50 Acoustic Guitar Songs for Beginners (With Videos)

If you’re looking for a great mix of easy songs to play on acoustic guitar then this is for you! This is one of the most comprehensive lists of beginner acoustic guitar songs that you will come across.

Join me as we’ll go over each one of them so you can choose the ones that best suit your style!

Contents

1. Love Me Do – The Beatles

What better way to start us off than with the legendary Beatles. We all know Love Me Do and the status it has. The song was released in 1962 and reached No1 in the UK.

Their trademark guitar sound just makes this one the most suitable to start with, the harmonica is timeless in this one, and the vocals speak for themselves. A good addition to anyone’s repertoire.

2. Yellow – Coldplay

Yellow by Coldplay is certainly one of my personal favorites. The song was released in October 2000 as part of Coldplay’s debut album, “Parachutes”.

When released as a single it was their first hit song in the United Kingdom. It reached number four on the UK Singles Chart and is also amongst one of six songs that spent more than 300 weeks on the list. Certainly a worthy one to add to your collection.

3. Three Little Birds – Bob Marley

Who doesn’t enjoy Bob Marley in this day and age? His song Three Little Birds was released in 1980, an ode to living life without worries.

The song simply promotes life and gives everyone a good vibe and motivation. Whenever you’re feeling down, it would be nice to pick up your guitar and play this mellow tune to give you that extra push you may need.

4. Love Story – Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is one of the most popular artists in the world even today. Her song Love Story was released in 2008, which went on to become one of the most popular wedding songs.

Or, if you are from the more modern generation, you’ve certainly heard this one on TikTok as it made a comeback when the popular platform took off. Needless to say, this one is certainly a good one to add to your repertoire.

5. Closing Time – Semisonic

Another song that would make a good addition to your arsenal. Semisonic’s Closing Time was released in 1998. The music video tells the story of a guy who learns how to play bass guitar, and his life experiences by finding different objects in an old storage locker.

Closing Time was Semisonic’s only big hit song in America, but it achieved numerous awards worldwide. The song was named one of the 365 Songs of the Century. Give it a whirl!

6. We’re Going To Be Friends – The White Stripes

We’re Going To Be Friends by The White Stripes was released in 2002 on their album White Blood Cells. The song’s lyrics tell the story of two people who become friends because they drive the same car and have the same cigarettes.

The band White Stripes is well-known by now and would certainly be an entertaining sight for you to pull out the guitar and play this one for family and friends.

7. Have You Ever Seen The Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Well, who doesn’t know this timeless piece and doesn’t recognize it immediately? Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Have You Ever Seen The Rain was released in April 1971 already, but it has made its rounds through all decades since then.

The song is considered to be CCR’s biggest hit. Have You Ever Seen The Rain was written by John Fogerty, the band’s singer and guitarist, who also played guitar on the original recording. Grab your guitar and makes this one your go-to at every event.

8. Yellow Submarine – The Beatles

No surprise that you’ll be seeing The Beatles again. Their song Yellow Submarine was released in 1966 and is the only Beatles song to remain under copyright until 2022. This means that it cannot be used, for example on YouTube, without a fee through a license.

In the USA this falls under the purview of Universal Music Group which holds most of The Beatles’ music catalog. But that doesn’t stop you from learning it and playing it for a closed audience.

9. Hurt – Johnny Cash

It’s almost impossible to not know Johnny Cash’ Hurt. The song was released in 1995 and is still listened to this very day.

This legendary song can still be heard anywhere around the world because of its immense popularity and catchy tune. Probably heard in most movies today, this one is definitely one to have under your belt.

10. Perfect – Ed Sheeran

I don’t think this one needs any introduction. Ed Sheeran’s Perfect was released in 2017 and it’s still going strong. The song has been a big hit, getting a lot of radio airtime and at one point reaching the #1 spot in almost all charts.

It was also played during the Christmas episode of This Is Us, which helped it stay on the US Hot 100 for 15 consecutive weeks.

If you don’t already know how to play this one, it would certainly come in handy when you’re trying to impress that special someone.

11. Blackbird – The Beatles

I already told you, The Beatles are here to stay. Their song Blackbird was released in 1968 and since then, the music is still heard today.

The song was written by Paul McCartney after he had read an interview with the Civil Rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. As most Beatles songs go, all of them are worthy to have in your arsenal.

12. Love The Way You Lie – Rihanna

Fast-forward many years later, we have Love The Way You Lie by Rihanna. The song was released in 2010 as a single joined with Eminem.

The song is about a couple who doesn’t seem to have a stable relationship, but rather one where they tend to hurt each other. A story seen many times I’m sure, nevertheless, a good and catchy song to have under your belt.

13. Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers

No chance that someone doesn’t recognize this one. Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine was released in 1971. I wasn’t even born during the time he released this song.

