111+ Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs For Beginners to Actually Learn

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There’s nothing quite as satisfying as playing that first song on your acoustic guitar. And luckily for many beginning players, there are a ton of fun and easy guitar songs that use only a few basic chords. This allows new guitarists to skip the boring chord exercises and start playing real songs right away.

Once you get a few fun guitar songs for beginners down pat, you can quickly expand your repertoire by learning songs that use the same easy guitar chords, in different patterns or in the same chord progressions.

Nailing down your chord transitions is an essential skill to develop as a new guitar player. Repeating chords you’ve learned in different orders and timing will help you get better at these transitions much faster than learning a bunch of new chords and overloading yourself.

But how do you find guitar songs that are easy to learn, so you can achieve this as quickly as possible?

In this post, we introduce a bunch of easy songs for the acoustic guitar, and direct you to chord charts and video tutorials for further learning. At the end, you can check out a mega list of easy acoustic guitar songs for beginners for even more ideas on what to play. Now grab your guitar and get rockin’!

Post Contents

What You Should Know to Be Able to Play Easy Guitar Songs

Before you dive into songs, it would help to know some minor and major chords already. 

Four easy guitar chords that will give you the most bang for your buck during the initial stages of learning guitar are Em, G, C, and D. 

With these chords and a capo, you’ll be able to play thousands of pop and rock songs.

You should also have access to:

It may sound obvious to include a guitar in this list, but consistent practice is critical. It really helps to have access to a guitar you can use as often as you’d like, not one that you borrow every now and again.

You could get away with not using a metronome, but you’ll thank yourself later when you find it easy to stay in time.

You can also use phone apps to replace the metronome and tuner.

What Makes a Song Easy on Acoustic Guitar?

There are a few things that make a song feel easy to learn on the guitar. Let’s take a look at each one.

1. Accessible Guitar Chords

You’ll want to make sure the chord shapes are easy enough to form for a beginner guitar player. E, Em, C, G, D, Am, and A, are all excellent guitar chords for beginners to learn songs with.

E guitar chord
Em guitar chord
C guitar chord
G guitar chord
D guitar chord
Am guitar chord
A guitar chord

Modifying Guitar Chords for Easier Changes

You could even modify some of the chord shapes to make them simpler. Many new guitarists use “the Wonderwall chords,” in which you don’t move your ring and pinky finger from the fretboard while playing. 

Em7 guitar chord
G guitar chord full version
Dsus4 guitar chord
A7sus4 guitar chord
Cadd9 guitar chord

Using these chords in other songs can help you learn easy guitar songs faster, since there are easier chord changes between the “Wonderwall chords”. It will still sound very close to the actual song, and you or your friends will be able to sing along.

Relying on these chords too much may slow your learning down a little. But you’ll be playing songs in no time, which can help you stick with guitar. Just be sure to practice other chord forms too.

2. Avoid Barre Chords (at least at first)

Easy guitar songs should avoid barre chords, which are movable chord shapes where you use your first finger to create a “barre” across multiple strings.

Bm guitar chord
A guitar chord 1

These guitar chords are much more complex than open chords, and will leave you frustrated with your fingers aching. You will need to learn barre chords eventually, but there is still a whole world of beginner guitar songs out there that don’t require them.

If you really want to play a song that needs barre chords, you could use power chords instead. Power chords are guitar chords that use only the 1st and the 5th, omitting the 3rd that’s included in full chords. Power chords are neither major nor minor, and are denoted by putting a “5” after the chord letter.

B5 guitar power chord
A5 guitar power chord

It’s okay if you don’t know what that means yet. The point is, they’re much easier to play, and will still get your hands used to moving to the correct positions on the fretboard when you are ready to practice barre chords.

3. Simple Strumming

Sometimes the chords for a song are easy, but the strumming pattern for the song blows the difficulty through the roof. Even a moderately experienced guitarist can have trouble with this.

