Playing the guitar is a great form of self-expression and provides an outlet for creativity. It’s also a great way to relax and have fun. Whether you’re a beginner who’s just starting out, or an experienced guitarist looking to brush up on your skills, this guide will provide you with some of the simplest and most enjoyable acoustic guitar songs for beginners.
We’ve put together 85 tunes from old-time classics to modern chart-toppers that are sure to get your fingers moving. From easy fingerpicking numbers like “Wildwood Flower” and sweet solos like “Gravity,” we hope these acoustic gems will inspire, motivate and challenge you along the way. Each song has helpful playing tips and easy strumming patterns so you can play them right away. So grab your guitar and let’s dive in!
Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs for Beginners
Learning to play the guitar can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, and one of the best ways to get started is by learning some easy acoustic guitar songs. Many classic songs are relatively simple to learn and can be mastered in no time, even for beginners.
Let’s take a look at some of the best acoustic guitar songs for beginners to learn:
“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan
“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, written by Bob Dylan, is a popular and easy acoustic guitar song for beginners to learn. It was released as part of Dylan’s album Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid in 1973, and it has been covered by numerous artists since then. The song is composed of three basic chords, making it an ideal choice for beginning guitar players. The progression and melody are simple enough that even inexperienced guitarists can manage the verse.
To master the song, beginners can start off by learning how to switch between open G major, C major and D major chords. After that, they’ll want to practice strumming at different tempos in order to get used to playing the song steadily and confidently. Additionally, a basic understanding of techniques like vibrato (moving quickly between two slightly different notes) or slides (playing a note with one finger on one string before moving up or down a fret) can make playing this song much more interesting and give it greater expressiveness. Last but not least, remembering the lyrics will help put everything together and make sure you’re really enjoying your time playing!
“Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd
“Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd is one of the most popular and beloved songs of all time. It was originally released on their album Wish You Were Here in 1975 and has become an iconic classic. For acoustic guitar players, it’s a great beginner song to learn.
The song is played in the key of G Major, with the main riff playing throughout the intro, verse, and chorus sections of the song. To make things easier, the chords used in “Wish You Were Here” are quite simple – G Major, C Major, Em7 (or Em), Am7 (or Am), Bm7 (or Bm), and Dsus2 (or just D). This allows any beginner to pick up their guitar and start strumming it without having to learn a ton of chords or mind-bending progressions.
Additionally, this tune has great lyrics that speak of personal reflection on life’s transiency that everyone can relate to – even beginners who are just starting out playing guitar! As a result “Wish you were here” by Pink Floyd is an easy-to-play yet meaningful classic for acoustic beginners!
“Wonderwall” by Oasis
“Wonderwall” by Oasis is a popular choice for acoustic guitar beginners. This classic song features a simple chord progression that is easy to play and memorize. On top of the basic three-chord structure, “Wonderwall” throws in an interesting G chord, making it a bit more challenging for beginner guitar players. The chorus of the song also incorporates a D-F-G# minor progression which adds an extra sparkle to the track for an experienced player. The simplicity of the melody and its laidback rock vibe make “Wonderwall” an ideal selection for beginning acoustic guitar players.
“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen is an epic song and definitely one that every acoustic guitar player should learn. This song has been covered by many artists, including Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright.
This song is a pleasure to play, even if the lyrics can be somewhat controversial. The intro is relatively simple and there are only a few bar chords used through the entire piece. You will also gain experience with fingerpicking and strumming as your skills grow with this captivating song. This song consists of four verses and two choruses with a similar chords structure for each version, making it one of the most recognizable songs for beginners on the guitar.
The Main Verse progression starts with F minor, A flat major, D flat major, B flat major (the chorus starts with an added B flat minor) and it changes slightly in between verses which are all variations of C Major or A Minor Chords structures. Even without vocals, you can set up a captivating atmosphere for yourself to perform in front of friends or to just listen back to your own playing or practice with different personas. With “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen at your disposal, you have an incredible tool at your fingertips which can stay be your faithful companion as you progress through learning the acoustic guitar.
“Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton
“Tears in Heaven” is a timeless classic written by legendary musician Eric Clapton and originally released in 1992 as a tribute to his son, Conor. It’s been widely embraced as one of the most popular acoustic guitar songs for beginning players. Despite its emotional subject matter and heartbreaking message, the song features relatively few chords and simple strumming patterns that make it easy to learn and play.
The song follows an I-V-vi-IV chord progression throughout, meaning that it follows the key of A major with four chords – A major (I), D major (V), E minor (vi) and B7 (IV). Each of these chords feature barre chords once you know how to construct them, but you could also use chord shapes that are simpler for beginning players such as open Csus2 and Fmaj7sus4.
In terms of strumming, the original version features a triplet pattern – down-down-up – but you can always adjust this to better suit your skill level. To capture Clapton’s famous bluesiness on a guitar, focus on building up your fingerpicking skills – try playing arpeggiated versions of each chord or adding fills between each strum if you’re feeling comfortable enough.
“Tears in Heaven” is an excellent choice for beginners who want to gain new skills while playing something meaningful and soulful!
“Blackbird” by The Beatles
“Blackbird” is a classic acoustic ballad from The Beatles. Written by Paul McCartney, it’s an easy but beautiful song to learn on the guitar that once mastered will open up a wide range of songs for aspiring musicians.
The chords used are Am, C, F and G. The lyrics contain some interesting chord changes, some of which you may want to practice and practice again – for example the transition from Am to C can be a tricky one. For this reason “Blackbird” is particularly good for those players who have just taken their first steps into playing the guitar.
