You’ve heard of 3 chord songs and 4 chord songs. But 2 chord songs? Yep, they exist and there’re a whole bunch that you already know. You just didn’t know they only had 2 chords. In this article, we will be looking at 20 of them. This list contains 20 awesome sounding songs that you can play on your guitar with just 2 chords! Are you a beginner guitarist looking for some easy songs to learn? Are you an intermediate or advanced guitarist looking to learn lots of new and awesome songs? Are you someone who just likes reading guitar and music related lists? If you answered YES to any of these questions, you’re in the right place.
Are these the only songs that you can play with just 2 chords? Of course not. But they are all amazing and they’re all great fun to play for different reasons.
Before we get to the list of 2 chord songs, I need to provide a disclaimer. What I’m going to need you to do is use your common sense and to read the title of the article properly. These are 20 songs that you CAN play on guitar with just 2 chords. The title doesn’t say “you can play these 20 songs with two chords and sound just like the record”. If you think that, God help you.
This article is simply a) an interesting list and b) a potential resource for beginner guitarists who want to find material that they can learn at their current skill level or maybe even the more advanced player who just wants to learn a few quick songs.
Let’s look at one example which influenced the specific wording of the title. The Chuck Berry song You Never Can Tell is based around the C chord and the G7 chord but when you analyse it deeper, you can see a C6 in there. I’m sure there are people out there (yes, I see you and yes, I’ll ignore you) that will say “it’s not 2 chords then, is it?” To those people I say firstly, read the title of the article properly and secondly, one could quite legitimately interpret a C alternating with C6 as 1 chord as only the flavour of the chord is changing.
Many of the songs here contain more than simply two strummed chords but these are songs that you can play with two simple chords on your guitar from start to finish. If you want to go the extra mile and build on the basics that you find here and learn to play like the recording that’s great but the point is, you don’t need to if you don’t want to. Playing all these songs with the two chords listed alongside the headings is perfectly fine and it will sound great. Well, you suck so perhaps not in your case but for someone who doesn’t suck, it will sound great.
One more thing. This isn’t a guitar lesson. I’m not teaching you how to play all these songs. I’m just providing a list of songs that you can play with 2 chords and what those 2 chords are.
For the record, some are direct matches and don’t venture into other “stuff”. I’ve also not cheated (cough cough other articles on Google cough). These are all songs that you can strum through with just two chords!
2 Chord Songs #1 Ed Sheeran Sing – Chords Abm Dbm
The first entry on our list is the song entitled “Sing” by Gingerbread Ed and this one happens to be one of if not my favourite song of his. It’s the lead single from Ed’s second studio album and it was produced by Pharrell Williams who also provided backing vocals. The song hit number one in multiple countries including the UK and it reached number thirteen in the US. Very fun one to strum your way through. You can let go and have fun with this one and all you need is the A flat minor chord and the D flat minor chord.
2 Chord Songs #2 Arctic Monkeys 505 – Chords Dm Em
Second on the list is a song from one of my all-time favourite bands. The Arctic Monkeys. It’s 505 and that number does not refer to the number of chords that the song uses. It uses just two chords. Obviously. This is a nicely paced track that focuses heavily on dynamics. It has a brilliant gradual build and all you’ll need to perform it is the D minor chord and the E minor chord.
2 Chord Songs #3 Maroon 5 Moves Like Jagger – Chords Bm7 Em7
Next, we have a song from Maroon 5. Or should I say, Maroon 2 – chord song… Okay never mind. It’s Moves Like Jagger and I used to play this one all the time. It’s a nice, fun, easy to strum song with a killer groove and all you’ll need for this one is the B minor 7 chord and the E minor 7 chord. Believe it or not, this song which features Christina Aguilera was released way back in 2011. It was the fourth single from the group’s third studio album entitled Hands All Over.
2 Chord Songs #4 Chuck Berry You Never Can Tell – Chords C G7
You Never Can Tell is a song that I briefly touched on in the introduction but remember. All you need to play this song in reality is the C chord and the G dominant 7 chord. You Never Can Tell was composed by Chuck Berry in the early 60s and came out in 1964 It’s one of his most popular and successful tracks and all you need to play it is those two simple chords.
