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Dictionary of 4-Chord Songs for Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele, and Mandolin

Dictionary of 4-Chord Songs

The 4-chord songs below are collected from some of the biggest guitar and ukulele sites on the web. And they’re now in a search engine - organized by their chords.

For example.

Click the link below to run a demo search of 4-chord tunes with C, G, Am, F.

(click for songs)

*Some songs appear twice if they exist in both guitar and ukulele format.

There are many more search links below - sorted by chords, genres, decades, and even by progression.

Ok. Let’s find some songs to play.


Table of Contents

If you’re a total beginner, start with 1-chord songs first. Otherwise, skip ahead to see 4-chord songs by:

There’s also a Bonus and FAQ section towards the end. And in case you get stuck, there are links to beginner chord diagrams for banjo, guitar, mandolin, and ukulele throughout.


The 4 Chords with
the Highest ROI

There are tens of thousands of 4-chord songs in the database. But if you’re looking to cover the most ground, the chord groups below have the highest return on investment (ROI). That’s because they allow you to play the most 4-chord tunes.

Click any link to run a demo song search.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


4-Chord Songs
Sorted by Genre

4-Chord Songs by Genre

Using data from iTunes and Spotify, it’s possible to tag these 4-chord songs with very “loose” genres. These tags are far from perfect (see why here). But they can help you zero in on music you know and like.

Skip ahead to see four-chord songs from your favorite genre.


Rock Songs with Four Chords

There are more 4-chord rock songs than any other genre. And below are the chord groups that come up most often. If you’re into rock music, I’d start with these first.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


Pop Tunes with Four Chords

Pop is the next biggest genre after rock. And if you like this style of music, below are the chord combos you should start with. Click any of the links to run a 4-chord song search within the pop genre.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


Soul Music with 4 Chords

As a genre, soul didn’t appear in the previous post (3-chord songs). There just wasn’t enough music. But when you add a fourth chord, the number of tunes goes up a lot. Below are the groups that let you play the most 4-chord tunes from this genre.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


Latin Music with Four Chords

Latin is such a broad term that it’s not very helpful. After all, you have salsa, merengue, bossa nova, bachata, and countless other styles - all of which count as “latin” music. But it’s a genre tag that keeps coming up again and again. So I’ve included it here.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


4-Chord Country Tunes

If you’re a fan of country music, there are enough four-chord songs to keep you busy for years. Click any of the links below for a list of easy porch-strummers to pass the time.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


Folk Songs with Four Chords

By definition, folk music is for everyone. So it’s not surprising to see so many easy songs with 4 chords from the genre. To see what tunes you can play, click any of the search links below.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


4-Chord Caribbean Songs

Like latin music, Caribbean is a broad category that includes many different genres. The bulk goes to reggae (and likely deserves its own category). But there are also 4-chord songs from calypso, dancehall, zouk, and dub. And for now, they’re all grouped together.

Click any of the links below to run a song search of music from the Caribbean.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


4-Chord Electronic Songs

Electronic is another catch-all genre that includes a lot of digitally-made music - including techno and ambient. But there are also many acoustic songs that just happen to appear on albums tagged as electronic. So I don’t know how useful this genre label is. But if you’re into this style of music, here are the best chords to focus on.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


Blues Songs with Four Chords

If you like blues, here are the 4-chord combos that deliver the most bang for your buck. Just keep in mind that in blues music, you can often swap major and 7 chords (i.e. A vs. A7).

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


4-Chord Songs
Sorted by Decade

4-Chord Songs by Decade

Thanks to sites like AllMusic and Billboard, it’s possible to identify when a song was released (sort of). These decade filters have the same limitations as genre filters. But they can help you quickly find 4-chord songs that you actually want to play.

For example, I’m an old soul who likes 1960s classics. You might prefer music from the past 20 years. Either way, we can use decade filters to find 4 chord tunes we know and like.

Click any link to jump to your favorite decade.

When I have more release data, I’ll add a section for 2020s music.


Four Chord Songs from the 1920s

The recording industry was still in its early days in the 1920s. So there weren’t many 4-chord songs captured on vinyl yet. And the ones that do exist are mostly folk songs with 3 or fewer chords. But if the 1920s is how you roll, here are the chord combos that give you the most music.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and 7 chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


Four-Chord Tunes from the 1930s

The 1930s is only slightly better than the 1920s when it comes to music with 4 chords. We’re starting to see a little more variety, but not much. And most of these actually use 3 or fewer chords. Anyway, here are the 4 chord combos that let you play the most music from the decade.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and 7 chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


4-Chord Songs from the 1940s

As we move into the 1940s, things start picking up. There are more 4-chord songs from this decade than in the previous 2 combined - although many of these are still technically 3-chord songs. Either way, here are the chord sets that unlock the most music from the forties.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and 7 chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


1950s Songs with Four chords

The 1950s saw an explosion in music as early rock ‘n’ roll took center stage. There are tons of 4-chord songs from this decade. And many of them are just variations of the boogie woogie, blues, and country music styles that came before.

