85 Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs for Beginners

Starting out playing the guitar as a beginner is always a difficult and frustrating process.  It’s something that all players have to do, though.  When your fingers just won’t do what you want them to do, remember to tell yourself that even the greats were once beginners like you.  

Contents show

Sometimes practicing chords, strumming patterns and scales can get pretty tedious. Although getting these fundamental skills down is really important, there’s something to be said for just learning the songs you like. 

85 Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs for Beginners

This way you’ll find the pure enjoyment of just playing.  Once you have mastered only a few chords, there is a world of music that opens up to you. You’ll be happy to learn that so many songs use the very same chords.  

We’ve compiled a list of 85 songs that a beginner could play on acoustic guitar. We’ll describe the songs and the chords they use, but we recommend that you listen to the songs and give them a try. 

Playing along to songs can improve your timing and rhythm, and listening out for when the chords change is a vital skill when it comes to playing music.  

We will try to focus on songs that use open chords in the root position. This means chords at the end of the guitar neck that uses open strings. We will avoid barre chords when possible as these can be challenging for beginners. 

The F major barre chord is the most common example of this, and it’s one chord that we’ve tried to avoid especially at the start of this list. 

The list we’ve compiled here features a mixture of genres, so hopefully, there’s something for everyone. We’ve also tried to narrow the list down to songs that are in a 4/4 time signature. This is to keep things as simple as possible. 

We’ve also tried to order the songs starting with the easiest. What we consider “easy” is rather subjective, but we’re considering the number of different chords as a measure of difficulty.  

Without further ado, let’s get right into the list.  Here are 85 of the best tracks for beginners to learn on acoustic guitar.  

Two-Chord Songs

The first ten songs in our list can be played using the same two chords.  Those chords are E major and A major.  The only differences between these songs are the rhythm in which they’re played. 

Listen to each of them and try to hear where the chords change, and what the strumming pattern is.

1.Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth 

For this song, you strum each chord once per bar.  That means one strum for 4 beats, before changing the chord.  You can also strum on every beat if you’re ready to do that.

The song is just E major and A major all the way through.

2.Starsailor – Silence Is Easy 

For this song, you’ll be strumming on every beat.  The chords change every two bars.  Compared to the first song on our list, this song has a faster tempo. This song is also just E major and A major throughout.  The chord sequence just repeats all the way through.

3.Bob Dorough – Three Is A Magic Number 

Again, this song features the same two chords: E major and A major.  However, the chords change every two beats. This one is great for practicing your fast chord changes.

4.Ed Sheeran – U.N.I. 

This song uses the exact same chord shapes of E major and A major, but if you want to play in the same key as the studio recording, you’ll need to use a capo on the second fret of your guitar. 

This way, you can play the same E major and A major chords but they will sound as F# major and B major chords.  

Capos are very useful to use because you can play the same simple open chords but in different keys.  

The rhythm of this song is a little more difficult, so give it a listen and try to copy it.  

5.Billy Ray Cyrus – Achy Breaky Heart

This song still features the same chords, but this time you’ll start on the A major chord rather than the E major.  The key of this song is A major.  The chord sequence repeats all the way through the song. 

6.The Rolling Stones – Satisfaction

The original version of this song has three chords, but can also be played only using two.  The whole song can be played just using E major and A major chords. The only variation is in the rhythm during the chorus, where it goes to one bar of each chord instead of two.

7.The Beatles – Love Me Do

For this song by The Beatles, you’ll need to use a capo on the third fret if you want to play in the same key as the record.  The chord shapes will remain the same E major and A major chords, but with the capo on the third fret, they become G major and C major.  If you have a capo, try playing it along with the record. 

8.Chuck Berry – Never Can Tell

This one too requires a capo on the third fret if you want to play it in the same key as the record.  The chords will remain the same shapes, E major and A major, but this time starting with the A major shape.  

9.BB King – When Love Comes To Town

No capo is required for this one.  This one starts on the A major chord.  Most of the song is based around a riff that consists of two strums of A major followed by a single strum of the E chord.  Give the record a listen and see if you can strum along.

10.U2 – Elevation 

This one can also be played with the same two chords of E major and A major.  This one gets a little more difficult in terms of the rhythm and strumming pattern, but with a little practice, a beginner could play it. 

Pay attention to the gaps between the chords.  Playing along with the record is great practice for trying to play the rhythm in time.  

Songs With 3 Chords

Let’s turn things up a notch by adding one extra chord.  These songs will consist of the previous two chords in the songs we’ve listed, plus one extra one. 

It’s a good idea to progress little by little at first, so take it one step at a time. 

11.Dire Straits – Walk of Life

This song consists of A major and E major and D major. This is a simplified version of the version that’s on the original recording.  This song requires a capo on the seventh fret if you want to play along with the song in the same key as the record.  

