When starting to learn the guitar, it is important to choose an accessible repertoire of easy guitar songs, with which you can stay motivated to practice further to enrich the repertoire. For this goal, you need to add new chords and strumming patterns to your playing.
The best way for this is to learn and play as many songs as possible. Slow songs are great to learn new chords as the transitions are slow and easy, giving you the time to prepare your finger positions.
All Of Me – John Legend
Originally composed for piano, All Of Me by John Legend is a beautiful slow tempo song to play with its beautiful chord transitions. Released in 2013, the song is known for its romantic lyrics and sentimental melodies.
The chords you need to play the song are Em, C, G, D, Am, and C/D. The strum pattern is pretty straightforward with a slow rhythm.
Stay With Me – Sam Smith
Released in 2014, Stay With Me is the chart-topper pop hit by Sam Smith. The tune features a mellow melody along with the soft vocals of Sam Smith that make you fall in love with the song.
The song has a pretty conventional chord progression with Am, F, C, and G and a slow-paced strum pattern with downstrokes. The tune is also great to help you get comfortable with the barring technique.
A lot of blues songs are known to be slow. If you are into this you need to check also my other article Top 30 Famous & Easy Blues Songs For Beginners – Tabs Included
The Scientist – Coldplay
The Scientist is the hit single by the English band Coldplay from their second studio album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, released in 2003. The tune is initially played by piano but can be easily adapted to guitar.
The Scientist is a great song to practice some new chords as the progression features some variations of common chords such as D6, Em7, D7, and Gmaj7. All these chords may have weird names, but they are easy to play, and the slow tempo of the song helps you have the time to make the transitions smoothly.
Wildest Dreams – Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s one of the biggest hits, Wildest Dreams, is yet another slow-paced romantic song that sounds like a dreamy pop tune ballad.
It is an absolute beginner song with a progression of open chords and a slow, standard strumming pattern—a quick and fun song to learn and play without any trouble.
If you are into slow songs you will need to check out the following list as well Top 70 Famous & Easy Country Guitar Songs – Tabs Included
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
The Grammy nominee hit of Jason Mraz, I’m Yours is a perfect and easy song to play on a guitar.
The song consists of four easy chords; G, D, Em, C, and A7. All chords have very comfortable finger positions, making the transitions straightforward.
The basic strumming pattern with steady triplet down and upstrokes is ideal for beginners. Listen to the song carefully to give the accents on the right beats. Overall, it is a beautiful song to practice and master quickly.
Stand By Me – Ben E. King
One of the most iconic tunes of music history is Stand By Me by Ben King. With its slow but impressive melody and famous lyrics, it is a song to play to any audience.
The song consists of 4 easy chords to play; G, Em, C, and D. The traditional strumming pattern is fun and easy to play with its classic mute on the second beat.
All you need to do is to memorize the lyrics and master its easy chords, which won’t take you long for sure.
Hero – Enrique Iglesias
Released in 2001, the romantic tune Hero by the Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias rocked the world with its basic but enchanting melody and lyrics. The song has a Spanish version which rocked the Latin world just before the English one got released.
You can play this song with 5 chords; G, Em, C, D, and Dsus4. As it is a slow tempo tune, you will have more than enough time to transit between chords, so the unconventional finger shape of Dsus4 won’t be a challenge.
If you are looking for some easy pop songs to add to your repertoire, feel free to check my list Top 50 Famous&Easy Pop Songs For Guitar – Tabs Included
Don’t Let Me Down – The Beatles
The slow hit by The Beatles, Don’t Let Me Down from 1970, is a beautiful love song written by John Lennon for his future wife, Yoko Ono.
You won’t have a hard time playing the chord progression with only 4 basic open chords, Em7, D, A, A7, and a typical strumming pattern. The lyrics are utterly sentimental, describing the beginning of a relationship with warm hopes and wishes. Great song to learn and sing along with.
Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
Snow Patrol’s best-selling single, Chasing Cars, is an excellent ballad with incredible popularity thanks to the TV show Grey’s Anatomy. The song’s appearance on the famous TV show helped the song’s great fame massively, making the song one of the year’s best-selling singles.
Chasing Cars is a fascinating tune to play that features only 3 chords. The song is played with the same chord progression throughout the song and is ideal for absolute beginners to play.
Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
A hit at guitar jams and singalongs, one of the best performance pieces around is Wish You Were Here by the legendary psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd. On top of being a true classic, it’s a great song to practice connecting chords and mixing up strumming patterns.
This iconic song is played with 6 open chords; G, Em, A, C, D, and Am. If you are just beginning to play guitar and looking for a legendary song to play while still practicing traditional chords, Wish You Were Here is the way to go.
If you are looking for higher tempo songs to learn and master, you can check my article Top 55 Famous&Easy Punk Guitar Songs For Beginners – Tabs Included
Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
The classic tune of Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah, is a well-known slow tempo song that features an excellent chord progression along with beautiful lyrics.
You can play the tune with 5 simple chords, G, Em, C, D7, and B7. The strum pattern is standard with traditional approaches. You can also experiment with custom strum patterns as originally, the song is played with arpeggios and has many covers with different rhythm guitar partitions.
If you have no hard time with the chords and are familiar with finger-picking, this is also a great song to play with arpeggios. With its sentimental melody and romantic lyrics, “Hallelujah” is definitely a must for your repertoire.
Goodbye My Lover – James Blunt
One of the most famous songs of the British pop singer James Blunt is Goodbye My Lover from 2005. The song has an utterly melancholic tone with emotional lyrics accompanied by a sentimental piano.
The tune futures a typical chord progression with G, D, Em, and C chords. It can be played with simple downstrokes in between the vocals which is the crucial element of the song.
Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
One of the most beautiful ballads written in the 1970s is Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton. It is an unforgettable song with its slow tempo, romantic setting, extremely emotional lyrics, and crying lead guitar.
The five simple open-chords you need to play the song are G, D, C, Em, and G7, which have very comfortable fretting positions. You can either play the song with soft down strums every other beat or try to arpeggiate the single strings.
There is a reason why this song is one of the most played songs at weddings and special events, as it is a direct arrow to the hearts.
If you like slow songs then you probably like Coldplay, too. In that case, check out my Coldplay guitar songs article Top 30 Easy&Advanced Coldplay Guitar Songs – Tabs Included
Ode To My Family – The Cranberries
The second successful single of the Irish band The Cranberries that rocked the world charts was Ode To My Family in 2004. The tune was written for people who died in the Yugoslavian war, and this pain can be felt at any moment in the song.
This tune can be played with a C, Am, Em, and F progression. Originally, there is a capo on the 2nd fret of the rhythm guitar to help Dolores sing easier, but you can ignore it if you have a lower vocal range. As it is a slow tempo song, the strum pattern is easy and standard.
Riders On The Storm – The Doors
The famous psychedelic rock song Riders On The Storm by the legendary band, The Doors, is another slow-tempo iconic song known mainly for its excellent and deep lyrics, odd sounds of thunder and rain, iconic keyboard solo, and melodies, and its covers by famous musicians many years later.
The song in the key of E minor is straightforward to play with all open chords. You can experiment with different strum patterns and play the one you are most comfortable with.
Free Fallin – Tom Petty
Free Fallin’ is one of Petty’s most famous tracks, as well as his highest and longest-charting. It was released in 1989 and gained high popularity, which got covered many times by different artists like Coldplay and John Mayer.
The 3 chords you will need to play the song are D, G, and Asus4. You can use down strums to create the slow-paced strum pattern and enjoy the tune while singing along.
Heart Of Gold – Neill Young
One of the unique tracks of all time, according to Billboard magazine, is Heart Of Gold by the Canadian country-rock artist Neill Young. It was released in 1972 and became the first hit of Young to top the charts in the United States.
The chords to play the song are pretty simple, but this song’s challenge is the strum pattern. It has a particular pattern that requires you to listen very carefully to replicate on your instrument.
Your Power – Billie Eilish
Your Power is the hit song by the American singer Billie Eilish released in 2021. The folk ballad with acoustic instruments differed from Eilish’s older work and had a very positive reception in the audience.
You only need 4 chords and an acoustic guitar to play this song. If you feel comfortable, you can try to play the intro riff, which consists of double stops and slides.
Let It Be – The Beatles
One of the greatest songs ever made by The Beatles is undoubtedly Let It Be from 1970. Composed by Paul McCartney, Let It Be became a massive hit globally, and it still is one of the signature songs of the band.
Although it was created for piano, it can easily be adapted to the guitar using four basic chords; G, D, Em, and C. The strum pattern is downstrokes on every beat with an added upstroke in the ending.
Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl is a rock ballad from 1967. It is one of the most covered songs of all time and has been played at countless parties and used to impress many people with its simple yet evocative melody and lyrics.
You will need 5 easy open chords to play the song, G, C, D, Em, D7. As this tune features the highest tempo of this list, it requires a fundamental strumming pattern with down strums on each beat. Still, you can play different strumming approaches if you feel comfortable with the chords.
Always On My Mind – Willie Nelson
The Willie Nelson version of the famous ballad Always On My Mind is another classic love song with many covers by famous artists like Elvis, Pet Shop Boys, and Brenda Lee. It is an easy-to-play tune with a beautiful chord progression and impressive yet straightforward lyrics.
Perhaps, the song’s most challenging part is that it has many chords to remember: G, D7, Em, C, A7, and Am. As a love ballad, you can play the song’s basic strum pattern with downstrokes with your thumb to create a softer feeling.
Fields Of Gold – Sting
Released in 1993, Fields of Gold is one of the best-known songs by the British singer Sting. The tune has a peaceful tone with harp-like acoustic guitar figures and Sting’s seductive vocals.
You can play this ballad with 5 basic open chords along with a standard down-down-up-up-down-up pattern. It is an easy and calming song to play and sing.
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan’s iconic song, one of the most played songs on guitar and one of the most sung and covered songs of all time: Knockin’ On Heavens Door. It is the perfect song to play to any audience to sing together and have fun.
You can play the song with 4 easy repetitive chords: G, D, Em, and C. The strumming pattern is the classic down-down-up-up-down-up, and also, you can try to play the chords with arpeggios if you have practiced finger-picking before.
With Or Without You – U2
The first hit of the Irish band U2 was With Or Without You, an outstanding power ballad. The incredible vocals of Bono meet with the mellow melody created by the guitar and keyboard, creating a soothing and inspirational song.
The 4 simple chords, G, D, Em, C, and a steady classic strumming pattern, are enough to play the tune. A traditional down-down-up-up-down-up pattern will do the trick.
Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers
This Bill Withers classic, Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone, is one of the songs that appear in every list of easy guitar songs to play. Its simple chord progression and slow tempo make this tune an amazing sentimental tune suitable for beginners.
The song is played with Am, Em, Em/G, Dm chords. Strumming on beats 1 and 3, letting the chords ring, and creating a slow-tempo sentimental atmosphere is the recipe to play this classic.
For the singalong, the song’s vocals start before the chords, so don’t forget to play the first chord before singing to catch the key.
Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles
One of the most famous songs by The Beatles is Eleanor Rigby. The tune was released in 1966 and recorded by many string players, which creates the iconic atmosphere of the song.
The repetition, fluidity, and simplicity of the chord progression make Eleanor Rigby an ideal choice for a beginner. By lifting your fingers after each strum, you can use the staccato technique to play the verses while you can let the strings ring with more powerful strokes in the chorus.
Fake Plastic Trees – Radiohead
Fake Plastic Trees is one of the most known songs of the British band Radiohead from 1995. The tune has a lonely tone with a melancholy melody and lyrics. It is a great song to play solo with an acoustic guitar.
The song features 5 easy open chords with a slow tempo, standard strum pattern. The parts where you just strum down the chords slowly are great and fun to play.
Where Did You Sleep Last Night – Nirvana
Where Did You Sleep Last Night is an American folk song dating back to 1870 and is believed to be from the southern Appalachians. The song was played many times on live performances by Nirvana, eventually recording it during the famous MTV Unplugged concert.
It is an utterly easy song to play with only 4 chords and a straightforward strum pattern. The progression stays the same throughout the song, making it a great song to learn, play and sing for beginners.
You Are My Sunshine – Johnny Cash
The country standard You Are My Sunshine’s Johnny Cash version is yet another slow tempo classic, perfectly easy and fun to play and sing along with.
This version uses three easy chords A, D, and E. The strumming is a classic pattern that you can adjust to your playing.
Hey Joe – Jimi Hendrix
The Jimi Hendrix classic, Hey Joe is an excellent example that even if you are a beginner, you can play a tune of the greats. The song was initially composed by Billy Roberts in the early ’60s, but it got its fame thanks to the Hendrix version.
It consists of basic open chords and a slow tempo strum pattern. Everything in tune is ideal for a beginner guitarist.