Click any link to see easy songs from the 1950s.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and 7 chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


1960s Music with Just 4 Chords

The 1960s is one of my favorite decades for music - from the Beatles to Motown to Bossa Nova. So many beautiful songs came out during this time. And a lot of them can be played using the 4-chord sets down below.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and 7 chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


1970s Songs with Four Chords

The 1970s saw the birth of a lot of new styles and genres. Whether you like laid back grooves, hard rock anthems, or cheesy love songs - the links below let you play the most 4-chord tunes from the decade.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


Four-Chord Songs from the 1980s

I remember the 1980s fondly - with all the neon colors, optimism, and synthesizers. Some tunes were a bit silly. But the nostalgia factor is strong. If you also like eighties music, below are the chord groups you should start with first. They let you play the most 4-chord tunes from the decade.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


Four Chord Tunes from the 1990s

The 1990s was another huge leap in music. There are so many 4-chord songs that it starts becoming too much. But if you’re a fan of the decade, it’s worth checking out the links below. You’re sure to find a tune you really like - maybe several.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


4-Chord Songs from the 2000s

The 2000s were an even better decade than the 1990s when it comes to 4-chord tunes. Sadly, this is when I started to unplug from the “modern” music scene. So I don’t know a lot of these songs. But if you’re into music from this decade, start with the search links below. They let you play the most music from the 2000s.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


4 Chord Tunes from the 2010s

I don’t follow current music so much. But if you do, start with the chord combos below. They let you play the most 4-chord songs from the past 10 years.

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.


4-Chord Songs by
Chord Progression

I know of at least one chord progression with 4 chords - the I-V-vi-IV. In the key of C major, this is C, G, Am, F. It’s such a common chord progression that Wikipedia has a growing list of songs with the I–V–vi–IV. And it also appears in the viral video above by Axis of Awesome.

One reason this progression is so popular is you can rearrange the 4 chords in different ways:

  • I–V–vi–IV (e.g. “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz)
  • V–vi–IV–I (e.g. “Wanna Be” by the Spice Girls)
  • vi–IV–I–V (e.g. “Hello” by Adele)
  • IV–I–V–vi (e.g. “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift)
  • I-vi-IV-V (e.g. “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King)

Here’s what’s really cool.

If you’re playing C, G, Am, F - putting a capo on the first fret lets you play every song that uses Db, Ab, Bbm, Gb. Move the capo 1 fret higher, and you can play every tune that uses D, A, Bm, G.

The 12 links below are what you get as you keep moving the capo higher and higher. Learning any of these chord combos allows you to play every song behind these links.

4-Chord Songs
with the I-V-vi-IV

Click for Songs

Major chord diagrams and minor chord diagrams for banjo, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin.

If there are other 4-chord progressions I should add, let me know. And if you’d like to see progressions with fewer than (or more than) 4 chords, check out this article.


Bonus & FAQ

4-Chord Song Bonus and FAQ

You Can Run Your Own Song Searches

I created the search links above by hand. But you can do your own song searches using whatever chords you want. No signup required. Check out the Search Song by Chord tool to give it a try.

How Accurate Are These 4-Chord Songs?

Every song in the database is indexed from external sites like E-Chord, Ultimate Guitar, and Ukulele Tabs. Because anyone can upload music to these sites, the quality varies:

  • Some tunes are perfect and in the right key.
  • Other songs are correct - but in the wrong key.
  • Some songs are simple versions of harder tunes.

And yes. Some songs are just wrong or poorly indexed. That’s the tradeoff when using automation. You find a lot of amazing music. But there will always be duds.

Combining Genre & Decades Together

When signed in as a Free User, you can combine genre and decade filters together. This is helpful if you want to focus on certain types of music. For example, maybe you like 1960s country songs that use G, C, D, Em.

Adding a 5th Chord to Your Practice

Once you master a few 4-chord songs, the next logical step is 5-chord songs. But what should that fifth chord be?

The Next Best Chord is a simple tool that can answer that for us. This free feature tells you what new chord unlocks the most new music. To see it in action, click here.

Thank You

4-Chord Songs - Austin

Thanks so much for reading. If you found this resource helpful, consider sharing it with others who are also just starting out.

And then go make some music.

Cheers - and happy strumming.

-Austin

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