If you’re trying to sing while playing a complicated strumming pattern, it can be a nightmare. Your timing can become jumbled and make you sound nothing like how the song actually goes.

If your goal is to play around a campfire, or even at certain gigs, you can modify the strumming pattern to make it easier for you.

Professional cover musicians do this to make guitar songs easier to dance to, or make high-intensity songs more mellow. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with this yourself.

You could even play single strums for each chord when you’re starting out. Just don’t get stuck on only ever playing one strumming pattern; you will have to learn more as you progress.

4. Simple Chord Progressions

Even if a song uses easy guitar chords and strumming, it can be challenging to play if the chords are all over the place.

When you nail a song, the good feeling you get is vital to keep you on track while learning guitar.

You don’t want your practice sessions to feel like a chore, so the best guitar songs for beginners are those that follow simple chord patterns and strumming patterns.

5. Doesn’t Require Guitar Tabs to Play

Some songs have complicated solos or picking patterns that need to be illustrated using a notation called guitar tabs. This can often seem confusing or intimidating for beginners.

In our opinion, you should be able to play easy songs on the guitar using only basic chord charts, without requiring guitar tabs just to get the song sounding right.

How to Make Hard Guitar Songs Easy

Some songs may use chord shapes that you don’t know. If this is the case, you can transpose it and use a capo to make the song easier to play. 

Learning Em, G, C, and D will allow you to play many pop songs. But let’s say a song you want to play uses a Cm. To make it easier, you can use a capo on the 4th fret and play an Em instead (assuming this doesn’t make the other chords harder).

To identify where to put the capo, you can use the transpose function on guitar tabs sites like Ultimate Guitar.

In the example below, you can see that “Save Tonight” uses the chords Am, F, C, G. Since F is a barre chord, this makes it quite tricky for a new player.

Save tonight guitar chords from ultimate-guitar. Com
Screenshot from ultimate-guitar.com

You can press the +1 button next to TRANSPOSE in ultimate-guitar until the Am changes to Em.

Save tonight guitar chords from ultimate-guitar. Com, transposed up 7 frets
Screenshot from ultimate-guitar.com

You can see that there is a little “7” next to “transpose” now. That means you can put your capo on the 7th fret to play the song in its original key. If you play it this way, you can jam out on this song  using only the open chords you already know.

You can use this method to alter the chord charts for any song to make it easier for you to play along.

What is a Capo?

A capo is a clip that puts pressure on the strings over the width of the fretboard. Guitarists use capos to change the key of a song.

Using a capo will make playing the correct chord progressions much easier without having to learn those pesky barre chords.

Which Easy Guitar Song Should You Learn First?

While this does somewhat depend on your musical taste, overall we recommend “Wonderwall” by Oasis. It’s a modern classic guitar song that most people know, so you can get the gratification of entertaining your friends right away. And when you practice this song, you get to learn the more accessible versions of some of the most important open chords for acoustic guitar.

The strumming pattern for “Wonderwall” also pops up in a lot of other songs. So learning this song sets you up to play a whole bunch of other songs down the road.

“Wonderwall” has four primary chords, so it’s a little more complicated than some of the two and three-chord songs on our list. But, it gives you a solid foundation to move forward with learning guitar.

The Best Acoustic Guitar Songs for Beginners

These easy guitar songs aren’t in any particular order. And although we recommend learning “Wonderwall” first, you could also just pick your favorite from this list and go from there.

Keep in mind that we may list simplified versions of some of these songs. But they’re close enough to the real thing that most people won’t notice. 

The chords listed are for the iconic sections of the songs – verse and chores. For some easy guitar songs, you may want to omit bridges at first. Bridges in a song often have different and more challenging chords than the verse or chorus.

After you have learned the main sections for a few different songs, you can come back and learn the challenging parts later.

