Feeling like the scales and chords exercises aren’t enough? You can try what you’ve learned so far, and following the steps of some of the great musicians in the world! Here we show you 20 easy to learn acoustic guitar songs with their chords.
Bear in mind that not every song in this list is precisely thought for acoustic guitar (or for guitar altogether), but don’t let that stop you. Some things you can try differently since you’re using an acoustic guitar are the following:
Try doing arpeggios instead of chords. The acoustic guitar shines when you use various techniques like arpeggiating and alternate picking.
Experiment with different tunings. For example, the guitarists of Motley Crue used to lower their E string to D for easier power chords! You can even move the whole tuning half a step up or down and see how the chords would sound.
Don’t be afraid to use a capo! It can help you achieve the original sounds of many songs without having to resort to more difficult chords!
Alright, now, let’s get to the songs! Surely you will find something according to your taste.
1: Wonderwall – Oasis (tuned down from A to G)
The chords for this all-time classic are Em7, G, Dsus4, and A7sus4. If you have a capo, you can make it sound just like the original by placing the capo in the 2nd fret. The fun thing about playing this song is that your 3rd and 4th fingers don’t move at all during the entire song!
2: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2 (tuned down to C from C#)
Unlike Bono, we did find what we were looking for: a phenomenal song for beginners! The chords for this one are G, F, and C. To play this one in its original key, you can tune your strings half a step up.
3: Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon – Neil Diamond (tuned down to Em from Gm)
A rather sad love song, in which Neil aches for the love of a young girl. The chords for this are Em, A, D, and C. To play it in its original key, place a capo in the 3rd fret or transpose the chords.
4: Mad World – Tears for Fears (tuned down to Em from Fm)
A beautiful, almost ethereal sad song. Used frequently as a reference in series like Riverdale. You will need Em, A, G, and D to play it. To play it as it would sound, try by using a capo on the 1st fret or by tuning your guitar half a step up.
5: Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana (tuned down to E from F)
This hit turned classic and is surprisingly easy to play. With a lot of downstrokes, the chords for this song are E, A, G, and D. Same as the former, get your capo on the 1st fret or tune your guitar to F.
6: Angie – Rolling Stones (original key of C)
Angie is, in my opinion, the most beautiful song about bidding farewell to a romance. If you want to feel the bittersweetness in its harmony, the chords are Am, E, C, Dm, F, and G.
7: Take me home, Country Roads – John Denver (tuned down to A from G)
This is one of the country classics that saw a revival thanks to internet memes. It’s fairly easy to play because you can choose between alternate picking and strumming, and while there’s a barre chord (F#m), it can be played with the strings B and e open, and it still sounds good. The chords for this song are A, F#M, D, E, G.
8: Stand by me – Ben E. King (original key of A)
Even Coke used this one to advertise its flagship product because the song fits the warm, family-friendly feeling associated with it. The chords for this anthem are A, F#m, D, and E.
9: Hotel California – Eagles (tuned down to Am from Bm)
A rather controversial classic, there is a lot of debate about the song’s true meaning. That hasn’t stopped millions from enjoying it and playing it too. You will need the following chords: D, F, C, E, Am, and G.
10: Kansas – Dust in the Wind (original key of Am)
An existential classic, which you can suit to your skill level. You can choose to pick or strum; even modify the chords since they’re open. For this one, you’ll need Am (and variations like Am9), C, G, Dm7, D.
11: Wind of Change – Scorpions (original key of C)
This song takes us down memory lane to the moment when the Berlin Wall was taken down. The chords for this peace anthem are C, Dm, Am, G, and F. During the bridge, you will also use Dm and E.
12: I don’t wanna miss a thing – Aerosmith (tuned down to C from D)
What can we say about a song that moves every fiber of your being when you listen to its lyrics? Even more so after watching the movie Armageddon, in which this song featured as the main soundtrack piece! The chords for the song are C, G, Am, Dm, and F.
13: Yesterday – The Beatles (original key of F)
This sad and mellow song can be played with a fairly simple strumming, using the chords F, Em7, A7, Dm, C, Bb, and G7. This might be a personal preference, but isn’t F a great key to play sad songs?
14: Knocking on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan (original key of G)
When you listen carefully to the lyrics this man was able to come up with, you understand why he’s a Nobel Prize laureate. The chords for this song are G, D, Am7, C.
15: A horse with no name – America (original key of Em)
The chords for this song are Em and D6add9/F#.
Excuse me, D what?
D6add9/F#. I know, the name is scary, but the thing about the guitar is that you can achieve very complex chords in theory by doing little effort in practice! Here’s how the chords actually look:
Piece of cake, right?
16: Brown-eyed Girl – Van Morrison (original key of G)
If feel-good is in the dictionary, this song is the perfect example of it! You’ll enjoy everything in it, from the bassline to the chords and lyrics. To play it, you need G, C, D, and Em.
17: What’s Up – 4 Non-Blondes (tuned down to G from A)
If you ask me, it’s almost magical how a song can be this mesmerizing while repeating the same 3 chords every 4 bars over and over. This is the reason why it’s still very much alive in pop culture. If you want to give it a try, the chords are G, Am, and C. To achieve the original key, put a capo in the 2nd fret.
18: Hey Joe – Jimi Hendrix (original key of E)
You didn’t think a song by Jimi Hendrix would end up in a list of songs for beginners, did you? Hey, Joe is a very contradictory song; its lyrics are very unsettling while its chords are very relaxing. The chord progression for Hey Joe is C, G, D, A, and E. This is a great song to try power chords!
19: The River – Bruce Springsteen (tuned down to Em from F#m)
This song is easy enough to sit down and sing along to it even on your first go. The chords are Em, C, D, and G. If you want to play this song in its original form, place the capo in the 2nd fret.
20: Hey Jude – The Beatles (tuned up to G from F)
What’s amazing about The Beatles is that they can achieve so much with simple chords and melodies. The chords needed for this song are F, D, D7, G, G7, C, Am, C/G, and Cmaj7/B.
Wait a minute… Those last chords sound a bit complicated, don’t you think? What does the slash mean? In both cases, the note after the slash is the bass note for the chord. So, in Cmaj7/B, the lowest note would be a B instead of a C.
These are our picks of 20 easy to learn acoustic guitar songs. Click here to listen to these songs on our Youtube playlist. For more songs and tips on how to play better, be sure to check out 10 Easy Songs To Play On Guitar For Beginners and Easy Guitar Songs to Play at Home.