Everybody starts playing guitar with the dream of playing and enjoying their favorite tracks. As the guitar is one of the most popular instruments, playing some famous tracks for yourself, friends or family, or an audience can be of utmost fun.
Playing guitar can be challenging or enlightening from time to time, but they are all part of the fun and the process. There are many famous and fun songs to play on guitar from various genres, which you can add to your repertoire to sing along a campfire or simply use to progress with your technique.
Here are some famous and fun songs from various genres from country and pop to blues and hard rock with relatively easy chords, notes, and progressions for beginners as well as intermediate players.
The Lazy Song – Bruno Mars
The Lazy Song is a reggae-influenced pop tune of the American pop singer Bruno Mars. The song was released in 2010 along with his debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans and became immediately popular after its release. To date, the song has more than 2 billion views on Youtube, being one of the most listened to and watched songs on the platform.
The song is played with 7 open chords and an easy reggae-style strum pattern. You play a muted strum and an open strum for each upstroke, creating an off-beat strum pattern for each downstroke.
Wake Me Up – Avicii
The lead single of the famous Swedish D.J. Avicii’s debut album in 2013, Wake Me Up, is the highest-charting dance track of the decade. The song received huge success and was considered the Summer Anthem. The hit song is a folktronica tune that mixes E.D.M., soul, and country music elements altogether.
It is a dancy and fun song with a high tempo and a basic progression of 5 chords. There are two barre chords in the progression, but it sounds better if you also play the G chord with the barring position.
If you wish to play some pop songs on the guitar, you should check my article Top 50 Famous&Easy Pop Songs For Guitar – Tabs Included
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
Smells Like Teen Spirit is undoubtedly the most famous song of the grunge pioneers Nirvana that does not need much description. As it is a very entertaining yet easy song to play, it is one of the most played songs by beginner electric guitar players. Released in 1991, the tune’s iconic riff is a joy to play with a good amount of overdrive added.
You will have to use some techniques such as palm mutes and power chords to play the tune. It is a great and fun song to play to feel like a rockstar and progress with basic techniques.
Losing My Religion – R.E.M.
One of the most popular tunes of rock history is the 1991 track Losing My Religion by R.E.M. The song won several awards and topped the charts becoming a fan-favorite tune with the help of its incredible music video and great lyrics as well as melodies.
The song is a great one to play with a friend. Originally the acoustic guitar strums the chords while the mandolin plays the lead melody. Still, you can quickly adapt it to guitar, enjoying playing the tune alone or with a fellow guitarist.
Back In Black – AC/DC
Back In Black is considered among the most iconic tunes of the hard rock giants AC/DC. It was released in 1980, and it was the band’s first song with their new vocalist Brian Johnson. The opening guitar riff of the tune is among the legendary melodies of rock history.
The song is played with a mild overdrive added to the tone. There are power chords with mutes and lead guitar embellishments in between—one of the most entertaining rock tunes to play ever.
If you are looking for more old-school rock tunes, this list might just be for you Top 30 Guitar Rock Songs Of The 1980s You Must Learn To Play
Africa – Toto
Africa is the most commercially successful song of the American rock band Toto, released in 1982. The song topped the charts in many countries and was certified gold by RIAA.
The tune is highly fun-to-play with a band as well as solo guitar. It is a sign mainly driven by synths and keyboard, but the melodies can be easily adapted to guitar. It has excellent power chords and arpeggio partitions, as well as a superb elementary solo that is entertaining to play.
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
I’m Yours is the Grammy nominee hit by Jason Mraz, well-known for his slow-tempo acoustic ballads. It is a great song played with G, D, Em, C, and A7 chords and a slow tempo strum or arpeggio pattern as you like.
If you love slow acoustic tempo tunes and sing along with them, this one is great to learn and master for beginners as well as intermediate players.
Hotel California – Eagles
One of the most famous tunes ever is Hotel California by the American band Eagles. It was released in 1976 and became a globally famous song with its exciting story, significant acoustic guitar parts, electric guitar solo, and lyrics.