Songs To Start You Off

Wonderwall – Oasis (Em7, G, Dsus4, A7sus4)

Don’t be afraid of the 7th and suspended 4th chords listed here. They may look intimidating to a newbie, but they are actually easier to play than the standard versions of these chords when played together. 

The strumming used is very common for acoustic guitar songs. This song also sounds great using single strums, so don’t be hard on yourself if it takes a while to get right when you’re starting out.

This song has long been considered one of the best songs to learn on guitar. 

It’s a very popular request that acoustic musicians receive. Some musicians have likely been asked to play it so many times that they now hate this song, so you could be the one to play it for your friends instead!

Click here for the full chords.

Feelin’ Alright – Traffic (E, A)

This easy song uses just two chords, making it an excellent song for beginner guitarists.

The simple nature of the chords and up and down strumming will have you playing your guitar and feeling like a rock star in no time. It may not be the best song to build your skills on, but it’s an incredibly easy song for building confidence.

After all, the goal is to play guitar. And, easy guitar songs such as this are one of the best ways to get started.

Click here for the full chords.

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd (G, D, C)

Freebird may be the song that comes to mind when you think of Lynyrd Skynyrd. But, “Sweet Home Alabama” was by far their biggest international hit.

The picking in this song is quite tricky and something you may want to come back to as an intermediate guitarist.

Yet, if you strum this song, it still sounds great and is the perfect sing along. This song only has three chords, so it requires fewer transitions than many other songs.

With only three chords to learn, this song works fantastic using a Cadd9 chord instead of a standard C. Using Cadd9 makes it a little easier to transition between chords for a newbie.

Learning Sweet Home Alabama is like learning two songs in one. “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock uses the same chords and strumming as Sweet Home Alabama.

Click here for the full chords.

Marry You  –  Bruno Mars  (D, Em, G)

“Marry You” is a simple acoustic guitar love song that uses the same strumming pattern and chords throughout.

During the early stages of learning acoustic guitar, you will encounter D, Em, and G a lot. 

Mastering this simple chord progression by learning an easy guitar song like this is much more fun than grinding out chord changes on their own.

The same could be said for its simple strumming. 

Combining all the commonly used themes in this song makes it one of the best easy pop songs for beginners to learn.

Click here for the full chords.

I Walk the Line – Johnny Cash (A, D, E)

Johnny Cash has three big hits that are easy to play for beginners, but “I Walk The Line” is arguably the easiest of these great songs.

It only uses three simple major chords, and works perfectly as single strums until you work your way up to picking the notes. The three chords in this song are ones that you will encounter a lot too.

The simple strumming pattern used for this song is typical in country, indie, and even pop songs. It works perfectly alongside a shuffle beat and will help you nail plenty of other songs once you master it.

This song is also a great one to learn to sing and play simultaneously for male singers.

It’s in a very comfortable range for most men and works well when talk-singing. So, you won’t have to concentrate too much on the vocals and can work on learning to multitask.

Click here for the full chords.

Fallin’ – Alicia Keys (Am, Dm – Capo 2)

“Fallin’” is a straightforward song that uses just two chords, and it’s a great song to practice singing and playing the guitar for those with a higher vocal range.

This song is easy to sing and play since each down strum sits in an obvious place. It’s always the emphasized words in the song like so, “I keep on FALLING, in and OUT, of LOVE, with YOU.” 

This song sounds great with fingerpicking, but single strums also give a pretty darn good impression for a beginner.

Although Dm is not often one of the first chords you will learn, it’s just as simple to play as Am. Hundreds of songs use Dm, so it’s a good chord to work into your repertoire.

Click here for the full chords.

How Bizarre – OMC​ (A, D, E)

“How Bizarre” is an easy guitar song because it uses three simple chords.

All the chords are major, so there’s no confusion about which to use for absolute beginner guitar players who may still be a little confused about the difference between a major or minor chord.

This song is one of those classics that get stuck in your head. 

