In this week’s lesson, I’m going to give you a list of easy songs on guitar and why they’re so fun! But before we get to that, let’s do a quick recap on some chords and techniques we’ll need to know to be able to play them.
Easy Open Chords on Guitar
Before learning easy songs on guitar, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you know the basic open chords on guitar. These basic open chords are:
- G Chord
- D Chord
- C Chord
- Am Chord
- Em Chord
All of these chords are played with open strings, which is why they’re called “open chords.” They are some of the most common chords in guitar music because they are some of the easiest chords to play! Learning these open chords on guitar will open up a lot of doors for you as a guitar player.
I recommend practicing these chords with a technique called the “Hand On/Hand Off” technique. This technique shows you your natural tendencies when you fret a chord so that you can make small adjustments to see big improvements. Using this technique on every single chord you play will have a big impact on your consistency.
How to Change Chords on Guitar
Changing chords on the guitar is what we call a “chord transition.” Learning how to change chords efficiently is our ultimate goal because the less work we have to do, the easier the transition will be.
For example, if you are playing an Am and transitioning to Em, all we need to do is move the middle finger and ring finger up a string each and take the pointer finger off. To make the transition less work, try to move the middle and ring fingers together. This is a much better solution than taking all of your fingers completely off and then putting them back one by one.
Thinking about patterns in our chord changes is essential to becoming a better guitar player.
Now You’re Ready for Some Easy Songs on Guitar
Now that you know the basic open chords and how to transition between them, you’ve got the essentials to start learning some easy songs! Let’s take a look at some easy songs to play on guitar.
Knockin on Heaven’s Door
To start off, I would recommend Knockin on Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan. This song is quite simple because it has more or less the same strumming pattern throughout the song. It also only has two different chord progressions which keeps it nice and simple!
Next up, a very easy song that is widely known is Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker. It also only consists of two different chord progressions but it has two different strumming patterns with it. This will be a good test of your ability to change strumming patterns within a song.
One of my absolute favorite simple songs is Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd. It’s just the same three chords over and over again. I love songs like that because you can get creative in the way you play them. If you want to play every progression the exact same way, that’s awesome! If you want to add variety in your strumming patterns or chord flourishes, this is a great song to do it to.
Brown Eyed Girl
Another classic, simple song is Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison. The chord progressions are simple and repetitive with slight changes to keep you on your toes. The hardest part of the song is the intro but if you can learn it, it’s a big bonus! The intro takes some finesse but it is an absolute delight when you can get it down.
Can’t You See
Another three chord song that’s an absolute blast is Can’t You See by the Marshall Tucker Band. This song also has a great intro that deals with arpeggiation which means we pick individual notes of a chord instead of strumming the whole thing. It can sound complicated but the hardest part of this intro is timing. Otherwise, it’s a great strummer and a good song to sing while playing!
Mary Jane’s Last Dance
A great song that is easier than you might think is Mary Jane’s Last Dance by Tom Petty. This song sounds great just by playing the standard chords straight through but it’s also an opportunity to learn how to hammer on fingers of a chord when you strum. It’s definitely a more advanced technique but this song is fun to play whether you do it or not.
Island in the Sun
A great song that most people recognize right from the start is Island in the Sun by Weezer. A really fun challenge is to tackle the intro which is a little difficult but not too bad. You also get to experience a bit of an offbeat feel which will have your upstrokes on point in no time!
A very easy song with plenty of room for messing around is The Joker by Steve Miller Band. It’s a standard three chord song but the beauty of it is that you can learn how to play melody within the chords like they do on the recording. It’s a lot of fun to play along with the recording!
Wish You Were Here
A song with a simple verse and chorus yet tough intro is Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. The intro is one of the most sought after intros to learn and it’s well worth it. It will take some time to learn but once you get it down, you’re never going to want to stop playing it! If you’re neighbors complain, just remember that they’re jealous of your abilities!
An acoustic rendition of any song can be really fun. That’s why Radioactive by Imagine Dragons will end this list. Although the song is very electronic when you hear the radio version, it’s quite simple as a guitar arrangement and it sounds great! Have a lot of fun with this one and take all the liberties you want!
When it comes to playing easy songs on guitar, you can make them as simple or as challenging as you want. These are great songs to learn but once you feel a little bored with them, feel free to spice them up with flourishes, different strumming patterns or techniques.
If you are feeling a little overwhelmed at trying to learn an entire song at once, click here check out my complete guide on how to break it down piece by piece.
Free 5-Day Course
If you want to learn more about fretting chords more consistently, making chord transitions more efficient and even how to approach learning to solo in any key, I’m offering a free 5-day course that will teach you fundamental techniques to make big progress in a small amount of time. Click right here to start your free 5-day course and learn how to play like the pros!