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

two-chord songs for beginners

Below are links to hundreds of easy two-chord songs for guitar, mandolin, banjo, and ukulele.

Just a few quick tips:

  • This directory covers a lot of music, and it's best viewed on a PC. Use the Table of Contents to jump around.
  • Click any song title for a YouTube video. Click the artist for the chord sheet. All external links open in new tabs.
  • There's a Bonus Section that covers how to submit corrections and what chords to learn first (if stuck).

If you don’t know any chords at all, start with one-chord songs.

Otherwise...

Grab your axe. And let's dive in.

Table of Contents

The music below is sorted by major and minor chords (e.g. A and Bm). But many songs also work with the "7" versions of these chords (e.g. A7 and Bm7). Play whichever is easiest on your instrument.

Expand any chord you already know.

2-Chord Songs w/

C major

D major

There aren't many two-chord songs with just C and D. But I was able to find at least one. If you know of others, ping me.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Two Chord Songs w/

C major

E minor

The tunes below couldn't be more different. And yet, they're both "playable" with the same 2 chords - C major and E minor.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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2 Chord Songs w/

C major

F major

With C major & F major, you can play easy songs spanning more than a century of Rock, Folk, Reggae, and Country music. "Just My Imagination" by the Temptations is my favorite. Look for yours among the 2-chord tunes below.

  • Chewing Gum - Annie - 2004 - I don't have music notation yet.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Two-Chord Songs w/

C major

G major

Learning C and G unlocks a ton of great music. And both chords are relatively easy to master on the guitar, ukulele, banjo, and mandolin. So take your pick of the 2-chord tunes below.

  • The Bum Song - Harry "MAC" McClintock - 1928 - I don't have music notation yet.
  • Sodeo - Raffi - 1977 - This song is similar to the folk tune - "Shortenin' Bread."

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Songs with 2 Chords

C major

A minor

These are the first 2 chords I learned on the ukulele and guitar. They're also pretty easy on the banjo and mandolin. Master C and Am, and you can play the small selection of songs below.

  • Fever - Peggy Lee - 1958 - With Am & C, you can play a very simplified version of a more complex song. But be careful. This tune modulates.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Songs with Two Chords

C major

A# (Bb)

C major with A# (Bb) doesn't give you a lot of music. But both of the 2-chord classics below are fun to play. I'm not sure which one I like more. The Beatles are the Beatles. But after a single listen, "Bam Bam" will be stuck in your head for days.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Easy Songs w/

C# (Db)

E major

I could only find one song that uses these 2 chords together. I'd love to add more. If you know of any other tunes, send me an email.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Two Chord Tunes w/

C# (Db)

F# (Gb)

Below are a bunch of songs with 2 chords that use C# (Db) and F# (Gb). The most famous one is probably Harry Belafonte's "Banana Boat."

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Simple Tunes w/

C# (Db)

G# (Ab)

Below are 3 smash hits released in the same 10-year span. My personal favorite is "ABC" by the Jackson 5. But you really can't go wrong with any of these 2-chord tunes.

  • Me in Honey - REM - 1991 - Playable with major chords or power chords (e.g. Db5)

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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2 Chord Tunes w/

C# (Db)

A#m (Bbm)

Who knew you could play this late 90s Mariah Carey hit with just 2 chords? If you're struggling with C# and A#m, you can always play C and Am instead. Just remember to put a capo on the first fret to stay in the same key as the original.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Two-Chord Tunes w/

D major

E major

Combining D & E doesn't give you much. I could only find a single song with these 2 chords. If there are others, drop me a line and I'll add them.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Easy Songs with

D major

E minor

When combined together, D major and E minor let you play the rock (and reggae) classics below. There may be other 2-chord songs out there. If there are, let me know.

