Easy guitar songs are the subject for today and what you’re going to find is fairly self explanatory. I’ve compiled a list of songs that are relatively easy to play on guitar for both beginners who are the primary target for this article and non beginners alike who may simply be seeking easy guitar songs to add to their repertoire. The list is in no particular order and the songs vary in terms of their difficulty although they all fall under the easy umbrella.
Any guitarist at the intermediate level or above will not face any issues while learning these songs but the beginners will find some of the songs more challenging than others. Fear not. They’re all achievable but some will require more work and practice than others. If you do struggle with a song, don’t panic. You’ll get there.
Furthermore, the idea was to provide variation so hopefully, you’ll notice that I’ve tried to provide a healthy mix in not only complexity, but in terms of genre too. I won’t have pleased everyone with my song choices but my hope is that the mix in styles will give as many guitarists as possible something new to learn. I’ve also tried to list songs that as many guitarists as possible will have heard of rather than picking more obscure compositions that folk have little interest in learning. This is hard to judge but I’m pretty happy with my choices in this regard.
One thing I am one hundred percent confident with though is the fact that the songs here are all actually truly easy. During my many years playing the guitar, I’ve come across this type of list many times and all too often, a lot of the songs in those lists aren’t actually easy. Sometimes I’m sure it’s the egomaniac guitarist issue where they need to prove how awesome they are so they list intermediate songs or maybe even hard songs in order to appear like the cool kid in school. Another trend I’ve noticed is that sites just so happen to have lessons for the songs in their lists created already resulting in the entire thing feeling like a linking exercise rather than actual advice. I have lessons for many of the songs in my list but I’ll be limiting the links to just a few so you can focus on the topic and trust what I’m saying. Other times, I would see songs in these lists that aren’t easy but contain an easy part such as a guitar riff but for me, this is poor advice in my opinion because I see the subject of easy guitar songs differently.
I interoperate the phrase easy guitar songs as songs that any guitarist (with practice in many cases), can learn from start to finish in a manner at least similar to what was recorded. In other words, a song with a catchy and simple intro doesn’t count if there’s a tricky guitar solo later. I don’t want you playing a two bar riff on loop for an hour. I want you learning full songs and that’s what my list of easy guitar songs is for.
Anyway, that about covers the introduction apart from one small point that’s worth noting and that’s the fact that this list of easy guitar songs isn’t exclusive. Of course, there are easy songs that aren’t here but the line must be drawn somewhere. I think my list of easy guitar songs ticks all the boxes. There’s a nice mix of styles, the songs are all well known and despite varying degrees of difficulty, they’re all easy. Let’s get to the list!
List of easy guitar songs
Here we go. My list of easy guitar songs in no particular order. Don’t forget this list is here. If you’re ever in need of an easy song to learn on guitar, remember Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat!
Easy guitar songs #1 Rumble Link Wray
What a way to start off this list. Any guitarist who is interested in getting started with the exciting world of instrumental guitar music should begin with Rumble by Link Wray. Rumble uses just a few basic chords and there’s only a few parts to learn including the most basic of minor pentatonic licks. It’s nice and slow too. This one can be tackled by very new guitarists and learning it will make them sound awesome right away
Easy guitar songs #2 In Bloom Nirvana
In Bloom is one of my favourite Nirvana tracks and I’m so glad that I was able to learn this gain heavy grunge classic quite early on in my guitar journey. If you know power chords, this one will not cause you any problems and there are even points where the guitar drops out entirely allowing you a chance to take a short break. The pace is slow to moderate which also helps especially when you arrive at the guitar solo which isn’t complex and to be honest, the rough and crude grunge sound allows you some flexibility in the lead guitar department too
Nirvana In Bloom TAB and guitar lesson
Easy guitar songs #3 Hurt Johnny Cash
Hurt isn’t a Johnny Cash composition. It was originally recorded by Nine Inch Nails but Cash really made this track his own with a cover that utilizes a few basic chords. The strummed chorus parts are even easier than the sparsely populated verse sections. This is one that will not force any guitarist out of their comfort zone. Johnny Cash’s Hurt could be one of the first songs that a beginner guitarist learns all the way through.
