It's interesting how guitar got its modern form in the mid-20th century and it remains one of the most popular instruments among beginners or those who are looking to learn to play a second instrument. And, according to what we're seeing in the past few years or so, the instrument is here to stay for quite a while, both the electric and acoustic guitar.
However, the instrument still might be a little difficult for some players who are just starting out. But worry not, as there are plenty of easy guitar songs that you can learn today. And luckily, there are plenty of tablatures, chord charts, and even tutorial videos to help you get you going. Since we know this is the most effective method as beginners will get immediate satisfaction from it and even more motivation, we've compiled a list of the best easy guitar songs for beginners.
Easy Guitar Songs That Will Get You Started
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising
Going back to the late 1960s, "Bad Moon Rising" is one of the simplest chord-based songs that will give that rewarding feeling to beginners. But aside from a simple chord progression and open chords, you'll also have the chance to get familiar with some basic strumming patterns.
The entire song features only three chords, which are D, A, and G. John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival always kept things very simple, making this one of the best easy songs to play on guitar. What's more, it comes as a great way to start how to learn to sing and play guitar at the same time.
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
In case you're up for learning some riffage, one of the best ways to start is by learning early Black Sabbath material. One of the biggest innovators in rock music, Tony Iommi brought things to a whole new level with his riffs.
The band's most popular song "Paranoid," from the album of the same name, consists mostly of power chords. Additionally, its lead section is also pretty simple, utilizing the standard minor pentatonic scale. You'll learn how to play rhythm and use palm-muting and bending techniques with this one.
Judas Priest – Breaking the Law
Another short, simple, and sweet early metal tune that's a great example of a beginner song is Judas Priest's "Breaking the Law." Released back in 1980 on the band's legendary "British Steel" album, it features a catchy and simple one-note riff.
The rest of the song is filled with standard power chord parts which are not that hard to learn. What's more, the song has a very simple construction, making it pretty easy to memorize. Aside from some basic techniques, you'll also get an idea of some basic songwriting and structure concepts with "Breaking the Law."
The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
It's amazing how such a simple song like "Seven Nation Army" can make entire stadiums sing in unison. When The White Stripes dropped this song back in the day, they never could have thought what a major success it would achieve.
Even many years after its release, it remains one of the go-to songs for novice players. If you're looking for a repertoire of great but easy guitar songs for beginners, then this one should be in there for sure.
Bob Dylan – Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Released back in the early 1970s, Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door still keeps its reputation as one of the best easy guitar songs. In this piece, we have a rather simple structure and chords that are quite easy to memorize.
You can play them all in an open position and even follow the simple vocal melody while you do so. Among all of the easy songs to play on guitar, this comes as one of the top choices for every novice player.
Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Easy guitar songs once again became popular in the early 1990s with the rise of the grunge movement. The best-known band of this subgenre is Nirvana. Led by Kurt Cobain, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" remains a very popular choice for beginners. It's mostly played in standard power chords and has a few other easy parts, including a very straightforward guitar solo.
U2 – One
Among all of the easy songs to learn on guitar, "One" by U2 is another mandatory part of every rock musician's repertoire of easy guitar songs. What's also great about it is that there's an abundance of different interpretations, so you can play the original version or just strum along to it using the basic chord progression. U2 is a band that does quite a good job when it comes to making simple but great songs.
The Rolling Stones – (Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Of course, The Rolling Stones are an unavoidable mention on a list like this one. Their legendary hit "(Can't Get No) Satisfaction" is not only an easy song to learn but also an everlasting hit. What's more, it's also the first song ever to feature a commercially produced distortion pedal. However, you can play it both on an acoustic and an electric guitar and make it sound good.
Muddy Waters – Mannish Boy
In case you want to get yourself acquainted with blues music, a great addition to your repertoire would be Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy." The entire song basically consists of one simple riff repeated in a stop-time manner. What's more, you can practice your minor pentatonic scale skills with this song, so that makes it extra useful if you're just starting.
Lil Nas X & Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road
Looking through all of the easy songs to learn on guitar, there are some of the more contemporary tunes worth checking out. Although you'd not expect to see such a song in this list, we'd recommend "Old Town Road" which was done as a collaboration between rapper Lil Nas X and legendary country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. Although it's not exactly a guitar-oriented song, it has a simple and nice chord progression that you can strum along while singing the main melody.
Whether it's your first time picking up a guitar or you're just getting back to it, make sure that you check out these easy guitar songs for beginners so you can build your repertoire!