50 Famous & Easy Acoustic Guitar Rock Songs For Beginners

When you start to learn anything new you should know that it’s never easy. The same goes for learning how to play the guitar. There are so many things you can do and so many things you can play. However, it’s not always easy and the best guitar players usually play complicated songs.

Luckily, this isn’t always the case and there are beautiful songs played on acoustic guitar that are easy and that will be a real treat for beginner guitarists.

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Contents show

Knocking On The Heavens Door – Bob Dylan

This is one of the greatest songs by a Nobel prize winner, Bob Dylan. Furthermore, this is one of his most covered songs ever. Bands like Guns ‘n’ Roses, Eric Clapton, and many others recorded their cover.

One of the best things is that this song is rather easy to learn. You will have to learn only a few chords and you’ll be ready to play.

Knocking On The Heavens Door Guitar Chords

Patience – Guns ‘n’ Roses

Everyone knows Sweet Child O’ Mine and Paradise City. While this is not the most recognizable song by Guns ‘n’ Roses, it is a beautiful song nevertheless.

One of the best power ballads ever written is easy to play and one of the best songs from their second album called G N’ R Lies.

The song was inspired by the relationship between the singer Axl Rose and his ex-wife. The song is both emotional and easy to play.

Patience Guitar Chords

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California Dreamin’ – The Mamas And The Papas

This song was written in 1965, and it is an important part of music history. Not only that the song was covered by Beach Boys and John Mayer, but it is also one of the easiest songs you can learn.

It is one of the best ways to improve your guitar skills and learn a bit of history as well.

California Dreamin’ Guitar Chords

Losing My Religion – REM

One of the greatest bands in alt-rock history, REM, and their most famous song might help you if you are a beginner guitar player.

Losing My Religion is easy to play, and you will enjoy every second of it. While they have some more complex songs, this one is easy and it can be played on the acoustic guitar.

Losing My Religion Guitar Chords

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Yesterday – The Beatles

Probably the most popular band ever that caused Beatlemania, was never famous for complex songs. There are so many that you can learn, but I had to choose one.

Yesterday was written by Sir Paul McCartney and the song is the same age as California Dreamin’.

Not only that you’d be able to learn this song, but you will be able to play it for everyone since the Beatles are still loved by many people.

Yesterday Guitar Chords

Layla – Eric Clapton

To be honest, this is not the easiest song on the list. There are so many chord changes and it is everything but simple. However, if you are able to play Layla, it is something that you’ll be extremely proud of.

The acoustic version was first played during Clapton’s MTV Unplugged show and it’s a simplified version of one of the best songs were ever written. The original was recorded by Derek and the Dominos in 1970 and features six guitars. So this will be quite an achievement even though the song is quite simpler compared to the original.

The song was inspired by Clapton‘s love for Patty Boyd who was the wife of George Harrison at the moment. The song is beautiful, emotional, and one of the best acoustic songs were ever written.

Layla Guitar Chords

Like A Stone – Audioslave

Audioslave was a supergroup created by Chris Cornell and members of Rage Against the Machine. The song is one of the most emotional songs ever written and it’s definitely something you should try learning.

While the chords are simple, the main focus of the song is emotion and lyrics. Tom Commerford, the bass player of Audioslave, said that the song was about an old man waiting to die after all of his family and friends had passed on.

The lyrics were written by late Chris Cornell who is one of the greatest singers that ever lived.

Like A Stone Guitar Chords

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Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

Now, to spice things up a bit, we had to add one of the most recognizable songs out there. Written in the seventies by David Gilmour and Roger Waters, this song is without complexity other songs offer.

But it’s not the easiest song to learn as well. If you were looking for a bit of a challenge as a beginner, this song might be the right one for you.

The chords are simple, but you will have to learn a particular picking pattern that is the basis of this song.

Wish You Were Here Guitar Chords

Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty

This is the first song from Tom Petty’s debut album. Before he performed with the Heartbreakers and they played this song live after.

While you might not know this song from the name only, you probably heard it several times. It’s one of his most popular songs and it is a great piece you could learn.

Free Fallin’ Guitar Chords

Wonderwall – Oasis

Now, this is the song that every beginner knows how to play. It’s easy and everyone knows it. The hit by the band Oasis was written by Noel Gallagher guitarist and singer of the band.

Even though most guitar players won’t admit it, we all know how to play it. It’s one of the easiest songs that you can learn. Besides, learning how to play a song like this is a huge boost in confidence for any beginner.