2 Chord Songs #5 Radiohead Stop Whispering – Chords D G
The fifth entry on our list of 2 chord songs is Stop Whispering. A song from the year 1993 by Radiohead. It was the third single from their debut album entitled Pablo Honey. There’s a nice distortion on this and it has a nice atmosphere to it. You can play it cleanly on acoustic too but either way, the only chords you’re going to need are the D major and G major. There’s a lot of space in this one so you may have to tweak the arrangement if you’re flying solo but great song.
2 Chord Songs #6 The Beatles Paperback Writer – Chords G7 C
The Beatles. One of if not, the greatest band the world has ever seen. They’re responsible for some of the best songs ever written and their compositions skills are legendary. They also have easy to perform songs such as Paperback Writer. A fun little song that any guitarist can play their way through with just a G dominant 7 chord and a C major chord.
2 Chord Songs #7 The Beatles Eleanor Rigby – Chords C Em
“Two Beatles songs in a row? Who writes this trash?” I hear you say to yourself in the basement of your parents’ house. Me. I write it. I placed them alongside each other just to annoy you. Eleanor Rigby is one of those where you perhaps think you need more than two chords to play it but nope. C and E minor will see you through this one on guitar. Amazing track that doesn’t get plaid much. Or nearly enough.
2 Chord Songs #8 Nirvana Something in the Way – Chords Em C/G
Something in the Way is a track from Nirvana’s ultra-famous 1991 album Nevermind. This is a nice and slow entry making it an easy option for the beginner guitarist out there. Don’t be put off by that complicated sounding chord either. E minor should be simple enough right? But C/G? What on earth is that? It’s much simpler than the name implies. Simply fret a standard open C major chord but move the third finger up a string to the third fret on the G string instead of the A string and don’t play the open A. Get it?
2 Chord Songs #9 Mark Ronson Uptown Funk – Chords Dm7 G7
Uptown Funk was a song that was EVERYWHERE in the mid-2010s and it was very successful. It’s also a song that has a lot going on. You wouldn’t think that you could strum your way through it with just 2 chords but that you can. D minor 7 and G dominant 7 in this case. Uptown Funk topped the charts in 19 countries including the UK and US and reached the top 10 in 15 other countries. Want to play a song with 2 chords that everyone on the planet will know? This is probably the one for you.
#10 The Mavericks Dance the Night Away – Chords E B7
The 1998 song Dance the Night Away is a kind of Latin pop-rock kind of song. It was written in one afternoon and it was included in the group’s fifth studio album entitled Trampoline. A nice upbeat entry that’s sure to put a smile on the faces of any audience and all you need to know is the E major chord and the B dominant 7 chord to perform this cool little track.
#11 Bruce Springsteen Born in the USA – Chords B E
Number 11 on our list is a Bruce Springsteen classic. Born in the USA. A song that you can play with just the B major chord, and the E major chord. You stay on each chord for quite some time so this one is ideal for those who are still getting the hang of those pesky chord changes. Born in the USA is a song from Springsteen’s album of the same name released in 1984 and it is legal to play it even if you weren’t born in the USA.
#12 Etta James Rather Go Blind – Chords A Bm
You wouldn’t Etta. I can categorically promise that. This blues and soul classic was released by Etta James in the year 1967. An unusual entry thanks to the I-ii chord progression but a truly beautiful song in the 6/8 time signature. This one would be ideal for those learning how to branch out from the good old 4/4 and the chord changes are nice and slow too. You’ll need a barre chord though. Maybe two depending on where you want to place his on your fretboard. You’ll have to figure out an ending too as the fade out is rather abrupt.
#13 America Horse with no Name – Chords Em D6/9
What on earth is that chord? I hear you say. Fear not. The name of that chord may seem complex but changing to it from that standard open E minor chord is insanely easy. That coupled with the nice slow pace/strumming of the song equals a nice easy two chord song suitable for guitar players of any level. If I had a horse, I’d call it Steve. Therefore, I’d call this song Horse Called Steve.
