Easy Guitar Lessons

What’s an easy song to play on a guitar?

In my book – playing “easy” songs involves a small set of open chords, mostly strumming with the right hand, and maybe some basic single note melodies or fingerpicking. If you’re looking for barre chords, funky rhythms, solos, improvisation, or anything more complex than the songs you see here, check out Intermediate Guitar Lessons or Advanced Guitar Lessons.

These songs have been hand-picked from every song I’ve ever learned, that fit my description of “easy”.

Consider these songs your very first steps on the guitar. They’ll get you having fun playing actual songs you know. This is an important stage of your musical journey, where you’ll begin to build your basic skill sets and create lasting memories of the time you put in practicing. This will come in handy later on as you enter the “Intermediate” phase. You may feel your progress begin to plateau, and thinking back to how much fun you had learning new songs as an absolute beginner will encourage you to keep playing and practicing new songs and musical ideas. Like I said – it’s a journey, not a destination. There’s always a new song to learn for yourself, to perform, share, and teach to others.

So go slowly, and start to absorb the common chord shapes and sequences from each song. Start to pick out patterns and similarities, and see if you can start to learn an easy song by ear.

But most of all – have fun – and commit each song to memory so you’ll rely on your ear, rather than the charts. They are here as a guide to get you started, but you should aim to be the vessel through which music flows, rather than the record player that has to rely on the record to play the music. Each new song you memorize is a new shiny arrow in your quiver – a tool of expression you now own, that no one can take away.

Now I’ll shut up so you can get practicing!

About A Girl – Nirvana
After Midnight – JJ Cale
Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers
All I Wanna Do – Sheryl Crow
Amazing Grace – John Newton
Baby Hold On – Eddie Money
Banks Of The Ohio – Monroe Brothers
Blue Eyes Cryin’ In The Rain – Willie Nelson
Blue Moon – Elvis Presley
Boxer, The – Simon & Garfunkel
Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
Calico Pie – Natalie Merchant
California Stars – Wilco
Can’t You See – Marshall Tucker Band
Clyde – JJ Cale
Cold Cold Heart – Hank Williams
Creep – Radiohead
Cupid – Sam Cooke
Dead Flowers – Rolling Stones, The
Dear Mr. Fantasy – Traffic
Devil Went Down To Georgia, The – Charlie Daniels Band
Don’t Stop – Fleetwood Mac
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright – Bob Dylan
Down By The River – Neil Young
Down On The Corner – Credence Clearwater Revival
Dropkick Me Jesus – Bobby Bare
Feel Like Making Love – Bad Company
Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
Fortunate Son – Credence Clearwater Revival
Free Falling – Tom Petty
Froggy Went A Courtin’ – Bruce Springsteen
Gambler, The – Kenny Rogers
Good Old Mountain Dew – Grandpa Jones
Goodnight Irene – Leadbelly
Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
Happy Birthday – Traditional
Hard Times Come Again No More – Stephen Foster
Harlem River Blues – Justin Townes Earle
Have You Ever Seen The Rain – Credence Clearwater Revival
Heart Of Gold – Neil Young
Helpless – Neil Young
Hey Good Lookin’ – Hank Williams
Hey Jude – Beatles, The
Hey Soul Sister – Train
Hey Ya – Outkast
High And Dry – Radiohead
Ho Hey – Lumineers, The
House Of The Rising Sun – Animals, The
Hunger Strike – Temple Of The Dog
Hurt – Johnny Cash
I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty
I’m Set Free – Velvet Underground, The
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
If I Had A Hammer – Peter, Paul & Mary
If Not For You – Bob Dylan
It’s All Over Now Baby Blue – Bob Dylan
Jolene – Dolly Parton
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan
Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
Last Dance With Mary Jane – Tom Petty
Let It Be – Beatles, The
Let It Rain – Eric Clapton
Like A Stone – Audioslave
Long Black Veil – Johnny Cash
Long Journey Home – Stanley Brothers
Losing My Religion – REM
Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley
Mad World – Tears For Fears
Mercedes Benz – Janis Joplin
No Woman, No Cry – Bob Marley
Nowhere Man – Beatles, The
Oh Sweet Nuthin’ – Velvet Underground, The
Red Headed Stranger – Willie Nelson
Shaving Cream Song, The – Benny Bell
Shooting Star – Bad Company
Star Spangled Banner, The – Francis Scott Key
Stuck In The Middle – Steelers Wheel
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – Spiritual
Take It Easy – Jackson Browne
This Land Is Your Land – Woody Guthrie
Tulsa Time – Eric Clapton
Up On Cripple Creek – Band, The
Vampire Blues – Neil Young
Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show
Wayfaring Stranger – Neko Case
What’s Up – Four Non-Blondes
When Rita Leaves – Delbert McClinton
When The Saints Go Marching In – Louis Armstrong
Where Did You Sleep Last Night – Nirvana / Leadbelly
Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin
Wild World – Cat Stevens
Wildwood Flower – Carter Family
Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
Wonderwall – Oasis
You Ain’t Woman Enough – Loretta Lynn
You Are My Sunshine – Pine Ridge Boys
You Belong To Me – Taylor Swift
You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me – Temptations, The

Nice work! Now move on to Intermediate Guitar Lessons.