Well, in case nobody gets what I’m talking about: A remix of this song has been made by Grand Theft Auto V, and it is featured in the game’s fictional radio station Los Santos Rock Radio – just a fun fact. An easy song to learn and a fun one to play.

14. Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus

An incredibly catchy tune that most people will recognize immediately. Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus was released in 1992 and quickly skyrocketed up the charts to the #1 spot.

The song tells a story of a man whose ex-girlfriend has been sleeping with some other guy, but he can’t stay mad at her because she is still as attractive as ever. If you respect the country twang then this one will suit you just right.

15. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz

No surprise that this list is filled with major hits. Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours was released in 2008 and peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song also took home awards from ASCAP for being one of the most performed songs of 2008-2010 and winning Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards. From all that, it should be enough to motivate you to learn this tune.

16. Dear Life – Anthony Hamilton

We slow it down a bit with Anthony Hamilton’s Dear Life. The song was released in 2006 as the soundtrack for Step Up.

Dear Life is simply splendid. Get into this track from the very beginning to enjoy it in its full glory. Even better, pick up your guitar and learn this masterpiece of a song and sing it to that special someone or family members.

17. Behind These Hazel Eyes – Kelly Clarkson

A more riff-heavy side of Kelly Clarkson wouldn’t you say? Her song Behind These Hazel Eyes was released in 2005 as a single from her second studio album Breakaway.

The song contains guitar riffs during the chorus and also features a distorted bassline. A nice addition to her music no doubt, but would make for an even better addition to your growing repertoire of songs.

18. Budapest – George Ezra

George Ezra’s Budapest song is surely one you might remember. The song was released in 2013, and it didn’t take long to become a worldwide hit. It got pretty high positions in charts around the globe.

A simply catchy and mellow song to play on the guitar and will certainly be a pleasant sound to hear for anyone.

19. Hotel California – The Eagles (unplugged)

Let’s face it, we all know this one. Hotel California by The Eagles was released in the late ’70s and still remains as classic as it gets. The lyrics of Hotel California consist of symbolism, metaphors, and more than one interpretation so we will just stick to the music video aspect.

Their unplugged version is simply a sound to behold. Learning it will take some time but will surely turn heads when you play it.

20. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Now, you probably already know how to play this one but for those who don’t then that is just a surprise. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama was released in 1974 on their album Second Helping.

The title of the song is a reference to Alabama, where four members of Lynyrd Skynyrd are from. Anytime this song starts playing, it’s hard not to sing along or air-play along.

21. Girl From The North Country – Bob Dylan

The legendary Bob Dylan makes the list. His song Girl From The North Country was released in 1963 on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.

It’s a song that tells the tale of love and loss through the character of an immigrant woman who came to the city, only to leave broken-hearted. A simply tremendous song to have under your belt when you want to serenade that special someone.

22. Pompeii – Bastille

Bastille’s Pompeii was everywhere when it came out. The song was released in an uncertain time in 2013 when it seemed like nothing except maybe a new Justin Bieber song would top the Billboard Hot 100.

Every radio station made sure to play Pompeii at least once an hour. An overplayed song but for good reason, so, pick up that guitar and get to playing!

23. Hard Place – H.E.R.

Hard Place by H.E.R. is just an amazing tune. The song was released in 2019 and has since then garnered over 24 million views on YouTube.

The song starts with an intro riff that is repeated throughout most of the song. The main guitar riff has a very nice groove to it and provides a great foundation to the song as a whole. A mellow song that will do the acoustic guitar justice, wouldn’t you agree?

24. Feelin’ Alright – Traffic

Feelin’ Alright by Traffic has a very suitable name don’t you think? The song was released in 1968 and it gained a lot of success.

I remember that my parents used to listen to it when we had family gatherings. An oldie but goldie in my eyes. This is an incredibly mellow song that does the acoustic guitar justice. It is perfect for family get-togethers and just having a good time.

25. I Wanna Be There – Blessid Union Of Souls

Halfway through we have Blessid Union Of Souls with I Wanna Be There. It was released in 1997 and is a track from their self-titled album. The song is simply about somebody who wants to be in somebody’s life.

The song has a lovely tune and good vocals. It should have been a hit, but it just wasn’t meant to be I guess. Nevertheless, it’s still a very nice song that can further broaden your repertoire.

26. Stand By Me – Ben E. King

Stand By Me by Ben E. King needs no introductions whatsoever. The song was officially released in 1961 but became one of the biggest-selling singles ever recorded after appearing in 1986 on the soundtrack of Rob Reiner’s seminal coming-of-age film.

It was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2002 and is currently ranked at #41 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of ‘The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time’. You probably already know it on the guitar, but just in case you don’t, give it a try.

27. Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

If you’re looking for a feel-good song then look no further. Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl was released in 1967 and is Van’s most successful single and the musician has performed the song at almost all of his concerts during his career.

Over time, Brown Eyed Girl has been covered by many notable artists such as Glen Hansard, Tom Jones and even versioned in a duet with Michael Buble. The song promotes good energy so get to playing!

28. Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson

A really funny name for a song ain’t it? Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson was released in early 2005.

I know that some people don’t like this song that much, but it is still a mellow and positive song that just gets under your skin. I can just imagine a campfire with an acoustic guitar playing this song, can’t you?

29. Open Your Eyes – Alter Bridge

Open Your Eyes is just a cool song, hands down. Alter Bridge released this song in 2004, but I’ve seen it on fairly recent playlists that my friends have shared. Maybe the song is just timeless then?

This song features Myles Kennedy’s amazing vocals and Mark Tremonti’s awesome guitar playing. If you’re looking for a good rock sound and something awesome to play on the acoustic guitar then this is the one.

30. Heroes – Wallflowers

The next one on the list is an incredibly catchy song by the Wallflowers. Heroes was released in the year 1996 from the album Bringing Down the Horse.

The song was highly successful and peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, as well as reaching No. 1 on both the Modern Rock Tracks and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts that same year. The original was from David Bowie so that just goes to show what an amazing song this is.

31. Radioactive – Imagine Dragons

My all-time favorite band joins the list. Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive was released in 2012, and I still can’t get enough of it. In fact, all of their music is incredibly addicting. They have a unique sound that is always changing to keep things fresh, but it’s unmistakably Imagine Dragons.

You’ve probably heard this somewhere, as there was a time when this song was everywhere. Learning it on the guitar will be a head-turner for people.

32. We Are Never Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift

We Are Never Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift is another major hit that was everywhere. The song was released in 2012 from her album RED and became a top 5 hit in the USA.

It reached number one more than 20 countries including Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and many others. If you like playing breakup songs then what better than a Taylor Swift song?

33. Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s

A song that perfectly embodies the acoustic guitar. Plain White T’s’ song Hey There Delilah was released in 2006 and in only a few short months it reached number 1 in the US and Canada. The song is emotionally packed and beautifully written.

It is the third single from their third album and is solely written by vocalist Tom Higgenson. I know this one will surely impress that special someone if you’re looking to serenade with your guitar.

34. Enter Sandman – Metallica

Going from mellow to a more heavy tone. Metallica’s Enter Sandman was released in 1991 from the album “Metallica”, also known as The Black Album. This song is a mix of Metal and Hard Rock, which makes it different from other songs on this list.

Although the acoustic can’t really capture the same energy, it’s still an option to consider if you want to slow it down a bit and have fun with it.

35. Walk This Way – Aerosmith

Walk This Way by Aerosmith is another timeless piece that is more than worthy to add to your collection. The song was released in 1975 and it hit #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Walk This Way is one of the Aerosmith songs that you must have after you get your first guitar.

When you have such incredible vocals as Steven Tyler, it’s usually better to go after the guitar parts rather than sing. Luckily, the guitar can be easily learned, so if you find someone to sing this one then you have everything you need.

36. She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5

I know this one was one of the first few I learned on the guitar. She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5 was released in 2004. A soft rock song with an acoustic vibe to it.

I believe the reason that a lot of people learn this song is because there is a very simple progression that can be played with two fingers on the entire song. Also, most likely you will play it in an open D tuning (DADGBE).

Just nailing down the vocals and you have a head-turner anytime you play this one.

37. Spirit In The Sky – Norman Greenbaum

You’ve most likely heard this one before, if not individually then in a movie or TV show for sure. Spirit In The Sky by Norman Greenbaum was released in 1969 and was a #1 hit in the US, Canada, UK, and other countries.

The song was Greenbaum’s only major success as a recording artist. Norman Greenbaum made sure to include all his influences into this one track which makes it sound like many songs at once; it could be the spirit of Jimi Hendrix or The Byrds or The Beatles. You can hear all of them in this one song.

38. Come As You Are – Nirvana

Nirvana is one of those groups that each song is most likely used as a practice method or a first song when starting the guitar. Their song Come As You Are was released in 1992 on the album Nevermind.

Nirvana is probably one of the most famous alternative bands out there, due to their use of dynamics, interesting guitar parts, and lyrics that are more profound than your average pop song.

I still remember the private lessons when I first started where at least 50% of the song were from Nirvana.

39. Knocking On Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan

Most know this one by Guns N’ Roses and are completely oblivious to the fact that it was Bob Dylan’s song.

The song was released in 1973 as a soundtrack for Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Probably the first song every guitarist learns so in case you missed that then you should at least learn it so you don’t have any gaps in your repertoire.

