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10 Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs


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You only need a couple of easy chords...

... to play many well-known and famous songs, especially those in the contemporary, pop and rock genres.  This list of 10 Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs, provides a sample of this, and I've made sure that these popular songs use simple chords that will suit absolute beginners, through to novice guitarists well.

Before we get to the songs themselves, here's what you need to know in order to benefit from this page...

(1) You need to know how to read chord charts and how to strum on the guitar.  These songs use easy chords but they're still chords, and unless you know how to read a chord chart this will all seem nonsensical.  I have a great and popular guide on beginner guitar chords that also explains a bit on strumming.

(2) I've transposed some of the songs to easier keys (and simplified some of the chords).  That just means that your favorite melody below might not be in exactly the same key/pitch as the original version on iTunes - in order to keep the chords simple, I've adjusted the keys for many of the songs to cut out super-complicated chords.  However...

(3) Many of the songs still
use the dreaded F chord!  Now while I do recommend you learn to use this rather difficult chord as soon as possible, it is a tough one for beginners.  If you'd rather skip it, then I recommend you have a look at this article, which has a list of songs to play without F.
Learn to Play 10 instantly recognizable sing-a-long hits by famous bands such as The Beatles, Maroon 5, Oasis, Plain White Ts, and others.
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Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs 1:
I'm Yours (by Jason Mraz)

Nominated for the Grammy Award Song of the Year in 2008, Jason Mraz managed to keep "I'm Yours" on the U.S. Billboard charts for a full 76 weeks.  It remains his bestselling global single, and the catchy chorus of this song ensures it remains popular with everybody.
VERSE
                 C  
Well, you done done me and you bet I felt it
  G
I tried to be chill but you're so hot that I melted
  Am                                                   F
I fell right through the cracks, and I'm tryin' to get back
                    C
before the cool done run out I'll be givin' it my bestest
          G
and nothin's gonna stop me but divine intervention
    Am                                     F
I reckon it's again my turn, to win some or learn some but

CHORUS
C                  G
I won't he-si-tate no more,
    Am                     F                    C
no more, it cannot wait I'm yours
Notes on the Song

This is a great strumming song to start out with, since you only need four easy chords to play the verse and chorus.  If this is one of the very first songs you're trying to play on the guitar then you might be struggling with changing between the chords in a smooth fashion, while keeping the music going (i.e. while continuing to strum).  This article on changing chords has a few tips that should help, and that along with a whole lot of practice and perseverance will quickly bring you to a place where changing chords becomes second nature.

If you're a player with more experience, then I recommend you listen to the original of this song by Jason Mraz on Youtube, to get a feel for the funky strumming pattern he uses, so that you can duplicate it.
Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs 2:
She Will Be Loved (by Maroon 5)

Telling a sad story about a beautiful woman who leads a loveless life due to her apathetic husband, She will be loved is one of Maroon 5's most recognizable hits.  It was released in 2004 and written by lead singer Adam Levine and guitarist James Valentine.
VERSE
Am                              G
       Beauty queen of only eighteen, she           
Am                               G
        had some trouble with herself,
Am                          G
       he was always there to help her, she
Am                                    G
        always belonged to someone else
Am                   G                                Am                      G
       I drove for miles and miles, and wound up at your door...  
Am                     G                             Am                    G
       I've had you so many times but somehow I want more...

CHORUS
C                       G                           Am 
    I don't mind spending everyday,         out on your corner in the
   F                  C                                        G 
pouring rain...   Look for the girl with the broken smile
Am                                         F
       Ask her if she wants to stay awhile...
                C           G               Am       F
And she will... be loved - She will be loved...
Notes on the Song

Like the song above, this one also uses four of the easiest open chords on guitar (though beginners will struggle with C and F more than the other two).  These four chords together are called the C Chord Progression.  For more of chord progressions (i.e. which chords work well together and are usually played together in songs), see my article of the theory of chord progressions.

