Where To Find Easy Guitar Songs For Beginners

If you’re looking for easy songs to play on guitar, it can be hard to know where to start. In this article we'll take a look at some websites and books which offer a great selection of simple guitar songs that you don't need a lot of technical expertise to play.

Be aware that it can be difficult to find quality sites featuring guitar tabs and lyrics now, as many of the sites (in the US) that did have these have been forced to remove them for legal reasons. So I'm going to focus on books rather than websites here, rather than risk linking to a lot of sites which may have removed their easy guitar tabs by the time you read this.

1. Three Chord Songs

Three Chord Songs is a songbook that’s aimed at novice guitarists, and features over 60 well-known songs from the 50s to the 80s. It contains chords and lyrics, but not tabs or solo lines, which won’t be an issue for those who just want to practice strumming along with these classic songs. This is a compact book, and is easy to carry around.

The songs in this book include:

  • Van Morrison – Gloria
  • The Everly Brothers – Bye Bye Love
  • Elvis Presley – Blue Suede Shoes

2. VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Rock and Roll

This book is published by Hal Leonard, and contains songs that were voted as the greatest of all time by musicians and others in the music industry. It offers tabs, melodies and chords, along with chord boxes which show you how to play the chords you’ll need for each song.

This book does have mixed reviews, with some reviewers complaining that the songs have been simplified too much, but that’s true of most publications that are trying to provide easy songs for beginner guitarists.

The songs in this book include:

  • The Beatles - Hey Jude
  • The Clash - London Calling
  • Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations

3. Ultimate Easy Guitar Collection

This book is a good choice for those looking for easy classic guitar songs, as it contains over 50 well-known tracks mostly from the 60s and 70s era. It doesn't have tabs, but you get the chords, lyrics and melody line. There are chord boxes to show you exactly how to play the required chords, and these are actually included at the relevant places within the song (as opposed to at the top of the page like you find in many books of this type), which makes things a bit easier.

The songs in this book include:

  • Kiss – Beth
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird
  • Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now
  • David Bowie - Changes

4. GuitarNoise.com

Guitar Noise has lots of great resources for guitarists, including a section of easy beginner guitar songs. At the time of writing, there are over 40 songs listed here. You’ll find very detailed written instructions, and audio recordings of the various elements of the song, which really help you to learn to play properly by ear. There’s also a link to tabs for each song.

The songs on the site are a mix of classic rock and more modern material, so whatever your taste, you’ll probably find something that you want to learn to play.

Books and sites like these can be a great way to learn new songs, especially if you're a beginner guitarist, as they show you all the chords you need. However, they shouldn't be a substitute for using your own ears, since a lot of guitar sheet music (both tabs and notation) is not 100% accurate. This is true of both the free stuff you can find online, and sheet music that you buy in printed form.

Fortunately, this isn’t so much of an issue when it comes to beginner guitar songs, since songs of this type usually have very simple chord structures anyway, so there's not so much to get wrong. But just remember that you should always rely on your own ears more than on transcriptions provided by others. Use these sources as a guide, but don’t expect them to show you how to be note perfect.

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