40. Jamming – Bob Marley

Bob Marley’s Jamming is an all-time good vibe for anyone. It was released in 1977 and is the title track from Bob Marley’s album of the same name. There are conflicting rumors as to how the “Rastafarian” word got associated with the song.

Some say it was inspired by a jam session between Cat Stevens, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and Bob Marley in 1977 which later turned into an impromptu song. While others say Wailer came up with the lyrics on his own and Marley wrote music around it.

Whatever the case, it sure makes for a must for any guitarist’s collection.

41. Angie – The Rolling Stones

No introduction is needed here am I right? Angie by The Rolling Stones was released in 1973 and was the first single off their album Goats Head Soup. The song is considered to be an anthem for free love, as its playful lyrics are basically about picking up girls.

Despite that this song is almost 50 years old, it still makes for an impressive one to learn and especially to play for that special someone.

42. Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty

While the newer generation may know this one from John Mayer, the original is from Tom Petty himself. Petty released this song in 1989 from his album Full Moon Fever.

The story behind the song is that Petty wrote it in just a few minutes, and when he started playing it, the rest of the band joined right in without any rehearsal. Whether you enjoy one version or the other, you can easily learn it and play it in front of family, friends, or your partner.

43. Fallin’ – Alicia Keys

While we’re on the title “Fallin'”, we can’t neglect Alicia Keys’ Fallin’. The song was released in 2001 and was the second solo single released by Alicia, following her debut “How Come You Don’t Call Me”.

This song on the guitar is really good to learn, especially if you have the vocal credentials to back it up. Performing this will surely impress anyone hearing it.

44. Suck My Kiss – Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Suck My Kiss is an incredibly funky tune and really fun to learn. The song was released in 1992 from the Blood Sugar Sex Magik album.

The song is built around a funky bass riff and a guitar that is not as hard to learn as the bass. We all know Flea is a tricky one, but the guitar makes for an easy night for guitarists and surely makes for an amazing addition to your arsenal of music.

45. Teardrop – Massive Attack

If you’re an avid fan of House M.D. (like myself) then you know this one 110%. Teardrop by Massive Attack was released in 1998. Although the piano is the most well-known instrument from this song with it being the intro for the popular tv series, the guitar is not to be neglected.

Imagine playing this for any House M.D. fans out there, you will surely get compliments for this one.

46. Let Her Go – Passenger

I don’t need to say anything to properly introduce this one. Let Her Go by Passenger was released in 2012. Since then, this song has simply been everywhere and it keeps on going even to this day.

We all remember when this one came out and took the world by storm. Learning this one on the guitar will just broaden your repertoire and make for amazing sing-alongs.

47. Breakfast At Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something

A song that completely embodies the soul of the acoustic guitar. Breakfast At Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something was released in 1995 and reached number 6 in the Billboard Top 100.

The reoccurring piano portion of this song makes it an unforgettable experience. The acoustic guitar keeps the song grounded while adding beautiful textures that come from the strumming patterns, chord voicings, and single-note melodies.

Breakfast At Tiffany’s is a popular example for those new to learning how to play the guitar.

48. Fireflies – Owl City

You can’t tell me you don’t know Fireflies by Owl City, I simply won’t believe you. The song was released in 2009 and has since then been used in commercials, TV shows (Chuck), and even won an MTV VMA.

The song is the work of Adam Young, who got this weird idea for his one-man band back in ’05. This song has stood the test of time and will surely continue to do so. Grab your guitar, get the chords, and play this to all your friends and family.

49. Someone Like You – Adele

Coming close to the end of this list we have the ever-amazing Adele. Someone Like You was released in 2011 and it was the second single of Adele’s album 21.

If you want a song that hits deep and just makes for an amazing performance, especially if you land those vocals, then look no further. I know that the family will have an amazing time hearing this from you. An acoustic version tends to bring out even more emotions.

50. Back To December – Taylor Swift

Lastly, closing off the list is Taylor Swift with her song Back To December. The song was released in 2010 as part of Taylor Swift’s second studio album Speak Now. The song is still as popular as it used to be with teenage girls and adults alike.

As always, Taylor Swift brought her A-game for this song as she just nails the whole thing from vocals to lyrics. An acoustic version brings it out even more, so grab that guitar and add this to your ever-growing arsenal of musical pieces.

Summary

Having an acoustic guitar repertoire takes time, but it will surely be worth it in the end. When you feel like your skills are becoming a bit stale, try playing different songs from all sorts of genres and you’ll see what I mean.

The above list brings a varied range of songs for any guitar player out there today. You can go from oldies, to pop songs, to modern tunes. You can’t go wrong with any of these 50 songs.

If you want an escape from the everyday rut that playing your instrument might cause, then look no further than these pieces!

Milan Trajkovikj is a touring and recording bass guitarist who loves to share his passion for all things music.

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