11 Easy Songs on Guitar for Beginners

Easy Songs on Guitar

What are you going to get from this post? 

  • Learn 11 easy songs on guitar for beginners
  • The song’s strumming patterns
  • 11 Different songs, chords and chord Progressions
  • 7 Video lessons

Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker

Lets start with top of the charts one of the “Easy songs on guitar”, and that is Wagon Wheel. This song was first recorded in 1973, by Bob Dylan. It was just the chorus, then 25, years later the verses were added on, and it was certified Platinum by the recording industry.

The song has been covered several times since then, most recent 2013, by Darius Rucker. Which reached number 1 on the Hot Country Chart, and was certified Triple Platinum by the RIAA in March 2014.

Where to Start on Wagon Wheel 

This is a song that is often requested because it has a great rhythm which makes it fun to play. Once you get the chords, and Rhythm down don’t forget about the lyrics.

The first thing about this song is placing the Capo on the second fret of the guitar fretboard. Nearest to the fret itself. This allows you to play all open chords. If you do not have a Capo, here is a link to buy a Capo  on Amazon. This is a must have tool to get the job done. I use the Kyser brand Capo, and recommend it because its quick and easy to use!

The first chord in this song is a G, then D, Em, and C. If you don’t know the basic chords here is a link to the first position chords.

Here are the chord diagrams for the chords needed to play this easy guitar song,”Wagon Wheel”.

Wagon Wheel Chords

easy songs on guitar

Click the link if you are not sure how to read a Chord Chart.

Finger Positions for Wagon Wheel Chords

First chord is G, here is how to make a G chord on guitar.

easy songs on guitar

Because we are using the Capo I will describe the position of the chords from the Capo. So the Capo will be like the nut of the guitar. It sounds a little confusing, but trust me, place your fingers where I advise you, and it will sound great.

  • Place your third finger on the 6th string at the third fret. The root note or G.
  • Then your second finger is on the 5th string at the second fret.
  • The 4th finger or pinkie is placed at the 1st string third fret. (from the Capo)
  • Strum all the strings.

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You can also play a G chord on guitar like this:

  • Place your first finger on the 5 string, at the 2nd fret.
  • Then place your 2nd finger on the 6th string, at the 3rd fret.
  • Place your 3rd finger at the first string (thinnest string), at the 3rd fret.

The D Major chord played in the open position:

  • Place your first finger on the 3rd string at the 2nd fret.
  • Then put your second finger on the 1st string at the 2nd fret.
  • Put your third finger on the 2nd string, 3rd fret.
  • Start the strum from the open 4th string.

Em is one of the easiest chords in the song Wagon Wheel

  • Place your second finger on the 5th string at the 2nd fret.
  • Then right under that put your 3rd finger. Which is at the 4th string, 2nd fret.
  • All the Strings can be strummed.

How to Position your fingers to play the C chord:

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 5th string at the third fret (from the Capo)
  • Next put your 2nd finger on the 4th string, at the 2nd fret
  • Then place your 1st finger on the 2nd string, at the 1st fret
  • Start the strum at 5th string

How to play the Strumming Pattern for Wagon Wheel an Easy song on Guitar

Wagon Wheel Strumming Pattern is really easy. For a beginner guitar player, and really a fun song for all guitar players. The strum pattern is what makes this an easy song on guitar. Here is how it goes: Down, Down up, up Down. Down Down up, up Down.  DDU UD. See the video tutorial to master the strumming in this song.

Click this link if you need help learning how to strum a guitar.

  Wagon Wheel an Easy Song on Guitar Due to the Chord Progression

The chords in the first verse, before the singing starts is as follows. G, D, Em and C. In the song this chord progression is played two times. Then after that you play the G, C and D, G. When you get to the G chord the singing starts.

This song is played in 4/4 time signature. Meaning each chord has 4 beats in the measure of music.

Like This: 1 2 3 4,  1 2 3 4,  1 2 3 4,  1 2 3 4.

The Chorus 

The chords that are played on the chorus are G, D, C. Then the song goes back into the chords that are played in the verse. This is a fun Easy beginner song played with open chords. Watch the free video to learn the song.

Click the link to see exactly how to play Wagon Wheel in this video.


“Whats Up?” by 4 Non Blondes, is the second in the series of Easy Songs on Guitar

Whats Up?

In 1989 the group 4 Non Blondes was formed. Then the song “whats up?”, quickly hit the charts in 1993. Shortly after the Band disband, after the lead singer Linda Perry, left to start her solo career. This was their only major hit single. It just happens to be the second in the series of easy songs on guitar that we will learn.