Guitar learning is not easy and it’s such a great feeling when you finally manage to play a song correctly, so why not start with this one.

Wonderwall Guitar Chords

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Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley

Any rock list without the King of the Rock would be incomplete. While this song is legendary, it’s quite easy to play and it is played on the acoustic guitar.

You can watch one of his unforgettable performances where he plays a bit. This song has only a few chords so it will be a great starting point for any beginner player.

Heartbreak Hotel Guitar Chords

Ring Of Fire – Johnny Cash

Of course, one of the most popular acoustic guitar players out there, Johnny Cash, had to be on the list. The famous Man in Black recorded this song, and you’ll be able to play it with ease since it has only three chords.

But even though the song is rather simple, it still has a lot to offer, so you’ll undoubtedly have fun while learning it.

Ring Of Fire Guitar Chords

Redemption Song – Bob Marley

While this is not technically rock, you can still learn how to play this beautiful song. Furthermore, there is an incredible cover by Chris Cornell that he played on the acoustic guitar.

The creator of the reggae genre and one of his best songs had to find the way to the list. The best thing is that the song is played with chords only, and there is a simple strumming pattern.

Redemption Song Guitar Chords

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Light My Fire – The Doors

This song is probably the most popular song by the Doors. It was recorded in 1967, and it became an instant hit.

Who would believe that this is one of their first songs ever! While the song has a recognizable keyboard intro, the guitar part is rather simple. You will need only a few chords to learn how to play this song.

However, if you are having trouble with barre chords this might not be easy. But it is a great song to perfect those difficult progressions and changes with barre chords.

Light My Fire Guitar Chords

House Of The Rising Sun – The Animals

Everyone knows this song. There are so many covers and the song is legendary for a reason. Also, it is not the hardest song to learn.

Furthermore, the song has four chords and they are all simple and easy to play. Besides, the picking pattern will help you a lot if you learn how to play this song. Because you would pick each string individually, you will practice both chord changes and right-hand coordination.

This is one of the best songs you should try to learn since there are so many great things you could learn from such a simple song.

House Of The Rising Sun Guitar Chords

Take It Easy – The Eagles

Now, when we say the Eagles, everyone will think of that incredible solo from Hotel California. However, this time we will mention something a bit easier.

The song Take It Easy is one of the things you should try to learn. While it might be tempting to jump straight to Hotel California, it might not be a good idea. It is always a better choice to start from the beginning and take it easy from there.

In time you’ll be able to play complex solos with enough practice. Until then, you should try one of the easier songs from legendary bands like the Eagles.

Take It Easy Guitar Chords

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Have You Ever Seen The Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival

You probably know this number one hit from the seventies. Creedence Clearwater Revival or CCR was an American rock band that played during the sixties and seventies.

They have so many great songs and hits that it was hard to pick only one. The main reason for that was that the chords and strumming patterns are easy and beginner-friendly.

So why not practice one of the best-known songs in the history of music. You will love the song and the fact that you are able to play it.

Have You Ever Seen The Rain Guitar Chords

Mrs. Robinson – Simon And Garfunkel

If you watched the Graduate movie with Dustin Hoffman, you probably recognized the song. One of the most popular songs by Simon and Garfunkel is easy and beautiful.

Not only that the song is easy to play but it was covered by the great Frank Sinatra.

But to be honest, this is not the easiest song on the list, so it’s normal that you’ll have some issues with it until you perfect every part of the song.

Mrs. Robinson Guitar Chords

American Pie – Don McLean

If you ever researched music history, you probably heard about the day the music died. This song was inspired by a tragic accident when Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, and The Big Bopper.

They were pioneers of rock music and it was one of the most tragic moments in the history of music. But even though the song is over eight minutes long, it is quite easy to play.

The main focus of the song is lyrics and the chord progression is something every beginner will love.

American Pie Guitar Chords

All Apologies – Nirvana

Everyone heard about Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. While this is not their most famous song, it is still fun to play.

The song was released in 1993 on their third album In Utero, but the version from MTV Unplugged is probably something you’re more likely to remember.

Nirvana was never known for complex songs, and this one is no exception.

All Apologies Guitar Chords

Wanted Dead Or Alive – Bon Jovi

While Bon Jovi is known for its rock songs, this one is a bit slower and it makes it perfect for learning.

The song was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora and was part of their third album Slippery When Wet.

Even though the song is a bit slower it is still considered as one of their signature songs.

