There is nothing quite like hearing the first strum of an acoustic guitar. The sound is almost magical, filling the room with whichever chord comes first, and that first chord may be enough for everyone to know immediately which song is about to be played.
The power of music really is incredible, no matter which instrument is being played, but, well… there’s just something different about an acoustic guitar.
If we could, we would all be able to play guitar. It’s a skill that we’ve all wished to have at one point or another. If you’re reading this article, that means that you’ve, perhaps, already begun your journey. Congratulations!
Whether you’re attending guitar lessons or you’re teaching yourself at home, we’re guessing that you’ve already been taught the basics.
The most frustrating part about learning any instrument is that we just want to skip the starting points, and learn how to play a familiar song. If only it was that easy, huh?
Well, depending on how far you have gotten in your lessons, maybe it can be that easy.
While you may not be ready to shred the strings Eddie Van Halen-style just yet, there isn’t much stopping you from playing some simple four-chord tunes.
Of course, practice makes perfect, so don’t expect yourself to become a music god just by reading the following article and learning a couple of chords: you will need to learn strumming rhythms too, and be able to hold the chords perfectly so that they ring true, without any annoying vibrations over your fretboard.
There will be injuries… and, by injuries, we mean blistered fingertips. There’s no avoiding it, we’re afraid.
So, lectures aside, here are 85 easy songs that we have chosen for you to learn on your acoustic guitar! Most of these tunes range from having two to four chords each, and some of them may require the use of a capo.
We have arranged the songs into sections, grouping together the ones that contain the same chord progressions. This way, once you have learned the following chords, you should be able to play each song in that particular section.
So, let’s get started! Here are 85 easy songs to learn to play on your acoustic guitar.
A, A7, D, E
Lay Down Sally – Eric Clapton
Starting the list, we have Clapton’s country rock hit that reached no. 3 in the Billboards charts in 1977. This simple song contains the four chords above, and is pretty easy to follow.
A, Am, Em, G
For Your Love – The Yardbirds
Funnily enough, referring to the previous entry on this list, this song was ultimately the reason Eric Clapton left The Yardbirds: he thought the commercial pop sound was too much of a change to their older music.
However, this is good news for you, as the simplistic melody is so simple to play on guitar.
A, B7, E
Hound Dog – Elvis Presley
We all know this classic. Elvis’s 1953 hit is just as popular today as it was when it was first released, and its three chords are enough to make this song instantly recognizable to anyone listening, even without the lyrics.
Before You Accuse Me – Eric Clapton
Here we have another hit from Clapton. He actually recorded this song four times: an electric version for his album Journeyman, an acoustic version for his MTV Unplugged performance, and two more electric versions that were later released in the 90s.
While the lead guitar will be harder to learn, you can stick to the chords for now.
A, C, D
Doll Parts – Hole
If you listen to most grunge songs from the 90s, many of them consist of simple melodies with only a handful of chords. This hit from Hole is no different, and should be fairly easy for you to strum along to.
A, C, D, E
Bye Bye Love – The Everly Brothers
This 50s hit was voted the 210th greatest song of all time in the Rolling Stone’s list of 500 songs, and for good reason. Its upbeat rhythm is fun and catchy, and due to its simplicity, you should be able to play along with it pretty quickly.
A, C, D, Em
Drive – Incubus
This is one of those songs that is instantly recognizable, even if you’re unfamiliar with the song overall. This early 2000s rock hit’s rhythm and use of chords make this an easy song to play along with.
Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon – Neil Diamond
This hit had two lives over the years: it was popular during its initial release in the 60s, and was given a rebirth in 1994 when it was included in Pulp Fiction’s soundtrack. Another effortlessly easy tune to play.
Turn The Page – Bob Seger
While this song was never officially actually released as a single, it remains popular to this very day, and is one of Seger’s biggest hits. You should have no issues learning to play this soulful hit.
Feelin’ Alright – Traffic
You will only need to know two chords to play this tune, and they are two of the easiest chords to learn. While Joe Cocker performed the more popular rendition of this song later on, Traffic’s hit from 1968 still stands strong on its own.
A, C, D, G
Honky Tonk Women – The Rolling Stones
If you’re looking for a Stones’ hit to play effortlessly to your friends, look no further: with four easy-to-play chords, you can impress everyone with this tune.
‘Honky Tonk Women’ reached the top of the charts all over the world in the early 60s, and is still iconic to this day.