Strumming Pattern to Whats up 4 non blondes

Lets Learn the song Whats up, by 4 Non Blondes. The Strumming pattern is this: Down Down up, Down Down up, Down Down up up Down. If you need help with  strumming, take a look at “How to strum” in the Guitar Essentials Blog. Where you will learn different strumming patterns.


Why is this a Easy Song on Guitar?

Easy 3 Chords in the song” Whats Up?” 

In this song there are 3 chords this is what makes it one of the easy songs for a beginner to learn on guitar. It has such a great rhythm that all guitarists enjoy playing this one. The first chord is G, then Am and C. They are all easy chords, but if you need help with basic chords. See the Basic Chord PDF below.


Click this link and get a free PDF with Basic Chords. When you do you will be signed up to get free guitar tips and tricks, and video lessons. Sent to your inbox each week from the Guitar Essentials Blog Newsletter. Its Free! 


Easy songs on guitar

Playing the Am chord

The finger position for the Am is as follows:

  • Place your first finger on the 2nd string, at the first fret
  • Then place your 2nd finger on the 4th string, at the second fret
  • Next Put your 3rd finger on the 3rd string, at the 2nd fret
  • Start the strum from the 5th string

Remember the Capo is on the second fret. The Capo acts as the nut of the guitar. Because of this the frets are from the Capo. (The Capo is on the 2nd fret so fret 1 is the 3rd fret, and so on). See the above picture showing the Capo.

Two of these chords were listed above in the previous song. The finger position for the G and C chord are shown.

The Capo is positioned on the second fret, but we will be playing in the “feel” of G. The song starts out in G, this is also in 4/4 time like 90% of all songs. The next chord is an  Am, then C and back to G. Then G, Am, C, and G. Basically that’s the whole song. The tempo slows down in the song, but the chords are the same. Need a Capo? Click this Link to buy a Capo from Amazon.

Click this link to watch the Video Lesson “Whats up?” by 4 Non Blondes.


 Easy Songs on Guitar Number 3, Bad Moon Rising

CCR Bad Moon Rising 

John Fogerty wrote the song Bad moon rising, and performed by Credence Clearwater Revival. The song was a hit single off of the Album Greene River in 1969. Bad Moon Rising, another easy song on guitar, was CCR’S second gold single.

Chords to Bad Moon Rising  

Easy songs on guitar

Finger Position for the A Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string, at the 2nd fret
  • Then Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string, at the 2nd fret
  • Next put your 3rd finger on the 2nd string at the 2nd fret
  • Start the strum from the 5th string, The A string.

>>Check the aforementioned song for the finger position of the D and G chord.<<

Bad Moon Rising is a easy song on guitar due to the 3 chords and the chord progression. This song can be played on an acoustic, or an electric guitar. The chords are a D, A and G. The Tempo on the original record is about 90 BPM. Which is quite fast. But when you are playing this song slow down the tempo to a speed that you are comfortable playing.

Bad Moon Rising Strumming Pattern

The Strumming pattern is: Down Down Down  Down Down,  Down Down Down  Down up Down Down Down up up Down. When you play this song the chords are being muted momentarily from ringing out. To “pause” the sound lightly lift up of the  chords with your fretting hand. Don’t completely remove your fingers from the strings, just lightly lift up, and then press the chords again.

Bad Moon Rising Chord progression

Before the singing starts the song starts on D then moves to A and then G, then back to D. The song goes through this progression one time. Then the singing begins on the D chord. This progression goes all the way to the chorus. Then the chorus is G, D, A, G, D. Next is D, A, G,  D, A, G. Click the link to see the Video Lesson CCR- Bad Moon Rising. 


 Bob Seger “Turn the Page” is in this series of Easy Songs on Guitar

Bob Seger is still Touring today .

He started in the 1960, and played in bands. In 1973 he put together the Silver Bullet Band. Bob Seger had many many hits and Turn the Page was among one of those hit songs.

Turn the Page Chords

Turn the Page is an easy song on guitar for beginners. There are 4 Chords in this song, they are: Em, A, D, and C.

easy songs on guitar

If you need to know how the fingering is for these chords Click this link for First position chords.

At the beginning of the song strike the Em slowly 4 times. On the 4th Em the singing begins. Once the singing starts the strumming starts.

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Turn the Page Strumming Pattern

The strumming pattern to turn the page is Down Down Up Up Down. Then there is a Chorus it starts on Em,  D, Em,  D,  Em,  D,  A,  C,  D,  Em. To really see how its played take a look at this video lesson.

