When you learn an instrument you'll be faced with a lot of technical stuff, that can get tedious at times. As with everything you want to master, you have to work for it. But luckily, your passion is so great that your drive for this will conquer all. And to make the journey more interesting there are thousands of amazing songs and compositions out there, for all levels, to make each stage of learning enjoyable and inspiring. Let's face it, knowing how to play your favourite tunes is the ultimate motivator.
Since the launch of the revolutionary Guitarwaze platform is drawing ever closer, we looked at some of the best songs for beginners. So for all those of you, who just cannot wait to get started on your guitar hero journey, we have put together a short list of some of the songs we love, that are on the easy end of the guitar skill set, and that you'll be able to play and sing along to, with just a few chords, strumming or picking patterns.
We've mixed it up between rock, pop and classical, to give you a sense that there's something for beginners in every genre.
1. Knocking on Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan
This masterpiece of a song is played in 4 easy chords and 2 simple chord progressions: G-D-Am and G-D-C. There are some chord variations but they can also be left out for simplicity. When you're just starting off and learning your basic chords, this is a great one to practice switching between chords, besides it being a good one for your repertoire for a sing along.
2. Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton
It is not one of the super easy ones but we chose it as a beginners song, for those trying out their first solos. The one thing you'll be practicing to get the sound of the song with its lovely solo, is string bends. We love how versatile the guitar is and the amount of sounds you can produce. String bends is one of them and this is the first and easiest song to try them out with.
3. Perfect - Ed Sheeran
He is possibly the biggest pop star of the past decade and has captured the heart of millions with his beautiful ballads. This song is a crowd pleaser, popular song choice at weddings and just a lovely piece to dive into when you want to warm up the heart with a bit of romance. The 4 main chords used are commonly found in pop and rock music and are classic beginner chords: G, C, D, Em. A simple strumming pattern throughout will put it all together beautifully.
4. Imagine - John Lennon
An iconic tune, that seems to never go out of fashion. Somehow the sentiment lingers on in the hopes of many, that some day we can all live as one. And it's an easy one to accompany yourself on the guitar with. Just a few simple chords and repetitions. It's also a great song to learn song structure from with an interesting verse, bridge and chorus structure.
5. All Apologies - Nirvana
A song that took the 90s by storm, a quintessential alternative rock/grunge tune and perfect for beginners. You can sound like a rock star with only the C, F and G chord. The tune has everything else a beginner needs too: a simple rhythm, good harmonies and a basic melodic structure.
6. Stand By Me - Ben E. King
Another great song with basic beginner chords that repeat themselves throughout. You'll be playing G, Em, C and D, learning how to switch between them and the nice rhythmic strumming patterns will give you a fun way to practice this.
7. Seven Nation Army - White Stripes
Such a cool song that has a rhythm that makes anyone move. The riff gives a sense of mission and has an energy that is difficult to resist. It is played with 6 chords: E,G,C,B,D,A. While that is more than some of the other songs we've mentioned, They are mostly quite easy and its a nice way to add a few more chords to your skill set. The awesome riff is played on a single string and a great way to start one of these.
8. Mr. Jones - Counting Crows
An energetic song, with a sense of passion, that we love playing. It is one is played with 5 chords: Am, F, Dm, G and C. The F barre chord is a little more challenging but for a beginner to introduce the barre chord, it's a fantastic song to learn.
9. Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
You may see someone playing this and think to yourself that this is in no way a beginners piece. Finger picking songs, can often look impressive and this song is a really good one for beginners getting into finger style songs. It's of course also a fantastic song itself and impressive to listen to. The finger picking is fairly simple and with some patience, a beginner will learn the sequence as well. Part of the song is strummed as well so a nice one to include finger picking while still including some simpler strumming patterns for a bit of ease in between.
10. Swan Lake - Tschaikovsky
Yes, Tchaikovsky. The most famous composer of classical ballet among other things, the Swan Lake for the guitar is a classical piece that a beginner can master. Naturally it won't be the very first thing you do when you pick up a guitar but for someone new to classical guitar pieces it is the perfect piece. Your left hand will be pushed to it's limit as there are a few chords that require you to play far away successions. You'll be gaining a lot of flexibility with this one, there's some pinky finger slides and when introducing the bass notes it will sound super impressive.
With this small glimpse into a whole world of musical brilliance, that is not only available but completely tangible for anyone, we leave you and hope to entice you to pick up your guitar and get ready to learn. We are almost ready to share our knowledge with you and pass on the skills that it takes to master this beautiful instrument. Tune up and stay tuned!