One of the most exciting things to do when you’re starting to learn guitar is beginning to learn actual songs rather than individual notes and chords. It can be difficult to know which songs are easy and which ones are difficult, however, so you might end up picking challenging numbers that don’t do anything other than erode your confidence and make you feel like you don’t want to pick up a guitar ever again.
We’ve picked out a number of easy guitar songs that will complement your learning brilliantly, and also prove a great foundation for when you want to move on to more complex and difficult songs and arrangements, irrespective of the genre you’re looking to become competent at playing.
As well as easy guitar songs to learn, these are all useful tracks for those who want to practice singing and playing at the same time, which is never as easy as it looks.
This is probably Petty’s most well-known track and is very easy to play on guitar, as you only need to use a handful of finger positions to play the entire song. It is simple, middle of the road, and a catchy song that everyone knows if you’re looking to show off your new found guitar prowess to friends or family members.
Younger generations probably first heard this track when it was sung in a famous scene from the movie Armageddon, although it was a country classic across three decades before that reference.
The song has spawned several cover versions over the years, including many by American punk-ska bands in the late 1990s and early 2000s. As a result, it is an excellent song for beginners, as it only uses three chords, as well as providing a great base for building in your own riffs or playing quicker, rockier versions of the track.
In truth, many Oasis tracks are easy to learn; Blur’s Damon Albarn didn’t deridingly label them as “Quoasis” for nothing at the height of their 1990s Britpop feud.
Wonderwall is easy to learn in terms of the chords, but does present a challenge in terms of the timing of the strum, and in particular, the sound you generate from strumming upwards during the track. Overall, however, it is a good beginner level track where you can start putting your early knowledge and basic skills into practice.
While listening to this song from beginning to end might make it sound like a difficult track to play, it is still a reasonable possibility for a beginner, while admittedly introducing more challenging notes and moves around the fret board.
The great thing about Sweet Home Alabama from a beginner’s perspective is that it has a little bit of everything. It is a catchy tune, which means you’re playing something that, in all probability, you like listening to and enjoy playing. It has individual strings, chords, a solo, and a good mix of slow and quicker sequences. If you’ve been learning for a while and have mastered songs that use three or four chords, then this might be a great track to try to play as a means of gauging your progress as a guitarist.
This is a classic track that is great for experimenting with in terms of improvisation at the solos that feature in various parts of the song. It offers a similar range of variety than Sweet Home Alabama, but is slower, so if you find the previous track a touch too difficult at first, this is a great alternative for leading into it.
Romeo and Juliet is starting to move towards intermediate territory, but that is more to do with the range of notes you’ll be playing rather than any other factors. The speed of this track is excellent for learning how to vary your pace within a track; the verses are slow and methodical, while the chorus quickens without running away from you at a million miles an hour.
This track is great for honing your timing and playing to a rhythm without relying on a drum or bass line to guide you.
We know what you’re thinking, how can this possibly be an easy song to learn?
‘Sweet Child’ is a perfect example of a song that sounds a lot harder to play than it actually is. Once you’ve been learning guitar for a while and built some confidence through playing the other tracks we’ve suggested here, you’ll find it reasonably straightforward to play it yourself.
The best way to start playing these tracks is to learn the individual components first, and then eventually build up to playing the track as a whole. Don’t get too far ahead of where you’re at with your learning when picking tracks to play, or else you could find yourself losing confidence and interest very quickly.
With the guitar, there’s nothing wrong with starting with the easy stuff and working your way up to the more challenging chords and tracks. Follow this path and you’ll find guitar success much easier to come by.
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