#14 The Carpenters Jambalaya – Chords G D7
There isn’t really a great deal to say about Jambalaya or Jambalaya (On the Bayou) by The Carpenters. It was originally written and recorded by Hank Williams and is a song that’s been covered a lot. Is your cover the next noteworthy version of the song? If you want to give it a try, all you’ll need is the G major chord, and the D dominant 7 chord. This one is great fun to strum. Give it a try.
#15 He’s Got the Whole World in his Hands – Chords C G7
Gone a little bit out of the box with entry number fifteen with a song that frequents the halls of Christian schools everywhere. You know what I mean if you attended one. He’s Got the Whole World in this Hands is a fun little track to strum and all you need is the open C major chord and the open G dominant 7 chord. It also reminds me of that scene from Con Air.
#16 Billie Ellish Therefore I Am – Chords Dm A
We’ve a couple of more modern contemporary pop-based entries next, starting with Therefore I Am by Billie Ellish which can be played on guitar simply with a D minor chord, and an A major chord. This one is different to most on the list. It has attitude and a great vibe to it. It’s the second single from Ellish’s second studio album entitled Happier Than Ever. Great piece of dark pop Go play it. But don’t play it while walking around a shopping mall.
#17 Alicia Keys Fallin’ – Chords Em Bm7
Next, we have Fallin’ by Alica Keys. This is another 6/8 entry that you could even play in an arpeggiated fashion making it a one of the more unique entries on the list. You’ll only need the E minor chord, and the B minor 7 chord however you decide to perform it. So, here’s a thing. This song is from 2001! Really? It’s Alicia’s debut single from here album entitled Songs in A Minor. They aren’t by the way. Don’t let that album title confuse you.
#18 Billy Ray Cyrus Achy Breaky Heart – Chords A E
Just three left now and this one is a track that appears on many of those easy guitar songs lists that you’ve probably seen on the internet. Achy Breaky Heart by Hannah Montana’s Daddy is a perfect song for beginner guitar players. The guitarist can stay on one chord for a little while (no quick chord changes) and you only need two basic chords that most guitarists learn early in their journey. Those chords being the A major chord and the E major chord.
#19 OPM Heaven is a Half Pipe – Chords Eb Ab
Laid back is an understatement. We’ve reached the penultimate entry in this list of 2 chord songs and it’s the fantastic Heaven is a Half Pipe by OPM. All you’re going to need to play through this one is the E flat major chord, and the A flat major chord. This is a nice calm track from the year 2000. It was the band’s debut single and it was included on their first album entitled Menace to Sobriety.
#20 Robin Thicke Blurred Lines – Chords G D
The final song on the list is Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. A 2013 song produced by Pharrell Williams that’s in my opinion, quite underrated and you guessed it, you only need two chords to get through this one and in this case, you can use the G major and D major chords. I’m only doing this once on this list which Is why I left this one till last but there is a very cool little riff in there too which I strongly encourage you to learn. You can do so here in this lesson which teaches 3 easy guitar songs in 1 lesson.
Maybe the other two songs in that lesson are also in that list. Who knows.
This article really is what it is. There aren’t really any conclusions to draw from this list. This is simply a list of 20 songs that you can play on guitar with 2 chords. Do some of these songs contain more elements than two chords? Yes. Do you need to worry about that? No. If you need to learn the full song for whatever reason then go do that. This isn’t the purpose of this article.
Interesting though, isn’t it? There’s a lot of great songs with a foundation of just 2 chords. Is there a music lesson that we could learn here? Probably. It reminds me of that quote. I can’t remember who said it but it goes something along the lines of “a rock guitarist plays 3 chords in front of 30,000 people and a jazz guitarist plays 30,000 chords in front of 3 people”.
It really doesn’t matter how many chords a song has. What matters is how good that song sounds. As far as I’m concerned, you’re one talented mother f***** if you can compose an amazing piece of music with give or take just 2 chords.
Hello. My name is Ryan J Mellor and I play the guitar. I’m also the creator of Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat. I’ve ben a guitarist for many years and my guitar playing has been described as “above average”. My guitar and music knowledge is somewhat impressive but most importantly, I have a passion for creating great guitar and music related content.