Linger – The Cranberries
This beautiful song has remained in our hearts for the best part of the past three decades, and it is a great one to learn how to play. It is also very easy to play, even while singing along with an Irish accent.
Next Year – Foo Fighters
One of Foo Fighters’s early hits, this is a stunning song that is criminally underrated compared to the band’s other singles. The four chords are enough to carry this power ballad, and make it easier for you to play.
Stuck In The Middle With You – Steelers Wheel
This is one of those instantly recognizable songs that have been played in several movies and TV shows over the years, and is still a popular hit played on radio stations across the world. The rhythm is pretty simplistic, and perhaps that’s what makes it sound so great.
A, D, Dsus4
Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty
If there was ever a song that we would all love to be able to play on an acoustic guitar, it’s Petty’s most famous hit. Lucky for us, it’s not just possible, but it’s so effortless! This beautiful folk rock song is a favorite of many.
A, D, E
Common People – Pulp
Britpop was all the rage during the early to mid 90s, and this song was no exception. Not only is it so easy to play, but you don’t even have to be a great singer to sing along, thanks to Jarvis Cocker pretty much speaking the majority of the words.
Glory Days – Bruce Springsteen
Next up, we have the fifth single from Springsteen’s legendary album, Born in The U.S.A, and another song that is so easy to strum along to. This hit is still a popular tune today, and remains instantly recognizable.
How Bizzare – OMC
‘How Bizzare’ is another one of those songs that has such a recognizable riff, and most will be able to identify it even if they haven’t heard it in many years. Perhaps once you’ve mastered the chords, you could learn the lead guitar part.
I Walk the Line – Johnny Cash
It seems impossible to imagine a time in which no one knew who Cash was, but this song was actually his first hit. His distinctive voice truly makes this song what it is, and the undemanding guitar accompaniment adds to country style.
Love Me Do – The Beatles
Imagine you are playing your guitar around friends and family, and someone requests a Beatles song: it’s likely to happen at some point. Fortunately, this 1963 hit is so simple to play and remember. Everyone will be happy that you learned this one.
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2
This powerful ballad has survived the decades, and is still relevant in this day and age. It is one of U2’s biggest hits, and is, thankfully, incredibly simple to play along to. It’s hard to believe that a song this stunning is actually so repetitive, chord-wise.
Walk Of Life – Dire Straits
Here we have a song with an incredibly distinguishable intro, whether you are familiar with the tune or not (which, I mean, you most likely are). Another simple song to strum along to, and everyone will recognize the start of the song, even if you are just playing the chords.
A, D, E, G
No Rain – Blind Melon
While the four chords are simple enough to play alone, with time and practice, you will surely be able to play this 90s hit with all the lead parts involved. This is a fun tune to play along with once you have gotten used to the rhythm and tempo.
Why Don’t You Get A Job? – The Offspring
This incredibly catchy song gained attention from many through its similarities to the Beatles’ hit ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’, but it still manages to stand alone as its own masterpiece. This is such a fun song to be able to play on guitar.
A, D, Em
Louie Louie – The Kingsmen
While this song was originally written and performed by Richard Berry, it was The Kingsmen’s version that gained popularity. The three chords needed to play this tune are so incredibly easy, meaning you should be able to play this within no time at all.
A, D, Em, G
A Long December – Counting Crows
There are many other songs that Counting Crows are better known for, but there is no doubt that this is one of their greatest singles. The four chords used for this tune are so simple, yet so effective.
I Run To You – Lady Antebellum
This country hit was Lady Antebellum’s first number one single back in 2009, and for good reason!
The incredible catchy melody and rhythm are enough to stick in your head for the rest of the day, and its four chords make it so easy to play.
Mad World – Gary Jules
Most of us are more familiar with Jules’ cover of Tears For Fears’s song from the early 80s, and the popularity stemmed from this cover being played on the Donnie Darko soundtrack in 2003. If you want to learn how to play this beautifully dark hit, it is so simple to learn.
Somebody To Love – Jefferson Airplane
This psychedelic rock hit is a true classic, and it is hard to believe that it requires so little effort to play it on an acoustic guitar. While it was originally performed by The Great Society, it was Jefferson Airplane that truly brought this tune to life.
A, D, G
Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Despite this song often being related to the Vietnam war, John Fogerty wrote this song while watching a scene including a hurricane from The Devil and Daniel Webster, and claimed that the lyrics were describing the apocalypse.
You will only need these three chords to play this classic.