  • Planet Caravan - Black Sabbath - 1970 - I don't have music notation yet.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Beginner Tunes w/

D major

F#m (Gbm)

Below are the only 2-chord songs I could find that use D and F#m (Gbm). It's not a huge selection, but both tunes are fun to strum. If you know of other songs with these chords, let me know.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Tunes with 2 Chords

D major

G major

Combing D and G unleashes a ton of easy 2-chord songs. Better still, this music spans many decades and genres. Depending on your instrument, this might be the best combination of chords to work on.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Two Chord Songs with

D major

A major

D major and A major are great chords to start with. Both are relatively easy to learn (on guitar, banjo, ukulele, and mandolin). And together, they allow you to play a ton of easy 2-chord tunes.

  • TB Sheets - Van Morrison - 1967 - I don't have music notation yet.
  • Countdown - The Black Keys - 2002 - I don't have music notation yet.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Beginner Songs with

D major

A minor

D major and A minor unlock a small selection of 2-chord songs. But learning either of the 1970s classics below makes the journey worth it.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Two-Chord Tunes with

D major

B major

Learning D & B together gives you a grand total of 1 song. And even this 2-chord song is kind of cheating. But I included it anyway - just in case. If you know of other tunes to add, ping me.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Tunes w/ 2 Chords

D major

B minor

Below are 2 songs separated by roughly 70 years. But they're both playable with the same chords - D major and B minor. Hope you enjoy.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Songs w/ Two Chords

D# (Eb)

G minor

I was able to find at least one 2-chord song that uses D# (Eb) + G major. I'd never heard of it before my research. But it's a good one for basic strumming practice.

If you know of other tunes with 2 chords in this key, let me know.

  • Chum - Earl Sweatshirt - 2013 - I don't have music notation yet.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Simple Songs w/

D# (Eb)

G# (Ab)

I came across Little Richard's "Keep a Knockin'" just a few weeks before he passed away. This isn't even his best song. And yet, it towers above a lot of pop songs you hear today. What a great legacy to leave. And you can share in it - just by learning 2 chords.

The other tune on this list isn't too shabby either.

  • Keep a Knockin' - Little Richard - 1958 - I don't have music notation yet.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Easy Tunes with

D# (Eb)

A#m (Bbm)

During my research, I found only 2-chord song with D# (Eb) and A#m (Bbm). These aren't very common beginner chords. But they're worth learning if you're a fan of Sheryl Crow and/or Stevie Nicks.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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2-Chord Songs with

E major

F#m (Gbm)

I found at least one 2-chord song with E major and F#m (Gbm) - and it's a beauty. This is one of the last songs the Fab Four performed before breaking up.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Simple Songs with

E major

A major

There aren't many 2-chord combos that give you more music than A and E can. You have a ton of songs to choose from - spanning 4+ decades. So take your pick.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Tunes w/ Two Chords

E major

A minor

How often do you see Hank Williams, Bobby Brown, and  Talking Heads together on the same list? But here they are - because they all played songs with 2 chords (in the same key).

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Beginner Tunes with

E major

B major

There are so many awesome 2-chord songs with E & B - it's hard to know who the true "Boss" is. Bruce is Bruce. But Hank, Woody, Harry, and Chuck can definitely hold their own.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Tunes with Two Chords

F major

G major

F & G gives you a nice mix of two-chord songs across funk, folk, rock, country, pop, and reggae. If you know of other easy tunes with these chords, let me know.

  • Low Rider - War - 1975 - I don't have music notation yet. But there may be an extra C major.
  • Dreams - Fleetwood Mac - 1977 - The notation says to use Fmaj7 and G6. But you can get by with just F & G.
  • Me Plus One - Annie - 1999 - I don't have music notation yet.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Easy Tunes w/

F major

G minor

I could only find one song with these 2 chords. And it has a fitting name - "Solitude." If you know of other 2-chord songs with F & Gm - ping me.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Simple Tunes with

F major

A# (Bb)

Both of the songs below are pretty repetitive. But that's what makes them so much fun to play. It may be cheating to call them "2-chord" songs (since they can certainly take more chords). But for practice purposes, F and Bb are enough.