Click the link for Turn the Page by Bob Seger.


Elvis Made the Series of Easy Songs on Guitar with “That’s All Right Mama”

Elvis such a well known artist he didn’t even have to use his last name. That’s All Right”, was Elvis Presley’s first single recorded in 1954. Still ranks #113 of the 500 greatest hits of all time, by Rolling Stone Magazine.

What Makes this an Easy Song on Guitar?

The simplicity of the chords in this song make for an easy song on guitar. There are only 3 chords in this song and they are all in the open position. Which makes it an easy song to play on guitar.

Thats Alright Chords 

In the song “Thats All Right”, there are three chords and they are: A D E .

Easy Songs on Guitar

The Chord Progression to Thats All Right 

The song starts out on an A major chord. You could strum only by strumming on the one. Let it go for 4 beats and then change chord to D let it ring out for four beats. the beat is 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. then change chords to the E Major chord.

Strumming  Pattern for That’s All Right, By Elvis

The strumming pattern is: Down up Down up Down up Down up. 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.

If you want to get fancy you can alternate the base line and  pick the 5th string then the  6th string. So start on the A chord and alternate between the A string (5th string) and the E (6th String).

Pick the A string (5th string ), strum the A chord. Pick the E sting (6th string) strum the A chord. You can use your thumb to slightly touch the E string when you are picking the A string so you don’t accidentally hit the E string.

Then You go to the D chord, Strum the D, then alternate between the D (4th string), and the A string which is the (5th string). Alternate back and fourth between D and A.

Then when you go to the E chord you alternate between the E (6th String) and the B with is the second fret of the A string. Then there is a walk up Frets zero (open E), 2 and 4 and then it goes back to the A.

This sounds hard, but really its easy wants you get all the components. Like everything guitar, start slow and work on it. Once you get that go to the next step. Try at first strumming it and then after you master that try adding the alternating rhythm.

Easy songs on guitar

Another thing that will change the sound, and maybe in the future you will want to try this. That is muting the strings with your picking hand. You use the side or fleshy part of your hand across the strings slightly. Your just trying to silence the strings a little, not completely deaden them. This will give it a nice sound. Muting the strings with your strumming hand takes time to get it just right. Its all in how you like the sound and are comfortable where your hand is positioned.

Click the Link to Watch the Video Lesson to learn That’s All Right Easy Song on Guitar.

Hank Williams Jr has Some Easy Songs on Guitar – Family Tradition

Family Tradition was released in 1979 By Hank Williams Jr. It was on the Record Family Tradition and was the Title track. It stayed at No. 4, and is one of his most popular songs. This is why I chose Family Tradition in this series of easy songs on guitar.

What are the Chords in the Song Family Tradition?

This song has 3 basic chords, this is partly the reason “Family Tradition,” is one of the easy songs on guitar. The chords are: E, A and B. This is what they look like on a chord diagram.

easy songs on guitar

Previously the E and the A chord finger positions were described in detail in this article. If you need more help with it take a look at the video Family Tradition below.

The B chord finger position is as follows:

  • Barre all the strings from the fifth string up to the first string with your first finger. Your finger is at the second fret.
  • Place your third finger on strings 4th, 3rd, and  2nd strings at the 4th fret. You will barre them. Note: You can use your pinkie at the 4th fret in stead of your 3rd finger. Which ever is more comfortable.
  • Start the strum from the 5th string.

Family Tradition Chord Progression 

The song starts in E then goes to the A the B and back to the E.

There are some notes in between that after you get the hang of transitioning from chord to chord you can add in if you like.

Family Tradition Strumming Pattern

The songs intro starts on an E. The way that it is played is pick the open E string the 6th string. (thickest string) then strum the E chord. Then Pick the 5th string which is the B string, then strum the E chord. Proceed to do this 8 times then the singing starts.

If you want to put the base line in there, this is how it goes. Open E (6th) string, then place your first finger on the second fret, at the 6th string. The F# note, and pick it.  Next place your finger on the 6th string, at the 4th fret which is the G# and pick it. Then  back to the open E (6th string).

It’s played like this Open 6th string, 2nd fret, 4th fret and open E. Then start strumming the E chord.

If you are counting the beat of the intro it is. 1  2 , 3 4  1 2 3  1 2 3 4.  Then Hank starts singing. and its 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4. 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4.  its 4 beats of E chord changes to A. There are 4 beats and then the chord changes to B for 4 beats.

Chord Transition

When you transition to the A chord you are picking the open A string the 5th string and the open 6th string the E. You alternate between the 5th and 6th string.