You'll notice in the verse of this song that the Am chord is displayed before any of the lyrics - that means you should play the chord as an intro to the line, before you start singing.  It's also always a good idea to listen to the original in order to get the timing right.
Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs 3:
Let it Be (by The Beatles)

Written and sung by Paul McCartney - based on a dream he had about his mother - Let it Be was released in 1970 and the final single of the Beatles (before McCartney announced his departure). This hit regularly features in the top 5 of all-time favorite Beatles songs among fans.
VERSE
              C                 G                          Am               F
When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
C                               G                 F  C  Dm  C
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

        C                     G                       Am                   F
And in my hour of darkness, she is standing right in front of me
C                            G                   F    C  Dm  C
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

CHORUS
       Am         G            F           C
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
C                           G                   F  C  Dm  C
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
Notes on the Song

Let it be uses the four regular chords from the C Chord Progression, plus one more: D minor (Dm).  You'll notice that, at the end of the lines of the Verses and Chorus, there are four chords in quick succession (F/C/Dm/C).  These are played rather quickly one after the other and might prove tricky if you're not that comfortable with switching between chords yet.  In which case you can simply play the F chord (on the "be" of let it be) followed by the final C.
VERSE
C                                         Em
Hey there Delilah, What’s it like in New York City?
           C                                           Em
I’m a thousand miles away, But girl tonight you look so pretty,
             Am   F                                  G                       Am
Yes you do,       Time Square can’t shine as bright as you,
                   G
I swear it’s true.
C                                           Em
Hey there Delilah, Don’t you worry about the distance,
               C                                               Em
I’m right there if you get lonely, Give this song another listen,
                   Am    F                        G                    Am
Close your eyes,       Listen to my voice it’s my disguise,
                   G
I’m by your side.

CHORUS
C                                Am      C                              Am
Oh it’s what you do to me,    Oh it’s what you do to me,
C                                Am      C                                Am           
Oh it’s what you do to me,     Oh it’s what you do to me,
                         C
What you do to me. 
Notes on the Song

This song is a great strum-a-long that makes for easy singing since it has an uncomplicated tune.  It uses the four regular chords of the C Chord progression plus one extra chord: E minor (Em), which is probably one of the easiest on the guitar!

This song is especially suitable for newer players since the time lapses between the chords are a little longer, especially in the verses where you'll have plenty of time to switch between the C and Em chords.

For a full list of chords, including more complicated ones that you can master over time, I recommend you grab one of the free downloadable chord charts on my site - they make for a very handy reference tool.
Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs 4:
Hey These Delilah (by Plain White T's)

Ranked by Time magazine as one of the 10 Best songs of 2007, Hey There Delilah was written be the band's front man Tom Higgenson for a girl he was once in love with (American distance runner Delilah DiCrescenzo).  It's a beautiful, every-man's love song that makes it very relatable and popular.
VERSE AND CHORUS
         Am    C           D         F
There is a house in New Orleans
         Am       C        E  
They call the Risin' Sun
             Am          C          D                 F
And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy.
        Am      E           Am
And God, I know I'm one.
Notes on the Song

This song seems fairly straightforward and when you choose to simply strum the chords slowy in succession, it is.  However, in order to maintain the unique vibe that this song has had for the last fifty years, you need to play the chords in an arpeggio style.

This is not a beginners technique, but for those interested in exploring fingerstyle playing, Arpeggio simply refers to the fact that you're not strumming the chords, but plucking the strings of the guitar in quick succession, while keeping the chords fretted.  For a visual explanation of what that would look like, head over to the House of the Rising Sun Guitar Tab page.
Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs 5:
House of the Rising Sun (by The Animals)

This traditional folk song tells the story of life gone wrong in New Orleans.  The most successful commercial version was recorded by The Animals in 1964, but the identity of the original author(s) is lost to history!  The version by the Animals was a folk-rock hit back in its day, and it remains an incredibly popular song for new guitarists.
Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs 6:
Sweet Child 'O Mine (by Guns 'n Roses)

Guns 'n Roses' only number one single in the United States was written within a few minutes by Lead guitarist Slash (and other band members).  Sweet Child 'O mine was initially nothing more than a finger warm-up exercise.  Well today the song has one of the most recognizable guitar intro's.  The chords-only version below is similar to the cover by Sheryl Crow.
VERSE
D
She's got a smile that it seems to me
     C
Reminds me of childhood memories
               G                                                           D
Where everything was as fresh as a bright blue sky
D
Now and then when i see her face
      C
She takes me away to that special place
              G                                                              D
And if I stay too long I'd probably break down and cry