The song has an excellent fingerpicking pattern for beginners with some easy chords. As this is a highly famous tune, it is the perfect song to play with friends and sing together. If you struggle with fingerpicking, you can also strum the chords.
If you want to learn more songs with the fingerpicking technique, check out my list Top 50 Easy, Intermediate, Advanced Fingerpicking Songs – Tabs Included
Creep – Radiohead
Radiohead is one of the biggest names for English Indie-Alternative rock. Their famous tune Creep was released in 1992 and received significant attention and success thanks to its basic structure, amazing yet nihilistic lyrics, and Thom Yorke’s incredible vocals.
The tune can be played acoustically, strumming the chords or with an electric guitar arpeggiating the chords and using power chords in the chorus section with distortion. Either way, it is a great song to spice up your repertoire.
Daft Punk – Get Lucky
Get Lucky by the French electronic music duo and Pharell Williams rocked the charts in 2013, playing globally in almost every street, cafe, bar, and event. The house-inspired disco, funk, and pop tune is ideal for learning and playing with its basic yet funky chord progression.
You will only need Am, C, Em, and D chords to play the tune along with a funky and fast strumming pattern.
Stand By Me – Ben E. King
Stand By Me is the timeless classic hit released in 1961 by Ben E. King before getting covered and performed by countless musicians. The song received immediate success after its release topping the charts.
The chord progression and the bass line of the tune got so popular the progression is called “Stand By Me changes.” With the iconic mute strum on the second beat and the easy chords, it is fun to play and sing along tune every guitar player.
Acoustic guitar songs are amazingly fun to play, take a look at my article to learn some new ones Top 50 Most Beautiful Acoustic Guitar Songs – Tabs Included
Welcome To The Jungle – Guns N Roses
The hard rock legends Guns N Roses have much tremendous and fun to play tunes for classical old-school rock lovers. Welcome To The Jungle is one of the first ones to come to mind with amazing electric guitar riffs and iconic vocal lines.
From power chords and mutes to lead guitar embellishments, riffs, and solos, the piece offers many significant parts to play for some hard rock action.
Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
Take Me Home, Country Roads is a well-known folk and country tune from West Virginia, the U.S.A., written by John Denver in 1971. The piece is an anthem for West Virginia and an iconic symbol.
You can play this classic with 6 easy chords and a basic strum pattern. It is a fun song to play, especially if you are from the region. The passion in the lyrics, along with the nice folky guitar lines, make this one great for country-style players.
Wonderwall – Oasis
Another widely famous tune that is often played on acoustic guitars is Wonderwall by the English indie rock band Oasis. It is the most famous song of the band and even rock history with its basic chords and fantastic lyrics, which is perfect for playing on an acoustic guitar among a campfire.
You will need a capo on the 2nd fret to play the tune; the rest is to play the iconic strum pattern along with the 6 easy chords.
There are some great indie-rock songs you can add to your repertoire, you can find some more of them here Top 50 Famous&Easy Indie Guitar Songs For Beginners – Tabs Included
One of the most famous punk bands, Blink-182, is All The Small Things from the year 2000. Thanks to its great guitar riffs and lyrics, the song is also one of the most famous punk hits ever.
You can play the song easily with power chords and straightforward melodies. Punk is one of the most effortless and most fun to play genres, as you can get crazy playing loud and as aggressive as you can.
Can’t Stop – Red Hot Chili Peppers
One of the signature tunes of the American funk rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers is Can’t Stop from their 2002 album By The Way. The song has an incredibly funky melody, which you really can’t stop playing.
The main riff of the song is played on the A and G strings with string skips. You should use the staccato technique along with aggressive pick movements to make it funkier.
Hey, Soul Sister – Train
American pop band Train’s successful hit Hey, Soul Sister is another chart-topper that was released back in 2009. The soul-influenced pop song also won a Grammy Award the same year.
It is a straightforward and fun song to play that you can sing along with your family and friends. It is played with only 4 basic chords.