Wanted Dead Or Alive Guitar Chords

Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) – Green Day

Green Day is one of the best punk rock bands ever. While this song is not really an example of their music, it is fun to play and quite easy even for beginners.

Even though the song was never released as a single it gained popularity and sold over two million digital copies.

The song was written by singer and guitarist Billy Joe Armstrong and it was about his girlfriend who moved to Ecuador. The song was about his anger and pain for being left.

Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) Guitar Chords

Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie

Ziggy Stardust is an alter ego of David Bowie and the name of one of his most popular songs.

The song was inspired by singer Vince Taylor who had a breakdown and believed that he was a perfect cross between a god and an alien. While this might sound complex, the song itself is not that hard to play.

There are several things that you’ll have to learn but in the end, it is one of the best songs for practicing different techniques.

Ziggy Stardust Guitar Chords

Lola – The Kinks

The song was recorded in 1970 and the best thing about this song is that all of the chords are simple. There is only one 7th chord, but all the others are simple major and minor chords.

While it is not as popular as their You Really Got Me Going song, it is still a beautiful piece you should learn.

Lola Guitar Chords

Angie – Rolling Stones

Angie by the Rolling Stones is one of the rare songs written almost entirely by Keith Richards.

It is a romantic acoustic song that describes the end of the relationship. Even though Richards said that the song was inspired by his daughter, he wrote later in his autobiography that the name was chosen randomly.

One of the best things about this song is how beautiful it sounds with only a few different chords. The song is undoubtedly something every beginner should learn.

Angie Guitar Chords

Dire Straits – Romeo And Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is a classic. The song was written by Mark Knopfler, and it came out in 1981. It was also released as a single from the Making Movies album. Now, the first thing you will need to do is change the tuning. 

The song itself is not too complicated, but beginners will need to practice it. The tuning for the song is known as open D, and the notes are D, G, D, G, B, and D. You will also need a capo on the third fret. 

Romeo And Juliet Guitar Chords

Sting – Shape Of My Heart

Shape of My Heart was originally released on Sting’s fourth album Ten Summoner’s Tales, and it quickly became one of his most popular songs. The chord progression is incredible, and it is such a great way for beginners to learn a few new chords.

While there are no barre chords in this song, the chords used can be a bit tricky, and it is not the easiest song on the list. Additionally, you will need to practice your fingerpicking skills as well. But all things considered, you will be able to learn it with enough patience.

Shape Of My Heart Guitar Chords

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

The most famous song by Kansas started as a fingerpicking practice. As for the chords used, they are not that complicated. The main issue for beginners will be nailing the fingerpicking pattern, and it can be such a great practice. 

Needless to say, you will be learning one of the most iconic songs on acoustic guitar, and it is something you need to check out as soon as possible. Dust in the Wind is a classic, and now, you can learn it too. 

Dust In The Wind Guitar Chords

Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl

Brown Eyed Girl came out in 1967, and it appeared on Van Morrison’s album Blowin’ Your Mind! The song is a classic soft rock tune, and many people consider it his signature track. The best thing about it is that the song is beginner-friendly.

There are no barre chords, and you will only need to follow open chords throughout the entire song. Furthermore, the only part that might take you a bit is the intro, but it is still not too complicated. 

Brown Eyed Girl Guitar Chords

Neil Young – Heart Of Gold

Heart of Gold is one of the most popular songs of all time. It was released in 1972, and it is on Rolling Stone’s list of greatest songs ever. The song first appeared on the Harvest album, and it is worth checking out.

The song is a great option for beginners, and the chords are quite simple. You won’t need to use a capo, and there are no barre chords. All things considered, there shouldn’t be any problematic parts even if you are an inexperienced player. 

Heart Of Gold Guitar Chords

Bruce Springsteen – Born In The U.S.A.

Even if you never listened to Bruce Springsteen, there is a high chance you know this song. Born in the U.S.A. was released in 1984, and it is one of the best songs for beginners due to its simplicity. 

There are two main chords you will need to learn, and the entire song revolves around them. To simplify the process even further, you can place a capo on the second fret, and you won’t need to deal with barre chords at all. 

Born In The U.S.A. Guitar Chords

Eagle-Eye Cherry – Save Tonight

Save Tonight is the most famous song by Eagle-Eye Cherry. It came out in 1997, and it became quite a hit worldwide. It was also named the “Swedish Song of the Year,” and it topped numerous charts across the globe. 