Breakfast At Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something
‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ is a true 90s classic, and is still instantly recognized from its upbeat intro and catchy melody throughout. This is a fun one to learn how to play, and is equally as fun to have a singalong to.
Used To Love Her – Guns n’ Roses
It may be hard to believe that this song was initially written as a joke: Axl Rose wrote it as a response to a song he’d heard on the radio, which he described as just ‘some guy whining’. Regardless, this catchy, poppy tune is very easy to play, and is very catchy.
Blowin’ Smoke – Kacey Musgraves
This single was released from Musgraves’ debut album, back when hardly anyone knew who she was. The incredibly catchy country pop hit has helped make her the popular artist that she is today, and you can easily play along by using only two chords.
Am, C, D, G
Closing Time – Semisonic
Despite this song receiving great popularity in the late 90s, it made a comeback in the early 2000s when it was included in movies and TV shows, including Friends With Benefits. This grunge hit is not just easy to learn, but it’s such a great song to play.
It’s Been Awhile – Staind
This post-grunge hit reached number 5 on the Billboard charts in 2001, and even though it was Staind’s only big hit, it’s still fairly popular to this day. You can learn to play this one-hit-wonder by only using four simple chords.
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan
Originally written for the Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid soundtrack, this is one of Dylan’s many incredible classics that never seems to get old. If you want to get the whole room singing, learn this song and play for everyone to enjoy.
Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
It just doesn’t feel like this song came out so many years ago: it feels like only yesterday we first heard this single on the radio. Despite its electronic sound, you can easily translate this into a simple acoustic tune by using these four chords.
Am, C, Dm, Fmaj7
Sugar – Maroon 5
Maroon 5 have released several hits over the years, but if you’re looking for a song that is quick and easy to learn, look no further. This funky, soul-infused single is addictive to listen to, and will put anyone in a great mood.
Am, C, Em, G
Day After Day – Alan Parsons Project
The soothing melody of this song is almost dream-like, and was released on the album, I Robot, which looks into themes of artificial intelligence. Once again, the four chords used in this song are so simple to use.
Line Of Fire – The Veronicas
Identical twin sisters, Lisa and Jessica Origliasso, are most well known for their one hit wonder, ‘Untouched’, making this song truly underrated. This pop rock tune, while never released as a single, is an interesting song to strum along to.
Am, C, F, G
Back To December – Taylor Swift
Next up, we’re looking at one of Swift’s earlier songs from her initial country music era. Many of her older songs were played on acoustic guitar, and this one shouldn’t take you long to become familiar with.
Let It Be – The Beatles
Here’s another classic from one of the biggest, greatest bands to ever have graced our planet. One of their later hits, ‘Let it Be’ is a great song to know how to play, as you’ll undoubtedly get requests if you ever find yourself playing to an audience.
Save Tonight – Eagle-Eye Cherry
Eagle-Eye Cherry’s signature tune is an absolute essential to be able to play on an acoustic guitar. While this was probably his biggest, and only, hit, it is one that has remained popular throughout the decades, and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Am, C, G
Laundry Room – The Avett Brothers
While this may be one of the lesser known songs on this list, it is a beautiful one nonetheless, and sounds great when played acoustically. The three chords needed for this song are so easy to play.
She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5
This may be the song that allowed Maroon 5 to cross between the worlds of rock and pop, making them become a more mainstream band. This is still a great song, and a simple one to strum along to.
What’s Up – 4 Non Blondes
Topping the charts in countries all over the world, this song is not only a standard go-to song to play on an acoustic guitar, but it is also one of the greatest singalong songs of all time. We doubt this song will ever get old.
Am, D, Fmaj7, G
One – U2
Before this song was written, this simple chord progression was played by The Edge a couple of times in the studio, inspiring the other band members. Bono then wrote the lyrics, which were inspired by U2’s fragile relationships, and the reunification of Germany.
Am, D, G
Working Class Hero – John Lennon
Released on his first album prior to leaving The Beatles, this song is a political commentary on the contrast of social classes. It is also, of course, a very simple song to learn, using only three chords.
Fallin’ – Alicia Keys
Even though this song is often played on piano, it sounds just as great while played acoustically on guitar. Keys’ debut single only includes two chords throughout the whole song, which is incredible, considering how much the song gives musically.
A7sus4, Dsus4, Em7, G
Wonderwall – Oasis
At number 50, we have the song that is, without doubt, the most requested song that a person holding an acoustic guitar will ever receive. With only four chords, you too can play Oasis’s biggest hit.
