Easy Guitar Tunes with 1 Chord
Our journey begins with a single chord. And for demo purposes, we’ll use G major (shown below). But you could also start with A, E, C, D or some other beginner chord. We’ll cover some of these paths in the bonus section.
But for now, let’s check out our very first chord.
1-Chord Songs with G Major
Below is a guitar diagram of G major - plus a list of easy 1-chord tunes that use this chord. Click any song title for a YouTube video (new tab).
- Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley - 1955
- My Jack Don't Drink No Water - Shortstuff Macon - 1964
- Dance to the Music - Sly & the Family Stone - 1968
- Everyday People** - Sly & the Family Stone - 1969
- It's a Rainy Day Sunshine Girl - Faust - 1972
- Low Rider - War - 1975
- Bad to The Bone - George Thorogood - 1982
- One Chord Song - Keith Urban - 2000
- U.S. 41 - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - 2010
** Slightly out-of-tune.
Don’t like these tunes? No problem. Click any of the links below to see what other 1-chord songs you can play with G major (with a capo on the right fret).
And that’s assuming you’re starting with G major. There are lots of easy guitar songs that use minor or dominant 7 chords as well. For a complete list of potential starting points, check out the Dictionary of 1-Chord Songs.
Once you feel comfortable with your first chord, take a moment to celebrate that victory. You’re officially a musician now. And you’re ready for slightly harder songs - i.e. beginner guitar tunes with 2 chords.
Easy Guitar Songs with 2 Chord
2-Chord Songs with G and D
Here are beginner chords diagrams for G and D. Below that is a list of easy songs that use these 2 chords.
Click any song title for a YouTube video. Click the artist name to see the notation. Both open in new tabs.
- Feel Like Making Love - Bad Company - 1975 - Not sure if this counts or not. There's an extra C in the notation.
- Best Day of My Life - American Authors - 2013 - The notation includes a Bm, but this song still works with D & G.
Easy Songs with G and C
Below are diagrams for G & C - followed by guitar songs that use these 2 chords.
- The Bum Song - Harry "MAC" McClintock - 1928 - I don't have music notation yet.
If you know G and C, you can play other 2-chord songs by putting a capo on the correct fret. Click any of the links for a list of these beginner tunes.
For a complete list of beginner songs with 2 chords (including those with majors, minors, dominant 7s, and minor 7s), check out the Dictionary of 2-Chord Songs.
Once you can switch quickly between your 2 chords, you’re ready for slightly harder music. You’re ready for beginner guitar songs with 3 chords.
Beginner Guitar Songs w/ 3 Chords
When you add a 3rd chord, it's no longer possible to collect songs by hand. There's just too much music. So moving forward, we'll pull data from external sites like Ultimate-Guitar, E-Chords, and CifraClub. This gives us a lot more variety. But there will also be "duds" since anyone can upload music to these sites.
Just one more thing.
Every chord diagram below is clickable. Use them to run demo searches of guitar songs.
Simple Guitar Songs with 4 Chords
Below are easy 4-chord songs that all use G major plus whatever new chords you’ve added along the way. Choose whichever path makes the most sense - given what chords you already know.
If your LAST chord was...
G + C + Am + D
For songs with G, C, Am, D - click the diagrams below.
For a more complete list of easy tunes, check out the Dictionary of 4-Chord Songs.
Once you’re comfortable with your 4 chords - pause a second to celebrate. You're now in excellent company. From Elvis to Dylan to Bob Marley, many have built their careers writing and playing easy songs with 4 (or fewer) chords.
But if you’d like to continue improving, keep reading.
5-Chord Songs for Guitar
We started with 1 chord (G major) and worked our way to 4. And we could continue doing this forever. But the road starts to split as we add more and more chords. And this makes it hard to list all the different paths you could take. There are just too many “fifth” chords you could add next. And which one to learn depends on what 4 chords you already know.
For example, this is what you get if you search the 5 chords G, Am, C, D, Em.
And this is what you get for G, C, F, Am, Dm.
In other words, it’s a personal journey at this point. But fortunately, you’re not on your own. There’s a useful tool that can tell you exactly what chord to learn next. In fact, it’s called the Next Best Chord. And you can see how it works in this video.
Bonus & FAQ
Make Your Own List of Easy Guitar Songs
We explored just 1 potential path you can take - starting with G major. But there are many other paths you could take. For example, below is what you get if you start with other beginner chords. Click each link for a list of easy guitar songs that use more and more chords.
Why This Guitar Learning Method Works
Anyone can learn a single chord. Even if you’ve never touched a guitar before, it’s 100% doable. Some chords (like E minor) will take a few hours. Others (like F major) could take weeks.
Either way, it’s doable. And this method takes advantage of that fact.
The guitar is hard enough - with the buzzing, frustration, and discomfort. Why tackle lots of chords at once when you can break the process into smaller steps?
- Start with 1 chord and play as many easy guitar songs as you can.
- Then add a new chord and practice it within the context of 2-chord songs.
- Then add a third chord and find easy 3-chord tunes to help you practice.
Rinse and repeat.
At each stage, you’re only working on a single chord. Plus you're picking up harder and harder songs along the way. And this makes learning the guitar less scary - and way more fun.
Add Ukulele to Your Guitar Song Searches
All the beginner tunes we’ve seen so far came from guitar sites. But any tune written for ukulele is also playable on guitar (and vice versa). This short article explains why.
Here's the takeaway.
With the Search Songs by Chord tool, you’ll find a lot more music if you add ukulele to your searches. The 3 links below show what happens when you do separate searches of G,C,D,Em - by instrument.
There are repeat tunes between instruments. But if your goal is to find as many easy songs as possible, it makes sense to search guitar + ukulele together.
Using Genre & Decade Filters
Thanks so much for reading. The guitar is an awesome skill to learn. And I hope this guide eases you into a lifetime of playing.
If you found this resource helpful, consider sharing it with other future musicians.
Thanks again. And happy strumming.