There are many songs for guitar that are very easy to play, even for beginners. Sure, you’ll have to learn a few guitar chords and how to strum, but once you pick these up, you can easily play thousands of songs.
Nearly every recording artist has song books and sheet music available that are made “easy for guitar”. You can also find tablature or “tabs” online simply by searching for guitar tabs or the song name. You might want to pick up a songbook of your favorite artist to help you learn their songs.
Here are twelve easy songs to play for guitar beginners who have learned some basic guitar chords. In order to play these, you’ll need to know the seven basic major chords A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. In the case of B and F major, which are usually barre chords, I suggest using the power chords B5 and F5, even for minor chords.
These will be much simpler to play for beginners. Barre chords aren’t necessarily harder to play, but they do require some finger strength that the beginning guitar player may not have yet.
The chords listed are in the order they are played. In other words, I have shown the chord progression for each song.
- Paperback Writer – The Beatles; uses the G and C major chords
- Horse With No Name – America; uses the Em (E minor) and D2 chords
- Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin; uses the D and E major chords
- Bad Moon Rising – Creedance Clearwater Revival; uses the D, A and G major chords
- All The Small Things – Blink 182; uses the C, G and F (use F5) major chords
- All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix; uses the Bm (B minor), A and G chords in an Eb (E flat) tuning (tuning all the strings down one-half step to E flat)
- Never Let You go – Third Eye Blind; uses the E, B and A major chords
- Talk Dirty To ME – Poison; uses the G, D and C major chords
- You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC; uses the G, C and D major chords
- When We Die – Bowling For Soup; uses the D, A, Bm (B minor) and G chords
- Perfect World – Simple Plan; uses the Bm (B minor), G, D and A chords using the E flat (Eb tuning)
- It’s My Life – Bon Jovi; uses the Bm (B minor), G, D and A chords
Find a recording of each song you want to learn and listen to the chord changes. Play the chords I’ve listed here so you can match the chords in the song. Once you can hear the chord changes, you can figure out how to play the strum pattern.
It will take some practice, but soon you’ll have a dozen easy songs for guitar to play for friends and family.