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.
- November 2, 2016
- Guitar Songs
We know “easy” to one guitar player might be a challenge to another. No matter where you are, there are some quick and easy guitar songs to learn.
So if you’re pre-teen to 20, you can pick up a Taylor Swift songbook and, if you learn just a few chords, pretty much play right along with the record. Especially her first and second CD as a teenager.
Truth is, there are countless songs that are just three or four chords. Once you get a dozen or so songs under your belt, you can just build on that. Start by learning your basic guitar chords. What we mean is the chords most guitarist love to play in, like D, G, C, A, and E. Any others you might use, you’d need a capo or a lot more time on the instrument.
Taylor Swift - Guitar Songs to Learn
This country artist can be a fun place for beginners to start because the songs are light and easy. It never hurts to know a song that actually plays on the radio either.
Songs Like “Fearless,” “Fifteen,” and “Love Story” all share a handful of basic chords. If you can get the strumming pattern down and change keys fast enough, you can have fun with Taylor’s tunes. “Breathe,” “White Horse,” and “Forever and Always” are all easy strum-along songs and she has even more. Taylor just has this delightful sense of easy chords and melodies that makes her one of the biggest singer-songwriters in today’s music culture.
Let’s Go Old School
The Eagles would be a wonderful place to start strumming and humming some classic but easy sing-a-longs. For example, “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” or “Lyin’ Eyes” would be a good place to start. Both of these are really simple and what great lyrics! You should also try quick and easy guitar songs to learn like “Take It Easy,” “Heartache Tonight,” or “Take It To The Limit.”
Most of these tunes are very repetitive. You should be able to pick up on them quickly. “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins is another one that’s fun to play and should come pretty easy. “Every Breathe You Take” by the Police, "Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper, Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll,” and Lynyrd Skynyrd's “Freebird” or “Simple Man,” are all songs to add to the list.
What’s Your Taste?
If you like Green Day, try “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).” Want some Arcade Fire? Try “Wake Up.” Sheryl Crow has a wonderful approach to pop songs played from acoustic guitar. Some of her simple songs to play would be “All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun” or “The First Cut Is the Deepest.”
The resources are out there. There are tons of sites that offer basic chord charts for these popular songs. They’re not always detailed or 100% accurate, but you should be able to learn and grow one song at a time. Each song you learn to play offers something special. Always make a note of that unique thing and add it to your knowledge.
More Pop Songs Please
For something upbeat, try Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” You already know the basic 4 chords, you just need a capo and you’re good to go. How about, “Just the Way You Are,” by Bruno Mars? Capo 3 and play in D.
Yep, grab yourself a good capo. It’s perfectly acceptable to cheat and use a capo. It’s part of the sound now. “She Will Be Loved,” by Maroon 5 is also one of the easy guitar songs to learn. You need to stretch yourself each and every song to do something fun and new. John Legend’s “All of Me,” Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself,” and Ed Sheeran's “Thinking Out Loud” are all pretty good too.
Songs I Must Know
Every guitarist needs some new, old, and in-between tunes. Sometimes you’re just cramming for a gig or a party and need to know a quick dozen songs so you can entertain. Try these: “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone” by Bill Withers, “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Free Falling” from Tom Petty, “Yellow” by Coldplay, “American Pie” by Don McLean, or “Let Her Go” from Passenger. There are many more quick and easy guitar songs to learn, but these can get you started.
If you can memorize the lyric, you’ll likely memorize the arrangement and the song. It’s ok to play from a chart, but playing from memory gives you the freedom to really own a song. Some songs are more impressive to play on guitar than others.
Just chording a song and singing along is great. Others can sing along, too. However, if you can pull out “Folsom Prison Blues,” by Johnny Cash or “Walk This Way” from Aerosmith, man you just bent the ear of the party. Suddenly people are listening to your skill as you jam through songs like “Stairway To Heaven,” “Pretty Woman,” “Hard Day’s Night,” or “Hotel California.” These all have a signature guitar riff that people instantly recognize.
Now something like “Stairway To Heaven” might not be easy for you but, as we said before, there is a range for difficulties depending on the musician. This is just a list of suggestions for guitarists no matter where you are.
If your interest is something completely different, like contemporary worship music, it’s pretty much the same approach. Learn your first couple of songs and the rest will start to fall into place.
“Our God” by Chris Tomlin or “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman might be a good place to begin. If those are out of reach, try “Here I Am To Worship” by Tim Hughes or “Revelation Song” by Kari Jobe. There are literally new songs coming out every week in this genre.
You might be surprised to find out that there are simple songs from Bethel, Relevant Church, or Hillsong, but I assure you almost all of these songs are 3-4 chord songs. You’ll really enjoy the atmosphere that these songs can usher in.
Beyond that, just keep the songs coming. Add a new chord to your vocabulary every week and try to grow continually. There is no shortage of quick and easy guitar songs to learn. In fact, once you learn to play in the key of G, look for more songs to play in that key until you become a smooth hand in it. Don’t stress over barre chords. Just focus on the first 4 frets and learn as many chord shapes as you can. You got this!
If you’re looking for easy guitar songs to learn, there’s a good chance you’re also in need of someone to teach you how to play the guitar better. No matter what skill level you call home, the instructors at Pro Lessons are available to show you a few things. Our guys are the real deal musicians who tour the country playing music. Click on the link below to find out about our affordable rates.