Pick the open A string (5th string) and strum the A chord. Then Pick the open E string (6th string) and strum the A chord. After that it changes to the B chord.

Which on the B chord your first finger is at the 2nd fret 5th string. Pick it strum, and then place your finger at the 6th string 2nd fret and pick it. Alternate back and fourth between the 5th and 6th string. Then you go back to the one chord, the E. This pattern is through the entire song until the outro.

The Outro 

The Outro on the song Family Tradition goes from the A to the E. One Beat or strum each. The song ends on the E.

Click the link to watch the Easy Songs on Guitar Video Lesson “Family Tradition”, By Hank Williams Jr.


Another Easy Song on Guitar is “Here in the Real World”

Here in the Real World another easy song on guitar was released in 1990 as the Title track from Alan Jackson’s debut album. “Here in the Real World”. It was his first 40 hit. The song made its way up to No. 3 on the Billboards Country single & Tracks.

What are the Chords in the Song Here in the Real World?

The chords to “Here in the Real World” are: D G A Em F#m. This song is an easy song on guitar, but you need to use  a capo. The Capo is on the first fret. When you put the Capo on the neck of the guitar be sure to line it up directly behind the fret.

If you need to buy a Capo, I recommend the Kyser, because it is quick and easy to use.

Chord Finger Positioning

How To Play the D Chord 

  • Place Your First Finger on the 3rd string at the 3rd fret.
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 1st string at the 3rd fret.
  • Next Your 3rd finger is at the 4th fret, 2nd string.
  • Strum from the 4th string down.

In theory when you are using a capo the capo acts as the nut of the guitar. So from the capo your 1st and 2nd finger would be at the second fret and the 3rd finger at the 3rd fret. (from the Capo).

How to Play the G Chord

  • Place 3rd finger on the 6th string, at the 4th fret (3rd from Capo).
  • Then Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string, at the 3rd fret (2nd fret from Capo).
  • Pinkie is on the 4th fret, at the 1st string (3rd from Capo).
  • Strum all the strings.

Another way you can also play a G chord on guitar like this:

  • Place your first finger on the 5 string, at the 2nd fret.
  • Then place your 2nd finger on the 6th string, at the 3rd fret.
  • Place your 3rd finger at the first string (thinnest string), at the 3rd fret.

How to Play the A Chord 

  • Open A string, 5th string.
  • Place the 1st finger on the 4th string at the 3rd fret (2nd from Capo).
  • Next place your 2nd finger on the 3rd fret at the 3rd string (2nd from Capo).
  • Then Put your 3rd finger on the 2nd string at the 3rd fret (2nd from Capo).
  • Strum from the 5th string down.

How to Play the Em 

Em is E minor and is played like the E Major chord and just lift up your first

finger.

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string, at the 2nd fret from the Capo.
  • Then your 3rd finger is on the 4th string, at the 2nd fret from the Capo.
  • Strum All the strings.

How to Play the F#m

F#m is the F Sharp minor chord and it is the only barre chord in the song. If you struggle with barre chords. Look at this Video on Five Ways to Play the F Chord. It gives you some great tips to make it easier to master barre chords. Then come back and finish learning this great easy song on guitar by Alan Jackson.

  • First place your first finger across all the strings, at the 2nd fret from the Capo.
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 5th string, at the 4th fret from the Capo.
  • Place your pinkie under that finger, on  the 4th string at the 4th fret from the Capo.
  • Strum all the strings.

The F#m Chord Diagram

Easy Songs on guitar

Strumming Pattern

This is what makes this one of the easy songs on guitar, and that is the strumming pattern. Down Down up up Down. Down Down up up Down.

What is the Chord Progression to Here in the Real World? One of the Easy Songs on Guitar

The intro

Before the singing begins the Song start with a G chord.  The song is in 4/4 time, which is 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4. Then from the G it goes to the A chord to the D, to the G and D. The intro is one measure of each chord except the D and back to the D. It is two beats of the D and then two beats of the G and back to the D chord. See the video for more details.

The Verse to Here in the Real World 

D G A D G A , D G A D G A D,  G D

Chorus 

D G D A D  G D      Em F#m G A G D, the second time around you play the Em F#m G A G D Two times then the Outro.

Outro

The ending of the song is a quick A strum then D strum.

Click the link Easy Songs on Guitar Video Lesson Here in the Real World


The Lion Sleeps Tonight a Easy song on Guitar 

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, by the Tokens was originally written in 1939, by Solomon Linda. It was covered internationally in the 50’s and 60’s by many artists. In 1961 it became the number one hit in the United states and best known version of the song is by the Tokens, a Doo wop Group.

