14 Easy Best Strum Songs With G, C and D (Songs For Absolute Beginners Class 7)

14 Easy Best Strum Songs With G, C and D (Songs For Absolute Beginners Class 7)

14 Easy Best Strum Songs With G, C and D

Do you know the “best strum”? If you do, you love it! It is the most used strum in guitar, because it sounds amazing–it is syncopated and driving and beautiful. At NYC Guitar School we started calling it “the best strum” in 2006. Over a decade later…it’s still the best!

The best strum is a 4/4 strum pattern that combines half of a basic strum pattern, with a down strum on the “one” and a down-up on the “two-and”) with a syncopated up-down-up on the “and-four-and” at the end of each measure.

Time! To! Practice!

In this blog post, I’ve listed songs that sound great with the best strum, based on easy G, C and D changes that let you focus on the strumming without worrying about weird random chord changes. I’m even giving you links to the audio and music charts, and sometimes even links to video tutorials. These songs are guitar rubies, sapphires and diamonds–they are precious and pretty!

If you DON’T yet know the best strum, FEAR NOT! Immediately either click this link for easy online tutorials on beginning guitar or sign up for a lesson or class right away at NYC Guitar School.

And if you DO know the best strum, then grab your guitar and get ready to start playing along!

Keep in mind:

  • Sometimes I transposed the song in order to avoid chords like F, Bb, Qrelative, and Zsharp minor 7th! Let’s stick with our great beginner chords for now!
  • If that means that you need to transpose a chart, the notes on the song will tell you how many half-steps to transpose the song–sounds tricky, but it is easy, just hit the “transpose +” or the “transpose -” button on the song until you know all the chords.
  • If that means you need to use a capo, the notes on the song will tell you what fret to put the capo on.
  • And yes, sometimes the transposed chords or the best strum are a little simpler than the “real” song. Don’t worry! You can always go back and learn the “real” chords later. Do it like an Eagle…live in an egg…crawl…fall out of a nest…fly…pick up goats from clifftops! As always, the best way to do something super cool later is to get started now!

Here’s the list of songs, along with where to place your capo (if applicable) plus links to the song, tutorials and charts.

(Do you want to play more guitar or better guitar? Or both? We invite you to join our friendly guitar community at NYCGuitarSchool.com. If you’re not in NYC you can still get the step by step goodness at guitarlessons.nyc.)

***Every once in a while links break…please let us know if you notice a broken one!

Zombie – The Cranberries

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ejga4kJUts

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wdYqdV6WLg

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/the_cranberries/zombie_chords_844902

Em – C – G – D (no capo)

Alt. Rock (1994)


Little Talks – Of Monsters & Men

YOUTUBE: http://youtu.be/ghb6eDopW8I

TUTORIAL: (Oh no, we don’t have a good tutorial to share! Let us know if you find one.)

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/of_monsters_and_men/little_talks_chords_1426859

Transpose Down 5

Em – C – G – D (capo 6)

Pop (2011)


Boys of Summer – Don Henley

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWT90HzLF3U

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdFxxvCJpgo

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/don_henley/the_boys_of_summer_chords_1173455

Em – C – D – C 

Classic Rock (1984)

Easy, but FAST

Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8JULmUlGDA

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rmvmNH_KDw

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/chuck_berry/johnny_b_goode_chords_61918

Transpose Down 2

G – C – D (capo 3)

Rock n’ Roll (1958)


The Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LBmUwi6mEo

TUTORIAL: (Oh no, we don’t have a good tutorial to share! Let us know if you find one.)

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/the_tokens/the_lion_sleeps_tonight_chords_1074694

Transpose up 5

G – C – G – D (tune song up 1 step)

Doo-wop (1961)


Who Will Save Your Soul – Jewel

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wBDDAZkNtk

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-du1TSMSNOU

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/jewel/who_will_save_your_soul_chords_10950

Am – C – G – D; Em x 4 (no capo)

Acoustic Alt. Rock/Pop (1996)


Young Folks – Peter, Bjorn & John

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIRE6iw-ws4

TUTORIAL: (Oh no, we don’t have a good tutorial to share! Let us know if you find one.)

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/peter_bjorn_and_john/young_folks_chords_1125241

Transpose Down 5

C – Am – G – Em (capo 5)

Indie Rock (2006)


Hard Sun – Eddie Vedder

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lx13gLCQxmM

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rNqH672ax4

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/eddie_vedder/hard_sun_chords_566461

D – C – G (capo 1)

Acoustic Rock (2007)

Easy but fast

Brown-Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfmkgQRmmeE

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlJNPj9CJBQ

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/van_morrison/brown_eyed_girl_chords_76882

G – C – G – D

Classic Rock (1967)


I Will Follow You Into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDHY1D0tKRA

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEOWAJCQSe0 *Doesn’t totally match, but it should be helpful.*

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/death_cab_for_cutie/i_will_follow_you_into_the_dark_chords_335735

Transpose Down 5

Em – G – C – G – D (tune song up a whole step)

Alt. Rock (2006)


Home – Phillip Phillips

YOUTUBE: http://youtu.be/HoRkntoHkIE

TUTORIAL: (Oh no, we don’t have a good tutorial to share! Let us know if you find one.)

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/phillip_phillips/home_chords_1156310

Transpose Down 5

G – C; Em – C- G – C (capo 5)

Indie Folk Rock (2012)


Babylon – David Grey

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI_SBAkdKzc

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnJIYukQ1SQ

CHART: https://www.heartwoodguitar.com/chords/david-gray-babylon/

D – G – D – G – Em ; D – A7 – Em – A7 – D- A7 – Em – A7 (capo 1)

Folk Rock (1999)


All of Me – John Legend

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=450p7goxZqg

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY1b4nhvhoQ

CHART: https://www.e-chords.com/chords/john-legend/all-of-me

Em – C – G – D (capo 1)
R&B (2013)


Fight Song – Rachel Platten
YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1VInw-SKc

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJiC7HaPlO0

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/rachel_platten/fight_song_chords_1725296
G – D – Em – C

Pop (2015)


(And don’t forget–if you want to play more and better guitar, we invite you to join our friendly guitar community at NYCGuitarSchool.com. If you’re not in NYC, you can still get the step-by-step goodness at guitarlessons.nyc.)

New York City Guitar School is dedicated to fostering personal greatness through guitar lessons.

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