It’s easy for a beginner guitarist to nail down the rhythm, and it has a great acoustic guitar lick in it that you can come back to and use guitar tabs to learn once you get the chords right.

Click here for the full chords.

What I Got – Sublime – (D, G)

This is not only an iconic song by Sublime, it’s also surprisingly easy to play, and it’s a great campfire sing-along song to boot.

The whole song consists of a D chord and a G chord repeated throughout, which are two important guitar chords for beginners to know. The toughest part about this is the strumming pattern and getting the right “feel”. But this song also sounds good with simplified strumming.

Click here for the full chords.

Four Chord Songs Using G, D, Em, C

F*ckin’ Perfect – P!nk (G, D, Em, C)

This one is important, not for the song itself, but for the chord progression. G, D, Em, and C make up a major pattern known as I-V-VI-IV that is used widely in rock and pop music. That just means you use the: 1st, 5th, 6th minor, and 4th chord in the scale. 

You don’t need to get into music theory right now; you just have to know that you can use this chord progression to play a whole bunch of easy songs. That’s where your capo helps.

Instead of learning new chords, you can just move the capo around and continue to play G, D, Em, and C chord shapes.

There are plenty of variations of this pattern, but this is the one with guitar chords that are easiest to play.

If you learn this song, you’ll also be able to play songs by other artists – everything from Enya through to Metallica. You just have to move the capo to the appropriate fret for each song.

For example, if a song starts with an A, you can have the capo on the third fret so that the G chord shape actually makes an A chord.

Click here for the full chords.

Mad World – Gary Jules (Em, G, D, A)

Notice anything similar between the chords in “Mad World” and the P!nk song? They’re the same chords but in a different order. These chords work similarly and are also used a lot in pop and rock music.

The difference is, these chords are in a minor key. Minor keys sound sad, while Major keys sound happy. 

We picked “Mad World” to show this, as there’s no denying the depressing vibe this song has. It’s a great example of how minor keys work. Understanding this difference will help make you a better guitarist.

Mad World is another song that sounds awesome with single strums, and it also works well when played very slowly – perfect for absolute beginners. 

With some practice, you can get this song sounding great much quicker than some other beginner-friendly songs.

Click here for the full chords.

Stand By Me – Ben E. King (G, Em, C, D)

This classic song uses another variation of those same four chords. Are you starting to see the pattern here? You can use these chords to play most popular songs; you just have to switch up the order sometimes.

“Stand By Me” is an excellent song for beginners as it is a song most of us have heard many times. Being able to hear the song in your head makes it easier to play along with.

This song also has many different cover versions in different keys, so you can be sure to find guitar chords or tab that fits your voice to sing along with.

Click here for the full chords.

Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison (G, C, D, Em)

“Brown Eyed Girl” is one of those easy folk guitar songs that always gets people singing and dancing. It’s also one of those beginner guitar songs that uses our four favorite chords.

It technically also uses a D7 for the song’s hanging “Do you remember when?” part. But, as a beginner, you could just play a D instead. The vocal line still fits well.

Click here for the full chords.

Pompeii – Bastille -(C, D, Em, G)

Yet another variation of those same four chords that keep popping up – this time, starting with C. 

As we mentioned earlier, nailing your transitions between chords is a fundamental skill. 

Despite the same chords being used in many of these songs, playing them in a different order may still trip you up a little. Practicing all of these easy songs alongside each other will help you to get buttery-smooth chord transitions.

“Pompeii” is also a great song to start adding picked notes in between your chords. Once you get comfortable with the chords, you can add the main lick from the song by simply picking the G and B strings in between single strums of each chord.

Click here for the full chords.

Other Four Chord Guitar Songs

This list is by no means exhaustive. Thousands of other songs can be played using these four chords, especially if you use transposition. Some other examples include:

Ramping Up the Difficulty (a little)

I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty (Em, D, G)

Although this classic by Tom Petty uses only three simple chords, the song is a step up in difficulty. The verse in this song uses some quick changes between chords. You may struggle with this at first, but making rapid chord changes is very important for your progression as a guitarist.

