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The Ultimate Collection of One-Chord Songs for Beginners

One Chord Songs for Beginners

Learn any of the one-chord songs below, and you’ll officially be a musician.

That’s all it takes to get started.

And there are over 100 tunes to choose from - spanning Rock, Gospel, Hip Hop, Reggae, Country, Folk, Blues, and Pop.

This music is sorted into major and minor keys (e.g. A and Bm).

But...

Many songs also work with the "7" version of these chords (e.g. A7 or Bm7). So you'll see diagrams for all 4 types of chords - across guitar, ukulele, banjo, and mandolin (sorry - no piano just yet).

There's also a Bonus Section that includes FAQs and how to send suggestions (or corrections).

Ok - let's dive in.

Major Songs with 1 Chord

Click for easy 1-chord songs in major keys.

Minor Songs with 1 Chord

Jump to one-chord songs written in minor keys.


One Chord Tunes with

C major

C7

One Chord Songs by Lenny Kravitz

C major is a popular key to write music in. But there aren’t many 1-chord tunes that use it - at least not for studio recordings. Here's what I was able to find.

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

** Modulation

How to Play C major and C7
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

C Diagram - Tunes with 1 Chord

With this chord, you can also play these nursery rhymes and any song that uses:


1 Chord Songs with

C# (Db)

C#7 (Db7)

C# Diagram - Songs with 1 Chord

At this time, there are no songs with one chord in the key of C#. If you know of any, ping me - and I’ll add them. But if you already know C# major, you can also play every 1-chord song that uses:

And you can play all the nursery rhymes listed here.


One Chord Songs with

D major

D7

1-Chord Songs by Radiohead

Here are some easy songs with 1 chord - in the key of D. If you know of others, ping me.

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

How to Play D major and D7
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

D Diagram - Songs with 1 Chord

With this chord, you can also play these nursery rhymes and any song that uses:


One Chord Tunes with

D# (Eb)

D#7 (Eb7)

One Chord Tunes by Cat Iron

If you like classic blues, D# (Eb) is a solid chord to learn. It’s a bit hard on the guitar and banjo - but pretty easy on the ukulele and mandolin.

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

Diagrams for D# (Eb) and D#7 (Eb7)
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

D# Diagram - Tunes with 1 Chord

With this chord, you can also play these nursery rhymes and any song that uses:


One Chord Songs with

E major

E7

One Chord Songs by Bruce Springsteen

There are a lot of songs with one chord in the key of E. In fact, it might be one of the most popular chords on this list (along with E minor).

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

  • Seeds - Bruce Springsteen - 1986
  • Pric - Super Furry Animals - 2009
  • DNA*** - Kendrick Lamar - 2017

*** Also playable with Em or Em7.

How to Play E major and E7
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

E Diagram - Songs with 1 Chord

With this chord, you can also play these nursery rhymes and any song that uses:


1-Chord Songs with

F major

F7

1-Chord Tunes by Sonny and Cher

There were a lot of one-chord tunes with F that came out during the 20-year stretch from 1958 to 1978. So take your pick.

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

** Slightly out of tune.
*** Also playable with Fm or Fm7.

How to Play F major and F7
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

F Diagram - Songs with One Chord

With this chord, you can also play these nursery rhymes and any song that uses:


1-Chord Tunes with

F# (Gb)

F#7 (Gb7)

1-Chord Songs by The Rolling Stones

F# doesn’t appear often among 1-chord songs. But there’s at least one tune I recognize - “Mona” by the Rolling Stones. If there are others, let me know.

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

  • Mona - The Rolling Stones - 1965

Diagrams for F# (Gb) and F#7 (Gb7)
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

F# Diagram - Tunes with One Chord

With this chord, you can also play these nursery rhymes and any song that uses:


One Chord Songs with

G major

G7

One Chord Tunes by Sly & the Family Stone

G is the first chord I learned - on both the guitar and the ukulele. It’s also pretty easy on the mandolin (and effortless on the banjo).

If you’re looking to ease into one-chord songs, I recommend starting with G major. It has a decent selection of tunes. And G also appears in a ton of 2-chord songs.

Click any title for a Youtube video (new tab).

  • U.S. 41 - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - 2010

** Slightly out-of-tune.

How to Play G major and G7
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

G Diagram - Songs with One Chord

With this chord, you can also play these nursery rhymes and any song that uses:


One Chord Tunes with

G# (Ab)

G#7 (Ab7)

One Chord Songs by Kate Bush

Below is a chronological list of 1-chord songs that use G# (Ab) major. Click any title to play along with Youtube (opens in new tab).

