25 Comments

  1. Mark
    Dec 09, 2012 @ 17:35:26

    Knocking on Heaven’s Door and Wild Thing are good beginner chord songs. Electric Funeral, Mission Impossible are good tab songs.

    Reply

  2. Paul Hackett
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 08:58:50

    “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” could have easily made this list. We’ve looked at that song briefly in Leading Questions and again in Tricks of the Trade. Those lessons are mainly about creating guitar solos; but it’s a great song for strumming. It’s a lot easier, and far more rewarding, to learn something you can play all the way through. Learning a riff and not being able to play the whole song is a bit of a let down, for both the player and listener.

    I saw another website listing “All Right Now” by Free as one of the all time easiest rock songs to learn. It only has two chords, A and D, but they’re not regular shaped A and D chords. There’s a lot more to playing “All Right Now” than cranking up the amp and hammering the chords. I’d say it’s a fairly tricky song for beginners. The songs on our list you should be able to play all the way through.

    Reply

  3. corey
    Jan 13, 2013 @ 12:50:02

    Lead belly has a bunch of songs good for a beginner who is literally a beginner up to more intermediate stuff. Good for those interested in rock blues or possibly even country/bluegrass. Where did you sleep last night and house of the rising sun come from him.

    Reply

  4. Jack
    Jan 22, 2013 @ 02:08:28

    I simply can’t understand this guitar teacher’s obsession with Horse with no name. It’s ng, realls love it, but it’s also played with a touch of swing time, and that’s the very last thing on earth you want a complete beginner to get into. In the beginning, it might be better to concentrate on slow songs with a standard 4/4 rhythm, so the learners can the idea of rhythm down before branching out into stuff like that.

    A

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Sep 16, 2013 @ 10:16:14

      What other classic piece of guitar material can be played entirely at the second fret ( with 4 chords if you want to, is a lilting and musical tune with great lyrics? Makes my list any day.

      Reply

  5. Bobby Kittleberger
    Mar 22, 2013 @ 12:31:29

    I would add Smells Like Teen Spirit (even though I hate that song) oddly enough, Korn’s cover of Word Up.

    Reply

  6. john ferrelli
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 16:42:13

    need lots of help hope use can help and im hurting for money and just hade major surgery music helps me so much!

    Reply

  7. ZOT Zin Music
    May 03, 2013 @ 05:05:27

    Hello Paul,

    Great informative blog! I am always on the look out as a guitar teacher, for songs that my beginning students can learn in no time. This is really a great blog and it is showing you’re a great instructor.

    Wonderful Job! Waiting for your new blog!

    Reply

  8. Colin
    Aug 25, 2013 @ 04:00:02

    A great blog and some interesting examples of songs for beginners like myself. I have tried “Horse with No Name” and even this seems difficult to me. I have been playing for about 3 weeks, and the most difficult aspect for me is changing chords. The initial chord learning seems to be going ok but changing from one chord to the next is proving a real challenge!

    Reply

  9. Colin
    Aug 26, 2013 @ 16:48:35

    Hey guys, I’m getting it! Just managed to change between an E Major and an A chord smoothly and it sounded pretty good. I can now also play the opening riff to “Satisfaction” – yes I know it’s easy but I’m playing music!

    A question: I’m currently practicing about 30 minutes a day and a friend says I need to practice at least an hour every day. I’m reluctant to change since I feel that I am making progress. The key for me is to actually make something that actually sounds like a song. For me, it’s this that gives me pleasure.

    Reply

  10. jay
    Sep 28, 2013 @ 07:35:03

    Thanks for the songs to try and learn i’ve only been playing a few weeks these should keep me busy for the next few days.

    Reply

  11. Sam E
    Nov 30, 2013 @ 22:41:00

    What about ‘Smoke On The Water’ ??????

    Reply

    • Paul Hackett
      Dec 01, 2013 @ 00:17:39

      “Smoke on the Water” is a popular riff. But it’s not a song beginners can learn to play all the way through. Five minutes of a riff does not a song make. I think beginners should stick with learning complete songs. It’s especially important since beginners are almost certainly learning to play without a backing band.

      That’s not to say “Smoke on the Water” shouldn’t remain at the top of popular riff lists.

      Reply

  12. Sam E
    Dec 01, 2013 @ 00:52:27

    what about ‘Come As You Are’ ??????

    Reply

    • Paul Hackett
      Dec 01, 2013 @ 02:12:16

      Same as above. How about leaving a useful comment instead yelling out “Play Free Bird!”
      We love to see discussion on our blog, but disingenuous attempts to get links to your site won’t last long, nor endear us to your brand. Want to try again, Sam E?

      Reply

      • Matt
        Jul 29, 2014 @ 04:44:33

        Wow dude don’t be a dick. It was an honest question

      • Paul Hackett
        Jul 29, 2014 @ 06:41:32

        Perhaps. But the original comment also linked to a music sales website. Every day hundreds of people try to add links to other sites here. With short comments it’s hard to know if the person is asking an honest question or just trying to get their link posted. Maybe I was having a bad day.

  13. tom
    Dec 04, 2013 @ 05:23:42

    Margarittaville by Jimmy Buffet was the first song I ever played on the guitar.

    Reply

  14. Chris
    Jan 02, 2014 @ 07:41:30

    Great list though quite surpised some Beatles songs like “all you need is love” isn’t in the list.

    Reply

  15. Dennis Fraser
    Jan 06, 2014 @ 07:15:36

    Gary Jules’ version of Mad World is pretty easy to learn on acoustic guitar as well as Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah. Two of my favourite songs. It always helps to learn a song you love. It’s great encouragement for the beginner and makes giving up a bit less likely.

    Reply

  16. Victor
    May 30, 2014 @ 07:12:59

    Awesome list. I already know 4 of these tracks. I think I should start on horse with no name. I love that song

    Reply

  17. Richie
    Aug 03, 2014 @ 11:13:40

    The first song I ever learned on guitar was “One” by Metallica. I was determined and I did it. Thats all you need, determination. It will help you play any song you want

    Reply

  18. Krystle
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 12:36:47

    What some more easy songs with a female vocal?

    Reply

  19. Sean Caron
    Sep 22, 2014 @ 08:14:51

    One of the songs that I teach beginners is Hendrix’s version of All Along The Watchtower. Simple 3 chord progression using moveable bar chords. I always start beginners with 6th string root bar chords first because those shapes move. It aids in getting the student comfortable with all of the notes and in memorizing the fretted notes.

    Reply

  20. Aidan
    Oct 19, 2014 @ 03:53:14

    try yellow by coldplay and if you like anime try pokemon jhoto journeys theme song as well. If you want something a bit pinoy (philippine) and you want to level-up your skills you might want to learn Noipi by bamboo. My advice, just try and try until you go pro. Play your favorite songs even how hard they are and dont recognize what others say, be it good or bad. There is always room for improvement

    Reply

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