There are great songs to learn and play in the 80’s glam metal music scene, you can take a look at my article to learn some of them Top 40 Famous&Easy Glam/Hair Metal Songs/Riffs – Tabs Included
I’ll Be There for You – Bon Jovi
The glam metal band Bon Jovi’s famous ballad I’ll Be There For You is yet another popular and fun song to play which was released in 1989. The power ballad is one of the rare low-tempo Bon Jovi songs yet is one of the most famous and most successful.
You can play the song strumming or arpeggiating 6 elementary chords; Em, G, D, Am, Bm and C.
Some Nights – Fun
Some Night is the only hit song of the American indie pop band Fun. Released in 2012, the song got the attention with its great lyrics in which the protagonist has an existential crisis. The song was a sleeper hit, spending some time in the charts while topping them after some point.
With only 4 easy chords; C, F, G, and Am, you can easily play and sing this entertaining song.
Lithium – Nirvana
Lithium is one of the greatest songs of the grunge kings Nirvana. The song has an amazing single melody riff with an aggressive and heavy chorus which is extremely fun to play. The song was released back in 1992 and received good success in many countries.
With power chords, distorted tones, and excellent single-note guitar riffs, the song offers many entertaining parts for electric guitar players.
Highway To Hell – AC/DC
One of the most iconic riffs of rock history is AC/DC’s Highway To Hell riff. Released in 1979, the song became the band’s signature tune, which entirely reflects the character of the hard rock band’s sound and tone.
The song is played with power chords and open chords with a bit of overdrive added to the tone. You can also try to play the solo of the tune as it is pretty basic and beginner-friendly.
Dust In The Wind – Kansas
Dust In The Wind is a lovely acoustic guitar tune by the American progressive rock band Kansas. The song’s naive and romantic lyrics combined with fast-picked arpeggios make the song highly entertaining to play and sing along with.
The song’s chords are pretty easy, but the arpeggios are quickly picked, which can be challenging for absolute beginners. So, they can strum the chords instead of fingerpicking them.
Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day
The 2004 tune Wake Me Up When September Ends is one of the signature songs of the American punk band Green Day. Billie Joe Armstrong wrote the song after his father’s death, which is the reason behind the song’S emotional heaviness.
It is an easy song to play with basic arpeggios and an easy progression. If you love sad songs, you will love to play and sing this one.
Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
Summer of 69 is one of the famous songs of the Canadian singer Bryan Adams which talks about the dilemma between settling down and becoming a rock star. The song was loved by the fans and received positive reviews from the authorities.
That aside, it is an utterly fun song to play thanks to its fun strum pattern with mutes and downstrokes. There are many chords in the song, but they are all easy to play.
La Grange – Z.Z. Top
The blues-rock trio Z.Z. Top’s most successful hit is La Grange which shines with its amazing bluesy and rock-solid guitar riffs. It is a fantastic song to learn and play if you like old-school guitar riffs with bluesy tones.
The solo sections of the song may be too hard for beginner guitarists as they have many different techniques and complex licks. But the main riff and embellishments are a joy to play with a bit of overdrive added to the tone.
Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin
Whole Lotta Love is one of the signature tunes of the legendary hard rock band Led Zeppelin. The song is remembered with its iconic guitar riff and Robert Plant’s incredible vocals.
The song makes you feel like a rock star when you play it loud and with enough distortion. The song is easy to play, yet the high-tempo can be struggling for absolute beginners.
3 Little Birds – Bob Marley
The 1977 tune, 3 Little Birds by the reggae legend Bob Marley, is one of the most popular songs of the legend and is used often in events, chants, and covers. The uplifting tune is highly fun to play thanks to its lyrics and cheerful melody, along with its excellent reggae rhythm.
You can play the song with three easy chords A, D, and E, but if you use the barre versions of the chords, it is easier to create the reggae rhythm with mutes.
Hurt – Johnny Cash
The last song recorded by the country king Johnny Cash was the melancholic song Hurt in 2002. It quickly became one of the most influential songs of the artist with its basic melody and great retrospective lyrics.
The song is played with basic arpeggios, which are full of grief and sadness, making the song very emotional and entertaining to play. You can strum the chords if you feel the arpeggios are too challenging for you.
