39 Easy Guitar Songs for Beginners (Using 3 Chords or Less)

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by  Ben Tanner | Last Updated: 
easy guitar songs for beginners

As a beginner guitarist, sometimes it’s hard to find all the right info in one place.

That’s why I put together this collection of easy guitar songs for beginners.

You’ll find plenty of song options, and all the info you need to play each one.  That includes a video tutorial, the chords, and a link to the lyrics.  

You can play any of these songs with 3 or fewer easy open chords.  So they’re perfect for beginners.  

Basically, this is the list I wish I had when I was first starting out. 

Introducing The List – 39 Easy Songs

For each of the songs below, I’ve included:

  1. A video tutorial (queued up to a convenient starting point)
  2. A link to the lyrics and chord diagrams (just below the video) 
  3. A little more info about the song’s background, style, etc.  

You’ll find new songs, old songs, rock, country, pop, and more.  So regardless of your musical taste, chances are you can find something that interests you.  

A few of the videos show fancy ways of playing the songs (like fingerpicking or tricky strumming patterns).  But you can definitely just use basic strumming as well.

Some songs call for a capo, but that’s always optional.  If you don’t have one yet, just give it a try anyway. 🙂  

Without further ado-

Free Fallin – Tom Petty


Here’s a classic song that’s a lot of fun.  

You’ll use 3 chords: D, G, and A. 

If you have a capo, put it on the 3rd fret.  If you don’t have one, don’t worry!  I’ve played it many times without using a capo.  

Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus


You’ve probably heard the country hit “Achy Breaky Heart” — it got played so much on the radio back in the 90’s that Weird Al’s parody version was about how overplayed the song was. 🙂

It’s a super easy song to play with a simple strumming pattern and just 2 chords (A & E).

Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival


Here’s a fun, upbeat song with a repetitive chord pattern.

You’ll use 3 easy chords:  D, A, and G. 

The strumming is probably a little fast if you’re a total beginner, so if that’s the case I’d try a different song first and come back later.

Blowin In The Wind – Bob Dylan


Here’s another classic everyone’s probably heard.  

If you have a capo, put it on the 7th fret.  If you don’t have one, that’s fine too.  

The demo uses some fancy transitions and other “frills”, but it’ll also sound fine if you just strum the basic chords.  

Chords:  G, C, and D. 

Royals – Lorde


Here’s a more modern song that was kinda overplayed a few years ago.  

The strumming pattern is a little trickier than most others on this list, and the video teaches you how to do it.  But you can always use a simpler strumming pattern if you prefer.  

The nice thing is the chords and strumming pretty much stay the same the whole song. 

Chords: D, C, and G.

Born In The Usa – Bruce Springsteen


With just 2 chords (G and C) and slow transitions between chords, this is a really easy option for beginners

The video lesson shows you a lot of general strumming tips as well.  

If you have a capo start by putting it on the 2nd fret. If not, that’s ok.  

Break On Through – The Doors


This song uses just 2 easy chords:  Em and D. 

The chord change is a little quick though, so it may take some practice.  

The video shows some more embellished playing if you feel like getting fancy. If not, just stick with the basic chords and strumming.

(You can also try using a big guitar pick to help give the song a crisper sound, and give your strumming fingers a rest.)

Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol


The original chords are A, Dsus2, and E6. 

However the video shows a version with simpler chords: A, D, and E. So you can just substitute those in if you want.

Desire – U2


The chord changes are pretty quick, but it’s a fun song to learn.

Chords: E, D, and A

(Technically it’s Dsus2, but the regular D chord sounds ok as well.)

The Joker – Steve Miller Band


This song uses the same chord progression throughout,  so it’s pretty easy to learn.

The video shows how you can spice up the song a little, but that’s optional. If you prefer, you can stick with a simple strumming pattern. 

Chords G, C, and D. 

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2


This catchy song uses a simple strumming pattern, with a slow chord change. So it’s not hard to play.

If you have a capo, put it on the 4th fret.

Chords: A, D, and E

The Middle – Jimmy Eat World


This was a major radio hit in the early 2000’s, see you might recognize it.

It’s a fun song, but a little fast.  So it may be better for more experienced beginners.

Chords D, A, and G.

I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas


There is some picking for the intro, and the video shows you how if you want to try it.

Fun and upbeat song to play. 

Chords: G, C, and Em 

Common People – Pulp


This song uses a capo on the 3rd fret, with a simple strumming pattern.

Chords A, E, and D. 

Everyday People – Sly & The Family Stone


The video shows you a couple different ways to play the chords, so pick whichever one you’re comfortable with.

The strumming might be a little tricky, but you can probably pick it up with some practice. 

Chords: G and C

Happy Birthday – Misc Traditional


This version uses 4 chords: G, C, D, and D7.  But you can play D instead of D7 if that’s easier for you.  

Pretty simple song to play with an easy chord progression and strumming pattern.  If you know how, you can spice up the strumming a little bit. But simple is okay too.