While the song has a slightly faster tempo, it is not too difficult to play. The main challenge beginners will face is nailing the rhythm (or the strumming pattern), and the chord progression is quite simple. 

Save Tonight Guitar Chords

Incubus – Drive

Incubus is an American alt-rock band, that started playing in 1991. The third album, Make Yourself, came out in 2000, and it brought plenty of hits including Drive. This song also acted as a single, and it was the biggest hit Incubus had. 

This breakthrough single is great for beginners, but it is not the easiest song on the list. There are a couple of uncommon chords, and you will need to practice changing between them. All things considered, it is such a fun song to learn. 

Drive Guitar Chords

Metallica – Nothing Else Matters

For many people, Nothing Else Matters was an introduction to the world of Metallica. The popularity of the Metallica album in 1991 went through the roof. Among the fans, this album is known as the Black Album, and it is among the best ones you can find.

When it comes to learning the song, it is one that many players try to tackle, but the song is not as easy as it seems. Of course, you can still learn how to play it, and it sounds great on acoustic guitars too. 

Nothing Else Matters Guitar Chords

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Simple Man

Simple Man is a song from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s debut album (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd), and it was released in 1973. The song starts with the A minor, and it follows a relatively simple chord progression.

One of the things you should know is that the song is in the Eb standard tuning. This means that you will need to tune all strings half a step down. The chord shapes will remain the same as with the standard tuning. 

Simple Man Guitar Chords

Extreme – More Than Words

More Than Words is a song by Extreme, and it is an acoustic rock ballad. The song was written by Nuno Bettencourt and Gary Cherone, and it was released in 1991 on Pornograffitti. It is also a huge step away from the band’s previous style. 

If you are interested in learning this song, the tempo is slow, and you will need to learn a couple of chords. But at the same time, the song is beginner-friendly, and it shouldn’t be too challenging for those who are just starting. 

More Than Words Guitar Chords

Jane’s Addiction – Jane Says

Jane Says is a song from Jane’s Addiction’s debut album Nothing’s Shocking (and Jane’s Addiction), and it came out in 1988. It was the first song that managed to reach charts and it is such a fun piece to learn. 

The song is beginner-friendly, and there are only two main chords you will need to learn. Of course, this makes it suitable for all skill levels, and you shouldn’t struggle with it. You also won’t need a capo or barre chords. 

Jane Says Guitar Chords

Alice in Chains – Nutshell

Originally, Nutshell was released on Alice in Chain’s EP Jar of Flies. But the majority of fans prefer the Unplugged version from 1996. It is also one of the best live performances you can find, and it sounds gorgeous. 

The song includes a couple of unusual chords, and some players might struggle with chord changes. This doesn’t mean that the song is too difficult, and you might only need to practice it for a bit. 

Nutshell Guitar Chords

Foo Fighters – Everlong

Everlong first appeared on The Colour and the Shape in 1997, and it is one of the most popular songs by the band. What is interesting is that this song sounds amazing on an acoustic guitar as well. 

There is also an acoustic version you can find too, which will be a great reference for your practice. Keep in mind that the song is in the drop D tuning, and you will need to make the necessary adjustments. 

Everlong Guitar Chords

Staind – Outside

The first version of Outside was performed live in 1999, and the song was released as a single two years later. It also appeared on the Break the Cycle album, and it is worth checking out if you are a fan of Staind. 

When it comes to the chord progression, it’s fairly simple. You won’t need to use full barre chords, and the song is suitable for all skill levels. Additionally, the strumming pattern is not too complex, which is something many players will appreciate. 

Outside Guitar Chords

Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?

Do I Wanna Know? is a song by Arctic Monkeys, and it was released on the AM album in 2013. The lyrics were written by Alex Turner, and it quickly became one of the most popular songs by the band. 

One of many great things about it is that you can play it on your acoustic guitar, and there is a beautiful acoustic version you can check out too. The song is not too complicated, making it great for all skill levels. 

Do I Wanna Know? Guitar Chords

The Killers – Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine

Jenny Was a Friend of Mine is the first song from the Hot Fuss album, and it came out in 2004. One thing you should know is that the original version is a bit heavier, and it’s played with a full band. 

However, the acoustic version was often performed by Brandon Flowers, which is something you should check out. The basic idea of the song is the same, and you will need a capo on the sixth fret to simplify the process.

Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine Guitar Chords

The Cure – Just Like Heaven

Just Like Heaven is a song from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, and it was released in 1987. The lyrics were written by the incredible Robert Smith, and it is such a fun song to play. Especially if you are a fan of the Cure. 