Song 2 – Blur
English rock band Blur does not have many hit songs, but Song 2 was a worldwide hit with its iconic chorus and guitar riffs. It is one of the most iconic British rock tunes of the ’90s and won many awards with its uptempo melody line and rock-solid chorus.
You can play the song with easy power chords, cranking up the distortion and volume knobs. You are free to jump and dance or do whatever you like while playing as the song drives you forward to being crazy.
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones features one of the most iconic riffs of rock history. The 1965 tune is a great song by a legendary band shining with its iconic guitar riff as well as amazing lyrics.
The riff is utterly fun and easy to play, while the rest of the song is played with power chords—another great song to learn and play to spice up the repertoire.
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
The southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd’s famous tune Sweet Home Alabama is another excellent song offering amazingly fun guitar riffs to play for beginners and intermediate players. You can play the tune with basic arpeggios and chord progressions while singing along with the song.
House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
The traditional folk song House Of The Rising Sun’s The Animals’ version is undoubtedly the most popular one. It features ideal arpeggios patterns for beginner guitarists to enjoy playing guitar. Its slow tempo, along with many basic chords, makes this song a very satisfactory and fun song to play for entry-level guitarists.
Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple
The hard rock giants Deep Purple’s iconic tune Smoke On The Water features arguably the most mythical riff of rock history. Even if you have never listened to the song, you probably know this melody. It is ultimately a fun-to-play song and guitar riff which is played with basic power chords.
Riders On The Storm – The Doors
Released in 1971, Riders On The Storm is one of the most famous songs of the American rock band The Doors. The song shines with its sonic atmosphere as well as its poetic lyrics written by the great Jim Morrison.
To play the song, you only need 5 basic chords and a basic strum pattern. If you like rapping, you can also sing Snoop Dogg’s rap version of the song while playing the same chord progression.
Heart Of Gold – Neil Young
Heart Of Gold is the most commercially famous tune of the Canadian folk-rock singer Neil Young. The song has a smooth melody with acoustic guitar and harmonica melodies accompanied by great lyrics. You can play the song easily with 5 chords, Em7, D, Em, C, and G, along with a basic strum pattern. If you like country, folk-style tunes, this one is a great choice to learn.
Free Fallin – Tom Petty
American musician Tom Petty’s opening song of his debut album, Free Fallin, is one of the most famous songs of the musician. Thanks to its great lyrics and guitar partitions, it is also the highest and longest-charting song of his. There are 4 chords in the progression, along with a basic strum pattern with a few downstrokes.
All My Life – Foo Fighters
The Grammy winner single of the American rock band Foo Fighters, All My Life is yet another great rock song to learn and play. The rock-solid hit song is played with power chords, and repetitive single notes with plenty of distortion added to the tone.
Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
One of the loveliest guitar riffs of The Beatles is the riff of Here Comes The Sun. The 1969 song from the Abbey Road album is one of the most famous of the giants and offers excellent acoustic guitar partitions. The arpeggio patterns may be too challenging for absolute beginners, but they are ultimately fun to play for intermediate players as well as experienced beginners.
To Be With You – Mr. Big
To Be With You is the commercially most successful hit of the American rock band, Mr. Big. The ballad was released back in 1991 and is remembered for its great repetitive chorus, iconic claps, and basic structure.
You can play the song with 9 chords which sounds a lot, but as the song has a slow rhythm, you will not have any hard time. You can also sing the song with friends as it is highly fun to sing it with a chore.
Superman, It’s Not Easy – Five for Fighting
American singer Five For Fighting’s hit song Superman (It’s Not Easy) was released in 2001. The soft rock tune was used to honor the victims, heroes, survivors of the September 11 attacks and was covered by different artists. The song’s easy chord progression and strum pattern make this one ideal for beginners.
Walking On Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
Walking On Sunshine is the famous hit song of the British-American band Katrina & The Waves. The pop-rock tune was released in 1983, charting in the top 10 in many countries. The song is viral, appearing in commercials. Advertisers annually pay around 150 000$ to use the song.
