There’s a whole out there of easy guitar songs to strum. Whether you’re holding an acoustic guitar for the first time or looking to expand your repertoire, this article is your ticket to strumming success. We’ll explore some amazing easy songs, their chord progressions, and strumming patterns that are perfect for beginners.
So, grab your guitar, and let’s get strumming!
1. Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison is iconic. This song is a quintessential example of an easy guitar song that resonates with guitar players of all levels.
The beauty of this tune lies in its simplicity. The entire song revolves around just a few chords, making it an ideal choice for beginners. The chord progression is straightforward yet catchy, and the strumming pattern is consistent throughout, allowing you to focus more on your rhythm as you play.
2. Ho Hey – The Lumineers
This indie anthem has a unique charm and is a fantastic country song for beginners. It features only four chords that repeat throughout the song, making it easy to memorize and play. The strumming pattern in Ho Hey is simple and allows for a lot of room to play around with dynamics, making it a fantastic song for practicing your strumming techniques.
Did you know that Ho Hey was a sleeper hit, taking its time to climb up the charts? It eventually became a global phenomenon, and we’re so glad it did!
3. Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones
Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones is a slightly more advanced song but still accessible for those who’ve just started playing guitar. The song’s chord progression is a bit more complex than the previous two, but it’s a great way to introduce minor chords and more intricate strumming patterns.
The rhythm of this song is infectious, and it’s a fantastic track for learning how to maintain a consistent strumming pattern while changing chords smoothly.
The song was actually recorded in a marathon session, and the band experimented with numerous musical styles before settling on the iconic samba rock groove.
4. Get Lucky – Daft Punk
Moving on to Get Lucky by Daft Punk. This song might seem like an unlikely choice for beginners, but it’s actually a four-chord song that’s incredibly fun and easy to play. The chord progressions are repetitive and catchy, making it easy to get the hang of. Plus, Daft Punk is sure to be a cool addition to your musical repertoire.
Get Lucky marks a departure from Daft Punk’s usual electronic sound, incorporating live instruments, including guitars, which gives it a unique flavor.
5. All Of Me – John Legend
This beautiful ballad is a hit song for those looking to practice their acoustic guitar skills. The chord progression in All of Me is a bit more complex than the other songs on this list, but it’s a great way to challenge yourself and improve. The strumming pattern is gentle and rhythmic, making it a perfect song to play for a special someone.
Fun fact: All of Me was inspired by John Legend’s wife, Chrissy Teigen, and was performed at their wedding.
6. Yellow – Coldplay
Yellow by Coldplay is a must-learn for any beginner guitarist. This song is a prime example of how a simple chord progression can create an atmospheric and emotive sound. Yellow features a repeating set of chords, making it easy for beginners to pick up. The strumming pattern is also straightforward, allowing you to focus on the dynamics and feel of the song.
The title Yellow was chosen spontaneously. Chris Martin was looking for a word that sounded nice and was inspired by the Yellow Pages.
7. Mr. Jones – Counting Crows
Dive into the 90s with Mr. Jones by Counting Crows. This song is a great introduction to more narrative-driven guitar songs. The chord progressions in Mr. Jones are slightly more complex than some of the other songs on this list, but they’re still accessible for beginners. The strumming pattern varies throughout the song, offering a good challenge for those looking to improve their rhythm skills.
Did you know that Mr. Jones was inspired by the band’s frontman, Adam Duritz, and his friend’s desire to become a famous rock star?
8. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
For those ready to step up their game, Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses is a fantastic choice. While known for its iconic guitar solos, the rhythm section of the song is quite approachable for beginners. The chords are classic, and the strumming pattern is steady, making it a great song for practicing chord changes and rhythm. It’s a great song to practice on both the acoustic and electric guitar!
Sweet Child O’ Mine was Guns N’ Roses’ first and only number-one hit in the U.S.
9. Stand By Me – Ben E. King
Stand By Me by Ben E. King is a timeless classic that’s perfect for beginners. This song’s chord progression is a great example of a four-chord song that’s easy to learn but sounds full and rich. The strumming pattern is consistent and simple, which helps you focus on smooth chord transitions.
Stand By Me was originally inspired by a spiritual song written in the early 20th century and was given a modern twist by Ben E. King.
10. Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival is a fantastic addition to any beginner’s song list. This song features a lively and upbeat chord progression that’s fun to play. The strumming pattern is relatively straightforward, making it a great song for practicing rhythm and timing. Plus, the catchy tune of Bad Moon Rising is sure to be a hit at any gathering.
Did you know that despite its upbeat tune, the song’s lyrics were inspired by a movie about a hurricane?
11. One – U2
One by U2 is not just a pleasure to listen to but also to play. This tune is a brilliant choice for guitarists looking to explore a slightly more complex chord progression while still keeping things manageable.
One features a mix of open chords and barre chords, offering a good balance of challenge and accessibility. The strumming pattern is straightforward, making it a great song for practicing your strumming dynamics.