The chord changes lie in the most memorable part of the verse. So that will help you to aim when playing along with the song.

You should also hit the D chord with an upstroke, which is another crucial skill to improve your guitar playing dramatically.

“I Won’t Back Down” may not be the first easy guitar song you should try to learn, but it’s simple enough for a beginner to master with a bit of practice. It’s also a great song to learn on electric guitar.

Click here for the full chords.

Save Tonight – Eagle Eye Cherry (Am, Fmaj7, C, G)

This version of “Save Tonight” is a fantastic song for beginners to learn because it uses the Fmaj7 chord. 

As barre chords are usually too hard for beginners to play, Fmaj7 is a valuable substitute to use in the meantime. Learning to use this chord will also help you play other songs that use an F. You can just play Fmaj7 instead of F.

Am, F, C, G is another prevalent chord progression. So learning this song will help you tackle many other easy guitar songs as you build your repertoire. 

Guitar songs such as “Wake Me Up” by Avicii use the same chords and a similar strumming pattern.

A second benefit of learning the Am, Fmaj7, C, G chord progression for newbies is that your index finger stays rooted in one position.

Having the other fingers do the work helps to strengthen them and improve your accuracy. Much like with the “Wonderwall” guitar chords, this makes the song much easier to play.

You could also use a capo on the 7th fret and play Em, C, G, D if you feel more comfortable with those chords. However, you should try to get acquainted with as many chord progressions as possible.

Click here for the full chords.

Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival (D, A, G)

“Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival uses basic chords and is an enjoyable song to play. It’s great for beginners, as it’s easy to play along with but also uses swing timing

Many rock and roll songs use this type of strumming patterns, so it’s essential to learn sooner or later.

You can also play a less simplified version of this song where you add hammer-ons and pull-offs with your pinky. It’s helpful to have songs in your pocket that you can improve upon as your skills advance.

Most Creedence Clearwater Revival songs are simple and use swing timing, so if you love playing this song, make sure you check out some of their other classics.

Click here for the full chords.

Heroes – David Bowie (D, G, C, Am, Em)

This song uses downstrokes primarily, which makes it perfect for a beginner guitar player. The transitions are pretty slow, as is the song’s overall tempo, which should help with quick mastery.

However, “Heroes” does use five chords and changes the order of them during sections of the song. 

You’ll need to master this kind of thing as a beginner guitarist to move into the realm of an intermediate player. They’re easy chords that you will encounter often, so this is a good song to practice.

Click here for the full chords.

Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty (D, Dsus4, A)

Tom Petty has quite a few great beginner songs to improve your playing, and “Free Fallin'” is another example of that.

The transition between D and Dsus4 is useful not only for playing many songs, but also for adding flair to your playing. It is essentially pressing your pinky down on the top E string of a D chord.

Once you get good at this, you can hammer on and pull off the chord too. This looks a lot harder than it actually is. You’ll be impressing your friends in no time if you practice this song.

Click here for the full chords.

Knocking on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan (G, D, Am, C)

Whether you prefer the Eric Clapton or Bob Dylan version, there’s no denying “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” is a gorgeous song.

This song is another four-chord one, but it uses an Am instead of Em. These guitar chords are prevalent in many songs too. So, mastering them with a banger of a song like “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” is a fantastic idea.

The progression in the chorus sometimes resolves on a C and sometimes an Am. Being aware of this will help you to identify the different feel of major and minor chords.

Training your ear is an often-overlooked skill as a beginner. Working on this will fast-track your learning.

Click here for the full chords.

Working Class Hero – John Lennon (Am, G, D)

This song by John Lennon is often mistaken as a Beatles song, although it was a solo release. 

As far as chord progressions go, this song seems easy. Yet, the easy guitar chords are accompanied by a hammer-on when you play the Am chord.

