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Almost any song can be played on guitar by a beginner who’s willing to put in just a little bit of time practicing. Some beginners may be capable of listening to any song and playing it by ear, but for those who can’t, there are plenty of easy arrangements of guitar songs you can use that qualify as beginner guitar songs.
Let’s first determine what we consider a beginning guitar song. Beginner guitar songs will typically use only open chords in the first position on the neck of the guitar. These are chords that will be the first chords any guitar teacher might show you. Chords for beginners include G, C, D, F, A, B, Am, Em, and Bm. The example below shows some basic chords in a chord diagram chart.
The next example of chords a beginner will want to learn are called barre chords. Barre chords are closed, movable shapes that are based on the shapes of the open position chord, with one finger acting as a barre. This allows you to move the shape up and down the next of the guitar, changing the name of the chord by the root note. These chords work particularly well on rock guitar songs, although they are frequently used on acoustic songs as well.
Here´s a cool video lesson on barre chords, check it out!
Beginner guitar songs are basically simplified arrangements of the original songs. Even if all you can get your hands on is a full arrangement of a song, you can make it an easy version by sticking to the chords and singing along.
The first example below is a melody arrangement of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Before you laugh, play it a few different ways, varying the rhythm and length of the notes. For a beginner, this is a great picking exercise. Since the melody is so well known, you can focus on experimenting with it. The second example is a very easy fingerstyle arrangement of “Silent Night.” Arrangements like this are easy to play but sound more complex than they are.
The easiest guitar songs will typically be a lyric sheet with chords placed above the words where the chords change. If you know the chords, some basic strum techniques, and how a song sounds, you can play an arrangement like this arrangement of “Margaritaville” in pretty quick order.
Bands like The Eagles, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac, Toby Keith, and Willie Nelson, AC/DC, and Judas Priest all have songs that can be translated to easy beginner guitar songs. If you look online, songs by most of these bands have already been arranged in easy to play versions and are readily available at no charge, ready to be added to your beginning repertoire.
If learning songs is your gola on guitar, I recommend you to check out this course: