Learning to play the guitar at any age can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. The best way to truly learn and get better at the basics is to find some great songs that are accessible for beginners.
By learning these easy beginner guitar songs, you will be able to gain an understanding of notes, move on to easy guitar chords, and be better equipped to take this gained knowledge to take on chord progressions.
Before you begin playing, you’ll need to learn more about the fantastic and fun to play an instrument that is the guitar. Trying to figure out where to place your fingers at any given time can quickly become stressful.
Just watching a veteran guitarist move their fingers in such swift and concise movements and configurations can be enough to make you swear off learning altogether.
No need to worry about closing up shop before you even get started. You will be shredding on the guitar just like your favorite artists in no time! But first, you need to learn the basics.
How to Play Guitar Songs
Memorizing the notes produced by the six strings of the guitar in an open-play format will be the first necessary step to set you up with a successful foundation.
To play open means to strum a string without holding down any of the frets on the neck of the guitar that will alter the sound produced. Playing open will allow you to hear the true notes of each of the strings.
While holding the guitar, take a look at the strings from the top string down to the bottom string. From top to bottom, these strings represent the notes E-A-D-G-B-E respectfully. An easy way to remember this is by memorizing the mnemonic device “Elephants and Donkeys Grow Big Ears.”
By picking these strings separately, you are playing their corresponding notes in their purest form.
5 Easy Beginner Guitar Songs You Should Try Playing
1. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door is one of the most popular and easy guitar songs. It is simplistic and slow — perfect for those learning how to play the guitar.
This song consists of just four chords, G, D, A Minor and C. Both the verses and chorus consist of all four chords in the same pattern. The chord pattern is G, D, A Minor, G, D, C. These chords are played throughout the entire song with a slow up and down strumming pattern.
This is one of the easiest acoustic guitar songs for beginners.
The song can be played on either an electric or acoustic guitar, however, acoustic does sound much better.
2. Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People
Pumped Up Kicks is similar to Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door because it also only utilizes four chords. The chords progression is slow, allowing for an easy transition for those just learning to play the guitar.
The four chords of the song are E Minor, G, D, and A. The entire song is comprised of that exact pattern, making it one of the best beginner guitar songs.
This song can be played on either an electric or acoustic guitar. Electric guitar is more fitting for its poppy genre.
3. Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Bad Moon Rising is one of those generic guitar songs with beginners chords. The entire song just consists of three chords, D, A, and G — perhaps the simplest chords to play on a guitar.
The chord progression does change throughout the song. The transitions between the chords on this specific song can be tricky, but with some practice, it is very easy to master.
Electric guitar is best used for this song. Using a little distortion will make you sound like a true rockstar.
4. Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple
This song is popular amongst beginners because it can be played with single notes on the low E string. The song’s easy guitar tabs can help the most novice guitarist understand how to read and play tabs.
For those who are unfamiliar with tabs, they are a visual of the notes played in a song. On a tab are 6 horizontal lines that represent a guitar’s strings. The bottom line is the low E string and the top line is the high E string.
Numbers will be placed on a specific line indicating which fret should be used and which string should be picked. Tabs are easy to understand after a little practice. Smoke on the Water is an easy beginner song that will help you understand tabs.
Electric guitar with distortion is most appropriate for Smoke on the Water.
5. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) is a popular song for beginners. It is an easy acoustic guitar song that can also be classified as one of the easiest rock guitar songs given Green Day’s rock genre.
The song consists of five chords— G, CADD9, D, C, and E Minor. All of the chords are fairly simple to play for even those just beginning.
For those unfamiliar with CADD9, don’t worry, it’s much easier to play than the name suggests.
To play it, place your middle finger on the 3rd fret of the A string. Next, place your pointer finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. Lastly, place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the B string. Strum each string except for the low E.
CADD9 is not used much in the song, but it is necessary to know if you want to play the song correctly.
Five chords might seem like a lot for a beginner but the transitions are slow enough to be easily learned.
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) Sounds beautiful on an acoustic guitar.
These Easy Beginner Guitar Songs Will Help Transform Your Playing
Most beginner guitarists try to pick up a guitar and play tough songs right away. They get discouraged and give up. With the proper building blocks and knowledge of guitar basics, you can play these songs like a pro after practicing.
It will probably take a few tries to get the basics of a song down. Start slow, learn the song in separate parts to help the memorization process.
How would you like to further your guitar skills?
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