Beginner Song Lessons

Of the 284 song lessons I've made, here are the ones I would consider beginner-friendly. Most of these songs need just 3-4 chord shapes, and can be played even if you simplify the strumming or skip certain riffs/fills.

While many of the lessons linked below may include intermediate & advanced content, please note that I typically begin each tutorial with the simplest possible instruction per that song – and then layer on additional concepts later in the lesson.

Please let me know what specific beginner content you'd like to see! I plan on continuing to add to this section of my website, and would love any requests or feedback. Thanks!

Key of G

Most songs here use some combination of G, C, D, and E-minor. Check out this G-major finger position guide for suggestions on how to position your fingers while playing these chords.

  • 7 Years by Lukas Graham
  • A Pirate Looks at Forty by Jimmy Buffett
  • Acid Tongue by Jenny Lewis
  • Angel From Montgomery by John Prine
  • Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
  • City of New Orleans by Arlo Guthrie
  • Clay Pigeons by John Prine
  • Follow You to Virgie by Tyler Childers
  • Heart of Gold by Neil Young
  • I've Just Seen a Face by The Beatles
  • King of the Road by Roger Miller
  • Knockin' on Heaven's Door by Bob Dylan
  • LA Freeway by Guy Clark
  • Last Kiss by Pearl Jam
  • Let It Go by Frozen
  • Maybe It's Time by A Star is Born
  • Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin
  • Millionaire by Chris Stapleton
  • Redemption Song by Bob Marley
  • Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash
  • Rivers of Babylon by Sublime
  • Sunday Morning Coming Down by Johnny Cash
  • Sweet Virginia by The Rolling Stones
  • Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver
  • Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show
  • Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd

  • Key of C

    Most songs here use some combination of C, F, G, and A-minor. Don't be scared away by the F chord! You can totally get by using the 3-string version I teach in my F Chord Cheat Sheet (which shows many non-barred options). I also made this Key of C cheat sheet to give an overview of this entire key. And once more, the G-major finger position guide will come in handy with this chord family as well.

  • Dead Flowers by Townes Van Zandt
  • Feeling Whitney by Post Malone
  • Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
  • In Spite of Ourselves by John Prine
  • Last Christmas by Wham!
  • Lean On Me by Bill Withers
  • Learnin' To Fly by Tom Petty
  • Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men
  • My Church by Maren Morris
  • Saskatchewan in 1881 by Colter Wall
  • Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Stand By Me by Ben E. King
  • Surrender (acoustic) by Cheap Trick
  • The Middle by Jimmy Eat World
  • True Colors by Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick
  • You've Got a Friend in Me by Randy Newman

  • Key of D

    Most songs here use some combination of D, G, and A... with one or two of these songs using B-minor. For B-minor, the easiest way to play it is by sliding the A-minor shape up two frets (and only playing strings 2-3-4).

  • Badlands by Bruce Springsteen
  • Dublin Blues by Guy Clark
  • I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash
  • Make You Feel My Love by Bob Dylan
  • Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys by Waylon Jennings
  • Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett
  • Pancho and Lefty by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard
  • Surrender (acoustic) by Cheap Trick
  • Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
  • Whitehouse Road by Tyler Childers

  • Key of E

    Most songs here use some combination of E, A, and B7. If you need help with these chords, I suggest my video showing walk-ups and walk-downs between E-A-B7, which is a super common technique used in this specific key.

  • Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain by Willie Nelson
  • Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin
  • Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash
  • I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash
  • I've Been Everywhere by Johnny Cash
  • Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys by Waylon Jennings
  • Runnin' Down a Dream by Tom Petty
  • The Gambler by Kenny Rogers

  • Key of A

    Most songs here use some combination of A, D, and E.

  • Give My Love To Rose by Johnny Cash
  • Guantanamera by Pete Seeger
  • I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash
  • Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills & Nash
  • Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
  • You Are My Sunshine by Johnny Cash
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