CHORUS
A     C                            D
Oooooh Sweet Child of Mine
A     C                            D
Oooooh Sweet Love of Mine
Notes on the Song

Here's something to try to make this song sound more authentic to it's original acoustic counterpart:  Everywhere in the verses where you see a C, try playing a Cadd9 instead

That looks more complicated than it is - you simply use your pinky and ring finger to fret the bottom two strings on the
third fret and then your other two fingers to play the rest of the chord.  See a visual description of Cadd9 on one of my chord charts.
Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs 7:
Hey Jude (by The Beatles)

Probably the longest of all the Beatles' singles, Paul McCartney initially wrote this song for John Lennon's son (Julian or 'Jules') to cheer him up after his parent's divorce.  From there the number eventually evolved into the world-famous single that everybody recognizes today, and still wants to play and sing.
VERSE
   D                  A          A7                   D
Hey Jude don’t make it bad take a sad song and make it better
G                           D                      A        A7      D
Remember to let her into your heart and then you can start to make it better

   D              A              A7                 D
Hey Jude don’t be afraid you were made to go out and get her
   G                             D               A      A7      D
The minute you let her under your skin then you begin to make it better

CHORUS
D7                       G               Em                    A7
And anytime you feel the pain hey Jude refrain don’t carry the
D
world upon your Shoulders
D7                             G                 Em                 A7
Well don’t you know that its a fool who plays it cool by making his world a
       D
little colder
Notes on the Song - What's A7?

You'll notice the chord A7 appear with the lyrics above, but that there's no chord chart for it.  This is because the difference between A and A7 is so small that the latter doesn't deserve a chart of its own (plus I ran out of space :).  For A7, you play a regular A and then simply lift your middle (3) finger.

The fact that A7 follows a regular A in the verses of Hey Jude means that this is a good place to practice the transition between the two and also notice the difference in sound produced by simply lifting one finger from the fretboard.
Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs 8:
You're Beautiful (by James Blunt)

James Blunt apparently saw an ex-girlfriend on a train platform in the London Underground, with a new boyfriend that (according to him) shouldn’t have existed, and promptly went home and wrote this song.  Well, maybe not that promptly, but the overall depression this scene induced in him can clearly be felt in You're Beautiful.
VERSE

My life is brilliant, My love is pure.
Em                        C
      I saw an angel,   Of that I'm sure.
        G 
She smiled at me on the subway.
She was with another man.
    Em    
But I won't lose no sleep on that,
            C
'Cause I've got a plan.

CHORUS
C                  D     G                 Em
   You're beautiful.       You're beautiful.
C                   D          G
   You're beautiful, it's true.
    C            D           G           Em
I saw your face in a crowded  place,
         C        D       Em
And I don't know what to do.
                 C     D         G
'Cause I'll never be with you.
Notes on the Song

The chords above have been somewhat simplified from the original, but there is one trick that more advanced players can try.  In the verses, between the G and Em chords there's actually an additional chord that makes for a nice "walkdown" to the minor.  It's called G/F# (G over F Sharp) and should be played before the My of "my love is pure" and the She of "She was with another man".

G/F# looks like a regular G, but the finger on the very top (thickest) string needs to be played one fret lower.  See one of my chord charts for a visual description of what G/F# looks like.
Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs 9:
Wonderwall (by Oasis)

Released in 1995 and written by English rocker Noel Gallagher, Wonderwall is certainly on every new guitarist list of have-to-play's.  The song features beautiful repetitive guitar chord-work and be sure to read the notes below the chords for some tips on making this version sound even more authentic.
VERSE
Em                G                                            D                                A7sus
    Today is gonna be the day that they're gonna throw it back to you
Em                       G                             D                                  A7sus
       By now you should've somehow realized what you gotta do
Em                         G            D                     A7sus
I don't believe that anybody feels the way I do
        C     D    A7sus
About you now

PRE-CHORUS
        C                         D                         Em
And all the roads we have to walk are winding
        C                         D                         Em
And all the lights that lead us there are blinding
C                          D
There are many things that I
           G       D          Em           G              A7sus
would like to say to    you but I don't know how

CHORUS
                  C       Em                                                    G             Em Because maybe,          you're gonna be  the one that saves me
                 C   Em                                 G    Em
And after all,           you're my wonderwall
Notes on the Song

The chords for this version have been somewhat simplified from the original version of the song, though I have left one more complicated chord (A7sus) as part of the song, since a regular A major just doesn't sound right.

