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6 Simple Guitar Songs for Beginners

I've always encouraged beginner guitarists to create their own music using the skills they learn. However, learning some simple guitar songs can help put those skills quickly into practice and spark inspiration for your own songwriting.

Now, there are already some fantastic lessons out there teaching you how to play virtually any song you can think of. What I'll do is hand pick some of the most clearly and professionally taught and easy to learn/play songs that will put a number of basic skills to the test... and perhaps introduce you to some new ones.

Even if you're not too fussed about the song, have a go at it anyway. It's beneficial to keep your playing broader than your music taste! You can always modify it and make it your own. No rules!

Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town by Pearl Jam

Three simple verse and chorus chords (many combinations of which you can learn in the three chord guitar lesson). The 6/8 strumming pattern, which isn't as tricky as it sounds, is broken down in detail...

Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell

A great simple strummer which makes use of open D tuning and a capo at the 2nd fret (but it can be played without the capo).

For more in depth song video tutorials, take a look at JamPlay's song library.

Let It Be by The Beatles

Basic song, but as the video below demonstrates, there's room for more intricate variation, adding in your own ideas as your skills develop.

The song is played right through without any break downs, but if you've studied the basic chords section well, you should be able to recognise the chords being used and you can always pause when the chord changes (there's plenty of time between each change!).

Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Another classic. A great song to develop your picking and chord phrasing (you'll see what I mean when you watch the video).

House of the Rising Sun by The Animals

This song uses what's known as chord arpeggiation. Basically, each note in the chord is picked individually rather than all chord notes strummed at once. The tutor in this video lays the foundations for you by strumming through the chord changes before then showing you the arpeggiations.

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding

A nice, relaxing, soulful number. The rendition taught in this video gets you working on that E form barre chord, often awkward for beginners. The tutor also adds in some useful techniques such as palm muting and other rhythmic nuances.

More simple guitar songs to come!

Video Song Lessons
jamplay guitar songs
Take a look at the huge song lesson library at JamPlay including their free lessons.

Their videos break down each song note-by-note and provide you with backing tracks, tabs and everything you need.

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