Easy guitar songs #4 Can’t Buy Me Love The Beatles
Can’t Buy Me Love by The Beatles features the first guitar solo that I ever learned. The solo is minor pentatonic based and very easy to follow and great fun too. For the rest of the song, you’ll be strumming some basic chords and for a huge chunk of the track, the chords follow the twelve bar blues pattern making it easy to memorise if you have that twelve bar knowledge. It’s a little more up tempo than some of the other tracks on the list but the strumming for the most part can be performed with a simple down down up up down up pattern.
Easy guitar songs #5 Stand By Me Ben E. King
Stand By Me by Ben E. King perhaps isn’t a track that comes to mind when you think of guitars but it’s a great one for guitarists to learn because you simply perform the same few bars on loop for the entire song. The recording feels more complex than this but to play it on guitar, all we need is one simple chord progression which uses simple open chord shapes when paired with a capo or simple barre chord shapes without a capo.
Easy guitar songs #6 All The Small Things Blink 182
All The Small Things by Blink 182 is the ultimate pop punk track and great news. It’s a very easy song to play on guitar especially if you’re already familiar with that good old power chord. This one is a mix of open and muted power chords with a nice simple eighth note based rhythm and it falls more into the category of fun than challenging when it comes to learning and performing the song. The most tricky part is when the chords are broken down but any guitarist can get the hang of that section with a little practice.
Easy guitar songs #7 Day Tripper The Beatles
Great news. One of the world’s greatest and we’ll known guitar riffs is part of a song that’s easy to play on guitar. Day Tripper by The Beatles features a riff that any guitarist can learn and the rest of the song won’t push you either. That same riff moves around the fretboard with little alteration, and the non riff parts are quite simple too. This is a true guitar classic that guitar players of any level can tackle for sure.
Easy guitar songs #8 Wipeout The Surfaris
Wipeout is an instrumental track by the Surfaris that every guitarist simply must tackle and the good news is, every guitarist can tackle it with relative ease. There is a guitar solo in there but it isn’t over the top and the rest of the track is based on two sections that follow that good old twelve bar blues progression. There’s a chord based section where the guitar player is it performing for a short section of each bar thanks to the drums taking the forefront and then there’s the riff based sections which follow a nice and simple rhythm.
Surfaris Wipeout TAB and guitar lesson
Easy guitar songs #9 Pretty Woman Roy Orbison
Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison is one of the easy guitar songs that I always teach quite early on. There’re basic riffs which a guitarist can pretty much play from day one and the rest of the song can be played with a down down up up down up strumming pattern. There is a barre chord in there which may prove tricky for some but aside from that, Pretty Woman is smooth sailing.
Roy Orbison Pretty Woman guitar lesson
Easy guitar songs #10 Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door Bob Dylan
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan is one of those easy guitar songs that fall into the absolute beginner category. All that a guitarist needs for this one is some very basic strumming and chord changing skills and a repertoire of the most basic guitar chords. There isn’t much to learn in terms of sections and I would even suggest that this one is a great track to use for practicing strumming and chord changes.
Easy guitar songs #11 House of the Rising Sun The Animals
House of the Rising Sun by The Animals can be performed in a couple of different ways on guitar but thankfully, both of these approaches are nice and straightforward. All you’ll need for this one is a knowledge of the most basic of chords and the ability of changing from one simple chord to the next. There isn’t much to memorise either which is always a nice bonus as you can focus simply on the performance rather than on what comes next.
Easy guitar songs #12 Redemption Song Bob Marley
We have a classic from Bob Marley next with Redemption Song. This one has a simple and cool little main guitar riff and a simple set of basic open chords that are oh so easy to strum. The great thing about this track is the tempo. The whole song is nice and slow making it even easier still and this one is a nice and relaxing one to perform too which may reduce that beginner guitarist tension.