It is a lovely tune to learn and master, which can be played with only 3 chords; A, D, and E. The chorus section is utterly fun to play and sing along with.
Johnny B Goode – Chuck Berry
Arguably the most famous rock ‘n roll tune is Johnny B Goode by the father of rock n’ roll, Chuck Berry. It is one of the first songs of the genre, as it was released back in 1958. The song was covered and performed countless times by different artists.
The iconic guitar riffs of the song are pretty easy and entertaining to play with a great rock n’ roll feel. There are many double-stops, bends, and scale walks, making it a joy to play. And the verses are played with easy power chords.
Times Like These – The Foo Fighters
Times Like These is one of the most famous tunes of the fourth Foo Fighters album, One By One, released in 2003. The song tells about the hard times the band went through, which is reflected in the amazing lyrics in a poetic way.
It is a lovely song to play with great lyrics and an excellent chord progression with basic chords and an easy strum pattern. All of the chords have comfortable fingering positions, and the iconic chorus is utterly fun to play.
Stuck In The Middle With You – Stealers Wheel
Stuck In The Middle With You is an international hit song released in 1973 by the band Stealers Wheel. The song got more popular after Quentin Tarantino used it in his 1992 movie Reservoir Dogs. Later the song was featured in many T.V. series and movies, making it more famous.
It is an easy and fun song to play with a great strum pattern of strumming up and down every half beat with muted second, third, and fourth down strums.
Iron Man – Black Sabbath
One of the first songs of the heavy metal genre is considered to be Iron Man of the heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath. The song’s iconic riff in the intro with the accompaniment of Ozzy Osbourne’s vocals is simply amazing and easy to play.
The song is played with double-note power chords with highly distorted guitar tones. The song offers great riffs and solo partitions for hard rock and heavy metal fans.
The Temple Of The King – Rainbow
The great tune, The Temple Of The King of one of the lesser-known yet greatest bands of rock history, Rainbow, is simply an amazing song with its outstanding guitar melody, chord progression, and solo. Ronnie James Dio’s great vocals with Ritchie Blackmore’s excellently composed guitar partitions create an impressive song together, which is a joy to play.
All of the parts of the song in the A minor key are easy to play, from the main guitar riff to chord progression even to the solo at the end of the song.
The Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens
The Lion Sleeps Tonight is one of the oldest songs on the list, with its origins going back to Africa back to the year 1939. The song was in Zulu language and adapted to English by the American band The Tokens in 1961. The song topped the charts in the U.S.A. that year.
Later it was used in Disney’s Lion King movie in 2000, which made the song a folkloric international hit. It is a great song to play and sing with friends and kids. It has three easy chords which you can arpeggiate or strum as you like.
Money – Pink Floyd
Money from one of the greatest albums of rock history, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, is yet another great song to learn and play. It is one of the greatest songs of the band with amazing lyrics, sound effects, guitar and bass riffs, and David Gilmour’s impressive vocals.
The song features a fantastic bass riff that you can adapt to guitar to play with your band or with the backing track of the song. The chord progressions and lead guitar parts of the song are also fantastic to play.
Leaving On a Jet Plane – John Denver
Released in 1966, Leaving On A Jet Plane is the country hit song of John Denver. The song is considered one of the signature songs of the artist, but it did not receive any chart success after its release. Anyway, it is a great country song to learn and play with an easy chord progression and amazing lyrics.
Blitzkrieg Bop – Ramones
Blitzkrieg Bop is the most famous song of one of the first punk bands, The Ramones, from the ’70s. The song is considered an essential milestone for punk’s evolution and is a great song to learn and play for punk lovers.
With only three power chords used, it is a very easy song to play. The tune created the genre’s characteristics with the fast-paced, catchy rhythms and loud guitars.
You Really Got Me – The Kinks
Released in 1964, You Really Got Me is a song written by Ray Davies for the English rock band the Kinks. The song topped the charts in the U.K. and is still often used in many commercials, movies, and events thanks to its iconic guitar riff with many great stops creating a dynamic melody. The song is played with basic power chords and an overdriven guitar tone.
