If you’re learning how to play guitar, there’s nothing more satisfying than learning a song.
Whether you’re gorging on free YouTube tutorials, or subscribed to one of the best online guitar schools, the first couple of songs you learn will stay with you for the rest of your life.
The secret is to start with easy songs. Ones with two, three, or a maximum of four chords are the best.
In this article, we share our favorites. For each song, we’ve included a video of the original song so you can hear how it’s supposed to sound, along with a simplified guitar chords chart. By the time you’re done, you should have added a couple more songs to your collection.
Table of Contents
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s – 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 Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something
We’re going to start with a simple three-chord song called Breakfast at Tiffany’s. 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 it 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
Sweet Home Alabama is one of the best songs about home ever recorded, so popular in fact that the State of Alabama uses the phrase ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ as the official slogan on car license plates!
You’ll see it uses the C chord. First, give it 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.
This list should give you plenty to work on 🙂
If you’re wondering how to solo over one of these tracks but not sure what key it’s in, check out our song key finder tool which will help you identify the key it’s in.