south of the border folk-rock tune.
I’d recommend using a capo for this one to play the C, G and F chords on the higher registers.
Open chords are fine too, but the higher chords with the capo will be truer to the recording.
Bo Rinehart of Needtobreathe rockin' the Telecaster. | Flickr Commons Image via FromThePhotoPit
The link is to a Chordify chart of the song that shows you each chord as the song plays.
Great site and YouTube channel from this guy.
The only hard part about the song is the tuning, but Aaron covers all that and more to get you playing this fun tune in less than 15 minutes.
Washed by the Water
This was one of NTB’s first hits and a pretty simple song to play.
Thanks to SoulShelterMusic for the YouTube lesson.
A Place Only You Can Go
Excellent song and a lot of G-C-D.
There’s a minor chord or two in their as well, which is all demoed in the video.
This is a good one for the electric guitar, with a simple verse riff and basic chords for the chorus.
I’d recommend giving the solo a try as well -- only four notes.
It was a bit cheesy, but it was also by far their most popular song. Breakfast is a few different power chords that rock back and forth between the root note and the major fifth.
This popular worship tune is in the key of A when the Newsboys play it.
Don’t forget your capo.
Leader of Men
I remember this Nickelback’s first hit single way back in the day.
It’s a guitar-heavy piece that’s little more than a few power chords.
Dustin Jernberg tabs this up over at Ultimate Guitar for us.
How You Remind Me
A fella named Dan Smith brings us the YouTube lesson of Nickelback’s most popular tune to date.
Again, a lot of power chords and not much else.
Saturday Night’s Alright (Elton John Cover)
They play this song in a lower tuning, but you can play it in drop-D all the same.
Props to Erin Coltman for nailing the tab on this one.
Finally Nickelback takes a break from power chords, although this isn’t any more complex.
Just a few open chords to play this tune all the way through.
Smells Like Teen Spirit
The crown jewel of the early '90s grunge era is far easier to learn from a video lesson than it is from a chord sheet.
On a chord sheet, things just look chaotic. However, Mahalo's Jen Trani does a great lesson video, teaching you the song in under eight minutes. I recommend going that route.
About a Girl
Most of this song is Em and G, with a few C and F sharps throw in just to complicate things, ever so slightly.
This song has long been a favorite for those sitting around with an acoustic guitar trying to think up something to play.
The link is to a YouTube video by www.nailguitar.com and comes with chord diagrams and pretty thorough instruction.
Old Crow Medicine Show
It would be a shame to get through this list and omit this song, as it’s truly a classic showpiece for the acoustic guitar.
Our Lady Peace
It’s the second most popular OLP song to date - number one is next.
Somewhere Out There
Coming off of Gravity, “Somewhere Out There” quickly became the album’s spearhead single and can be played via simple D, A, B, E and G open chords.
Owl City's Adam Young and his Taylor acoustic guitar. | Flickr Commons Image via Pamhule
Walkin’ After Midnight
Most of Patsy Cline’s songs are pretty simple if you can get the light jazz strumming down.
Listen for the chord changes and you should be able to get this one without issue, especially since the each chord duration (hold) lingers.
While there's little guitar to be heard on the actual track, most of the bass line is C, F and G, which is easily co-opted by an acoustic guitar.
The only thing that might be a little tricky here are the quicker chord changes with an F# thrown in here and there.
Otherwise, this electric sounding track transfers quite well to a more subtle acoustic guitar version.
You can even slow it down if you want to.
There are plenty of easy songs to learn on acoustic guitar within Phil's repertoire.
Here are a few more:
You’ll need to listen to the track to get familiar with the timing, but then it’s just an easy four chords.
Most of the lead material on this song is played with a synthesizer, though it can be transposed on the guitar.
Start with the chords, then try and tackle the arpeggios.
On the D/F# chords listed here, I’d recommend just playing the D and not worry about the bass F# note.
If you can grab it comfortably, go for it, but you won’t lose anything without adding it, especially if you’re playing the song with a band where the bass player is picking it up for you.