Kind of fun to show off with on the right occasion. 😉

Hound Dog – Elvis Presley


Here’s one from the king of rock and roll himself.

It’s a fun song with easy strumming and chord changes.

The video starts off really simple, but then shows you a little more complex strumming. So use whatever you’re comfortable with. 

Chords: A, D, and E

The Gambler – Kenny Rogers


This is a fun song to play and sing to. 

The chord progression is easy, but the changes could seem a little quick for beginners.

Chords: G, C, and D

I Have A Dream – ABBA


The nice slow chord progression makes this song easy to play.

A capo is used on the 1st fret for the original key, but you can adjust it if it’s easier for your voice. 

Chords: A, E, and D

Johnny B Goode – Chuck Berry


This song uses a simple strumming pattern with easy and slow chord changes. 

It’s a pretty fun song to play.

Chords: A, D, and E

Joy To The World – Misc Christmas


Here’s a simple and easy Christmas song to learn.

Chords: G, C, and D

Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars


This song is played with chords D, Bm7, and G. 

If you have a capo, put it on the 3rd fret. 

The video shows you how to do some fingerpicking, but you can also just strum it if you prefer.

Leaving On A Jet Plane – John Denver


Oldie but a goodie, this was actually the first song I ever learned to play and sing along to!

My mom’s a big John Denver fan, so I was pretty familiar with it. And it’s super easy to play.

Give it a whirl. 🙂

Chords: G, C, & D

Little Drummer Boy – Misc Christmas


Here’s a fun Christmas song with a lot of rhythm. 

A capo is optional, but you can put it on the 1st fret 

Starts with simple down strokes, but other strokes work too.

Chords G, C, and D. 

Louie Louie – Kingsmen


This one may be a little trickier to play. But with some practice you can get it down.

In the video, he plays the chords farther down the neck. But he doesn’t play all the strings, so they’re not really bar chords.

If you’re wondering what that’s all about, just watch the video. 🙂

Chords: A, D, Em

Love Me Do – The Beatles


Here’s a fun, upbeat Beatles song. 

The video shows a slightly more advanced way to play it, but you can also just use the basic chords and a simple strumming pattern.

Chords: G, C, and D

Lullaby – Johannes Brahms


As shown in the video, this song uses some fingerpicking.  

The video shows you exactly how to do it, but if you’re not ready for that, try a different one first. 🙂

Chords: G, D7, and C

Mr Tambourine Man Bob Dylan


This is a fun little song.  It has an added Dsus2, but you can also play it without it.

Capo on the 3rd fret. 

Chords: D, A, and G

Not Fade Away – Buddy Holly


This song’s a little trickier than others on the list, which is why I didn’t put it at the top.  

Do this one when you’re ready for a light challenge. 

Chords: E, A, and D

Three Little Birds – Bob Marley


Great song to learn as a beginner. Easy strumming and chord progression. 

You may not recognize this song by the title, but you will once you hear it.

ChordsL A, D, and E

The Tide Is High – Blondie


Easy chord progression and strumming pattern.  Kinda fun to sing.  

Capo on the 2nd fret (optional as usual). 

Chords: A, D, and E



Here’s another one that’s a little more advanced.  So don’t start with this one.  Try it when you’re up for a little challenge.

Best played on an electric guitar with a little distortion.  

Chords: E, G, and A

What I Got – Sublime


Fun song to play with an easy chord progression.

There’s some beautiful fingerpicking in the opening, but as usual that’s optional for beginners. 

I like the energy of the guy in this video. 🙂

Chords: D and G.

When Love Comes To Town – U2 & B.B. King


This song uses 2 easy chords: E and A

Best played on an electric guitar with an easy chorus.

You Are My Sunshine – Johnny Cash


Fun song to play and sing along to, with an easy slow chord change and an easy strumming pattern. 

Chords: A, D, and E

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd


This song technically has 4 chords.  But as the video shows, you can play it without the F. 

Fun song to play and sing along to.

The strumming looks a little challenging in the vid, but you can simplify it as much as you’d like.

Chords: D, C, and G

Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett


Fairly easy song to play with slow chord changes, and a simple, light strum. . 

In the video, he also adds an optional D7. 

Chords: D, A, and G

Marry You – Bruno Mars


A fun, easy song with easy strumming and slow chord changes.

Capo on the 3rd fret.

Chords: D, Em, and G

Ring Of Fire – Johnny Cash


Here’s an easy, fun song you’ve probably heard before.  It’s kind of ubiquitous.  

Definitely a fun one to sing as well, but the voice goes a little low.  

Chords: G, C, and D


I hope you enjoyed this list of easy guitar songs for beginners!

I tried to make learning as easy for you as possible, so hopefully it worked.  

Most of these songs are easy enough to learn in just a few minutes, and you can find all the info you need to do it right here.

The “fancier” stuff they show in some videos is always optional, so just do what you’re comfortable with.  And if you wanna up your skills, you might try some free online lessons, or learn how to use music theory on guitar.

Happy strumming! 🙂