As you are probably aware, the song is not too hard to learn. There are just a few chords, but the tempo and progression are still suitable for beginners. It will also be a great opportunity to practice barre chords. 

Just Like Heaven Guitar Chords

The Goo Goo Dolls – Iris

Iris is a song written for the City of Angels soundtrack, and it came out in 1998. The Goo Goo Dolls later included the song in their Dizzy Up the Girl album, and it also came out as a single. The song quickly became the band’s signature, and they often played it live. 

Now, the first thing to mention is the tuning. Instead of playing in the E standard tuning, you will go for B, D, D, D, D, and D. This rather unusual tuning will allow you to play the song with ease and along with the original recording. 

Iris Guitar Chords

Stone Temple Pilots – Plush

Plush is the second single from the Core album, it came out in 1992, and it quickly allowed Stone Temple Pilots to gain fans across the globe. It was also a huge hit in the United States and a great introduction to the debut album.

If you are a fan of alternative rock, this is a song you need to learn. Fortunately, it is great for all skill levels. You don’t need to be experienced, and the only challenge here will be nailing the rhythm and tempo.

Plush Guitar Chords

Pearl Jam – State Of Love And Trust

State of Love and Trust is a song from the Singles soundtrack, and it was released in 1992. Pearl Jam later included it in the compilation albums, and they often played it live. One of the most notable performances was during the MTV Unplugged in 1992. 

When it comes to guitars, the song is mostly identical for acoustic and electric versions. However, you can simplify it even further if some of the chords are too complicated. For example, you can play a regular F major instead of the one based on the open C shape. 

State Of Love And Trust Guitar Chords

The Pretty Reckless – Just Tonight

The Light Me Up album was released in 2010, and it brought so many incredible songs. Just Tonight came out as the third single, and it was followed by a music video. The song is a bit slower and gentler than the rest of the album, and it is a wonderful power ballad. 

To play this song, you will need to tune your guitar half a step down. The notes should be Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Bb, and Eb. Of course, you can leave it in the E standard, but you won’t be able to play along with the original recording. 

Just Tonight Guitar Chords

The Cranberries – Zombie

Zombie by The Cranberries is a classic. It is one of the most powerful songs of the era, and it was released in 1994. If you are someone who plays an acoustic guitar, you should know that the band released a stripped-down, acoustic version in 2017. 

This song appeared on the Something Else album, and it is rather similar to the original one. As a result, you can follow the same progression and learn both versions at the same time. The song is not too difficult, but it still sounds incredible. 

Zombie Guitar Chords

Stone Sour – Through Glass

The most popular song by Stone Sour is Through Glass. It was released in 2006, and it appeared on the Come What(ever) May album. The song is mostly played on acoustic guitars, and there is also a simpler acoustic-only version available. 

One of the first things you will need to do is tune your guitar to the Eb standard, which is half a step down. At least if you want to play along with the recording. The progression is beginner-friendly, and you will have a lot of fun with it. 

Through Glass Guitar Chords

The Calling – Wherever You Will Go

Wherever You Will Go came out in 2001, and it was the debut single by The Calling. Even though the band continued playing since then, Wherever You Will Go remained the most popular song. 

The first thing you will need to play this track is a capo on the second fret and a few chords. You can play it with a pick or without it, and it is a great way to polish your skills thanks to the pattern that repeats throughout the song. 

Wherever You Will Go Guitar Chords


Even though we had limited options when it comes to acoustic songs, these are some of the most popular and most influential songs in the history of rock music. Of course, not all of them are pure rock, but the idea behind them is still beautiful and is something you should consider practicing.

It would be impossible to write all the great songs out there, and there are so many by the bands we already mentioned. In the end, we decided to put one song per artist so you could have a variety of options when it comes to learning.

Finally, not all the songs on the list are super easy to learn and some might take you time to perfect. But one of the most important things when it comes to guitar playing is practice.

With enough time and practice, you’ll be able to play any of the songs on the list. When you conquer those chord progressions, you can continue learning solos from each song. Most of them have an intro and a guitar solo that is rather fun to play.

So keep practicing and keep learning until you become the best guitar player you can be.

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I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

2 thoughts on “50 Famous & Easy Acoustic Guitar Rock Songs For Beginners

  1. I actually have some fans on a Facebook page related to this stuff. I’ll share your post with them and see what they have to say. I’m sure they’ll love it though.

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