  • It's Your Thing - The Isley Brothers - 1969 - I don't have music notation yet.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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2 Chord Tunes with

F# (Gb)

D#m (Ebm)

Below is the only two-chord song I could find with F# (Gb) and D#m (Ebm). Shoot me an email if you know of any others. Until then, tame that little dragon.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Beginner Songs w/

F# (Gb)

G major

There's only one song that uses F# and G together (so far). I'd never heard of this tune before. But it's kind of catchy. I'd like to add more. So if you know of any - drop me a line.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Two Chord Tunes with

F# (Gb)

B major

I was able to find at least one 2-chord song that uses F# (Gb) and B major together. It's from 2008 (but sounds like it's from the 1980s). If there are tunes I'm missing, drop me a line.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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2 Chord Songs with

G major

D minor

There's only a single tune with 2 chords that use G and Dm. But it's a fantastic song. Better still, it doesn't modulate, so you can just coast through - from start to finish.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Two-Chord Songs with

G major

E minor

Most of Oasis's songs have 3 or more chords. But I found at least one 2-chord tune - along with another from rock band, the Script.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Songs w/ 2 Chords

G major

A major

There aren't many 2-chord songs with A and G. But these are important beginner chords to learn (no matter what instrument you're playing). So give "Jane Says" a try.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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2-Chord Tunes with

G major

A minor

I was able to find a handful of solid two-chord songs with G and Am. Most of these were new to me. If you know of other songs with 2 chords in this key, ping me.

  • Heavenly - The Temptations - 1973 - I don't have music notation yet.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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2 Chord Songs with

G major

B minor

Below you'll find a single song that uses G major and B minor together. It's not one of Leonard Cohen's best. But it's better than anything I could ever write. So....

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Two Chord Songs

G# (Ab)

A# (Bb)

I can't imagine why any beginner would start with these 2 chords. But it may be worth the journey for this hypnotic 70's hit.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Easy Tunes with

A major

E minor

Bill Withers passed away while I was researching this article. The world lost a legend. But he left behind a great 2-chord song. Use this tune to ease your way into playing music.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Two Chord Songs w/

A major

B major

Here are 2 songs with totally different vibes. But they're both catchy - and fun to strum. So give them a try. If you know of more, ping me.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Beginner Tunes

A major

B minor

Learning A and Bm only gives you the 3 songs below (2 of which have the same melody but different lyrics). But they're all fun to play. So give them a spin.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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2-Chord Songs

A# (Bb)

F minor

I was able to find one 2-chord tune that use A# (Bb) and F minor. If you know of other easy songs in this key, shoot me a quick email.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Simple Songs w/

A# (Bb)

G minor

A# (Bb) and G minor don't normally appear together. But Love & Rockets managed to squeeze them into this late eighties 2-chord hit. If you know of more easy tunes in the same key, send me a quick email.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Easy 2-Chord Songs w/

B major

F#m (Gbm)

I spent hours listening to every two-chord song on this list. A few of my buddies helped, but it still took a long time to verify each tune. Every now and then, however, I'd come across a little ray of sunshine like "Rattlesnake."

If you do nothing else today, watch this video.

You're welcome.

  • Rattlesnake - King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard - 2016 - I don't have music notation yet.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Two Chord Songs

C minor

F minor

The 70s classic below is the only two chord tune I could find with Cm and Fm. But it's a fun one to groove too. Ping me if you know of other songs with 2 chords (in this key).

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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2 Chord Tunes

C#m (Dbm)

G#m (Abm)

"Family Affair" by Mary J. Blige (and Dr. Dre) is the only 2-chord song I could find with C#m (Dbm) and G#m (Abm). I remember when this hit came out. Does that make me old?

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Easy Tunes with

D minor

D#m (Ebm)

Kind of Blue is one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time, with "So What" being one of the most famous tracks. You can play it using Dm and Ebm. But it sounds better if you use the m7 variants.

