When we first start playing guitar it is common to learn just a couple of easy guitar chords and most new players are pretty anxious to get playing their guitar as soon as possible. In this mega list we are going to provide some great examples of easy guitar songs for beginners , with a limited number of basic guitar chords. That way from the very beginning you have something to show for each step of your guitar learning path.
Before jumping to the song list, here are two useful resources that will help you learn songs easier:. There are so many songs of every genre out there, were should you begin when you start getting the hang of playing the guitar? In this article we are going to use songs with easy chords, starting from simple songs with only 2 and adding one chords or two while we advance in the list.
In this first section we are going to stick to one of the common keys and in this case the Key of C. Most new guitar players immediately learn C major and G major chords in open position, so let's find a list of music that can be played with just those two chords.
G major being the fifth in this key. In western music the easiest and best sounding interval is the root and the fifth, that's why it is so easy to write simple songs using only the chords C major root and G major fifth.
Most two chord songs of the root and fifth are going to be in the folk, gospel, and country genre, but we have a few that fit in the modern rock category! It just doesn't get much better than Hank Williams, who wrote Jambalaya back in well he most likely co-wrote it based off an old Cajun melody. This is another simple two chord melody that can be strummed or picked. Sometimes when playing simple two chord songs we want to add a little spice to the strumming since we don't have too much going on musically.
Once you have the basic melody and song down, experiment a little! Many folk songs that have two chords will sometimes use the 7th, if you haven't learned G7 yet that is fine as you can still play the song, but you may come across this 7th again with two chord songs so keep an eye out. As a beginner it is usually ok to play just the G major, but hey it doesn't hurt to learn it now!
Here is another great example of the G7 being used in this old time American spiritual. However, it is fine to play G major in the place of the G7. It will still sound fine and your audience will never know the difference! If you grew up in the early 90's, you probably wanted to scream after hearing this song played a bazillion times! It wasn't written by Billy Ray Cyrus, but he sure made it popular. Despite it being played into the ground back then it is actually a great song for beginning guitar players.
In fact, if you know a drummer and bass player, all three of you can play this with minimal. Even the great and talented Beatle John Lennon wrote his share of really simple songs.
Give Peace a Chance makes a great campfire song, especially for the chorus. This song was written by John during his famous Bed-In with Yoko… ironically like playing this song, peace is really not complicated! This 50's song had a big comeback after the movie Beetlejuice, it is a traditional Jamaican folk song made popular by Harry Belafonte. While this song is simply C major and G major like the rest on this list, the key to playing it is to get the strum right.
Jamaican and reggae type songs often have an emphasis on the 2 and 4 beat, strum with a percussive type effect on these beats as you play the Banana Boat Song. As mentioned before, most songs that only have these two chords in them of C and G will often be kid's songs or folk songs. However, it is always good to know these really simple songs like Mary had a Little Lamb because you never know when you will have a young audience that will want to hear a familiar tune!
I included this great song by The Beatles because it is a good example of how even a two chord song can be a little difficult to play.
You will find much of the verse is in G with a short part in the C major chord, in fact many sites have the chord as G7. As you learn to play it, it will seem strange that you are staying in that same G chord for much of the verse. I find this can be fixed by good strumming and switching between G and G7. It's really all about using your ear.
G7 is not that much different than G major and now is a great time to pick it up and start using it. With Paperback Writer you see that even two chords in a song it is not always easy!
Sly and the Family Stone has always been one of my favorite bands, and their song Everyday People fits our two chords of C and G perfectly. This song sounds great on an acoustic or electric guitar, just remember to add a little bit of soul and funk to it! Another song about peace and equality and all it needs is two chords! Technically this song is in the Key of G , but it fits our needs for only using C and G. This song dates all the way back to the 's, so while it may be a simple children's song we have to give it some respect for such staying power.