At Your Name (Yahweh)
We’ll need to capo the second fret here, depending on vocal range.
Otherwise it’s a simple G, C, D with a few minor chords thrown in.
Wish You Were Here
The meat and potatoes of the song is just three chords.
It's just G, C and D, folks and a short guitar solo you could probably tackle as well.
I Might be Wrong
This one is drop-D with a lot of rocking back and forth between bass notes and the open fourth string.
It’s not a matter of simple chords, but the song is still pretty easy.
You’ve got G, B and C with one chord per line of music.
It doesn’t get much easier.
Rage Against the Machine
Bulls on Parade
The video is Tom Morello himself demonstrating every part of this song, which is deceptively simple.
It’s also one of Rage Against the Machine’s most popular songs.
The video lesson is straight from the horse's mouth.
Sleep Now in the Fire
This song is really just one riff, and once again we have Morello on hand to explain it to us.
Ghost of Tom Jode
This Bob Dylan cover is one of my favorite Rage songs.
I remember listening to it on a cassette tape in my old Buick Century that I got from my grandparents.
Anyways, the tab is simple and doesn’t take long to get the hang of.
Tom Morello and his "Arm the Homeless" guitar. | Flickr Commons Image Marnie Joyce
Pistol Grip Pump
This song is also off the Renegades album and a cover of a song by Volume 10 of the same title.
The song isn’t really a “chord and campfire” tune, but it’s still really easy.
Songsterr does a great job with the tab.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Give it Away
The song sounds complicated but is mostly just three chords, if you settle for only the chords. A, E and C folks. Enjoy.
Man on the Moon
You’ll find lots of C, D and G along with Am and Bm.
Easy stuff for the acoustic fan.
I love listening to Robert Johnson’s playing and “Sweet Home Chicago” is a breeze to jam along with.
The tab I linked to looks complex, but if you look at the chords, it’s just E.
The Rolling Stones
This song is slightly more complicated than what some might consider an easy guitar song.
However, it’s strum-friendly and the chord progression can be followed easily since the song is slow.
If you want a Stones song that’s easier, “Gimme Shelter” is all B, A and G.
This acoustic-friendly piece is incredibly simple.
A, D and E are all you need to know.
Easy to play? You bet.
G, C, D and Em are pretty much the whole deal on Cook's feel good hit.
Drowning Face Down
This tab has the lead sheet along with all the chords and lyrics.
It also looks like the Ultimate-Guitar community made some minor corrections in the comments.
The chord progressions here are a little more involved but still easy to get the hang of if you already know Seal's most popular tune.
The chords are a little more involved then some of the other songs on this list, but not by much.
Shade is still a great starter song for anyone trying to get a few tunes under their belt.
Soggy Bottom Boys
Man of Constant Sorrow
Now the YouTube link is a lesson by a guy who pretty much nails this song.
You don’t need to do that if you’re just interested in the chords which are pretty simple.
Also, the video lesson here is AWESOME.
C, Am, Em and G take care of the bulk of the song. There's some lead work that you could tackle as well, if you're feeling ambitious.
You need to tune down a half step in drop D to play along with the track, but once you do that it’s only three chords for the main progressions.
Again, tune down a half step, in standard this time.
This guy also has a full tabbed version in Google Docs.
Steve Miller Band
It's a great song for an acoustic guitar, entirely made up of G, C and D. A picker and a grinner for sure.
Stone Temple Pilots
Interstate Love Song
Anyone who has a radio in their car has heard this song at least several hundred times in the past two decades.
It’s a popular road tune by Stone Temple Pilots and by far their most recognizable track.
What I Got
The entire, and I do mean "entire," song is two chords: D and G.
We are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Artist and band are terrible, the song is "ok" and the chord progression is G, C, Em and D, or some such combination. If you can stand Taylor Swift, go for it.
Theory of a Deadman
The link is to a version of the song that’s transcribed for standard tunings.
I’d also recommend giving this one a shot in drop D and just figuring it out by ear.
It’s pretty simple.