Turn The Page – Bob Seger
You probably know Turn The Page as a Metallica song, but the original version dates back to 1973 when Bob Seger composed the initial version. The famous intro melody, the chord progression, slow yet effective rhythm… the tune is a real ballad.
You can play the song easily with 4 common open chords; Em, D, A, and C. You can also try playing the iconic saxophone opening riff. It won’t give you a challenge.
Blowing In The Wind – Bob Dylan
One of the most iconic songs of all time is Blowing In The Wind by Bob Dylan. The song is originally a protest song which is well-known for its fantastic harmonica solos, basic yet impressive structure, and great lyrics.
The tune is played with only 3 chords and is ultimately beginner-friendly. The strum pattern is a classic down-down-down-up-down with a slow tempo. You can whistle the melody while you strum the chords to have more fun.
Summer Wine – Nancy Sinatra
Summer Wine is a famous song from Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood from 1966. This lovely tune is remembered for its adorable lyrics and attractive melody—an ideal song to sing as a duet.
The song is played with only 3 simple chords, Am, G, and Dm. The strumming pattern is as easy as a down-stroke on the first beat followed by an 8th-note down and up strums on the rest of the beats.
Love Me Do – The Beatles
Besides being a grammatical disaster, the 1962 hit from The Beatles, Love Me Do, is another easy and fun song to play. The song resembles a child song with easy structure, essential lyrics, and a catchy melody.
G, C, and D are the simple open-chords used in the song. With a traditional strumming pattern, the song is more than easy to play and master.
You can sing the lyrics and whistle the harmonica melody to make it more entertaining.
One Of Us – Joan Osbourne
One Of Us is the hit single of Joan Osbourne from 1995. The tune features a beautiful chorus and a Neill Young-style guitar riff that elevates it to the top level.
You can use a capo on the 2nd fret to match the original recording. It is a pretty easy song to play with its slow tempo and 4 easy open chords.
Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
Released in 1989, Wicked Game is the first hit of Chris Isaak. The tune kept getting more popular since the day it was released thanks to its appearances in movies and its covers by many famous bands such as HIM and Giant Drag.
The song has the same chord progression from start to end. The Bm chord can be uncomfortable for novice players, but as this is a slow tempo tune, it is excellent to practice the barre chord transitions.
I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton
Most people remember I Will Always Love You’s Whitney Houston version, but the original one by Dolly Parton is as beautiful as the cover. It is a fantastic yet straightforward tune to add to your ballad repertoire with incredible vocals and a sweet chord progression accompanying it.
The chord progression goes as C, G, Em, and D. You can play the song with a basic strumming pattern, playing a down strum on every beat.
For What Its Worth – Buffalo Springfield
For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield was released in 1967 and gained quick popularity achieving high positions on top charts. It is used as an anti-war protest song which gave the song another significance.
The song was used in many TV shows, movies, protests and was covered by many different musicians. It is played with major chords of E, A, D, C, and G. The strum pattern is easy and slow, so you can adjust it to your liking while you whistle the slide guitar melody to have more fun.
A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
Written for the famous vampire saga, The Twilight, A Thousand Years by Christina Perri is a slow, sentimental tune. The song was loved by the saga fans as it perfectly reflects the love dilemma in the story.
Originally song is played with fingerpicked arpeggios, but you can use strums instead if you are a beginner. As it is a slow tempo song, you will have enough time to transit between the 6 chords in the progression.
Changes – Black Sabbath
Released in 1972, Changes is one of the slow ballads from heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath. The tune is mainly accompanied by a piano but can be adjusted to guitar easily.
With its slow tempo and 5 easy chords, it is an ideal song for beginners who are getting familiar with strumming. In addition, there is an F chord that is good for practicing the barre chord transitions.
To have a proper technique from the beginning is very crucial for playing any instrument. You have to start slow with the perfect technique and build up the speed later, not sacrificing technique for pace.
Many people say playing slow is more complex than playing fast because all the notes and nuances are perfectly heard while playing your instrument. Playing fast may sometimes sound great, but you should not forget that it is also make-up for the technique.
That is why slow songs and ballads are excellent practices for beginner players as they give you space to concentrate on your technique and see your mistakes clearly to correct them. On the other hand, it is also great to play slowly, feeling every note and chord to create a peaceful or sad, or romantic atmosphere.
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