- Basic chords for beginners
- Strumming patterns
- The list of 81 easy guitar songs for beginners
Introduction – Learn guitar with easy guitar songs
Easy guitar songs are great to improve your skills if you are a beginner.
Even though I’ve played guitar for almost 14 years I still play easy songs like these.
I don’t think that what makes a good song is equal to how difficult it is – Thinking that is a common mistake made by many aspiring guitarists. You shouldn’t aim for playing the hardest songs ever. Your goal should be to make everything you play sound fantastic even though it only includes four different chords.
Almost every song that hits the top 100 on Billboard contains something unique.
If it isn’t the melody it could be the chords, the riff, the effects used on an instrument, etc. Sometimes it is even something non-music-related. Like something unique about the artist as a person. Writing a hit song takes something very special
Anyway, I decided to compile an ultimate list of easy guitar songs for you. They can of course be found on the websites I link to, but I’ve made it easier for you so you can save a lot of time searching for the right songs.
The great thing about practicing easy guitar songs is that you actually get to improve your skills in an easy and fun way. You don’t need to sit for hours practicing the same boring theory or scale in order to learn to play guitar.
Instead you just play four or five chords and after a short play-through you can sing along with the chords.
Just take a look at Axis of Awesome and their 4 Chord Song (You probably know it already) and see how 4 simple chords can turn in to hundreds of hit songs!
Haha, I always get amazed when I see this performance even though i completely understand the theory and idea behind it!
Back on track:
This is what playing easy guitar songs does for you:
- It gives you a fun time practicing
- It helps you speeding up your chord-changes
- You can practice your singing at the same time as well
- It gives you an idea of how hit songs are made
- This one’s obvious: You learn to play guitar.
- And finally, it expands your repertoire
Basic chords for beginners
So what should you learn first?
Well, a good place to start would be learning some of the most common chords used on guitar.
I’m talking about chords like C, D, G, E, Em, A, Am, F, Bm, etc.
The songs on the list will often use these chords, but chords like Bb, Gm and Dmaj7 might appear as well. Leave a comment if you need any help on those!
You got that covered?
Then let’s move on!
Learn strumming patterns for the easy guitar songs
It’s fine to begin playing some songs at this point, but you might wanna spice it up a bit.
To be able to play easy guitar songs and make them sound like a million, you wanna learn yourself some strumming patterns first. Grab your pick and get ready!
On of the most recognizable strumming patterns is definitely the pattern in Oasis’ Wonderwall.
This song is well-known for it’s simple chords and effective strumming. And of course the brilliant melody connecting it all.
To learn this pattern, you will have to choose a random chord (I chose Em7 – the start-chord in the original song).
Now, play a down stroke on that chord on every 1 & 2 & 3 &4. It looks like this:
When you think you got that down, you should practice some simple chord changes. I will use the three other chords of the verses in Wonderwall, G, Dsus4 and A7sus4.
Then change chord on every 1 and 3.
The pattern now looks like this:
Okay, now you have gained the skills to change chord while keeping in rhythm. Let’s spice it up like I talked about.
Add an upstroke on every 16th (Those notes between the ones you down stroked before).
This pattern looks like this with the chord changes:
Keep in mind, that it should be a bit harder to play now since you’ve added more notes to the beat. If you struggle with it, try lowering down the BPM and give yourself some space.
Finally, let’s mix the things we practiced together to create the Wonderwall pattern.
Here’s what the pattern looks like:
It’s pretty straight forward except when you reach the A7sus4 chord. This part is syncopated which means that you hit the 32nds. If it’s to difficult, you can easily copy the first two chords’ pattern and paste it onto the last two.
Your right hand (If you’re right-handed) should be strumming up and down at a steady pace the whole time. The way you shape the pattern is just by deciding which notes you hit. In other words, your right hand should go up, down, up, down, up, down, etc. the whole time.
You should fool around with the different up and down strokes and try to develop your own patterns or copy ones you’ve heard somewhere else.
81 easy guitar songs
Now you know the basics for playing easy guitar songs – and most of you probably just wanted the list anyway, so let’s get to it. By the way, a capo is useful to transpose the song if it’s to high or low for your voice.
Here’s my complete list of 81 easy guitar songs that will make you learn guitar AND make you a living jukebox:
- Wonderwall – Oasis
- Knockin’ on Heavens Door – Bob Dylan (or Guns’n’Roses)
- Love Me Do – The Beatles
- Leaving on a Jet Plane – John Denver
- Stuck in the middle with you – Steelers Wheel
- Wonderful tonight – Eric Clapton
- Stay with me – Sam Smith
- With or without you – U2
- Zombie – The Cranberries
- Clocks – Coldplay
- I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
- Let Her Go – Passenger
- She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5
- Your Body is a Wonderland – John Mayer
- Jingle Bells
- Hello – Adele
- Sorry – Justin Bieber
- What Do You Mean – Justin Bieber
- Riptide – Vance Joy
- Halo – Beyoncé
- Give Me Love – Ed Sheeran
- Don’t Look Back in Anger – Oasis
- Valerie – Amy Winehouse
- Viva La Vida – Coldplay
- Magic – Coldplay
- Smoke On the Water – Deep Purple
- Hey Soul Sister – Train
- Blank Space – Taylor Swift
- Bad Blood – Taylor Swift
- Let it Be – The Beatles
- Imagine – john Lennon
- Fix You – Coldplay
- All I Want – Kodaline
- Lost Stars – Adam Levine
- Rolling in the Deep – Adele
- The Scientist – Coldplay
- Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye
- Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The People
- The Lazy Song – Bruno Mars
- Grenade – Bruno Mars
- Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars
- Yellow Submarine – The Beatles
- A Hard Days Night – The Beatles
- All My Loving – The Beatles
- All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
- Lean On – Major Lazor, MØ
- Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
- All of Me – John Legend
- Hotline Bling – Drake
- Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
- Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s
- Half the World Away – Oasis
- Sweet Child O Mine – Guns’n’Roses
- Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
- Titanium – David Guetta
- All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey
- House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
- Sweater Weather – The Neighborhood
- Sound of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel
- Marvin Gaye – Charlie Puth
- Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Dani California – Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
- Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
- Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day
- Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
- Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
- Ho Hey – The Lumineers
- Let It Go – Idina Menzel (Frozen song)
- Chandelier – Sia
- Little Lion Man – Mumford and Sons
- You’re Beautiful – James Blunt
- Mad World – Gary Jules
- Can’t Help Falling in Love with You – Elvis
- Have You Ever Seen the Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival
- Breakeven – The Script
- Redemption Song – Bob Marley
- Rude – Magic
- Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne
- Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
Every single song on the list is worth learning for everyone though they’re easy guitar songs. Some are more difficult than others, but hang in there – If you can play some of the songs now you can soon play all 81 songs on the list!
Oh, and after I compiled the list I noticed that it includes a lot of tabs alongside the chords – if you don’t know how to read them then you should look at my ultimate beginner’s guide.
You’re ready to shine with 81 perfect songs for the bonfire with your friends
Let me know in the comments below if I should include other songs!