  • Shotgun - Jr. Walker & the All Stars - 1965

Diagrams for G# (Ab) and G#7 (Ab7)
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

G# Diagram - Tunes with 1 Chord

With this chord, you can also play these nursery rhymes and any song that uses:


1-Chord Songs with

A major

A7

1-Chord Tunes by Paul McCartney & Wings

With A major, you can play all the one-chord songs below (including "Electric Avenue" - which was a nice find) If you know of others, send me an email.

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

  • Joy - Lucinda Williams - 1998

^ Technically playable with A throughout - although it sounds better if you switch between A and D major.
^^ This honorable mention has a single F#m that appears at 1:18 in the song.

How to Play A major and A7
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

A Diagram - Songs with One Chord

With this chord, you can also play these nursery rhymes and any song that uses:


1-Chord Tunes with

A# (Bb)

A#7 (Bb7)

1-Chord Songs by Charley Patton

I could only find one song in the key of A# (Bb). And it’s from 1929. I’d love to add more one-chord tunes to this section, so ping me if you know of others.

Diagrams for A# (Bb) and A#7 (Bb7)
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

A# Diagram - Tunes with One Chord

With this chord, you can also play these nursery rhymes and any song that uses:


One-Chord Tunes with

B major

B7

B Diagram - Tunes with One Chord

I don’t know any songs with one chord in this key. If you do, let me know.

But learning B major (or B7) allows you to play any one-chord tune in:

And you can also play the nursery rhymes listed here.


1-Chord Tunes with

C minor

Cm7

One Chord Songs by Aretha Franklin

C minor doesn’t unlock a lot of music. But the one-chord tunes below are classics. Not a bad haul for learning a single chord.

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

  • Fire** - Ohio Players - 1974

** Modulation

Chord Diagrams for Cm and Cm7
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

Cm Diagram - Tunes with One Chord

If you can play this minor chord, you can also play any tune that uses:


1-Chord Songs with

C#m (Dbm)

C#m7 (Dbm7)

1-Chord Tunes by Pink Floyd

I couldn't find many one chord tunes with C#m (Dbm). But both songs below are crazy long. Learn this chord, and you can jam for over 17 minutes.

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

C#m (Dbm) and C#m7 (Dbm7)
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

C#m Diagram - Songs with One Chord

If you can play this minor chord, you can also play any one-chord tune in the key of:


1-Chord Tunes with

D minor

Dm7

1-Chord Songs by Jimi Hendrix

D minor is fairly easy on all 4 instruments. And it gives you a decent number of songs with only 1 chord.

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

Chord Diagrams for Dm and Dm7
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

Dm Diagram - Tunes with One Chord

If you can play this minor chord, you can also play any tune that uses:


1-Chord Songs with

D#m (Ebm)

D#m7 (Ebm7)

One Chord Tunes by U2

D#m (Ebm) won’t take you very far. There are only a couple of 1-chord songs in this key. And it’s a pretty tough chord on all 4 instruments. But if you’re a fan of U2 or Emmylou - go for it.

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

D#m (Ebm) and D#m7 (Ebm7)
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

D#m Diagram - Songs with One Chord

Learn this minor chord, and you can also play any tune that uses:


One Chord Tunes with

E minor

Em7

One Chord Songs by Cardi B

E minor has the most 1-chord tunes on this list. And it’s easy to play on the banjo, ukulele, mandolin, and guitar. If you want to grow your song library with the least amount of effort, start with E minor. It has the highest ROI of any other beginner chord.

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

  • Know - Nick Drake - 1972
  • Relax - Frankie Goes to Hollywood - 1983
  • DNA - Kendrick Lamar - 2017
  • Mi Gente - J Balvin, Willy William, Beyonce - 2017

*** Also playable with E or E7.

Chord Diagrams for Em and Em7
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

Em Diagram - Tunes with 1 Chord

If you can play this minor chord, you can also play any one-chord song that uses:


One Chord Tunes with

F minor

Fm7

1-Chord Tunes by Sade

What do Mancini and Sade have in common? Not much. But they do share one thing - a fondness for F minor when writing and performing the 1-chord songs below.

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

*** Also playable with F or F7.

Chord Diagrams for Fm and Fm7
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

Fm Diagram - Tunes with 1 Chord

With F minor chord, you can also play one-chord tunes that use:


One Chord Songs with

F#m (Gbm)

F#m7 (Gbm7)

1-Chord Songs by Bob Dylan

Here are some songs with 1 chord in the key of F#m (Gbm). Help me grow this list. If you know of any other tunes I should add, drop me a line.

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

F#m (Gbm) and F#m7 (Gbm7)
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

F#m Diagram - Songs with 1 Chord

Learn F#m, and you can play every 1-chord tune in the key of:


1-Chord Tunes with

G minor

Gm7

One Chord Tunes by Roxy Music

I was expecting to see more 1-chord songs with Gm. But I could only find one. If you know of more, ping me.