This technique can be a little tricky, but with enough practice, you will nail it. If you’re having trouble with it, you can play the song without it and it will still sound great.

Once you’ve mastered this song, it will help you play others that use hammer-ons while picking chords, such as “Tribute” by Tenacious D.

Click here for the full chords.

Dancing In The Dark – Bruce Springsteen (G, Em, C, Am, D

Bruce Springsteen has to be one of the most famous artists of all time, and Dancing In The Dark is one of his best pop songs. 

You could class this song as one of the easy songs on our list, but because it uses five chords and doesn’t play them in the same order for the whole song, it may be confusing for some beginner guitarists.

It’s still one of our favorite guitar songs for beginners to learn. Jumping around with familiar chords will help improve your guitar playing tenfold without being so challenging that it becomes frustrating.

Click here for the full chords.

Incorporating 7th Chords

When you’re looking at chord charts for easy guitar songs and see 7th chords like B7, D7, E7, and A7, it can seem intimidating. 

B7 guitar chord
D7 guitar chord
E7 guitar chord
A7 guitar chord

While these may just seem like even more guitar chords for you to learn, many 7th chords are actually easier to play than their standard counterparts. For example, a B chord is typically a difficult barre chord, but there are ways to play a B7 that don’t require you to barre a fret. This opens up a whole range of new easy guitar songs for you to play.

What are 7th chords? In short, they are chords with an additional interval added. Standard chords include a 1st, a 3rd, and a 5th, whereas 7th chords add on – you guessed it – a 7th. This can add a range of texture and complexity to guitar chords that is commonly found in jazz, blues, and other musical forms.

Many guitar songs also use 7th chords to transition between verse and chorus, giving that “hanging” feeling like you’re waiting for the next section to start.

Let’s take a look at some songs that showcase what 7th chords can do.

Steve Miller Band – The Joker (G, C, D, D7)

This song is a slow, chilled-out song that sounds great on an acoustic guitar. It’s another one of those pop songs that is great for practicing singing and playing guitar simultaneously.

This song introduces the D7 chord, which is very commonly used in many easy guitar songs. And it’s a fantastic example of how adding a 7th can work as a transition between sections. 

The shape of the D7 chord is very similar to the D chord, but with your fingers in a slightly different position. However, switching between D7 and other chords can be a little tricky for beginners, so it may take some time to master it.

Click here for the full chords.

The Beatles – Get Back (A, G, D, A7)

In this song, you will learn how to play an A7. This chord is very common among songs from this era, and adds a bluesy flair to the jangly rock of the ‘60s.

One of the reasons learning an A7 is essential for a beginner guitarist is that it helps correct a frequent error that new players have. 

When playing an A chord, it’s best to use your index, middle, and ring finger to fret the D, G, and B strings. But many new players just press their index finger over all three strings instead. You can certainly sound an A chord with this method, but relying on this fingering will hinder you when you begin learning more complex guitar chords. 

Since the A7 chord is the same shape as an A with the G string open instead of fretted, it encourages you to play A major correctly. It’s much easier to switch from A to A7 when using the proper fingering.

This song transitions between an A and A7 quite frequently, so you will get plenty of practice for this standard chord change, which will help out a whole lot as your acoustic guitar playing progresses.

Click here for the full chords.

Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues (E, E7, A7, B7)

Look at all those 7th chords! “Folsom Prison Blues” is a prime example of how 7th chords can create a feeling of momentum in a piece of music. Combine that with the shuffle beat of all the classic Johnny Cash tunes, and the train metaphor in this song becomes almost literal.

You’ll see the change between E and E7 quite a lot in bluesy music, and this is another example of using a 7th chord to drive a transition within a song.