It transitions back and forth quite simply between C and G without much fuss and is a great beginners song. It sounds fine with basic strumming, but it sounds much better with a little finger picking, give it a try and see what sounds best to you! If you have an electric guitar plug it into and amp and give this old folk tune some rockin' amplification! Note : this song requires in some parts the F chord.
Look at the insight just below on this page. Some of these songs have the F chord in some parts. Full bar chords are not easy for beginners. If you're not comfortable yet with bar chords , you can use one of the simplified shapes that you find on the F major chord diagrams page.
Since even before YouTube! Today you can enroll Guitar Tricks , the most popular, award-winning guitar learning site, free for 14 day. Join For Free Now. It can be played with fingerpicking or for beginners with a very simple strum and sounds best when you pluck the bass note of the chord and then strum the the rest of the strings. Our lesson series on easy guitar songs that you can play with just some basic chords continues here. In the section above we talked about songs with just 2 chords: here is where our songs really start to expand, by adding the A minor to our C major, G major, and F major chords.
It is actually a little crazy how many tunes follow the pattern of C-G-Am-F. There are so many choices for 4 chord songs that below we will simply pick the easiest ones to represent them. The Penguins released the song Earth Angel in and it was one of the first songs to crossover from the rhythm and blues charts to the pop charts.
Which along with a few other songs from that era helped pave the way for the Rock explosion. Doo Wop songs nearly always followed this same progression as Earth Angel.
Yes of course this is a novelty song by Bobby Boris Pickett, but it is so easy to play and fun. And Monster Mash follows the exact progression as most other Doo Wop songs.
This song by Jason Mraz is a little more recent than the others mentioned so far and a big hit, catchy and a very simple progression throughout. The progression is known as the Axis of Awesome because thousands of songs share it. Once you have learned this axis of awesome you will be able to play way more songs than just this one by Jason Mraz. Even if you do not like this song by Mraz, you will surely find one with the same progression that you love! If you happen to play the ukulele along with the guitar you probably already know this song! However, it is another Axis of Awesome progression and still sounds great on the guitar.
He writes really catchy songs and they are always great for the guitar. Right Here Waiting is perfect for a beginner to play for a loved one. Bob Marley is truly a legend; one can only wonder what songs he would be writing today if he were still around. No Woman No Cry is not only four chords, it is a simple strum.
This song is perfect for summer campfires, a must for any guitarist! This is simply a G chord with a B note in the bass instead of a normal G.
Until you are comfortable with that concept it is fine to play the normal G chord. The video was hugely popular being played in heavy rotation. If you know C, G, Am, and F this song is easy to play, a true crowd pleaser. This song almost uses a Doo Wop progression but leaves out the G at the end for most of the verses.
By rarely using that last G chord it gives the song a completely different feel than a regular Doo Wop song. This was the popular song by the Swedish rock musician Eagle Eye Cherry back in This particular tune is different than the other Axis of Awesome and Doo Wop tunes in that it starts in A minor. It uses the same four chords, but that slight switching up of the chords gives it a whole new vibe compared to the rest. Anyone alive in would have heard this song played all the time, the video was a huge hit. Later it was released as an acoustic version by the artist Obadiah Parker, that is why I have included it in this list, it is a great acoustic guitar song.
Like the last one this song uses these 4 chords in a different way, ending on the A minor this time. While there are many songs that are simply four chords, once we add more in, it allows us to enhance our playing.
So along with C major, G major, F major, and A minor ; the next chord to add in is the iii chord , E minor. Of course there are a plenty of easy guitar songs that have these chords so we pick the best to play on our guitars.
This song by Green Day is usually played with power chords on the guitar. Power chords are not complete chords, the are only the root and fifth and are common in punk, grunge, and 90's music. However, it is still a fine song to play with regular chords.
Love him or hate him, John Denver wrote many songs and many hits. However, this particular tune was made famous by Peter, Paul, and Mary. In fact it was their final and biggest hit, back in This is a great song when you begin playing these five chords, slow and easy changing between each chord. This song was the first hit by the band The Plain White T's , Time magazine even put it on there list of best songs of