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Easy Acoustic Songs for the Beginner Guitar Player

Many people begin learning guitar on an acoustic guitar and there’s no better way to learn than by learning songs. In this lesson we’ll take a look at some easy acoustic guitar songs that are perfect for the beginner player. You’ll breaking out the guitar by the campfire, sitting out at a park, or on a walking mall in no time.

Why these songs?

The songs on this list were chosen because they rely mostly on open chords and any barre chords are modified to make them more playable. Beginner guitar players can have a tough time playing full barre chords because their hand strength isn’t quite where it needs to be. This is particularly true on the acoustic guitar where the strings tend to be a bit heavier and more difficult to depress. No worries though, the modifications shown in this lesson will make these chords super easy to play.

Acoustic Songs

While some of these songs also contain electric guitar, the acoustic guitar remains an integral part of the music. In all cases these songs sound great when playing by yourself.

Can’t You See – The Marshall Tucker Band

Can’t You See by The Marshall Tucker Band is the perfect song for beginners. The song consists of three chords and the ring finger acts as a pivot point between all three chords, making the chord changes an absolute breeze.

Guitar chord diagrams for Can't You See by The Marshall Tucker Band

Ripple – Grateful Dead

From the album “American Beauty”, Ripple is a classic song by Grateful Dead and one of my personal favorites. It’s another lyrical masterpiece by Robert Hunter and a must-learn from the acoustic library of the Dead.

Guitar chord diagrams for Ripple by Grateful Dead

Used to Love Her – Guns N’ Roses

From their second album “Lies”, Use to Love Her is an easy 3-chord tune with a simple strumming pattern throughout. It uses the chords D major, A major, and G major.

Guitar chord diagrams for Use to Love her by Gun N Roses

Dead Flowers – Rolling Stones

Keeping with the D, A, and G chords from above, we have Dead Flowers from The Rolling Stones. While there’s a bit more to it than Used to Lover Her in terms of changes, it’s still a really easy (and fun) song to play.

Guitar chord diagrams for Dead Flowers by The Rolling Stones

Mother – Pink Floyd

From their 1979 double album “The Wall”, Mother is probably the most rhythmically challenging song on this list. It might take some listening to and strumming along in order to get it down, but once you get the feel it just flows. Note that for the F major chord, instead of playing it as a full barre chord I’ve modified it to be played as a second inversion chord, making it much easier to finger.

Guitar chord diagrams for Mother by Pink Floyd

3AM – Matchbox Twenty

From their 1997 album “Exile on Mainstream”, 3AM by Matchbox Twenty features some rhythmic changes that make for a fun song to play and keeps you on your toes with keeping in time.

Guitar chord diagrams for 3am by Matchbox Twenty

There She Goes – The La’s

Although it starts with electric guitar, the acoustic guitar carries the rhythm of this 1988 song by The La’s, There She Goes. This is another song with a happy, upbeat rhythm that’s fun to strum.

Guitar chord diagrams for There She Goes by The La's

Run-Around – Blues Traveler

From their 1994 album “Four”, Run-Around is an uptempo song that basically keeps the rhythm for you. It’s the same progression and strumming pattern throughout and it’s super easy to get in the groove. On the D chord, you add the pinky to the 4th fret of string 1 to create the Dsus4 chord, or just keep on playing it as a D major…works either way.

Guitar chord diagrams for Run-Around by Blues Traveler

Pink Houses – John Mellencamp

A good ol’ American rock song, John Mellencamp’s Pink Houses just makes you feel good playing. Again, we can modify the F barre chord to make it more playable.

Guitar chord diagrams for Pink Houses by John Mellencamp

Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison

What song list would be complete without at least one 80’s power ballad? From Poison’s 1988 album “Open Up and Say…Ahh!”, Every Rose Has Its Thorn fits the bill.

Guitar chord diagrams for Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison

For more easy songs, including those for electric guitar, check out 52 Easy Songs for Beginners.

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