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CLASS PRACTICE AUDIO – ABSOLUTE BEGINNER

CLASS PRACTICE AUDIO – ABSOLUTE BEGINNER

Play 8 Awesome Beginner Friendly Guitar Riffs That Can Be Played With Beginner Friendly Open Chords Like G, C, D, A and E (More Songs For Absolute Beginners Class 5)

Play 8 Awesome Beginner Friendly Guitar Riffs That Can Be Played With Beginner Friendly Open Chords Like G, C, D, A and E

 

What is a GUITAR RIFF?

A riff is a memorable sequence of notes or chords. ?A good test if something qualifies as a riff is this: ?if you hear it one time, do you know what the song is? If you do, you?re probably listening to a riff. ?Think of the opening notes to ?Sweet Child O? Mine? by Guns ?n? Roses, or ?Seven Nation Army? by The White Stripes.

What is a CHORD RIFF?

A chord riff is a riff that is made up of chords instead of single notes. ?And that is what this blog post is about. Here are eight awesome, memorable riffs that can be played with simple open chords.

This blog post ISN?T about how to play the entire song–just the juicy, beautiful, crunchy, iconic RIFF that makes you want to crank your amp up to 11.

If you DON?T yet know basic chords or strums, FEAR NOT! Immediately either click this link for the best beginners guitar lessons on the world wide internet or sign up for a lesson or class right away at?NYC Guitar School.

If you DO know some basic chords, then you are ready to crush souls and crash parties–and get A LOT better at changing chords! Grab your axe and get ready to start playing along.

Keep in mind:

  • I only included riffs that can be played with full open chords–so no single note riffs. ?
  • Sometimes I transposed the song in order to avoid barre chords or power chords like F and Bb. ?Those are great chords for playing riffs and I recommend learning to play riffs with barre and power chords too, but for THIS POST, for TODAY these examples are set up for OPEN CHORDS
  • 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.
  • If that means you need to use a capo, the notes on the song will tell you what fret to put the capo on.

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

(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.)

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

?

Wild Thing – The Troggs

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qHX493bB3U

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3QuLdm1vhw

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/the_troggs/wild_thing_chords_1056155

A – D – E – D

Garage Rock (1966)

Medium

?

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

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

TUTORIAL: *No Suitable Tutorial Exists*

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/nirvana/smells_like_teen_spirit_chords_807883

E ?- A ?- G – C ?( Capo 1)

Grunge (1991)

Difficult

?

Highway To Hell – AC/DC

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l482T0yNkeo

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YN9lbo4nYQ

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/acdc/highway_to_hell_chords_139966

A – D – G – D – G – D – G – D – A

Hard Rock (1979)

Difficult

 

Rock You Like a Hurricane – Scorpions

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TucBvNrrGY

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcUv-5yIhO8 *Tutorial is OK, but was the best I could find*

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/scorpions/rock_you_like_a_hurricane_chords_1930388

Em – G – Am – C – D

Heavy Metal (1984)

Medium

 

Louie Louie – The Kingsman

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RZJ4ESU52U

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjseTHngpg0

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/kingsmen/louie_louie_chords_1049261

A – D – Em – D

Garage Rock (1963)

Easy

 

Jessie?s Girl – Rick Springfield

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

TUTORIAL: *No Suitable Tutorial Exists*

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/rick_springfield/jessies_girl_chords_1725297

Transpose Up 5

G – D – Em – C – D – G (Capo 7)

Power Pop (1981)

Medium

 

Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvuL5jyCHOw

TUTORIAL: *No Suitable Tutorial*

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/lenny_kravitz/fly_away_chords_51423

A – C – G – D

Rock (1998)

Easy

 

Never Let You Go – Third Eye Blind

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl-JGJp-_CM

TUTORIAL: *No Suitable Tutorial*

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/third_eye_blind/never_let_you_go_chords_1980241

D – A – G ?(Capo 2)

Alt. Rock (2000)

Easy/Medium

 

(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.)

 

17 Easy Alternate-Strum Songs With SIMPLE Chords G, Em, C and D7 (Songs For Absolute Beginners Class 4)

17 Easy Four Chord Songs for Guitar Beginners With G, Em, C and D7

Guitar may take a lifetime to master–but unlike the harpsichord and trombone, beginning guitar players can start making beautiful and awesome music RIGHT AWAY.