For more advanced guitarists it would be worth the effort to try and replace every D above with a Dsus4 and every C with a Cadd9.  Check out one of my chord charts for visual explanations of how to play these chords.
Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs 10:
More Than Words (by Extreme)

Built around the beautiful acoustic guitar work of Extreme's lead guitarist (who played mostly funk metal up to this release in 1990), More than Words remains a great ballad to play on the guitar, even if you're just strumming the chords like in our version here below.  Apparently, the song was inspired by the fact that the common phrase "I love you" was becoming all too common in popular media, and essentially meaningless.
VERSE
G            C                 Am7                 C          D             G
Saying I love you, is  not the words I want to hear from you
G                       C            Am7               C        D    Em
    It's not that I want you, not to say but if you only knew
          Am7         D                      G             D              Em
How,   ea - sy,   it would be to show me   how   you   feel
                  Am7        D                       Dm                     C
More than words,  is all you have to  do   to make it real
                  Am7                  G                 Em
Then you wouldn't have to say, that you love me,
        Am7                             D         G
'Cos  I'd (single strum)   al - ready know(single strum)
Notes on the Song

You'll notice there's one chord above that I have no corresponding chord chart: Dm (D minor).  This is an irregular chord in this song and is played exactly like a regular D except that your finger on the very bottom string should move down one more fret - so that it's right up against the neck.  This gives the chord its minor sounding tone.

In the original recording by Extreme, this song is played using a fingerstyle picking and tapping technique that's very advanced, but very beautiful.  It is of course possible to simply strum the chords in a regular fashion as well.  For more on fingerstyle I recommend you have a look at some of my lessons on guitar scales.
Learn to Play I'm Your by Jason Mraz on the Guitar
Learn to Play She will be loved by Maroon 5 on the Guitar
Learn to Play Let it Be by The Beatles on the Guitar
Learn to play House of the Rising Sun by the Animals on Guitar
Learn to play Sweet Child 'O Mine by Guns 'n Roses on Guitar
Learn to play Hey Jude by The Beatles on Guitar
Learn to play You're Beautful by James Blunt on Guitar
Learn to play Wonderwall by Oasis on Guitar
Learn to play More than Words by Extreme on Guitar
C Guitar chord Chart
C
G Guitar chord Chart
G
Am
Am Guitar chord chart
F
F Guitar chord Chart
C Guitar chord Chart
C
G Guitar chord Chart
G
Am
Am Guitar chord chart
F
F Guitar chord Chart
C Guitar chord Chart
C
G Guitar chord Chart
G
Am
Am Guitar chord chart
F
F Guitar chord Chart
C Guitar chord Chart
C
G Guitar chord Chart
G
Am
Am Guitar chord chart
F
F Guitar chord Chart
Dm
Em
Em Guitar chord Chart
C Guitar chord Chart
C
Am
Am Guitar chord chart
F
F Guitar chord Chart
D
D Guitar chord Chart
E
E Guitar chord Chart
C Guitar chord Chart
C
G Guitar chord Chart
G
D Guitar chord Chart
D
A
A Guitar chord chart
G Guitar chord Chart
G
D Guitar chord Chart
D
A
A Guitar chord chart
Em
Em Guitar chord Chart
G Guitar chord Chart
G
D Guitar chord Chart
D
Em
Em Guitar chord Chart
C
C Guitar chord Chart
G Guitar chord Chart
G
D Guitar chord Chart
D
Em
Em Guitar chord Chart
C
C Guitar chord Chart
A7sus
G Guitar chord Chart
G
D Guitar chord Chart
D
Em
Em Guitar chord Chart
C
C Guitar chord Chart
Am7
Where to from here?
Learn Beginner Guitar Tabs
For more free song lessons, I highly recommend you check out what I've written on Jamplay.  Jamplay includes free access to over 350 video song lessons that'll teach you to play many more famous songs in full HD video format and free tabs.
Learn Chord Sets
Jamplay is Amazing
D7
10 Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs that Anyone can Learn
Learn to Play Hey There Delilah on Guitar