PHIL KEAGGY - Grammy nominated and seven-time Dove Award winner, is one of the world’s great guitar players and a pioneer in contemporary Christian music.
- January 19, 2017
- Guitar Songs
Getting started on guitar has some distinct challenges. First, you need to build the muscles in your hands to play complete songs and then you’ll want to build calluses on your fingertips to play for an extended period of time. Let’s say you’ve been playing long enough to handle some simple three- or four-chord songs and sing them. (Singing them is yet another interesting challenge.) Playing guitar in time and singing along in time isn’t always as easy as it looks. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. No matter what your singing voice sounds like, it’s always nice to have a few beginner acoustic guitar songs that you can break out at a moment’s notice.
Let’s talk hypotheticals: You’re the one everyone is counting on to keep the spirits high at the campsite this weekend. Oh boy! Are you ready? Let’s give you a few beginner acoustic guitar songs to add to your list.
The Song List
Everyone’s heard the classics like “This Little Light of Mine,” or “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands.” Nothing against the old camp songs, but we’re looking for something a little more interesting. You’re hanging with friends that listen to Top 40 country or pop radio or listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd all the time. You’re gonna need some cool tunes that are super easy to play.
For the Skynyrd crowd, learn “Simple Man.” It’s a simple G, D, and E minor over and over. You can forget what your hands are doing and just sing and entertain. “Freebird” is easy too. G, D, and Emi once again until the ending which adds a Bb and C. If you can’t do those, just end the song before things get too crazy. Campfire songs don’t have to be “Kumbaya” if you don’t want them to be. There are a lot of great songs out there that work well with an acoustic guitar and a few friends.
You Start ‘Em, They’ll Finish ‘Em
A good test for the best campfire songs is are they songs everyone knows the words to? It really depends on where you live. A great sing-along of late is “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey. It’s pretty easy to strum and sing in the key of G. It’s G, D, E minor and C. When you start the signature riff on this one, everyone will come in and start singing, “Just a small town girl… etc.”
Most big rock or pop songs can be modified or dumbed down to sing around the campfire. The main thing is to keep the songs super easy and familiar. “Stand By Me,” “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You,” and something like “Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty would all be easy and fun tunes. A newer song that everyone will chime in on is “Send My Love” by Adele. A lot of her songs are very cool and easy to learn on guitar. This is exactly what you need to pump up the campfire crowd.
Beginner Acoustic Guitar Songs That Spark Joy
Songs like “Pontoon” by Little Big Town, “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line, “Chicken Fried” by Zac Brown Band, and “It’s Hard To Be Humble” by Mac Davis are all fun country tunes that most will sing along on and you won’t have to overthink the chords or strumming patterns.
Singing crowd-pleasers like these guys will help you find plenty of willing participants if you get the groove right. Half of your friends can’t carry a tune, but everyone’s just looking for a good time. Get in there and crank it up. There have been many artists who made a career on the good time wagon. Acts like Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett have made a career out of it. You are the party, so get out there and rock the campfire.
The Church Camp Fire
Alright, so maybe your debut as a guitarist is at church camp or some other group of Christian friends. You might want to play it safe with some praise and worship songs. That should be pretty easy considering most praise and worship songs are 3-4 chords over and over again to begin with. Now, you just need to choose some singable beginner acoustic guitar songs.
Campfire songs need to be sing-alongs. Some good examples might be “How Great Is Our God,” “Your Grace Is Enough,” “Revelation Song,” “He Loves Us,” and “Amazing Love (You Are My King).” All of these classic tunes are singable songs that a beginner guitar player should be able to learn quickly.
We’re talking about anthems here. These songs have been sung over and over in church, so people really know them. If you’re looking for more current songs, you should try “Holy Spirit,” “Good Good Father,” “Freedom,” and “Only King Forever.” There’s countless songs that fit in this genre and make for perfect campfire songs.
There’s Always One
You know who we’re talking about. There’s that one crazy person you can count on to sing loud and in your face. She’s ready to put on a show and doesn’t have a shy bone in her body. You should do a little planning and get with this gal and figure out a list that she knows every word to. This way you can focus on guitar and let her carry the vocal on these beginner acoustic guitar songs.
Don’t over-plan, though. It’s a camp fire. It’d be easy to plan the spontaneity right out of it. Just make a list and get the right key for a dozen songs or so and see where it goes from there. Part of the charm is the laughing and craziness that ensues. Be ready for “Coal Miners Daughter” and “Harper Valley PTA.” There’s a good chance that someone will want to see if you know them.
It can be as easy as “You Are My Sunshine” or as recent and challenging as “Uptown Funk.” A lot depends on your age and preference in music. Here’s what you need to do. Start by making a list of every song you can play. Maybe there’s a few you can improve on and add to the list. Then, add 10 new beginner acoustic guitar songs and hopefully you’ll have a list of 20-30 tunes you can pull out of your head. Play these songs until you don’t look at your fingers to change the chords. Play in front of a mirror and entertain yourself. You’ve gotta make it fun and believable.
Being able to play songs in front of people is part of the appeal of learning guitar in the first place. Find opportunities where you can show off and get comfortable with a crowd. Another tip for becoming a better guitar player is finding guitar lessons that help you reach the next level. Pro Lessons is the home of many great guitar instructors and the rates are more than affordable. To find out how you can get started today, click on the link below.