So you want to learn to play the guitar but Guitar Hero just isn’t cutting it? Well the acoustic guitar is one of the top instruments of all time and as an added bonus, it doesn’t need an electrical outlet like an electric guitar or Guitar Hero. Or maybe you’re on this page because you want to be the next youtube sensation like Justin Bieber. It could be that you just want to impress your girlfriend or boyfriend with a song on the acoustic guitar. Whatever the case, the acoustic guitar is an excellent instrument to learn and you can learn to play anything from Coldplay to Katy Perry. For step-by-step instruction on playing the guitar, check out our course on guitar for beginners.
While many people may be intimidated at first because of the many strings, pulleys, cords, switches and buttons, there are basic acoustic guitar songs that just about anyone can learn. Most of these basic songs will have three chords and use the common minor and major guitar chords like C, D, E, F, G, A…etc. To learn the A, B, and C’s of guitar parts, maintenance, and playing, check out our 38 Easy Guitar Lessons course.
First of all, if you are serious about learning how to play, you’re going to need an acoustic guitar, a pick, a tuner, and a capo. Picking an acoustic guitar can be hard because of the many different styles, colors, shapes, and features they are found in. I’d recommend starting with a quality but reasonably priced guitar so that you do not over-invest and end up not liking the guitar. When you shop for a guitar, try out any of the guitars you are interested in so that you can see what it feels like, sounds like, and you can get a sense of what you want and do not want in a guitar. A pick is tool used to play the guitar. The pick can come in many different materials, shapes, and sizes, but they typically are plastic and shaped like an isosceles triangle. A tuner detects the pitch of the notes you play on your guitar, allowing you to hear which strings are too tight and which are too loose. A capo is a clamp that goes across the strings to raise their tuning.
Remember, anytime you want to try something new, it is going to be challenging and take some time, so be patient. Understand that you can’t just pick up a guitar and be Bruno Mars in a week, you’re going to have to start from the bottom and work your way up. The most important advice I can give you is to practice. Practice, practice, practice! At first, it is going to be frustrating and even a little bit painful on your fingers and hands as they learn how to move across the guitar strings. In the long run though, it will all be worth it when you can show off to friends and family by playing one of their favorite songs!
I’m going to give you some different songs that you can learn to play from different genres. If you like alternative rock like Coldplay, try the songs “Clocks” and “Yellow”. Now if you want to learn some mainstream songs, “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz and “Hey Ya” by Outkast. For some country type songs, Lynyrd Skynard’s “Sweet Home Alabama” and U2’s “With or Without You” are nice options.
If you’re more of a Katy Perry and Taylor Swift fan, then you should look at “Firework” and “Thinking About You” by Katy Perry and “You Belong with Me,” “Speak Now,” and “Teardrops on my Guitar” by Taylor Swift. If you happen to be a 90’s kid, songs like “Numb” by Linkin Park, “Wonderwall” by Oasis, and “Time of Your Life” by Green Day might appeal to you. The basic songs you can learn are limitless if you put a little bit of commitment and elbow grease into learning them. How about some oldies from the 60’s? Try “California Dreamin’” by the Mamas and the Papas, “Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding, or “Eight Days a Week,” “Rocky Racoon,” and “Nowhere Man” by the Beatles.
If you’re interested in playing the types of songs that are generally considered top hits, I’ve listed some that you can learn:
- “Hey There Delilah” by The Plain White T’s
- “Let It Be” by the Beatles
- “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison
- “Your Body is a Wonderland” by John Mayer
- “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5
Now, if you’re the mood for love songs because you want to romance your lady, or you’re just looking to find one, take a look at the following:
- “Let Her Go” by Passenger
- “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars
- “You are So Beautiful To Me” by Joe Cocker
- “And I Love Her” by the Beatles
Regardless of the type of music you enjoy listening to or want to learn, there is a basic acoustic guitar song you can start with. Do not be in a rush moving forward, be sure to master the basics before you advance. Just as in any scenario, mastery of the basics is what sets up the foundation for success later on. As these songs become too easy for you, move onto more advanced titles or learn different ways to play the same note.
It’s crucial that you learn the proper form and hand placement in the beginning stages of playing these basic songs. You do not want to learn to play with poor form because it will lead to discomfort, frustration and can even lead to injury. Also, as the songs get more advanced, playing them with poor form becomes more and more difficult. Our courses on G4 beginner guitar method and learning guitar the easy way will help you nail down the basics and advance quickly onto more advanced guitar playing. They are also more suitable for a child or teen who wants to learn with the help of an adult.