Keep on rockin’ in the free world with our 10 easiest acoustic rock songs to play on guitar for beginners.
I feel that somehow acoustic guitars are underappreciated in rock music. When they think about acoustic guitar, most people picture a country singer or a dude in a bar that is performing some watered down tunes to entertain the handful of guests. There is no doubt rock music is more associated with the electric guitar, power chords, heavy riffs, and distortion, but that doesn’t mean that there is no place for an acoustic guitar there. Some of the best songs in rock are played with an acoustic guitar. Did you see anyone cry because of “Highway to Hell”? Maybe, but doubtfully. What about “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton or let’s say the cover of “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley? Most certainly. Maybe I am overreacting, but I hope you can see my point. If not, let me explain.
Most songs written for electric guitar can be played on an acoustic one and vice versa. But electric and acoustic guitar have specific roles in rock music. The electric guitar is used for faster-paced songs that often uplift you and get your adrenaline pumping when you hear those crushing riffs or mesmerizing solos. Acoustic guitar can’t do that because the sound of the acoustic guitar is better suited for songs that are filled with emotion. You may disagree with me all you want but an amazing acoustic rock ballad can move me more than any solo from Steve Vai or Slash. If you are not a fan of either, but the folk music makes you tick, then check out these 10 Easiest Folk Songs to Play on Acoustic Guitar.
Having moved that out of our way, let’s turn our attention to you, guitar beginners. Playing acoustic and electric guitar are two different worlds. I am not talking about the way electric guitar needs an amplifier and similar stuff. I am talking about the style of playing and finer details. When someone who wants to learn to play guitar asks me should he/she first pick up the electric or acoustic guitar, I say acoustic without any hesitation. Not because I prefer it. I genuinely like playing electric guitar more since it gives you a much wider range of sounds. I recommend acoustic first because the transition from an acoustic guitar to electric one is a lot easier than another way round. Acoustic guitars have wider string spacing and heavier strings so it will be harder at the start, but your fingers will become more trained and you will benefit in the long run.
I hope you picked an acoustic guitar as your starter since we are about, to begin with, our list of 10 easiest acoustic rock songs to play on guitar for beginners. To compile our list we took recommendations from Guitar Treats, Guitar Player and String Vibe among others. They all listed songs that are easy to play on the acoustic guitar. From those we picked the ones that belong to rock genres, have fewer chords and are not complex for beginners. So, let’s take a look.
10. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
Chords: C, D, G, Am, Em
I know it looks scary to see so many chords, but they are the basic chords and Wish You Were Here isn’t as demanding as it may seem. You have the chord pattern that stays the same through the whole song, and the best thing is that the song is slow, so you will have enough time for the chord change.
9. I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty
Chords: Em, D, G, C
We have to warn you that this song, next in line on our list of easiest acoustic rock songs to play on guitar for beginners, also uses the electric guitar played by members of Petty’s band, but the main part of the song is dominated by an acoustic guitar that Petty strums. You can’t do much wrong here, just keep strumming Em, D, and G in this order and you’ll be rocking it in a heartbeat. The only hard thing might be squeezing C chord into the refrain.
8. Working Class Hero – John Lennon
Chords: Am, G, D
The chord progression in this song is rather simple, since you only need to play Am, G, Am and occasionally pitch D chord in there. There is a tricky hammer-on that you supposed to be playing on few occasions but the song will sound just fine if you feel you are not up for it.
7. I Walk the Line – Johnny Cash
Chords: A, E7, D
Ok, some will now argue that Johnny Cash isn’t a rock performer, but for me, his music (and the lifestyle he had) ticks all the right rock boxes. “I Walk the Line” is arguably his most famous song and it is so fun to play. We put it on our list of easiest acoustic rock songs to play on guitar for beginners because of the chords and their distribution are as simple as they come, and although the strumming may seem complicated, you’ll find it is rather simple after you try it for yourself.
6. Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Chords: D, A, G
The only thing that could set you back a bit in this song is the strumming. You’ll have to work on the left – right-hand coordination to get it working, but it other than that, it is perfect beginner material.
5. Louie Louie – The Kingsmen
Chords: A, D, Em
Another classic on our list of 10 easiest acoustic rock songs to play on guitar for beginners. This one follows the same straightforward playing from the very beginning to the end. You just have to strum A, D, Em, D in that order and sing. That’s all there is to it.
4. The Joker – Steve Miller Band
Chords: G, C, D
Everywhere I looked for the songs that are recommended for beginner guitar players, this one popped up. Although it may not be the easiest song you will ever learn because the strumming parts that need time to get accustomed to, the chord distribution is really nice for anyone who is just learning their first guitar songs.
3. What I Got – Sublime
Chords: D, G
You can rarely get more straightforward than this song, the next one in line on our list of easiest acoustic rock songs to play on guitar for beginners. Just two chords that you play one after other. And that’s it. You just need to listen to the song to catch their proper distribution so you can sing along more accurately.
2. Lady in Black – Uriah Heep
Chords: Am, G
I was very surprised that this song isn’t recommended more. It is painfully easy to play it. There are just two chords, and the strumming pattern is so easy to master. And in spite of the simplicity, it is a really good song.
1. Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles
Chords: Em, C
This song is a fitting conclusion to our 10 easiest acoustic rock songs to play on guitar for beginners. While The Beatles have other amazing acoustic songs, Eleanor Rigby is probably one you could master the quickest if you are a beginner. Get this, it only has two chords and they are the basic chords you need to learn before you even take a guitar in your hands. The strumming parts are simple and the melody is great if you want to sing along.