By: Pro Lessons
Great Guitar Songs for Beginners to Learn

Beginners can be anyone from 6-year-olds with small hands to 40-year-olds with rough hands. With that in mind, the first songs that one learns to play on guitar may vary a great deal. A child with little fingers will likely stay on the first few frets and strings, playing simple songs and three-string chords. An older beginner might, on the other hand, start on more difficult chords and songs as his or her hands can fully reach the notes. Either way, guitar songs for beginners will vary from instructor to instructor. Some teachers may start you out on folk or Americana songs you have heard from your youth, while others may take the approach of simple pop songs or classics. Let’s take a look at some guitar songs that will help you along.

Americana and Folk Songs for Beginners

The good news for beginners is that you can actually stay on the first three frets and play countless melodies. Of course, some are easier than others. It’s important to memorize your fretboard and a great way to do this is learning to play familiar songs like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” “Old McDonald Had A Farm,” and “Oh Susanna.” Christmas songs are good too because most are familiar with the simple melodies of say “Jingle Bells,” “Silent Night,” or “Away In A Manger.” Guitar songs for beginners need to be simple. Whether you’re sight reading the notes, reading tab, or some other method, your goal is to memorize the songs and perform them in a recognizable fashion.

“On Top of Old Smokey,” “Freight Train,” “O My Darling,” and “You Are My Sunshine,” are all classic songs that should be in your books. Let’s throw in a few more Christmas tunes, too, like “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “We Three Kings,” “What Child Is This,” and “Silver Bells.” The list could be endless.

A good way to judge your readiness for a song is if you can play a recognizable line or two of the tune. If you can, go ahead and learn the song. If you sound nothing like the song, you’re too slow, or it’s frustrating, back up and continue with the songs you play correctly and try again in after a little while.

Classic Country and Pop Songs For Beginners

Country music and the guitar go together beautifully, so you might find that country music is a good place for you to start learning songs. John Denver’s “Country Roads” is one of the standard guitar songs that you’ll want to pick up. “Coal Miner's Daughter” by Loretta Lynn, “Dukes of Hazzard Theme,” and “It’s A Heartache,” are common songs for beginners too. Depending on your age, you might not even know these tunes, but teachers typically want you to know the classics as part of your foundation.

Great Guitar Songs for Beginners to Learn

“Bad Moon Rising” or “Proud Mary” by CCR, “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones, and “Brown-Eyed Girl,” are common classic rock songs for beginner guitar. There are plenty of classic songs for the picking (pun intended). You can also find plenty of sites online these days that have these and many other songs tabbed out and ready to learn.

Soul Music For Beginners

Bill Withers’ “Ain't No Sunshine,” Sam Cooke’s “Stand By Me,” “Soul Man” by Sam and Dave, “Mustang Sally,” “When A Man Loves A Woman,” and “Dock of the Bay,” are all timeless songs that can be a good place to start. So many of these songs are very repetitive which makes them easy to grasp.

With any of these classics, the feel of the music is the most important part. If it’s choppy, incomplete, or unrecognizable, keep working on it and really listen to the original guitar part. Sometimes there is more than one guitar part on the recording, so take one side of your headphones off and listen to the guitar part and then try the other side. Some of the old recordings are mono so it won’t matter, but the stereo ones will allow you to hear a single guitar part if it’s panned to one side more than the other.

Some more soul songs would be “Lean On Me,” “My Girl,” “Knock On Wood,” and “Hold On, I’m Coming.” These are all pretty common beginner guitar songs too. You won’t run out of cool tunes to learn, so get started and commit them all to memory. After a while, you’ll discover not only is each new song getting easier, but there are many common chords and similar riffs.

Once you get a dozen songs or so memorized, you’ll begin to speed up. New songs will seem much quicker to perform.

Modern Guitar Songs For Beginners

If you’re 14 and just not interested in the old tunes, but would rather play what you’re hearing on the radio, there are some pretty easy pop songs you can start out playing with just a few simple guitar chords. Let’s take a look.

“Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley, “All of Me” by John Legend, “Try” by Pink, and “Set Fire To the Rain” by Adele are very doable songs as a beginner on guitar. There are so many you’ll just have to start digging. Don’t be afraid to download any of the latest tunes and give it a try.

There is a constant stream of new music coming out daily, so the sky’s the limit. Top 40 only gives you a look at the songs most played by radio stations. There’s dozens more in the top 100 and even more from Indie sources. When you hear a song that moves you, find the chart online and start learning it. Stay hungry and don’t get in a rut. When you feel you’re getting stagnant or bored, take on something a little harder. There’s nothing wrong with learning pieces of songs either. Just learn a cool riff from say, “Uptown Funk” or “Cake By The Ocean.” The main thing Is to keep learning. You’ll discover that just hanging with other musicians will expose you to countless other cool guitar tricks and tunes you didn’t even think of. It’s all about playing time. Get in as much time as you can and keep improving daily.

It may sound obvious, but the best way to improve your guitar-playing skills is to have your guitar in your hand. Practice, learn, and improve. The best way to learn is to take guitar lessons. At Pro Lessons, our expereinced instructors provide affordable online guitar lessons that will improve your playing dramatically. Find out how our professionals can help you by clicking on the link below.

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