What makes this song easy to play, and on the list of easy songs on guitar is the fact that it has three open chords. To play it in the same key as the Tokens, then place the Capo on the 5th fret.

What are the Chords in the Song the Lion Sleeps tonight 

The Chords to The Lion Sleeps Tonight are: C, F and G, If you need help learning these chords or many other open chords click this link for first position chords. Then come back and learn this song. If your all set with the chords lets look at the strumming.

 Whats The Strum Pattern to The Lion Sleeps Tonight?

1  2 and  and 4 , 1 2 and and 4, Down Down up up Down and Down Down up up Down and.

The Chord Progression to The Lion Sleeps Tonight

 Verse

C F C G ,  C F C G,  C F C G, The entire song The Lion Sleeps tonight is this chord progression.

Click the link to watch the Easy Songs on Guitar Video Lesson The Lion Sleeps Tonight.


 Louie Louie is Number 9 on the list of Easy Songs on Guitar 

Louie Louie is an R & B song written in 1955. The version best known was by the Kingsmen in 1963. Since then it is a standard in Pop and Rock Music, and has been covered and recorded hundreds of times.

Louie Louie Chords by Kingsmen

The chords in the song Louie Louie are an  A, D and  Em. There are two beats on each chord.

Easy Songs on Guitar

Strumming Pattern to Louie Louie

1 and 2 and 4,  1 and 2 3 and 4,  1 and 2 3 and 4. The easiest way to play this is with all down strums. Down Down Down, Down Down, Down Down Down,  Down Down. The beat is da da da,  da da. Da da da,  da da. or 1 2 3 1 2 , 1 2 3, 1 2.

Louie Louie Chord Progression

Louie Louie chord progression is A, D, Em and  D. When you play this song you can use the outside part of your palm on your strumming hand. The edge of your hand to mute the strings. Use this technique after 123 mute, 12 mute, and so on.

Click the link to watch Easy Songs on Guitar Video Lesson Louie Louie.


Wild Thing is one of the Easy Songs on Guitar 

Wild Thing a song by the Troggs, an English Rock Band. Originally the band “The Wild Ones,” released the song in 1965. The Troggs version of the song hit number 1 on the Billboards Hot 100.

Wild Thing Guitar Chords

The guitar chords in “wild Thing” a beginner guitar song, and one of the Easy songs on guitar are: A, D and E.  This is the number one reason this song is great for beginner guitarists.

Wild Thing Chord Progression &  Strumming Pattern to Wild Thing

Two strums on A , Two strums on D and Two on E and Two on D. When starting out playing this song. Start out slow. Strumming 1 2, 1 2, 1 2, 1 2. Slow and evenly spaced strumming. Then progress to 1 2 3 and 4 , 1 2 3 and 4.

Part of the song is an A chord then remove your fingers off of the strings and strum the first 4 thinner strings. Then an A chord again. ( A, 4 open strings, A , open strings, A). This is played when the Lyrics are; “I think I Love You,” Then back to the 1, 2, 3, and 4. Rhythm.

Click the link to watch the Easy Songs on Guitar Video Lesson Wild Thing.


Stand By Me is one of those Easy Songs on Guitar

Stand By Me by Ben E. King

Stand By Me Chords & Chord Progression

The chords to the easy beginner guitar song Stand by Me is: G,  Em,  C and  D, this is also the chord progression. This progression is through the entire song.

To play this song the Capo needs to be on the second fret. If you need a Capo check out this post with a variety of Capos. Click this link Electric Capo VS Acoustic Review.

There are two Bar of the G chord. Then two bar of the Em. One Bar of the C and one bar of the D chord and then finish with two barres of G.

Strum Pattern to Stand By Me

The strum pattern to the song Stand By Me is down down up up down. 1 2 and and 4. That equals a bar or a measure.

Click the link to watch the Easy Songs on Guitar Video Lesson Stand by Me.

 

11 easy songs on Guitar for beginners

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Source Wagon Wheel Song Wikipedia

Dummies.com

4 Non Blonds Wikipedia

YourGuitarGuide

CCR Bad Moon Rising Wikipedia

Bob Seger Wikipedia

That’s All Right Wikipedia

Family Tradition Wikipedia

Here in the Real World Wikipedia

The Lion Sleeps Tonight Wikipidia

Louie Louie Wikipedia

Wild Thing Wikipedia

Billboard and country charts

 

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