Bob Marley Redemption Song guitar lesson
Easy guitar songs #13 Eight Days a Week The Beatles
Another Beatles song? Who writes this s***? That would be me. They just so happen to have a few easy guitar songs which also happen to be rather good. Eight Days a Week starts with a distinctive intro which is nice and easy to play as it’s based on a familiar chord and the rest is just nice and simple strumming at a moderate tempo with a simple pattern. This one does contain some Barre chords but if you have a basic command of them, Eight Days a Week won’t cause you any trouble.
Easy guitar songs #14 Smells Like Teen Spirit Nirvana
Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana is the ultimate grunge song and guitar players simply must learn how to play it. Most of the parts use simple power chords and the verses are easier still as they use just two notes. There is a guitar solo in this one but it’s easy as far as solos go because it basically follows the main melody of the song. This guitar solo is an ideal one for those looking to branch out into the world of lead guitar.
Easy guitar songs #15 Brown Eyed Girl Van Morrison
Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison is a nice, bright and up beat little track with an absolute killer of a main guitar riff. The riff may prove to be a little fiddly and maybe a little fast moving for some at first but anyone can get it with practice and after that, it’s all smooth sailing as you simply strum your way through the rest of the song with simple chords at a pleasantly moderate pace. A nice and calm little strum based track with just the right amount if challenge at the beginning.
Van Morrison Brown Eyed Girl guitar lesson
Easy guitar songs #16 Hey Ya Outkast
Hey Ya by Outkast is one that gets overlooked all too often when people think of easy guitar songs but this is another track that can go into that absolute beginner guitarist category and it can very much be one of the first songs a guitarist learns. The chords are all basic open ones and there’s a grand total of one chord progression to learn that loops through the entire song without any alteration. The hardest part about Hey Ya is the inclusion of a 2/4 bar in the progression but once you master that, you’re good to go.
Easy guitar songs #17 There She Goes The La’s
There she goes again. I almost forgot about this one but I had a brain wave and stuffed it into the middle. The main guitar riff in this track may seem fiddly and complex but if you perform it correctly with the right fingering, it’s a lot easier than it may seem to some. The rest of the song is nice and simple strumming and it’s all open chords too and there’s a good quantity of simple downward strums. I learned this one early. You can too. In fact, it was one of the very first songs I learned to play all the way through.
Easy guitar songs #18 Sing Ed Sheeran
Sing by Ed Sheeran is by far the most ginger entry on the list but you honestly shouldn’t let that put you off learning this easy guitar song. Another thing that you shouldn’t be put off by is the fact that it uses barre chords. Yes, barre chords are harder but you only need two chords in total and the song uses the same chord progression/structure through the vast majority of the song. Just a little hard work on those barre chords and a few minutes memorising a chord progression will mean that you can play one of Ginger Bread Ed’s best songs.
Easy guitar songs #19 Blurred Lines Robin Thicke
Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke falls into two categories. It falls into both the easy guitar songs category and also the category of songs you don’t necessarily think of when you think about typical guitar songs but I encourage every guitarist to learn it because it has a cool groove, an awesome little bass note run and it only uses two chords! Like the Ed Sheeran song earlier, the chords are barre chords but the simplicity of the structure and lack of parts to learn more than make up for the difficulty imposed by those barre chords. This one is great fun.
#20 Bad Moon Rising CCR
Bad Moon Rising by CCR is yet another easy guitar song that’s suitable for every guitar player. All you’ll need for this one is three simple chords that I guarantee you’ll already know, a couple of very basic strumming patterns and the ability to memorise a whole two chord progressions. This one is fun and bouncy and very enjoyable to play and most will be able to master it very quickly indeed.
