Guitar Songs for Beginners

When people see a guitar lying around what’s the first thing they’re going to say?

Exactly. What songs can you play?

That’s why I created this list of guitar songs for beginners, so you can have a reply ready.

Whether you have an acoustic or electric you’ll find the chords easy to change between and they’re forgiving enough that people will actually know what you’re trying to play.

Top 5 Guitar Songs for Beginners

With that in mind, tune up your guitar, brush up on your guitar chords and get into it.

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
Bob Dylan, ’73

This classic song has been covered many times by many different artists. It contains just 4 chords, G, D, Am and C and follows the same 4 bar pattern throughout the song.

The challenge is to add passion and feeling to the song so that it doesn’t come across as a boring repetition of chords. Be sure to vary the dynamics of the song to maintain the listener’s interest.

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

2. Time of your Life ( Good Riddance )
Green Day, ’97

One of Green Day’s biggest hits is another 4 chord song, just another one of the easy guitar songs for beginners. The one chord you might not be familiar with is the Cadd9 chord. To play this chord, play the G chord that comes before it and as to move to Cadd9, simply move your first and second fingers up one string each so that your first finger is playing the C on the fifth string and your second finger is playing the E on string 4.

When you’re used to the chord progression, you can try the single note arpeggios on each chord. While holding the chord position with your left hand, pick the root note followed by a single note on the first, second and third string in time with the song. Then move to the next chord and repeat.

The chord progression is here

and here’s a live video of the song

Free Fallin’
Tom Petty, ’89

This great Tom Petty song is one of the easiest hit songs you’ll find. The song simply repeats the D, Dsus4 and Asus4 chords. The focus of the song is the story being told by the vocals. Again, adding dynamic variation to the song is the key to keeping things interesting.

Chords and lyrics here

hear it here

Everybody Hurts
R.E.M, ’93

This song is one of my all time favourites. The chord progression is fairly simple. You can either play the arpeggiated notes of each chord or simply strum the full chord. The only difficult part comes in the bridge, with the F# and Bm barre chords, but at least the transition between those two chords is simple. From the F# chord, move your second third and fourth fingers up one string and presto, you have a B minor chord.

Lyrics and chords are here

and you can hear the song

House of the Rising Sun
The Animals, ’64

This song is a bit tougher, but not too bad. Again, you can simply strum the chords if you like, rather than playing the arpeggios. It follows the same chord pattern throughout the song. It’s written in A minor, which gives it that sombre, desolate feel.

The chords are here

and you can listen to the song here

So there you have it, 5 songs to get you started and have you sounding like a rock star in no time. Your friends will be impressed. Especially since you won’t have to play Twinkle twinkle little star.


  • shashank said:on 13 May, 2012

    thanks for the start dude. i was searching on the net and finally i got the songs.
    thanks once again and this is the amazing site for the beginners like me.

    Respond to this comment

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