Despacito – Luis Fonsi Ft. Justin Bieber
Puerto Rican singer, Luis Fonsi’s Despacito, was a huge international hit in 2017. The song was playing on almost every street in every country thanks to its dancy rhythm and easy-listening melody. Justin Bieber released a remix of the song a year later, which helped the song’s success significantly.
You can play the song with four easy chords along with a basic strum pattern. As the song is hugely famous, anyone around will immediately start singing the song with you.
My Generation – The Who
My Generation is one of the most recognizable songs of the English rock band The Who. Rolling Stones magazine placed the song as the 11th on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. With the great guitar riffs and amazing lyrics about the youthful rebellion of the era, it is a cult and fun song to play.
The song is played with power chords, and a bit of overdrive is added to the tone. There are lovely bass walks in the song, which you can adapt to guitar and play as a solo.
Passenger – Iggy Pop
The Passenger is a great song released by Iggy Pop on the Lust for Life album in 1977. Composed by Iggy Pop and Richard Gardiner, the song had an excellent success after its release and charted in the U.S.A. and U.K. Many best-of lists gave a place to the song thanks to its amazing lyrics and basic yet catchy guitar lines.
The chord progression consists of 5 easy open chords but where the song gets fun is its strum pattern. The untraditional strum pattern with mutes and triplets makes this an entertaining one.
Get Back – The Beatles
Get Back is the 1969 hit song of the great The Beatles, which topped the charts almost in every country. The song’s evolution is documented in every step, which can be seen in the Get Back documentary; how Paul McCartney came up with the melody and how they built the song around it.
The song is relatively easy and fun to play, thanks to its easy chords and steady driving rhythm. You will need A, G, D, and A7 chords to play it.
One Love/People Get Ready – Bob Marley
The famous ska tune, One Love/People Get Ready by the king of reggae Bob Marley, was released in 1984 but was composed much earlier in 1965. The song became one of the reggae anthems as a piece song and was used in many movies and events.
The chord progression goes as A, E, D, and F#m. The strum pattern is a traditional reggae pattern with muted downstrokes on the beat and open upstrokes in the off-beat. A charming slow-tempo reggae tune with lovely lyrics to spice up the repertoire.
Day Tripper – The Beatles
One of the most incredible guitar riffs that The Beatles composed is undoubtedly Day Tripper. Released in 1965, the song starts and ends with the two-bar, single-chord iconic electric guitar riff, which was inspired by American soul music. The song became the seventh highest-selling single of the 1960s.
The song is built around the great guitar riff, which is extremely fun and easy to play. There are different versions of the riff with different chords throughout the song.
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan
One of the loveliest and most iconic songs of music history is Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door by the folk musician and poet Bob Dylan. It is one of the most covered songs ever and is a perfect song tı play to any audience to sing together.
The song is played with 4 easy repetitive chords: G, D, Em, and C. The strumming pattern is traditional, but you can also arpeggiate the chords for a better and more exciting style.
My Best Friend’s Girl – The Cars
My Best Friend’s Girl is the hit song of the American rock band the Cars from 1978. The song is quite entertaining to listen to play with its melodic youth-oriented rocker with iconic handclaps of the 1960s.
The song offers many fun-to-play guitar sections with power chords as well as single-note riffs—a great and catchy song to learn and play.
Horse With No Name – America
Released in 1971, A Horse With No Name is the most famous song by the folk-rock band America. It is the most successful single of the band, which topped the charts in many countries like the U.S.A., Canada, and Finland.
The song features a great acoustic guitar chord progression and strum pattern. All of the chords only require two fingers to play—an easy yet amazing acoustic tune to add to your collection.
There are thousands of great guitar songs to play and have fun with. I know that everybody has different tastes and likes to play different kinds of tunes, yet these iconic songs on the list picked from different genres and styles offer many excellent parts for everybody.
Either playing with some friends and jamming around, playing to your family to sing along together, or just playing for yourself to have fun, you can choose any of these easy yet fun songs to play from the list.
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