If you’re learning how to play guitar, there’s nothing more satisfying than learning songs.
But watch out.
If you try tunes that are too hard, you’ll get frustrated and give up before you’ve barely started.
Start with easy songs. The ones with two, three or maximum four chords are the best.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Breakfast at Tiffanys – Deep Blue Something
- Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Stand By Me – Ben E. King
- The Joker – The Steve Miller Band
- Horse With No Name – America
- Get Lucky – Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
- Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
- Pompeii – Bastille
- Knockin’ on Heavens Door – Bob Dylan
Breakfast at Tiffanys – Deep Blue Something
We’re going to start with a simple three-chord song called Breakfast at Tiffanys. The great thing about this one is you play the same three chords for the verse, then just switch the order for the chorus, making is super easy to play.
Have a quick listen to familiarise yourself with it.
So the verse goes like this, D – G – A:
When you get to the chorus, just switch the final two chords, D – G – A:
That was easy wasn’t it!
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Next, we’re going to introduce a new chord, the C.
First, take a listen:
Here’s how you play it:
Stand By Me – Ben E. King
Here’s another classic using a simple four-chord progression. Check out this INCREDIBLE version:
To play it, just hit these four chords and you’re good:
The Joker – The Steve Miller Band
Another super simple on from the Steve Miller band, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hadn’t heard this song already.
The verse goes like this:
Then the chorus is the same chords, in a slightly different order:
Horse With No Name – America
Three chords too much for you, how about two? The chart-topper Horse With No Name is as simple as it gets.
Here’s how it sounds:
Here’s how you play it – you can’t get easier than this:
Get Lucky – Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
Let’s get our funk on with this modern classic, Get Lucky.
Here’s the progression:
Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
Staying with modern stuff, here’s another super straight-forward tune.
Pompeii – Bastille
Here’s one from UK indie rockers Bastille. Take a quick listen:
You can play this in open tuning, but it’s better with a capo at the 2nd fret. If you’re not sure what a capo is, or you want to buy a capo, check out our review.
Play all four chords throughout the entire song. Easy!
Knockin’ on Heavens Door – Bob Dylan
Another simple song that any beginner guitarist ought to know is Bob Dylans Knockin’ on Heavens Door. You may be more familiar with Guns & Roses version. Either way, it’s the same song.
It goes G – D – A minor, the G – D again, but add a C instead of the A minor.
Ged is Founder and Editor-in-chief at Zing Instruments. He’s a guitarist for London based gypsy jazz band ‘Django Mango’ and a lover of all things music. When he’s not ripping up and down the fretboard, he’s tinkering with his ’79 Campervan.