Here’s our second volume of beginner guitar songs. These are easy guitar songs that you should be able to pick up even if you don’t have a lot of experience playing guitar. I’m assuming here that you’ve picked up some guitar basics. For these songs you’ll need to know at least the basic open guitar chords. You’ll also need to know your barre chord shapes as well. There are, of course, easy guitar songs out there that only use open chords, but at some point you need to venture further. You can’t get by with just five chords after all!
In this volume of beginner guitar songs, I’ve found some great beginner/easy guitar songs that aren’t too heavy on the barre chords. These songs use barre chords but I’ve looked for songs without weird or difficult changes.
Have fun with these, take it slow, and you’ll be strumming away in no time.
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Whether you know this song from Nirvana’s first album, Bleach, or you’re more of a fan of the Unplugged In New York version, this is a great song.
Assuming you’re a newbie to the guitar, you may initially be taken aback my the three barre chords in there during the chorus, including what looks to be a tough change from the C# to a G#. My suggestion would be to play the C# chord as an E shape on the 9th fret. This allows you to easily slide down to the G# on the 4th fret then the F# on the 2nd. I’ve watched a few videos of this song and it doesn’t look like Kurt is playing on the 9th fret, but it also almost doesn’t look like he’s playing the C# at all! As you get more comfortable with barres though, change it up and play the C# in the A shape on the 4th fret.
This song is a lot of fun to play and works pretty well on a variety of speeds. This means that even when you’re still learning it and going slowly, you’ll still sound pretty good.
Going from the F# to the Bm chords (both barre chords) shouldn’t be too difficult. You’re playing a very similar shape just on different strings. This change isn’t terribly uncommon either, so it’s good to get used to it!
And just a tip, the chords linked are calling for a A/G#; you’re fine to play an A here.
The Animals version of House Of The Rising Sun seems to be the standard these days, but this song has been played by about a million artists. The chords here are pretty standard and mostly open, except for the F chord that appears after the D. It shouldn’t be too hard a change. Nor is going from the F to the Am directly after.
You’ll encounter the F chord a lot, and, while it’s an easy chord once you get used to it, it’s a chord that gets a lot of new guitarists to give up the guitar. Push through it!
Learning To Fly By Tom Petty
Learning To Fly by Tom Petty uses an F chord, however all the other chords you’ll find in this song are open. The barre F chord is an important one to master because it’s quite common in songs where most of the other chords are open.
Thankfully, most of the chord changes in this song are quite easy. The F chord changes to a C, which is a relatively simple change. The C change to an Am is also pretty easy. The only challenges are changing from the Am to the G then the G to the F. But practice and you’ll get there!
Once you get the changes down, concentrate on the rhythm of the changes here. It not just straight strumming, and you can’t get a good affect going but hitting the changes properly.
Let It Be By The Beatles
This is more of a piano tune, but it sounds great on guitar and it’s easy to play, despite the couple of barre chords. All these chords you should be familiar with by now, including that pesky F.
The other challenge of this song is the fast chord change of F, C, Dm, C. Practice and you’ll get there.
The final tip on this song is that you’ll see a lot of chord variations like Am/G, Fmaj7, F6, etc. If you know these chords, go for it. If you don’t know these chords, just play the basic chord and you’ll still sound fine.
No Woman, No Cry is one of those fun but easy camp fire songs that everyone can sing along with. Because of that, it’s a great one to have in your repertoire! There’s only one barre chord in this song, an F. If you’ve taken a look at any of the other easy guitar songs on this list, you’ll notice that the F is quite common! So get used to it. Once you conquer and become 100% comfortable with the F chord, you’ll be able to play all sorts of other chords all across the guitar. So No, Woman No Cry is just one of many easy songs on guitar that will really help open the door to so many other songs.
Kurt Cobain seems to like playing barre A shapes in a lot of his songs. I suppose he’s often playing power chords, so it’s less about the A shape and more about the power chords. Personally, I find this shape a little tricky, but that’s a good reason to practice it more!
Polly features a Bb, but it’s not too nasty since it’s coming after a G; it’s not that big a shift. If you’re having trouble, you may have better luck if you play the G as a barre on the 3rd fret in the E shape, then it’s less of a different shape for your hand.
Other than that, pay special attention to the chorus. This is a fun chorus because there’s a strum of one chord, then it changes to another chord for the singing.
Surprisingly, Summer Of ’69 works really well both on the acoustic and the electric. While it’s a song with a big build that feels like a bit of an anthem, it works just as well played on an acoustic guitar by the campfire. This makes it a great song for people just learning guitar barre chords. It’s an easy song on guitar, but it’s not without its challenges.
In Summer Of ’69, you’ll come across the open guitar chords you’re familiar with, as well as a Bm, and F, and a Bb. The Bb may the tricky one, and thankfully it only occurs in the bridge. Practice the bridge slowly and you’ll nail it. If you can do it, it should make life easier with a myriad of other songs on guitar.
Most people know What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes, and the chorus will get people singing along. The barre chord being introduced here is the Bm. All you need to do is play an Am shape barre chord on the second fret. It’s that easy. There’s also a chord diagram on the music linked below.
You’ll also notice in the chord sheet linked that the song has an Asus2 and an Asus4 in there. These chords are just short for an A suspend 2nd and an A suspended 4th; basically you’re replacing the 3rd with a 2nd or a 4th respectively. Give it a go, but if you’re having trouble, use this song to practice your Bm and just play an A instead of the suspended variations.
Wild Horse By The Rolling Stones
Having a little bit of Rolling Stones in your repertoire is always a good thing, so why not learn Wild Horses? This song uses a Bm and an F as a barre, both pretty common chords that you should get used to. You’ll also notice that it uses an Am7 and an F/C. For these you’re fine to just play a normal Am and a normal F chord if you don’t know these chords yet. But feel free to practice the new chord shapes, it’s good for you!
There’s some easy guitar songs that start to introduce barre chords a little bit here and there. Yes, some of these songs also include chord variations that you may not be familiar with. That’s OK. Just play the basic version of the chord. Get to know the song, get good at it. Then, when you’re ready, you can start to learn the chord variations and use these songs again to practice your new skill.