Of course, as a beginner, it can be hard to find songs that match your level. This blog post is written EXPRESSLY for students who know D, G, A7 and/or G, Em, C and D7, and who are getting into simple alternate strumming. I’m giving you a list of 17 songs which can be played with only those chords, and which sound great with a steady down-up-down-up strumming pattern–aka “alternate strums” or “alternate eighth notes strums.” And I’m even giving you links to the audio and music charts, and sometimes even links to video tutorials. This is guitar platinum!

If you DON’T yet know these chords or alternate strums, FEAR NOT! Immediately either click this link for FREE and easy online tutorials on how to play those chords or sign up for a lesson or class right away at NYC Guitar School.

If you DO know D, G and A7, and/or G, Em, C and D7, and are ready to get into alternate strumming then I SALUTE YOU. You, guitar player, are ON YOUR WAY! 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.

One more quick tip: it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing! In music, rhythm rules. Keep your alternate strum going even when you are changing chords–if you are strumming during a transition, that is not only cool, it even sounds cool. But if you stop strumming to change chords, it sounds super clunky and weird. So keep that hand strumming down-up-down-up!

OK, take it away! Here’s the list of songs, along with where to place your capo (if applicable) plus links to the song, tutorials and charts. For super convenient playing along, grab your guitar, then check out our YouTube Beginners 4 playlist or our Spotify playlist. How convenient is that?

(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!

Pumped up Kicks – Foster the People

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDTZ7iX4vTQ

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aOYXJcG77A

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/foster_the_people/pumped_up_kicks_chords_1098165

Em – G – D – A7 (capo 1)

Indie Rock (2011)

Medium

Try – Pink

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTCDVfMz15M

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/pnk/try_chords_1181779 (transpose -5) Em – C – G – D; C – G – D – Em (capo 7)

Pop (2012)

Medium

Sympathy for the Devil – Rolling Stones

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jke7e8C2XfA

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_rolling_stones/sympathy_for_the_devil_chords_1720348

D – C – G – D ; D – A7 (capo 2)

Classic Rock (1973)

Easy

Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Soa3gO7tL-c

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtgI2UOG_Fc

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/green_day/boulevard_of_broken_dreams_chords_146744

Em G – D – A7 (capo 1)

Rock/Pop (2004)

Difficult

Say – John Mayer

YOUTUBE:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQtGqmi2O2U

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ7qgJ0dLS0

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/john_mayer/say_what_you_need_to_say_chords_1181539

G – C – Em – D (capo 3)

Pop (2007)

Difficult

Diamonds – Rhianna

YOUTUBE:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWA2pjMjpBs

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/rihanna/diamonds_chords_1185082 (transpose +5) C – Em – D (capo 7)

Pop (2012)

Easy

Perfect – Pink

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BIye98Ryic

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_q8YgoEPBQ

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/pnk/fuckin_perfect_chords_1023109

G – D – Em – C (no capo)

Pop/Rock

Easy

I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSD4vsh1zDA

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjPVnyWNIhs (part 1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krcYnjbRjsY (part 2)

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/the_black_eyed_peas/i_gotta_feeling_chords_832775

G – C – Em – C (no capo)

Pop

Easy

First Cut is the Deepest – Cat Stevens

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBccr-aLu4I

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3gJgQgNxLo (part 1)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nzc_jqUwqGI (part 2)

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/sheryl_crow/the_first_cut_is_the_deepest_chords_97085

D – A7 – G – A7 (no capo)

Folk

Difficult

Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrQRS40OKNE

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/fleet_foxes/white_winter_hymnal_chords_932697 (transpose -2)

Dx4 – Gx2 – Dx2 – Dx4 – Emx4 – Gx2 – A7x2 (capo 2)

Indie Rock

Easy

I Can Tell That We Are Gonna Be Friends – White Stripes

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKfD8d3XJok

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

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/the_white_stripes/were_going_to_be_friends_chords_22094

G – G – C – G – D – C – G – D – C – G (no capo)

