Beginner Guitar Songs: Simple 2 and 3-chord Tunes

To help you memorize chords better, and practice chord switching, I’ve compiled this list of easy guitar songs for beginners. It’s organized by which chords are used, so you can learn just 2 or 3 chords and get started with your favourite tunes right away.

I’ll be updating this list constantly as I come across (and remember) more and more easy songs. If you know any easy songs to play on guitar that aren’t here, I would really appreciate it if you could send a quick email to info@goodguitarist.com (Please and thank you!)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Easiest Chord Progressions On Guitar
The Most Common 3-Chord Progressions
The Absolute Most Common Chord Progression On Guitar
Other Common Chord Combinations

The Easiest Chord Progressions On Guitar
(From Chapter 2 of our Beginner’s Guitar Course)

Please note that you may not be able to play with every single part of every song. To make it easier for you and prevent discouragement, I’ve indicated where this will occur. For instance, “I’ve Got A Feeling” has a riff at the end of each verse that goes very quickly and requires a few techniques that you may not have covered.

I have 2 things to say about this:

  1. Play along to the easy parts. I’ve chosen these songs because the majority of each tune is very easy to play along with.
  2. Practicing with a song is invaluable, and far more enjoyable than doing exercises all the time, so have fun and don’t worry about the parts you’re NOT getting… focus on the parts that you CAN play!

Progression #1 – E and Asus2

E Chord on GuitarAsus2 chord on guitar

  • Born In The USA – Bruce Springsteen – CAPO 7
  • I’ve Got A Feeling – The Beatles – CAPO 5 (Note: Contains a riff at the end of each verse)
  • I Have A Dream – ABBA – CAPO 1 (Note: The chorus contains a D chord)
  • Born Free – Kid Rock (Note: later in the song we come across F#m and D)
  • Achey Breakey Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus
  • Boys Around Here – Blake Shelton (CAPO 5)

Progression #2 – C and Fmaj7

C chord on guitarfmaj7 chord on guitar

  • Imagine – John Lennon (Note: C and Fmaj7 during the verse only. Also, the recording is slightly out of tune)
  • Feeling Alright – Traffic
  • Walk On The Wild Side – Lou Reed (Note: One part which has Dm, which we’ll learn later)
  • I’ll Take You There – The Staple Singers

Progression #3 – G and Cadd9

G chord on guitarCadd9 chord on guitar

  • Love Me Do – The Beatles (Note: There’s a D chord in the “bridge”)
  • Anyone Else But You – The Mouldy Peaches
  • Paperback Writer – The Beatles
  • Everyday People – Sly And The Family Stone
  • Give Peace A Chance – John Lennon
  • Jambalaya – Hank Williams

Progression #4 – G and Dsus4

G chord on guitarDsus4 chord on guitar

Progression #5 – G, Cadd9 and Dsus4

G chord on guitarCadd9 chord on guitarDsus4 on guitar

Progression #6 – G, Cadd9, Dsus4 and Em7

G chord on guitarCadd9 chord on guitarDsus4 on guitarEm7 chord on guitar

The Most Common 3-Chord Progressions On Guitar
(From Chapter 4 of our Beginner’s Guitar Course)

In the beginner’s guitar course, I refer to these 3-chord progressions as “chord families.” I use this terminology simply to indicate that these are chords which work well together and are related through very strong musical forces that we’ll be learning about in the future.

Family #1 – A, D and E

A chord on guitarD chord on guitarE chord on guitar

  • Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond – CAPO 2
  • Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ – Michael Jackson (Note: it’s just D to E the WHOLE time)
  • Second Hand News – Fleetwood Mac
  • Three Little Birds – Bob Marley – Watch the tutorial here
  • Lazy Song – Bruno Mars (Note: Has a couple extra chords here and there)
  • Doesn’t Remind Me – Audioslave (Note: The bridge contains more chords)
  • Lightning Crashes – Live – CAPO 2 (Note: The bridge contains more chords)
  • I Have A Dream – ABBA – CAPO 1
  • Boys Around Here – Blake Shelton (Note: Only uses A and D)
  • Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis Presley
  • Rock Around The Clock – Bill Haley
  • Praise You – Fatboy Slim – CAPO 3 – Watch the tutorial here (Note: the bridge contains a B7 chord)
  • Rescue Me – Fontella Bass (Note: there’s a riff in there, just play D over it)
  • Summertime Blues – Eddie Cochran (Note: it goes pretty fast from E to A, then from D to E)
  • Sympathy For The Devil – The Rolling Stones (Note: there’s a B7 in the chorus)

Family #2 – G, C and D

G chord on guitarC chord on guitarD chord on guitar

Family #3 – Em, Am and B7

Em chord on guitarAm chord on guitarB7 chord on guitar

  • Shakin’ All Over – Johnny Kidd & The Pirates (Note: It’s just Em and Am)
  • I Put A Spell On You – Jay Hawkins – CAPO 1
  • Riders On The Storm – The Doors (Note: contains C and D)

Family #3 (converted to MAJOR) – E, A and B7

E chord on guitarA chord on guitarB7 chord on guitar

Family #4 – C, F and G

c chord guitarg chord guitar   or   

Family #5 – Am, Dm and E

Am chord on guitarDm chord on guitarE chord on guitar

  • Black Magic Woman – Fleetwood Mac – CAPO 5
  • Moondance – Van Morrison
  • Natural Mystic – Bob Marley (Note: there’s a G in there every once in a while)
  • God’s Gonna Cut You Down – Johnny Cash

The Absolute Most Common Chord Progression On Guitar
(From Chapter 5 of our Beginner’s Guitar Course)

This is THE most common chord progression on guitar. With it, you can play hundreds of songs. If you play it with a capo (which allows you to easily change keys) you can play thousands of songs.

The chords:

G chord on guitarC chord on guitarD chord on guitarEm chord on guitar

Other Common Chord Combinations
(From Chapters 4 and 5 of our Beginner’s Guitar Course)

Progression #1 – D, G and A

D chord on guitarG chord on guitarA chord on guitar

Progression #2 – G, C, D and Am

G chord on guitarC chord on guitarD chord on guitarAm chord on guiitar

Progression #3 – C, F, G and Am

C chord on guitarEasy way to play f chord guitarG chord on guitarAm chord on guitar