One was written in a period of band turmoil, and its creation helped resolve misunderstandings and solidify U2’s future.
12. Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty
Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty is an all-time favorite among guitar beginners and enthusiasts. This song’s simple yet beautiful chord progression is perfect for those just starting out. The strumming pattern is consistent and easy to follow, allowing beginners to focus on their chord changes. What’s interesting is that Free Fallin’ was written in just a few minutes, proving that some of the best songs are born from simplicity.
13. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Dive into the southern rock vibe with Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd. This song is a great introduction to a more upbeat and rhythmic strumming style. The chord progression in Sweet Home Alabama is iconic and more rhythmic, which can be a fun challenge for beginners. The strumming pattern is a bit more intricate compared to other songs on this list, providing a good opportunity to develop your strumming skills.
Did you know that this song was a response to Neil Young’s songs Southern Man and Alabama, which dealt with themes of racism in the South?
14. Hey Joe – Jimi Hendrix
Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix is an excellent song for those looking to add a bit of rock flair to their repertoire. While Jimi Hendrix is known for his complex guitar work, the rhythm guitar part of Hey Joe is approachable for beginners. The strumming pattern, while more energetic, can be mastered with practice.
A cool fact about Hey Joe is that it wasn’t originally written by Hendrix; it’s a cover that became one of his signature songs.
15. The Beatles – Here Comes The Sun
This is a delightful and optimistic tune that’s great for guitarists looking to explore more intricate fingerpicking patterns in addition to strumming. While it may require a bit more practice than the other songs on this list, the effort is certainly worth it.
George Harrison wrote this song in Eric Clapton’s garden, using one of Clapton’s acoustic guitars.
16. House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
House of the Rising Sun by The Animals is a song with a haunting melody and a rich history. This song is particularly famous for its arpeggiated chord progression, which is a fantastic exercise for beginners to practice picking individual strings. The progression uses mostly open chords, making it accessible for those just starting out.
The history of the song is shrouded in mystery, with its origins believed to be from a traditional folk song. The Animals’ version, however, brought it to the mainstream, creating an enduring classic.
17. Wonderwall – Oasis
Wonderwall is an anthem known to virtually every guitar player. This song features a sequence of open chords with a capo on the second fret, making it a great song for beginners to learn to play with a capo. The strumming pattern is distinctive yet approachable for new players.
Wonderwall has become a staple in the repertoire of many guitarists, and its great melody and simple progression make it a favorite to play and sing along to.
18. Lukas Graham – 7 Years
7 Years by Lukas Graham is a modern pop song that translates beautifully to acoustic guitar. The song’s progression is simple and repetitive, making it easy for beginners to master. The strumming pattern helps maintain the song’s rhythmic feel.
7 Years is a story with lyrics that span the journey of life, making it resonate with many listeners. This is just another reason why it’s so satisfying to play.
19. Wild Horses – The Rolling Stones
Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones is a classic rock ballad that’s surprisingly beginner-friendly. The song features a mix of open chords and a few barre chords, presenting a good learning opportunity for beginners. The strumming pattern is gentle and complements the song’s emotive lyrics.
Wild Horses is often praised for its heartfelt lyrics and is considered one of The Rolling Stones’ most beautiful songs.
20. Good Riddance – Green Day
Good Riddance by Green Day is a fantastic song for beginners to learn. Known for its memorable opening line and distinctive melody, this song features simple chords and a basic strumming pattern. It’s a great song for practicing chord transitions and strumming consistency.
Good Riddance has become a popular song for significant life events, embodying themes of change and moving on.
21. London Calling – The Clash
Dive into the punk rock world with London Calling by The Clash. This easy song is an excellent choice for beginners looking to explore more energetic strumming patterns and power chords. The chords in London Calling are straightforward, focusing on a few basic chords that are perfect for practicing quick chord changes. The song’s driving rhythm and raw energy make it an exciting addition to any beginner’s playlist.
London Calling reflects the band’s concern about political issues, such as unemployment and racial conflict, making it a powerful and relevant song even today.
22. Sweet Jane – The Velvet Underground
Sweet Jane by The Velvet Underground is a classic rock song that’s wonderfully suited for beginner guitarists. The song features simple chords and a relaxed strumming pattern. This song is great for those looking to add a bit of rock ‘n’ roll flair to their playing.
Sweet Jane has been covered by many artists over the years, a testament to its enduring appeal and fun melody.
23. Knocking on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan
Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan is a timeless song that’s incredibly accessible for beginners. The song consists of a gentle strumming pattern, making it perfect for those just starting out on the guitar.
The emotional depth and simplicity of Knocking on Heaven’s Door have made it a beloved classic and a staple in the repertoire of many guitarists. Bob Dylan actually wrote this song for the soundtrack of the movie Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, and it quickly became more popular than the film itself.
24. Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
Landslide by Fleetwood Mac is a beautiful song that introduces beginner guitarists to fingerpicking patterns. While slightly more challenging than strumming, the fingerpicking pattern in Landslide is repetitive and manageable, making it a great introduction to this style of playing. The song’s progression is straightforward, allowing you to focus on the fingerpicking technique. Landslide is not just a song; it’s an emotional journey, making it a rewarding piece to learn and play.
25. Candy- Paolo Nutini
Candy by Paolo Nutini is a wonderful song for beginners looking to explore a more soulful and rhythmic style. The strumming pattern has a relaxed, soulful groove to it, which makes Candy great for practicing dynamics and expression in your playing. The song’s heartfelt lyrics and catchy melody is a favorite for both listeners and players alike.
26. With or Without You – U2
With or Without You by U2 is a song that combines emotional depth with musical simplicity, making it an excellent choice for beginner guitarists. The song features a minimalistic progression, allowing beginners to focus on the nuances of dynamics and timing. The strumming pattern is straightforward and consistent, ideal for practicing a steady rhythm. With or Without You is known for its haunting ambiance and is a great example of how a simple song can have a profound impact.
27. Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams is a quintessential rock anthem that’s both fun and easy to play. This song is perfect for practicing power chords and getting a feel for more upbeat and energetic strumming patterns. The chords are lively and straightforward, and the song’s nostalgic lyrics make it a crowd favorite.
28. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
I’m Yours by Jason Mraz is a modern pop song with a laid-back vibe, perfect for beginner guitarists. The song features a simple progression and a relaxed strumming pattern that’s easy to pick up. This tune is great for learning how to play in a more relaxed and fluid style.
I’m Yours has become a popular song for its positive message and catchy melody, making it a fun addition to any guitar player’s collection.
29. Valerie – Amy Winehouse
This is a soulful and upbeat song that’s great for guitarists looking to explore rhythm and groove. The progression in Valerie is repetitive and easy to follow, making it suitable for beginners. The strumming pattern has a bit of a swing to it, which adds to the song’s soulful feel. Valerie is a fantastic song for those who want to practice playing with more rhythm and soul.
30. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen is a song of great emotional depth and simplicity in its chord structure, making it a popular choice among beginner guitarists. The song features a series of basic chords that create a powerful and moving melody. The strumming pattern is gentle and rhythmic, allowing the player to really connect with the song’s emotive lyrics.
Hallelujah has been covered by many artists, each bringing their own interpretation to this timeless classic.
What Makes an Easy Strum Guitar Song?
When you’re starting out on the guitar, finding songs that are both enjoyable and manageable to play can be a key factor in your motivation to learn. But what exactly makes a song’s strumming easy?
Simple Chord Progressions
Simply progressions often involve open chords, which are easier for beginners to learn and play. They require fewer finger movements and are played using the first few frets of the guitar. Songs that use a sequence of only three chords or the same four chords are ideal for beginners, as they allow you to focus on your strumming without worrying about how you’re going to switch chords smoothly. Songs with c chords are also easier to play, as this is one of the main chords that beginners master initially.
Repetitive Strumming Patterns
The rhythm of a song is largely dictated by its strumming pattern. Easy strum songs typically have repetitive and straightforward strumming patterns. This repetition allows you to practice and get comfortable with maintaining a steady rhythm. As you become more confident, you can start to add nuances and dynamics to your strumming, but initially, simplicity is key.
The tempo, or speed, of a song also plays a significant role. Songs with slower tempos are often easier for beginners because they give you more time to think about chord changes and strumming patterns. As you develop your skills, you can gradually tackle songs with a faster tempo.
Songs that are well-known and loved tend to be more engaging to learn. When you’re familiar with the melody and rhythm of a song or even the opening riff, it’s easier to understand how the guitar part fits into the overall structure of the song. This familiarity can be a huge advantage when you’re just starting out.
Many easy guitar songs are versatile, meaning they can be played in various settings and still sound amazing. Whether you’re practicing alone at home, playing around a campfire, or performing at a small gathering, these songs adapt well to different environments. This versatility makes them a great addition to any beginner’s repertoire.
Lastly, an emotional connection to the song can make a big difference. When you’re emotionally invested in a song, you’re more likely to be motivated to practice and play it well. This connection can make the learning process more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Embarking on the journey of learning guitar can be both exciting and challenging. When you’re armed with a repertoire of guitar songs, you’re well-equipped to make this journey enjoyable and rewarding. The songs we’ve explored in this guide, with their simple chord progressions, repetitive strumming patterns, and manageable tempos, provide the perfect starting point for any aspiring guitarist.
Remember, the key to success on the guitar is patience, practice, and passion. Don’t be discouraged by initial challenges; every guitarist starts somewhere. As you progress, you’ll find yourself more comfortable and confident with each strum and chord change. These songs are more than just a means to learn; they’re a way to express yourself, share music with others, and enjoy the countless rewards of playing an instrument.
So, tune up your guitar, pick a song from this list, and start strumming. Each song is a new adventure, a new opportunity to grow, and a step closer to becoming the guitarist you aspire to be. Happy strumming!