This song is also a great choice for learning how to reproduce the gentle fingerpicking style that characterizes The Beatles’ music in general. Remember to keep your strumming steady and maintain a steady rhythm while changing chords! You can use a metronome or your own sense of rhythm as you go along with this song to help with timing as well as tone control.
Once you have mastered “Blackbird” other Beatles songs such as “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”, “Drive My Car”, “Girl” and even Tedeschi Trucks Band’s cover “Let Me Get By” will become easier (if not more enjoyable!) introductions into intermediate acoustic playing techniques including double stops (playing two strings simultaneously) as well as hammer-ons and pull-offs.
At its simplest form, learning how to play “Blackbird” provides budding acoustic guitarists not only with an iconic moment in music history but also opens up new musical possibilities in a way no other beginner could imagine! Enjoy the journey!
“Hey, Soul Sister” by Train
“Hey, Soul Sister” is an iconic acoustic hit by Grammy-winning band Train. Written by lead singer Patrick Monahan, the song was released as the lead single from Train’s fifth studio album featuring an upbeat tempo and a catchy hook. The lyrics are about a man wondering where the love of his life has gone, but she raises his spirits with her unmistakable soul.
This popular acoustic guitar song is perfect for novice players since the strings transition between chords is simple. It features standard chords such as C major followed by A minor and E major before finishing with a G major chord. This simple tune lends itself nicely to a beginner guitarist who wants to practice playing on an acoustic guitar without becoming overwhelmed by complicated rhythms and intricate finger picking. With only four chords and moderate strumming patterns, it can be quickly picked up with some practice.
“The Scientist” by Coldplay
“The Scientist” by Coldplay is an easy acoustic song to master if you are a beginner guitar player. The repetition of the F chord throughout the song makes it much easier to learn and strum along. This song’s lyrics are very relatable and powerful. It is sonically simple but lyrically beautiful making it a perfect serenade for any level of guitar playing.
The chords used in “The Scientist” by Coldplay are very straightforward but some skill is needed to properly strum them together:
- F Major
- A minor
- C Major
- D minor
This makes a total of 4 chords that repeat throughout the whole song, which allows for more freedom in your playing style. The timing and speed of the strumming can be slightly varied as well and allows for more creativity on your part. However, be sure that the tempo of the chords stays consistent with that of the original song otherwise you may lose accuracy or meaning when playing with other musicians.
“Horse with No Name” by America
“Horse with No Name” by America is an excellent choice of song to learn on the acoustic guitar if you are just starting out. This song became a hit in 1972 and is 1971 folk rock classic. It has a gentle, laid-back feel and easy strumming pattern that will help you to gain confidence as you practice each chord. The lyrics are often quite simple which makes it easier to remember them too.
The main chords used in this song are A minor, G major, E major and D major. These chords will stay the same throughout the entire track, except for some slight variations during the chorus. As you practice these chords and practice along with the track, be sure to pay close attention to where each chord begins and ends so that you can quickly identify it in future practices and performances. After familiarizing yourself with the chords, start by strumming gradually alongside the track until your playing becomes smooth and confident enough for faster rhythms of up to 100 beats per minute (bpm).
This approachable classic is perfect for beginner guitarists who have just started learning these four key chords or would simply like a solid foundation piece on which they can build more complex pieces of music later on down their musical path.
“Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves
“Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves is a great song for beginner acoustic guitar players. It is played in the key of G major and features a simple intro riff that can be learned quickly. The notes to be played are G, A, B, and C – this can be repeated many times while strumming G major chords lightly on each beat. The song is easy to follow since it repeats the same chord progression throughout. This makes learning the song easier while becoming more comfortable with changing chords.
Additionally, there are some variations of this melody which can add extra depth and interest to this classic tune. With its uplifting message and easy chord progression, “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves is an ideal beginner acoustic guitar song for all music enthusiasts!
Learning how to play beginner-friendly acoustic guitar can be a great way to start playing music. Whether you’re a beginner player or have been strumming for years, this guide provides an easy-to-follow roadmap for mastering some of the most classic acoustic guitar songs. With these helpful tips and the right practice, your fingers will learn tangible chords and strums in no time.
Remember that every song is different, so take it slow and go at your own pace when learning any new song. This will ensure that you don’t lose your enthusiasm along the way or make mistakes that would otherwise leave you feeling frustrated!
Follow these easy steps and before long you’ll be playing those famous (or not so famous) acoustic guitar tunes with friends and family in no time—and maybe even writing a few of your own along the way!
- Choose the song you want to learn.
- Listen to the song and become familiar with it.
- Find the chords for the song.
- Practice the chords.
- Learn the strumming pattern.
- Continue to practice and refine your playing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What are some easy acoustic guitar songs for beginners?
A1: Some popular easy acoustic guitar songs for beginners include “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan, “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles, “Wonderwall” by Oasis, “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas, and “Runaway” by Bon Jovi.
Q2: How can I learn to play acoustic guitar?
A2: Learning to play acoustic guitar involves developing your skills in reading music and tablature, understanding chords and scales, and developing the ability to strum and pick. You can learn by taking lessons, using online resources, or reading books and magazines.
Q3: What type of guitar is best for beginners?
A3: An acoustic guitar is best for beginners since it is easier to learn on. Acoustic guitars are also less expensive than electric guitars, making them more accessible for beginner guitarists.