Are up interested in learning the acoustic but unsure if you can handle the musical instrument well? While it is true acoustic guitars have heavier strings than classical or electric guitar, it is highly versatile and produces a bright sound. You can play almost any song on the acoustic guitar. If there are difficult chords that are hard to reach, you can easily rework them into easy chords. It is that versatile!
The sheer number of songs you can learn to play on the acoustic guitar makes the instrument capable of catering to all levels of skill. If you are a beginner, check out these 9 famous songs to kickstart your acoustic guitar learning journey.
1. Chasing Cars
“Chasing Cars” is the most famous song by Snow Patrol from their fourth album “Eyes Open”. In 2009, the UK Music Licensing Body PPL announced that “Chasing Cars” is the most widely played song of the decade in the UK. Not only is the song easy on the ears, it is also easy to play on acoustic.
This song is played in the A key and has all the open chords. The D chord has a couple of variations Dsus2 and Dmaj7. They are all simple chords to play.
2. The A Team
“The A-Team” is the solo debut single from Ed Sheeran from his album “+”. Released in 2011, this is one of the most friendly songs on the album for acoustic beginners. This song is played in the A key and only has open chords such as C major. C major is not part of the scale and allows you to learn how modulation works in popular music.
3. Tears in Heaven
“Tears in Heaven” is written by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings about the death of Clapton’s four-year-old son. The song has some chords outside the scale and is played in the A key. This song is slightly more difficult than the other songs on this list but will help you improve your playing.
4. Knocking on Heaven’s Door
“Knocking on Heaven’s Door” is written by Bob Dylan for the soundtrack to the 1973 film “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid”. This song has also been covered a great deal by the likes of Eric Clapton and Guns ‘n’ Roses. It was one of Bob Dylan’s most popular songs.
The song uses a mix of single string picking and strumming patterns played at a slow 68 bpm, making it perfect for beginners.
5. I’m Yours
“I’m Yours” was released as part of an EP and released as a fully produced track in 2008 for Jason Mraz’s album “We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.” The song went on to become a source of great success for Mraz with its catchy tune, hooks and infectious upbeat guitar parts.
The guitar parts are not challenging at all with their simple easy 2 and 4-string barre chords. Listen to the song carefully to get a feel of the song’s rhythm.
6. Free Fallin’
“Free Fallin’” is written by Tom Petty recollecting his time driving along Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles and all the things that he saw. It’s a classic hit and one of Petty’s most famous songs and used as a soundtrack for “Jerry Macguire” and “The Sopranos”.
This song has some fast chordal movement that requires you to lift your hand and change chords quickly but is fairly easy to play.
7. Eleanor Rigby
“Eleanor Rigby’” is part of The Beatles’ 7th studio album, “Revolver”. It is also one of the most popular songs written by Paul McCartney. This is an easy two-chord song using the Em key with the variations Em7 and Em6 chords. It also includes a C major chord which is not part of the scale. An easy song to learn for beginners.
8. What’s Up
4 Non-Blondes broke up while they were successful as a band. They released just one single studio album which did well and sold over 1.5 million copies in 2 years. “What’s Up” is their 2nd single and was a commercial success for the band.
This song requires high-energy and nonstop strumming. It requires fairly big barre chords you need to hold down for some time.
“Iris” is from the American rock band Goo Goo Dolls and part of their 6th studio outing “Dizzy Up the Girl”. This song made the Goo Goo Dolls mainstream success. The song is played in the Bm key and has some barre chords. To simplify the song, use the capo on the 2nd fret and utilise all open chords. This song helps you develop strength for barre chords.
We hope this list of songs helped you build confidence as a beginner acoustic guitar player.