The other interesting chord this song uses is B7. Since B is a barre chord, it’s very difficult for beginners to play. B7 allows you to play a variation of a B chord without a barre, and it’s also very common in the blues. Although B7 incorporates 4 fretting fingers, if you’re used to playing an A major chord it shouldn’t be a huge stretch to master B7.

Click here for the full chords.

Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs with the F Chord

The F chord can be a menace to beginning guitar players. It’s very prevalent in popular music and common chord progressions, but it requires barring at least two fingers. Because of the difficulty of learning it, some aspiring guitarists give up when confronted with the F chord.

But, there are some ways around this. 

The easiest way to incorporate a version of F into easy guitar songs is to play Fmaj7 instead. This chord uses just three fingers, on the D, G, and B strings. This is a very common way for beginners to play F. But, you will need to avoid strumming the bottom E and A strings, which can be a little tricky.

Fmaj7 guitar chord

This Fmaj7 chord shape is very similar to the C shape, so it should come naturally in an Am, F, C, G progression, like in “Save Tonight” that we discussed earlier.

Speaking of the C shape, another way to play an F is to make the C shape and press your pinky on the third fret of the D string. This shape almost creates the full barre chord, but you’ll need to miss the top and bottom strings to stay in key.

F guitar chord no barre

The last simplified way to play an F chord is to play a partial barre of just the top two strings. This way makes it a little easier for your strumming hand as you only have to avoid the top strings, but it’s more awkward for your fretting hand. This is a very common way for beginners to learn the F chord and barring strings, but it can be difficult because it does require a barre.

F guitar chord simplified barre

The main problem beginners encounter with playing an F using these methods is the right-hand technique. 

In order to play these chords correctly, you will need to avoid hitting certain strings while you strum. Intentionally not playing strings can be tough at first, but it’s also a skill you will need to master, and it’s easier than learning full barre chords.

Here are a few easy guitar songs that allow you to practice an F chord.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Otherside (Am, F, C, G, Em, A)

As we’ve said, the Am, F, C, G progression with the more accessible versions of the F chord is one of the most natural progressions to play. 

This song sounds great with single strums, allowing you to master the transitions and build up speed as you go.

Be careful of the tricky switches between Am and A in this song. It can be a little confusing.

Click here for the full chords.

The Lumineers – Ho Hey (C, F, Am, G)

This song uses a different order for those same related chords, and it also uses a strumming pattern that you should be familiar with. 

Working on your transitions between familiar chords in different orders will make you a better guitarist. So, “Ho Hey” allows you to get a grasp of transitioning through your F chord more easily.

It’s also a great song to sing along with your family or friends once you get it down pat.

Click here for the full chords.

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (Am, C, D, F, E)

Now that you have mastered the rounded chord progressions, it’s time to throw a wrench in the works. This classic by the Animals is a great song for practicing a variety of guitar chords, and for working on full chord changes.

As “House of the Rising Sun” has a D chord and an E chord, you’ll have to remove your whole hand from the fretboard to change chords. As a result, his song is more complicated than the first two, and it might be a good idea to start with the others first.

This song also introduces playing arpeggios – plucking each individual note in a chord individually – although you can always just strum the chords while you’re building your skills.

Click here for the full chords.

Johnny Cash – Hurt (Am, C, D, G, F)

Initially a Nine Inch Nails song the Johnny Cash covered, “Hurt” steps away from the traditional country tones of his previous songs.

The timing in this song can be a little tricky, especially if you’re trying to sing at the same time. Make sure you practice with a metronome and try out single strums first.

Beginners can master the picking in this song with a little practice. It will also help you adapt to skipping the correct strings, so it’s definitely worth spending time on – especially to master those F transitions.

Click here for the full chords.

Mega Song List (with guitar chords, tab, and video lessons)

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about the author
Gerrick Cass
Gerrick is nuts about all things guitar. From acoustic to electric, fingerstyle to metal, he's played it all, and can show you how to play it too. When he doesn't have a guitar in his hands, he spends his time writing, teaching, and hiking with his dog.