#21 Paperback Writer The Beatles
Beatles again? Is this the only band you’ve heard of? Yea I see you in the inbox and yes, I do ignore emails from *******. Two parts. That’s all you need to learn if you want to play Paperback Writer from start to finish. There’s a simple and rather awesome guitar riff with a couple of tiny variations and there’s a rhythm section. Both are incredibly easy and this is another one that is suitable for absolutely every guitar player out there.
#22 Talkin’ Bout a Revolution Tracy Chapman
There’s a simple two step process to learning Talkin’ Bout a Revolution by Tracy Chapman. Want to hear the two steps? Okay here goes. Step one, learn the intro. Step two, you’re done. All you need to do in order to play this great song all the way through is learn the song’s intro and then simply loop that for the rest of the recording and the icing on the cake is that the chords used are very simple and so is the rhythm and strumming.
Talkin’ Bout a Revolution Tracy Chapman guitar lesson
#23 Mannish Boy Muddy Waters
The word repetition is very much at home when it’s used to describe the great track Mannish Boy by Muddy Waters because the entire song is based around one simple single minor pentatonic little guitar riff. If you can play that riff, you can play the song. There’re a couple of other bits you’ll want to learn too but this one is all about that nice and easy riff. Mannish Boy is also a great way of practicing the incorporation of improvised blues licks into a groove so if that’s something you’d like to do, this is definitely the track for you.
#24 Polly Nirvana
We’ve another Nirvana entry next but this one doesn’t have the big distortion. This one is a nice calm tempo acoustic track but it still has that rough around the edges grunge feel to it which we all love of course. As for the guitar parts, do you know what a power chord is? Great. If you know what power chords are, you can play Polly by Nirvana because it’s just a couple of slightly different power chord sections. The rhythm is easy to follow too. A great one for those who are practicing moving that power chord shape around the fretboard.
#25 Twist and Shout The Beatles
Yes, more Beatles. Deal with it. Want a fun fact about this recording? It was done in one take at the end of a twelve hour recording session. Impressive is an understatement. John’s vocals are incredible. The guitar stuff is good too but there isn’t a great deal to it which is good for you because it’s nice and easy. It’s a short track which naturally means it’s easier to reach the end and what you have to do isn’t at all complex. It’s at a friendly tempo and the instrumental part is just an extension of what you were already doing.
#26 Three Little Birds Bob Marley
Don’t worry about a thing folks because Three Little Birds by Bob Marley is very much at home in any list of easy guitar songs. It’s on pretty much all of them after all and for good reason. Three Little Birds is everything you want in an easy guitar song. Nice calm tempo, easy rhythm (off beat), basic simple chords and Just a couple of simple parts to learn. Laid back is an understatement and this will only help you. Tension is a guitarist’s enemy and there will be no tension when you’re learning this one.
#27 Achy Breaky Heart Billy Ray Cyrus
Achy Breaky Heart by Miley Cyrus’ Daddy is found on pretty much every list of easy guitar songs that you’ll come across. Not just because it’s easy (which it is) either. The great thing about this one is that it’s got both an easy rhythm section but also sections of lead guitar which are equally as easy too. Sure there’s more to learn than with some of the other entries, but I can’t really envision anything within Achy Breaky Heart causing guitar players of any level any real problems.
#28 Stay With Me Sam Smith
“It isn’t even a guitar song”. I know that it’s a piano. I can hear. I’ve included Stay With Me by Sam Smith in my list of easy guitar songs because it transitions to the guitar easily and when you do play it on guitar, it’s easy. The reasons that it’s easy to play on guitar is all down to the rhythm. You barely have to do any work in terms of strumming. As long as you can feel what the rhythm is doing and change chords at the right time, you’ll face no issues. This is also a great one for those interested in pop and who want to practice singing and playing at the same time.
#29 Chasing Cars Snow Patrol
Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol is a song with a very eimple rhythm that any guitarist can get the hang of. It’s very much an eighth note based track (one and two and three and four and). If you can follow that, you’re on to a winner. The ease is compounded by the fact that there isn’t any complexity in the whole of the four and a half minutes. This is one that you can get lost in. There’s a nice range dynamically too which is a great thing to practice.