  • So What - Miles Davis - 1959 - After a 30-sec intro, the song mostly alternates between Dm7 and Ebm7.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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2-Chord Tunes

D minor

E minor

I'd like to grow this list since Dm and Em are both really useful chords to master. If you know of other two-chord songs in this key, let me know. For now, content yourself with this eerie selection from Arctic Monkeys.

  • When Doves Cry - Ani DiFranco - 1995 - I don't have music notation yet.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Songs with 2 Chords

E minor

D6/9

D6/9 is definitely not a normal beginner chord. But it's also not that hard (at least on the guitar and mandolin). Combine it with E minor, and you can play either of the two-chord tunes below. Or maybe it's just one song (with two different names).

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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D6/9 Chord Diagram - Guitar Ukulele Banjo Mandolin

2-Chord Tunes

E minor

B minor

Combining Em and Bm don't give you much music. But together, they do unlock the 2-chord songs below - both of which were mega hits when they came out. If you know of other songs with two chords (in the same key) let me know.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Two Chord Songs

F#m (Gbm)

B minor

You'd have to be a sociopath to start with B minor and F#m (Gbm). But if that's how you roll, learning these unlocks the 2-chord song below. If you know of more, let me know.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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Simple Tunes w/

A minor

B minor

A minor + B minor unlocks exactly one 2-chord song. But if you can learn to "barre" these chords, grooving to this 70's classic is a walk in the park. I'd like to add more easy tunes to this section. If there are others, let me know.

Beginner Chord Diagrams
Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin

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BONUS SECTION

Children's Songs with I and V

What Chords Should You Start with?

If you’ve never played an instrument before, start with 1-chord songs first. When you're ready to learn your second chord, it almost doesn't matter which one you learn next. I'll explain why in a minute. But first, let's look at 2 possible options - distance vs. speed.

Option 1: Go for Distance

Make your second chord whichever one gives you the most songs to choose from. If you already know C major, for example, adding F major or G major opens up a lot of music. The goal is to find which 2 chords help you travel farthest.

Option 2: Go for Speed

Choose the easiest chord to learn next. Doing so allows you to improve quickly. However, "ease" depends on your instrument:

  • Guitar: you only need 1 or 2 fingers to play Em, A7, Em7, Am7.
  • Ukulele: try C, F, A, Cm, Am, C7, A7, Cm7, C#m7 (Dbm7), Am7, A#m7 (Bbm7), Bm7.
  • Banjo: the easiest chords are G, G#m (Abm), A, A# (Bb), B, Em, E7, G7, Em7, Bm7.
  • Mandolin: start with C, D, G, Dm, Em, Gm, E7, G7, Em7, Gm7.

But again, it doesn't really matter what chord(s) you choose first. And here's why.

Imagine you start with C & G:

  • With a capo on the first fret, you can now play every song with C# & G#.
  • Move the capo one fret higher, and you can play any tune with D & A.
  • Move the capo up 10 more times, and you'll arrive back at C & G again.

And that's assuming you want to play in the same key as the original. If a song is too high or low for you to sing, you can play it in any key you want - with or without a capo.

Stuck at Home with the Kids?

Covid-19 sucks. But being on lockdown gave me plenty of time to research and gather these 2-chord songs. Unfortunately, it's also given my kids plenty of time - now that schools and camps are closed. If you're in the same boat, here are 80+ fun children's songs you can play together. All of these two-chord tunes use the I-V, meaning you can play them in many different keys.

Found a Mistake (or Have a Song to Add)?

This page has a ton of songs, links, and chord diagrams. That’s a lot to manage. And I’m sure there are mistakes. If you spot any - let me know. The same goes for any 2-chord tunes you’d like to add to this growing list.

But just a heads up.

Many of these tunes are simplified versions of harder songs. “Singin’ in the Rain,” for example, uses a lot of jazz chords. But you can play it with just two beginner chords (C and F). It's cheating, but the goal is to ease your way into music. And these simple songs can help.

Thanks for Reading.....

If you found this guide helpful, share it with other future musicians.

And then - start making your own music.

Happy strumming.

-Austin

Austin's Guitar Lesson

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