Folk/Rock (2005)

Easy

Zombie – the Cranberries

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G29A4ijuzU

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)

Rock (1994)

Medium

My Name Is Jonas – Weezer

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZj3QQOdRIo

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/weezer/my_name_is_jonas_chords_1698583 (transpose -5)
G – D – Em – C

Rock (2014)

Difficult

Friday – Rebecca Black

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfVsfOSbJY0

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6MagDsYYsY

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/rebecca-black/friday-chords-1038099 

G – Emin – C – D (transpose +8)

Pop (2011)

Medium

Joey – Concrete Blonde 

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdpTcvSn8HQ

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUPs92NXLzg

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/concrete-blonde/joey-chords-63783

G – Emin – C – D 

Pop/Rock (1990)

Easy

We Are YoungFun

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv6dMFF_yts

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/fun_/we_are_young_chords_1108578 (transpose +2)

G – Emin – C – D (capo 12)

Pop (2011)

Medium

Try – Pink

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv6dMFF_yts

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/pnk/try-chords-1181779 (transpose +7)

G – Emin – C – D

Pop (2012)

Medium

(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.)

Play 13 Easy Beginners Songs On Guitar Using The C Chord (Songs For Absolute Beginners Class 5)

Play 13 Easy Beginners Songs On Guitar Using The C Chord

When beginning guitar players learn the C chord, it’s a HUGE moment. For some reason, maybe because it is a little more stretched out, many beginners find the C chord challenging–but once you learn it, you have unlocked exponential guitar growth.

That is why I refer the the C chord as the “Rubicon” of guitar. When Julius Cesar crossed the Rubicon River, he was committed to war with Rome and ultimately to becoming the first Emperor of Rome. Maybe that was a bad thing, but once you get past the C chord, you have crossed the first big barrier to guitar playing; and once you are able to change directly from another chord to C with relative confidence, you are on your way to becoming the Emperor of Guitar!

I always advise “sneaking up” on tricky chords. So if you DON’T YET KNOW the C chord, don’t start here; instead, to be extra safe and sure of learning correctly, immediately either click this link for easy online tutorials on how to play those chords or sign up for a lesson or class right away at NYC Guitar School.

But if you do know the C chord, you are in luck, because this blog post is written EXPRESSLY for students who know the C chord and are ready to start mixing and matching it with other chords. I’m giving you a list of 13 songs which highlight the C chord, without getting too crazy with other chords. And I’m even giving you links to the audio and music charts, and sometimes even links to video tutorials. This is guitar vibranium!

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. <<<link to video about transposing songs>>>>
  • If that means you need to use a capo, the notes on the song will tell you what fret to put the capo on. <<<<link to capo video>>>>

One more quick tip: A minor and C are very close relatives! In fact, in music theory, A minor is officially the “relative minor” of C. We’ll leave the theory behind it for another day, but the practical good news is that there is only a one finger difference between A minor and C! Yes! You can leave your first and second fingers down and only move your third finger!

OK, take it away! Here’s the list of songs, along with where to place your capo (if applicable) plus links to the song, tutorials and charts. For super convenient playing along, grab your guitar, then check out our YouTube Beginners 5 playlist or our Spotify playlist. How convenient is that?

(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!

Jolene – Dolly Parton

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixrje2rXLMA

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lldW9_j7BSI
CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/dolly_parton/jolene_chords_183019

Am – C – G – Am – G – Am

Country (1974)

Medium

Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIOVMHMNfJ4

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9UaYfxKtkM

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/taylor _swift/shake_it_off_chords_1512429

Amin – C – G – G (no capo)

Pop/Rock 2014

Easy

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drmz74zpy1U

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMnla7_Ipr4

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/bob_dylan/knockin_on_heavens_door_chords_66559

G – D – Am – Am – G – D – C – C (no capo)

Folk (1973)

Difficult

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)

Easy

No Cars Go – Arcade Fire

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83KR_UBWdPI

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/arcade_fire/no_cars_go_chords_460460

C – Em – G – G (capo 1)

Indie Rock (2007)

Easy

Dog Days Are Over – Florence + The Machine

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

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AHSUbgCzUk

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/florence_the_machine/dog_days_are_over_chords_908502

