Easy Guitar Songs to Play for Beginners


These songs are supposed to be played with the clean electric or acoustic guitar.

If you wanna learn easy rock and metal songs with distorted electric guitar sound click here →

The good news is that being able to play ten-fifteen open position chords and a number of finger picking or strumming patterns allows you to perform rearranged versions of very many rock and pop songs. The songs that 'by default' use only open chords do not need to be rearranged of course.

Check out the list of easy songs to play right below:

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Zombie - The Cranberries

It's indeed a very very easy song for beginners. Only four chords: Em - C - G - D/F# are used throughout the whole vocal and almost all instrumental line. The D/F# chord is the D major chord with the F note used as its bass, here is a simplified version of it played using only four strings:

Somewhere in the instrumental part only two: the Em and C chord are repeated several times. The strumming is really slow in this composition.

Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynard

A 3 chord song: D - C - G

To get straight to the chords follow the link above that opens a new window, scroll down through the guitar tab there, and you'll see the chords along the lyrics.

Hot - Avril Lavigne

Note that in the chorus, the chords are switched at the end of each text line.

Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana

The original song was recorded in a key that requires to use bar chords. Here is a transposed and a little modified version of this song, consisting only of easy to play open chords.

Teardrops On My Guitar - Taylor Swift

A couple of slow downward strums per chord goes well with this tune, this helps to mitigate too much focus on the strumming hand while working out the smooth chord changing.

For more interesting sounding, you can substitute the G - Em - C - D chords with the slightly modified ones:

G : 320033
Em7 : 022030
Cadd9 : X32030
D : XX0232

If you prefer to use arpeggiato instead of strumming, here is a pretty good guitar tablature for this tune.

Horse With No Name - America

One of the easiest song to play, the verse and the chorus are played just with the two different chords for each part:

Em ------ 
D6/9 ------
Em9 ------
Dmaj9 ------

Here is a very good video lesson that includes an explanation on how to strum shuffle rhythm that is better suited here.

Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Poison

The first time, playing this song might seem not as quite straightforward as the chord layout looks, for example in the verse, the 3rd line contains 4 chords, when other lines contain only 2, that's why the duration of each chord on the 3rd line is 1/2 of a chord from another line.

Time diagram of the verse:

1st line: G  -   -   -   Cadd9  -   -   -   |
2nd line: G  -   -   -   Cadd9  -   -   -   |
3rd line: G  -  Cadd9  -   G  -  Cadd9  -   |
4th line: D  -   -   -   - C    -   -   -   |

Just listen to the song for some time, it's really a snap to get used to the changes.

Numb - Linkin Park (acoustic version)

The provided page contains one bar chord: the B chord in the bridge. But you can replace it with the B5 power chord - X244XX. This one does not require barre and integrates nicely into the composition.

Click here for the fingerstyle version of this song. It erroneously seems from the provided tab that each note lasts the same amount of time, but to make it sound right, play the note in the beginning of each bar twice longer than the rest of notes.
Listen it:

Here goes the missing intro:

Hey there Delilah - Plain White T's

When played with the strumming, this song uses a couple of bar chords: Bm and F#m, but if you use the fingerstyle technique, as in the provided tab, you won't play chords, only simple fingerstyle pattern that requires maximum of two strings to be pressed simultaneously. Here's the lyrics for the song.

Animal Instinct - The Cranberries

This song has the C9 chord that has some jazzy feel to it and is less frequently used in rock and pop music. It can also be conveniently played as an open-position chord:

C9 : 032030

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Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

Slow strumming makes this song really easy to play.

If you feel like you are up to playing it with slightly more complicated chords but at the same time making your accompaniment sound more interesting, here is another version for you:


@ Easy Guitar Songs for Beginners
Clocks - Coldplay

Except in the bridge, there are only three chords that repeat throughout the whole theme. The chord progression feels slightly "unequal" comparing to the other songs though:

D - Am x2 - Em

It took me some time to get used to playing the Am chord twice in the middle of it.

Free Fallin' - Tom Petty

Another song where only three open-position chords are being used - D, G, and Asus4.

It is a very simple song, the same sequience of chords continues over and over, albeight switching between the chords in the middle of the riff (G to D to Asus4 chord) is a bit fast for a complete beginner.

Lost - Coldplay

You might substitute the G chord in the intro and the verse with G/E. It is the same G major chord, only with the bass of E note:


This way it sounds more suitable.

The progression for the intro/verse then would be:

Em7 - C - G/E - D

In the second part of the song there is an instrumental line that is repeated 4 times (Em7 - C - D - Bm).

The Bm chord, when played normally, is a bar chord. What you could do to make it easier to play is to replace it with a simplified version that has the D as its bass note, so it becomes the Bm/D chord, which requires only four strings to play but still sound well there, here it is:

Wasting Love - Iron Maiden

This song is built upon a very beautiful (finger)picking formation. If you have a chorus guitar effect, add it to the clean sound, along with a reverb or delay, it will make magic.

In the chorus, instead of the chords provided on the lined page (Em - C - D - G·Fm), you can use the following power chords (as in the original recording) playing them either with the fingerpicking or plectrum. Power chords much easier to play:

     E5        C5        D5        G5   F#5 

Follow this link to see 4 additional beginners songs, contributed by a visitor.

If you know any other easy guitar song(s) for beginners that you think would be nice to place on this page please contact me
via the contact form.

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This article was last updated on February 02, 2024