C, D, Em
A Girl Like You – Edwyn Collins
Here we have another instantly recognizable song, even if we don’t necessarily recognize the artist. ‘A Girl Like You’ is Collins’ only major hit, but it is one that we have all heard, and is very easy to learn to play on guitar.
Bottoms Up – Brantley Gilbert
This country hit was fairly successful upon its release, and is very catchy to listen to. Due to its main three chords being C, D and Em, it is pretty simplistic, and shouldn’t take long to learn how to play.
Say It Right – Nelly Furtado
You may find it strange that Furtado’s huge hit has been included on a list of easy songs to play on acoustic guitar, but the easy chords ensure that this pop tune can be played as an interesting unplugged cover. Give it a try.
C, D, E, G
Hot Legs – Rod Stewart
You only need to know four of the easiest guitar chords known to man to play this song. This hit from 1978 has been compared to some of the Rolling Stones’ work, and has received high praise over the years.
C, D, Em, G
Behind These Hazel Eyes – Kelly Clarkson
This breakup song from 2004 is the perfect pop rock song, loved and remembered by many. The simplistic chords used in Clarkson’s hit means that it is both easy to play and sing along to, and also fun to do so.
How To Save A Life – The Fray
This one goes out to all you Grey’s Anatomy fans. While being an incredibly easy song to learn, it takes talent to sing along to this hit without our eyes filling up. There’s a reason this beautiful ballad remains the 4th best-selling rock song in digital music history.
Hall Of Fame – The Script
Here is, yet, another pop song that can easily become a beautiful, acoustic performance by using the previously mentioned four chords. This hit stayed in the charts for a long time back in 2012: it just seems so hard to believe that it was released so long ago.
Hello – Adele
While this song is originally accompanied by a piano-played melody, as most of Adele’s songs are, there is no reason you shouldn’t turn it into a guitar piece instead. It will sound just as beautiful.
I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty
Many of us may be more familiar with Johnny Cash’s cover in 2000, but it was Petty that originally released this song in 1989. The verses and chorus are pretty repetitive, so you will only need these four chords to perform the whole song.
In The End – Linkin Park
It may be hard to rap and play the guitar at the same time, but it sure is an achievement if you learn to do it correctly. Why not turn this Linkin Park hit into a slower, acoustic version of itself?
Let Her Cry – Hootie and The Blowfish
This song was already played on an acoustic guitar in its original recording, so you won’t have to use your imagination too much to play alongside it. This ballad became a top 10 hit in many countries back in the mid-90s, and we still love it today.
Love The Way You Lie – Rihanna
Uh oh… another rap song. Well, as we said before, it will be way more impressive if you can play this song on guitar, as well as sing and rap along to the lyrics. If not, you can just stick to strumming along, using these four simple chords.
Nutshell – Alice In Chains
Next up, we have another 90s grunge hit. This haunting ballad is so easy to play, and if you’re looking for a little more inspiration, look up Alice in Chains’ MTV Unplugged cover of their own hit.
Perfectly Clear – Jewel
While this country hit isn’t the most well known on this list, it has the potential for you to create a beautiful acoustic performance of it while strumming your own guitar. It is a stunning song alone, and very simple to learn how to play.
Poker Face – Lady Gaga
If you can put an acoustic spin on a Lady Gaga song, there surely can’t be many songs that you can’t do the same to. With these easy to remember chords, it shouldn’t be difficult, either. Put your own spin on this pop hit!
Pompeii – Bastille
Bastille’s debut single was one that we all remember, and was stuck in all our heads when it was first released. This has the ability to become a great acoustic version of itself, so we recommend that you give this a try.
Stand By Me – Ben E. King
This is another one of those songs that everyone seems to have been born knowing the words to. If you were to start playing this at a family junction, or with a group of friends, you can guarantee that everyone will start singing within seconds of the first few chords.
Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
No matter who you are, how old you are, or where you’re from, the odds are that you know this song. It has one of the most enjoyable choruses to sing of all time, and if you have the ability to provide a backing track to these lyrics, it’ll sound even better.
This Years Love – David Gray
This song reached number 20 on the British charts, and while it’s not Gray’s biggest hit, it still stands as a great song. It is also very easy to play on guitar, between its simple chords and slow rhythm.
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
While this is the second Swift single on this list, it is considerably much more ‘pop’ than the previous entry. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t transform this 2012 hit into an acoustic cover.