I Hate My Life
The entire song is G-A-D, with the exception of the “musical interlude” which sounds entirely too sophisticated for this piece of music.
Theory's frontman Tyler Connolly. | Flickr Commons Image via MDB28
Three Doors Down
I always liked to play this song in drop D, but standard works too.
The only tough part is the quick break in the bridge, but the chords are listed for that as well.
It’s all just Bm, G and A.
Maybe an F# minor thrown in there somewhere.
Be Like That
This is the last real hit I ever remember Three Doors Down having.
Maybe I’m just a bit out of the loop these days.
Twenty One Pilots
This might be a little on the difficult side, just because there are a lot of chords with sharps. Then again, it's only four chords through nearly the entire song. You got this.
Not much guitar on the track but, the progressions easily transfer to an acoustic guitar.
Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
The version I linked to is both a chord sheet and a little bit of a lead sheet.
I’d recommend learning the raw chords first, then work on getting a bit more accurate with the tabs on an electric guitar. Duration of each chord progression is long enough that you shouldn't have trouble picking out the melody.
Where the Streets Have No Name
Once again the link takes you to both a chord and lead sheet, both of which are easy and straightforward.
This song sounds great on both an acoustic and electric guitar.
Fall to Pieces
The lesson is a video from Karl Golden, complete with a tab and slow demonstration.
If you don’t want to pick through everything, D-C-G and A will get you through most of the song.
I Love the U.S.A.
In typical Weezer fashion, this song goes minimal on the chords and keeps things simple. C, Am and Em get it done.
Willie Nelson’s rendition of this old hymn is a bluesy turn of G, D and A.
It’s pretty simple to pickup. Here’s the YouTube video for playing along.
ZZ Top songs also lend themselves to a lot of electronic metal covers. Filter knows what I'm talkin' about. This one is just A, G, C and D, any way you slice it.
It's simpler than it sounds, simply repeating the progression of C, B♭ and F.
Looking for more music?
We update this page regularly, so check back for new songs or email us a suggestion and we’ll put a link up soon thereafter.
Here are a few other posts related to covering songs and other people’s music.
Keep in mind that even if a song sounds complex or has an intricate electric guitar or piano part, the chord progressions underneath are usually going to be pretty simple. If you can find a way to hear those chords, draw them out and learn them first, the rest of the song will come much more easily.
More fun songs to play on guitar?
Finding easy songs to play on the guitar is an incredible amount of fun.
Especially if you have good instruction.
But all too often we’re left with incomplete, incorrect and generally unhelpful material when it comes to actually learning songs on the guitar.
But there is a great method for learning songs the right way.We’d recommend giving Guitar Tricks 14-day free trial a test run, since they have a massive library of easy guitar songs where professional instructors take you through each segment step-by-step. There’s more material available then you could ever possibly get through.
So you’ll learn a lot and get access to a number of other resources that all guitarists can benefit from.
Other Beginner Rhythm Guitar Resources
E7 Chord Chart and 5-Step Beginner's Guide: Looking at the basics of the E7 chord, including relevant intervals, arpeggios and exercises.
Ultimate C Chord Guitar Reference: A massive lesson on the C chord covering every aspect of its theory, forms, voicings, progressions and applicable exercises.
Ultimate D Chord Guitar Reference: A massive lesson on the D chord covering every aspect of its theory, forms, voicings, progressions and applicable exercises.
Guitar Music Theory for Songwriters: A lengthy article covering all the basics of music theory that are particularly applicable to songwriters and acoustic artists.
27 Chord Progressions for Guitar Players: Roundup of all the most common and guitar-friendly chord progressions, complete with charts and explanations.
C Sharp Minor Guitar Chords: Full lesson explaining the ins and outs of the C sharp minor guitar chord, focusing on basic theory and application.
5 Reusable Hard Rock Chord Progressions: A lesson focusing on chord progressions that are particularly relevant to heavy, modern rock styles.
More Guitar Tabs for Beginners: A short list of guitar tabs focusing on full rock songs that are easy to pick up in the early stages of playing guitar.