Whenever I give beginner guitar lessons I usually let the student decide what we’re going to learn. It’s usually more fun when they pick their own songs.
However, sometimes they struggle to come up with a song to learn, or they’ll ask me “what’s the best beginner guitar song” or “what is an easy song to learn on the guitar.”
I don’t really like answering these questions because most often: The song you know (and like) is the best song to learn.
But I understand that it can be tough to chose and (in all honesty) some songs just don’t translate that well to guitar… especially for beginners.
If you (or your child) are just starting off with guitar, here are some things to think about (if you just want the list of songs, scroll down and check it out).
Pick a Familiar Song:
I can’t emphasize this enough. The more familiar you are with the song, the easier it will be to learn to play.
If you can sing along to the song on the radio – Great!
If you can sing the whole song in the shower – Even Better!
Pick a Song You Love:
Why would you want to learn a song that you don’t like? Playing the guitar is supposed to be fun. Go through your playlists or albums and find 5-10 songs that you just absolutely love.
But what if it doesn’t sound like there is any guitar in it?
Don’t Worry if you don’t think there is any Guitar in it:
I can pretty much turn any song into a song with guitar. Now, if the guitar isn’t prominently featured in your song… it may not sound quite the same. But usually if there is a melody to the song we can add guitar.
Obviously there are exceptions: A lot of contemporary pop songs along with some rap and hip hop are difficult to play on the guitar. Songs with heavy bass and drums (and not much else) can be hard to play on the guitar (especially if you’re a beginner).
Speaking of hard songs…. what if you think the song is too hard to learn on the guitar?
Don’t Worry if you think the Song is Hard:
Chances are, if there is some guitar in your song, we can come up with an easy/beginner version of the song.
Doing this on your own can be tough. If you have guitar teacher, he or she should be able to help. If you don’t, something like JamPlay is a cheap and excellent service to get you started on easy songs (or hard-songs-made-easy).
The bottom line: Pick songs you like, don’t worry about the rest.
So what if you’re still stumped and can’t quite think of the best beginner guitar songs to learn?
Here’s a list of songs that I’ve been teaching to my beginner students.
These are actual songs that students have chosen. These songs were all taught to students under the age of 10 (but, of course they work for grown ups too).
They are in no particular order….
- Count On Me – Bruno Mars
- Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
- Good Riddance [Time Of Your Life] – Green Day
- Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
- Love Yourself – Justin Bieber
- 7 Years – Lukas Graham
- Rude – Magic!
- Just Like Fire (From the Original Motion Picture “Alice Through The Looking Glass”) – P!nk
- Wish You Were Here – 2011 – Remaster – Pink Floyd
- Fight Song – Rachel Platten
- Stitches – Shawn Mendes
- Stressed Out – Twenty One Pilots
- Riptide – Vance Joy
- Renegades – X Ambassadors
- I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
- Let It Go – From “Frozen”/Soundtrack Version – Idina Menzel
- Ziggy Stardust – 2012 Remastered Version – David Bowie
- Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
- The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme) – John Williams, John Neal
- Cups (Pitch Perfect’s “When I’m Gone”) – Anna Kendrick
- Hall of Fame – The Script, will.i.am
- Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
That’s it! Good or bad? Did I miss any? Are there any songs that I should add?