#30 Free Fallin’ Tom Petty
Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty is a beginner guitarist player’s wet dream. Why? It’s sooooo easy. Why is it so easy? Well, the song is just over four minutes in length and guess how many things you need to learn. One. You need just one simple chord progression to play this song from start to end. Well almost. There’s a couple of other tiny things but they’ll take just a couple of minutes to pick up and as long as you remember the arrangement, this one will cause no problems for guitar players of any level.
#31 Wonderwall Oasis
Today is gonna be the day where you go and learn a song. So when I studied music at college, there was this guy who played Oasis in the practice rooms CONSTANTLY. Good guitarist, but for f*** sake. Never played Wonderwall though which always confused me because it’s just one of those songs that all guitar players (from the UK at least) learn. The reason all us Brits learn it is because it’s an easy song to play. All you need to do is strum a few chords. It has a nice mundane tempo and it’s repetitive (this is good).
#32 Wild Thing The Troggs
Wild Thing by The Troggs is one of those easy guitar songs that can be tackled by the early beginners out there. This one is simplicity personified. All you’ll need to learn is a couple of basic guitar riffs and learn the structure of the song. Wild Thing is only two and a half minutes long and a big portion of the song features no to little guitar playing. This is good for the beginners because it means playing the song from start to end is much easier than many of the others on the list.
#33 Bang a Gang (get it on) T REX
Bang a Gang (get it on) is a lot longer than some entries in the list at Just over four and a half minutes which means you’ll need to work a little harder and keep your concentration a little more but this T REX track is still an easy one. Bang a Gang has a shuffle kinda feel to it and there’s another choppy guitar on top too but there aren’t any parts in this one that will cause a guitarist any issues. The work in this one comes with learning the arrangement and having enough endurance to get through but the actual parts are cake.
#34 American Idiot Greenday
I remember everyone learning this at school way before I ever picked up a guitar and even at that stage, I knew American Idiot was an easy guitar song through the grape vine. There’s quite a bit of empty spots for guitar and for the most part, it’s based on that main simple power chord based riff and the chorus section. There’s a guitar solo too but even that isn’t hugely challenging. The solo closely follows the rhythm of the melody making it easy to memorize.
#35 Breaking the Law Judas Priest
I’m sure there will be a lot of guitar players out there who will be extremely happy that a song with such a badass guitar riff has found it’s way into this list of easy guitar songs. Breaking the Law by Judas Priest is a song with a very cool yet very easy main riff which is repeated several times during the song and the parts that surround it are equally as easy. The hardest thing about this one is learning the arrangement but that’s countered by the short run time of the track. It clocks in at around just two and a half minutes.
#36 Song 2 Blur
I really should have placed this in slot two in the list. Never mind. Song 2 by Blur is only two minutes long too. There isn’t much work to do considering the entire song is basically based on a couple of very short guitar riffs that alternate between a clean sound and a heavily distorted tone. This is a very cool little song that any guitarist can add to their repertoire with ease. Very little work or thought is required at all for this one.
#37 Jambalaya Hank Williams
Want to learn a song that uses just two guitar chords? Jambalaya by Hank Williams is the one for you. G and C open chords. That’s all you need. There’s an eight bar chord progression to memorise and that’s about it. You can strum as basic as you like and get through this short country track easily in a very short time. You could challenge yourself a little more and give your performance more of a country feel by incorporating the picking of the bass notes at the top of the chords. Definitely worth a try. I don’t think it would cause many problems at all.
That concludes my list of easy guitar songs. There’s nothing else really to add if I’m honest because the article is fairly self explanatory. One thing that’s perhaps worth pointing out is that this may not be the last list on this subject so stick around and you may discover more easy guitar songs in the future. I said I would keep the links to lessons down to a minimum and I ultimately decided on 5. There are more song tutorials for entries on this list here at Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat though so be sure to check out the guitar lessons page if you’d like to learn more of these.
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.