How To Play Easy Guitar Songs Now!


So you’re learning how to play guitar, and you can play a few chords but every time you look up a song, you find that its just too hard, too many chords or it has chords you just don’t know how to play yet. Frustrating, isn’t it?!

Here I am going to teach you how to play some easy songs that you can play right away! Also, I am going to show you how to progress from simple chords to more advanced chords, all while learning new songs and having fun!

A Horse With No Name – America

Here are the chords you need to play this song:

Yes, that’s it!! Those are the only two chords you need to play “A Horse with No Name.” The trick is the rhythm.

Here is the basic pattern:

Em //// | D 6/9 //// |

Each / means to strum once. However, that is really only telling you that each chord is strummed essentially four times, i.e. 4/4 time. Note: (We will talk about time signatures in another lesson)

Actually, the rhythm looks something like this:

Em | D6/9


Count it like:

1 2 (3) & 4 & | 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & (note: we will cover counting rhythms in another post)

D=Down U=Up x=scratch or muted strum

Zombie – Cranberries

Here are the chords I typically use to teach this easy guitar song. Keep in mind, you can also use the “other” cowboy chords that are similar, i.e. Em, C, G, D. Note: Stay Tuned, you will see these chords in this post here below. However, if you start with these chords, you’ll find that they sound very similar to the song and it’s an easy way to get another song “under your belt.”

Here’s the basic pattern:

Em //// | Cmaj7 //// | G6 //// | D6/9 //// |

Here is the suggested strum pattern:


1 & 2 &a (3) e& (4) e&a (note: we will cover strumming patterns and counting in another post)

The above strum pattern is for each measure and it is essentially the same each measure.

Last Kiss – Pearl Jam (originally by Wayne Cochran)

Here are the chords for this easy guitar song. They may look familiar at this point. Notice that these chords typically use three fingers, instead of the two fingers of the last group of chords. The exception is E minor (Em), where I have changed the fingers used. Was that a mistake?

No. I meant to do that. I use the E minor with this fingering because the G chord and the Em chord use the first finger as a pivot finger. Also the Em and the C chord use the second finger as a pivot finger. Then notice that the C chord and D7 use the first finger to pivot from.

Also most versions use the D chord for this song, but I specifically chose the D7 to help you (the student) with switching the chords. But it still sounds good! What do you think?

G //// | Em //// | C //// | D7 //// :||

The strum pattern I typically use is:


1 2 & (3) & 4 &

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Green Day

These chords may look familiar, and they should. However, one doesn’t look like the rest. Can you tell which one is different? Yes, the C chord is now Cadd9 and D7 is now D. (note: we will explore Chord theory, i.e. why chords are named what they are, in another lesson).

G //// | G //// | Cadd9 //// | D :|| 2-4x depending on whether it is the Intro or the Verse.

Em //// | D //// | Cadd9 //// | G //// |

Em //// | G //// :|| Em //// | D //// | – return to the top (beginning).

Same strum as Last Kiss and countless others… (note: we will explore picking in another lesson also).


1 2 & (3) & 4 &

Another thing to note is that of the three of the four chords above all have a common fingering/ note to be used when switching chords. The D note, third fret on the B string, third finger. E minor is the only chord that doesn’t have this common finger. However, in the next song we will fix that!

Wonderwall – Oasis

This next progressoin takes the chords we have been practicing to the next logical step. Notice how the 3rd and 4th fingers are on the 3rd frets of the B and high E string for all four chords. When your fingers are strong enough to do this, the progress you will make playing more complex chords on the guitar will greatly improve.

Capo 2 (note: see lesson on how to use capo)

Em7 //// | G //// | Dsu4 //// | A7sus4 //// |

This chord progression is at least about 60% of the song. The most difficult part of playing this song is the strumming pattern.


1 & 2 & a 3 e & 4 & a | 1 e & 2 & a (3)e(&)e 4 e & a |

We will dive into the rest of this song in another lesson…

Knocking on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan (Guns N Roses cover)

Here are the chords for this easy guitar song. By know, you may be seeing a pattern emerge. All the songs in this lesson contain at least G, C, and D. Each with variations, from simple to more complex fingerings. We’ve also just the added another beginner guitar chord or two each time.

G // D // | Am //// | G // D // | C //// |

Notice when you switch between G and D, you can leave the 3rd finger down on the 3rd fret of the B string. Also G and D get two downstrums, while Am, and later C get four downstrums.

Suggested strum pattern:


Take It Easy – Eagle

Here is one more song to challenge those who have progressed this far or just think that the last few songs were too easy (with the exception of maybe Wonderwall). The intro for this is probably the only semi challenging part. The rest if pretty easy if you have been paying attention thus far! I’ll just give you the chords for the intro, the rest you have already seen or practiced, right?!


G //// | G//// | Am7/G //// | D7/G //// |

Strumming Pattern: D DU UDU (throughout)


G //// | G //// | G // D // | C //// |

G //// | D //// | C //// | G //// |


Em //// | Em //// | C //// | G //// |

Am //// | C //// | Em //// | Em //// |

C //// | G //// | C //// | G //// |

Am //// | C //// | G //// | G //// |


So there you go! This is one way in which I progress from easy to more challenging when teaching students some basics of how to play guitar. What do you think so far? Please leave me a comment, if you could be so kind!

Stay tuned! I plan on releasing more content soon, including videos, and maybe a course or two. Take care, and happy strumming!



2 thoughts on “How To Play Easy Guitar Songs Now!”

  1. Hello there, thank you for sharing with us. Learning how to play the guitar was something I had wanted to learn in my younger days but never really got it off of the ground. I like what you have so far here, for someone like me who has very little knowledge about what is going on it seems easy enough to follow. Do you plan on uploading any tutorial videos to help further explain your teaching concepts in the future? 

    1. Yes I do plan on uploading videos. I have more to upload soon, but I get stuck in analysis paralysis. Thanks for your comments. That inspires to me to keep going and put out more content. Thanks again!

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