12.Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line 

For this country classic, you’ll be playing the same 3 chords as Walk of Life: E major, A major, and D major.  The strumming pattern for this song is a little more difficult, and it’ll require some practice before you can play it like the man himself, Johnny Cash.  Once you get comfortable with the strumming pattern, you can add in the bass line.  Again, this is a simplified version of the original that is more suitable for beginners.

13.OMC – How Bizzare 

To play this viral hit in tune with the original recording, you’ll need to put a capo on your third fret.  This song also uses the chord shapes of E major, A major, and D major, but a step and a half higher with a capo.  This is also an easy version of the original which is more suitable for beginners.

14.Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days 

This classic song by Bruce Springsteen mainly goes between the chords A major and D major, with the occasional E major. Below are the chords for the chorus.

15.Pulp – Common People

To play this Britpop classic in the same key as the record, you’ll need to place your capo on the third fret. In thing song, each chord is played for 4 bars.  If you’re able to, you can strum these chords in double time.  This means that instead of strumming the chord 4 times in each bar, you strum the chords 8 times. 

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

Songs With 3 Chords

The following list of songs all consist of the chords A major, D major, and E major in various combinations. 

Give them a listen and see if you can play along.

17.Bill Withers – Lean On Me 

18.Stereophonics – Have A Nice Day

19.Lou Reed – Walk On The Wild Side 

20.Bruce Springsteen – Born In The USA

21.The Beatles – I’ve Got A Feelin’ 

22.ABBA – I Have A Dream 

23.Neil Diamond – Sweet Caroline 

24.Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars

25.The Who – I Can’t Explain 

26.The Troggs – Wild Thing

Now, let’s up the anty some more.  The following list will still be three or four chord songs, consisting of at least one of the chords we’ve already seen in this list. 

27.Lynard Skynard – Sweet Home Alabama 

28.Bob Seger – Old Time Rock n’ Roll

29.Brantley Gilbert – Bottoms Up 

30.Bryan Adams – Summer of ‘69

31.Tracy Chapman – Fast Car

32.Elvis Presley – That’s Alright Mama

33.Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child o’ Mine 

34.Bob Dylan – Knocking on Heaven’s Door 

Songs With 3 Or More Chords 

85 Easy Acoustic Guitar Songs for Beginnerss

The remainder of the list will feature songs with 3 or more chords.  These songs are slightly more challenging but still suitable for beginner guitar players. 

35.Jimi Hendrix – Hey Joe 

36.Radiohead – Creep 

37.Neil Young – Heart of Gold

38.Ben E King – Stand By Me

39.Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah 

40.Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl

41.Sam Smith – Stay With Me 

42.U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday 

43.James Taylor – Mockingbird 

44.Coldplay – Viva La Vida 

45.Oasis – Wonderwall 

46.Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight 

47.Green Day – (Good Riddance) Time of Your Life

48.Kesha – Die Young 

49.John Lennon – Imagine 

50.Taio Cruz – Dynamite 

51.Tom Petty – Free Fallin’ 

52.Bon Jovi – Wanted Dead or Alive 

53.Guns N’ Roses – Patience 

54.Poison – Every Rose Has Its Thorn 

55.Jason Mraz – I’m Yours 

56.Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire

57.The Animals – House of the Rising Sun 

58.Metallica – Nothing Else Matters

59.Eric Clapton – Layla 

60.Cyndi Lauper – Girl’s Just Want to Have Fun 

61.Gary Moore – Still Got The Blues 

62.Nickelback – Rockstar 

63.Owl City – Fireflies 

64.The Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop

65.Chris Stapleton – Tennessee Whiskey 

66.Willie Nelson – On the Road Again 

67.Darius Rucker – Wagon Wheel 

68.Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising 

69.Carrie Underwood – Before He Cheats 

70.Avril Lavigne – Complicated 

71.Imagine Dragons – Radioactive 

72.George Benson – Breezin’ 

73.Sting – Englishman In New York

74.The Mavericks – Dance the Night Away

75.The Beatles – Let It Be 

76.Foo Fighters – Times Like These

77.Bob Marley – I Shot The Sheriff

78.The Rolling Stones – Miss You 

79.Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine 

80.The Clash – Guns of Brixton 

81.Extreme – More Than Words 

82.Passenger – Let Her Go 

83.Queensryche – Silent Lucidity 

84.Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love 

85.Led Zepplin – Stairway to Heaven 

Final Thoughts

This concludes our list of 85 acoustic guitar songs for beginners.  We highly recommend starting with the easier songs at the beginning of the list and then working your way down once you get comfortable with those. 

It’s also a great idea to play along to these songs and try to play the chord changes in time with the record. 

Many of these songs have a good, strong drum beat that will help you keep time and improve your rhythm.  The most important thing of all is that you have fun playing these great songs.  

David Williams
Latest posts by David Williams (see all)