Click for a Youtube video (new tab).

Chord Diagrams for Gm and Gm7
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

Gm Diagram - Tunes with One Chord

If you can play G minor, you can also play all the one-chord songs that use:


1-Chord Songs with

G#m (Abm)

G#m7 (Abm7)

One Chord Songs by Bill Withers

Here’s a list of songs with one chord in the key of G#m (Abm). It’s a decent collection, but I’d like to add more music. Shoot me an email if you know of other 1-chord tunes.

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

G#m (Abm) and G#m7 (Abm7)
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

G#m Diagram - Tunes with 1 Chord

If you can play this minor chord, you can also play any tune that uses:


1-Chord Tunes with

A minor

Am7

1-Chord Tunes by Bob Marley

A minor is an easy chord to play - at least on the guitar and ukulele. Am7 is even easier on both instruments. Learn either, and you can play the one-chord songs below.

Click any title for a Youtube video (new tab).

Chord Diagrams for Am and Am7
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

Am Diagram - Tunes with One Chord

If you can play Am (or Am7), you can also play all 1-chord songs that use:


One Chord Songs with

A#m (Bbm)

A#m7 (Bbm7)

1-Chord Songs by The Temptations

As a beginner, you probably shouldn't start with A#m (Bbm). But if you decide to learn it anyway, you'll pick up the 1-chord songs below.

Click any title for a Youtube video (new tab).

A#m (Bbm) and A#m7 (Bbm7)
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

A#m Diagram - Songs with 1 Chord

If you can play this minor chord, you can also play any tune that uses:


One Chord Songs with

B minor

Bm7

One Chord Tunes by Pink

There are easier chords to start with than Bm. But it’s worth learning if you want to play the 1-chord tunes below.

Click any song title for a Youtube video (new tab).

Chord Diagrams for Bm and Bm7
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin

Bm Diagram - Songs with 1 Chord

If you can play this minor chord, you can also play any tune that uses:


Bonus Tips & FAQs

Beginner Songs with One Chord

Use the tips and FAQs below to get more out of your musical journey.

What Chord Should You Start with?

It depends. The chords that unlock the most songs are:

So if you're looking to grow your "setlist" - these give you the most bang for your buck.

But if you're struggling to play your first song, start with easy chords that only use 1 or 2 fingers. Here they are - grouped by instrument:

Guitar: Em, A7, Em7, Am7

Ukulele: C, F, A, Cm, Am, C7, A7, Cm7, C#m7 (Dbm7), Am7, A#m7 (Bbm7), Bm7

Banjo: G, G#m (Abm), A, A# (Bb), B, Em, E7, G7, Em7, Bm7

Mandolin: C, D, G, Dm, Em, Gm, E7, G7, Em7, Gm7

Do These Songs Really Have Just 1 Chord?

There’s a lot of debate over what is (and isn’t) a 1-chord tune. I know because I collected these songs by reading tons of music forums during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Here's my take:

  • Some songs only use 1 chord because the composer wrote it that way. “One Chord Song” by Keith Urban is a perfect example.
  • Other tunes just happen to be playable with a single chord - even if the song officially calls for more. “Tomorrow Never Knows” by the Beatles falls into this group.

Either way, these songs are all great opportunities to practice, learn, and grow.

But if you spot any real mistakes (i.e. songs that shouldn't be on this list), let me know.

Does the Key Matter?

Not really. If a song uses a major key, you can play it using any major chord you want. The same is true when switching from one minor chord to another.

However...

These songs all came from studio recordings. And to play along with the original versions, you either need the right chord or a capo. Otherwise, you'll be playing in a different key.

But some songs have no official key - like the nursery rhymes and folk tunes below. You can play these with any major chord.


Nursery Rhymes with 1 Chord

Pretty Polly
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
The Farmer in the Dell
Green Green Rocky Road
Make New Friends
Frère Jacques

Spot Any Bad Songs, Diagrams, or Links?

Are there 1-chord songs I’m missing (or some I shouldn’t have included)? If so, drop me an email or let me know in the comments below.

Just be sure to include the:

  • Song title
  • Artist
  • Chord

The same goes for any broken links or incorrect chord diagrams. Let me know, and I'll correct it ASAP.

Time to Stop Reading
And Start Playing

Austin Ukulele Babies Guitar

Thanks for reading. If you found this article helpful, consider sharing it.

And then - start making music.

Happy strumming.

-Austin (and the kids)

P.S. Be sure to check out the next article: Songs with Only 2 Chords.

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