Where Your Heartache Exists – The Menzingers
This isn’t one of the most recognised songs on this list, despite the album that it came from, Rented World, receiving high acclaim during its release. It is a great song, and so simple to play on guitar. Give it a listen, and then try it out.
C, D, G
All Summer Long – Kid Rock
We all remember Kid Rock’s mash-up track that samples ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and ‘Werewolves of London’, and it became a guilty pleasure for many of us. The chords for this song are simple, and it is a fun one to play and sing along to.
Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
This is another classic that everyone just seems to know every word to. This is a fun one to strum along to and get everyone singing along, and it is so simple to do so. You won’t regret learning this one, we promise.
Can’t You See – Marshall Tucker Band
You may not be able to play the introduction on the flute (or maybe you can – who knows?) but there is nothing stopping you from playing this 1973 song on your acoustic guitar, especially considering how simple the chord progression is.
Heroes – The Wallflowers
If you’re thinking that you’ve never heard of this song before, you’re probably wrong: this is a cover of the stunning David Bowie song that we all know at love. Learning the previous chord progression means that you can play your own amazing cover.
Leaving On A Jet Plane – John Denver
This beautiful ballad leaves us with a bittersweet feeling, and it such a nice song to be able to play on guitar. Also, it’s one of the easiest. It is no surprise that this song is many people’s first song that they ever learn on guitar.
Old Time Rock N’ Roll – Bob Seger
While playing this song on an acoustic guitar probably strips away the point that Seger was trying to make, it is still a fun one to play. It undoubtedly sounds better on an electric guitar, however, so perhaps you could give that a go at some point.
Ring Of Fire – Johnny Cash
Undoubtedly one of Cash’s biggest hits, and one of the most recognized songs of all time, ‘Ring of Fire’ is a country classic. While you may not have the skills to play the accompanying trumpet part, you still have the ability to play the guitar.
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
It’s no surprise that ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ has the same chord progression as ‘All Summer Long’, considering Kid Rock used this song as a sample for his hit. This is another fantastic singalong classic that everyone loves.
C, D7, G
That’ll Be The Day – Buddy Holly
This late 50s hit may be iconic and immediately recognizable, but it is so easy to play along to using these three chords. If you’re looking for an upbeat rock n’ roll track to learn to play, look no further than this classic.
C, Fmaj7, G
Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett
Despite this song being originally released by Mack Rice in 1965, it is Pickett’s cover that we are most familiar with, and that we love so much. This upbeat tune is great for a dance and a singalong, and is just as fun to play on guitar.
C7, D7, G7
Going Down Slow – Blues Standard
If a song is considered a ‘blues standard’, that means that it is a blues song that is widely recognized on its own, and does not have an official artist attached to it. This blues classic is so easy to play, and should definitely be on your list to learn.
Break On Through – The Doors
If you’ve never heard this song over the years, you’ve probably never turned on a radio. This psychedelic rock hit is a true classic, and if you’d like to learn how to play it, just follow the two chords that we’ve mentioned above.
D, Em, G
Marry You – Bruno Mars
Here’s another pop tune that we just can’t believe came out so many years ago. Using these three chords, you have the power to turn this cheesy hit into a beautiful rendition with your acoustic guitar.
Songbird – Oasis
Last on this list, we have another Oasis hit, and one of their biggest hits. The chords are much easier to play than the ones used to ‘Wonderwall’, so you may have an easier time starting with this one. However, there’s nothing stopping you from learning both, right?
Now that you’ve read our list, grab your acoustic guitar and get strumming. Only through hard work and preservation will you be able to perfect these simple songs, and we believe you can do it.
So, what are you waiting for?
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s The Easiest Way To Learn To Play Guitar?
There is no quick way to become a good guitarist: the key to becoming a skilled guitar player is to put the time and effort into your playing, and make sure you practice every day.
It won’t happen overnight, but if you stick to it, you should find that you become better and better at it as time goes on.
What Are Some Good Guitar Songs For Beginners?
If you want to begin by learning power chords, some easy songs to start off learning are ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana, or pretty much any Green Day song.
There are so many songs that use C, D, and G chords, and these are probably the easiest to begin with: try John Denver’s ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’, as this is a great song for beginners to start with.
What Are Some Easy Chords To Learn On Guitar?
All chords will be difficult to form when you first start playing guitar: your fingertips will become sore, and your fingers may not stretch far enough to form a clear sound. This will improve as you continue to practice, however.
Just keep going, and don’t give up, even if it hurts… which, it will.