G – Am – Em (no capo)

Indie Rock (2008)

Medium

The Lazy Song – Bruno Mars

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLexgOxsZu0

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

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/bruno_mars/the_lazy_song_chords_1761018

G – D7- C (capo 4) *All tutorials and charts have the D7 as a D*

Pop (2011)

Difficult

Forget You – Cee Lo Green

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

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/cee_lo_green/forget_you_chords_1031317

Transpose Down 5

G – A7 – C (capo 5)

Pop (2010)

Medium

You Belong with Me – Taylor Swift

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuNIsY6JdUw

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/taylor_swift/you_belong_with_me_chords_752550

Transpose Up 5

G – D – Am – C

Pop (2009)

Medium

Firework – Katy Perry

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

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGxx3ZjUCZ8

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/katy_perry/firework_chords_993007

G – Am – Em – C (capo 1)

Pop (2010)

Easy

My Girl – The Temptations

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEztui18cA8

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_temptations/my_girl_chords_86366

Transpose Down 5

G – C ; G – Am – C – D7

Motown/Soul (1964)

Difficult

Bebe Rexha – I’m Gonna Show You Crazy *Warning: Explicit Language*

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOSduuelVh8

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/bebe_rexha/im_gonna_show_you_crazy_chords_1699925

Am – D – G – Em

Pop (2015)

Easy


The Only Exception – Paramore

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChXcD6Z4uvQ

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/paramore/the_only_exception_chords_1203741

Transpose Up 5

D – Am – G (capo 9)

Rock (2009)

Medium

(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.)

12 Easy Guitar Songs For Beginners With A Major Chords (Songs For Absolute Beginners Class 8)

12 Easy Guitar Songs For Beginners With A Major Chords

If you’ve just learned an A chord, you are in the right spot to begin mastering it with fun and easy songs! In this blog post, I’ve listed a DOZEN beginner friendly songs which feature an A chord–and not too many other chords–so that you can concentrate on your A chord chops! I’m even including links to the audio and music charts, and even some links to video tutorials. This material is guitar uranium! It’s rare, and it contains lots of power, which you can now tap into.

The A chord is a super common open chord–but it is usually learned weeks or even longer after the even more commonly used G, D, and C chords. And once you learn the A chord, you’ve unlocked the door to a new realm of songs.

The A chord has a good friend–the E chord. They are often found together; there is a super slick and clever way of using a finger slide to change from A to E and vice versa–you can see a video about it HERE. <<<<link>>>>

If you DON’T yet know the A chord (or the E chord), DON’T FREAK OUT! Immediately either click this link for easy online guitar tutorials for beginners or sign up for a lesson or class at NYC Guitar School.

And if you DO know an A, then pick up your axe and sit down on your amplifier, and get ready to play!

Keep in mind:

  • Sometimes I transposed the song in order to avoid chords like F, Bb, Qrelative, and Zsharp minor 7th.
  • If that means that a chart needs to be transposed, 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.
  • And if that means you need to use a capo, the notes on the song will tell you what fret to put the capo on.
  • Please note that sometimes the transposed chords are a little simpler than the “real” song. Don’t worry! You can always go back and learn the “real” chords later.

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

(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.)

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

Sweet Child of Mine – Guns N’ Roses

YOUTUBE http://youtu.be/1w7OgIMMRc4

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/guns_n_roses/sweet_child_o_mine_chords_176076

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHlPHOprV2A ***Note this uses Cadd9 and Gadd5 instead of regular G and C***

D – C – G – D ; A – C – D – D

Rock (1988)

Easy

Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen

YOUTUBE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZD4ezDbbu4

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/bruce_springsteen/born_in_the_usa_chords_148158 TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpmAAmxqBX0

transpose down 2

A – D (no capo)

Rock (1984)

Easy

One – U2

YOUTUBE http://youtu.be/ftjEcrrf7r0

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/u2/one_chords_1398916

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

Em – A – C – D; G – Em – C – G (capo 5)

Rock (1992)

Medium

Man of Constant Sorrow – Soggy Bottom Boys

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH8AqsiF_rs

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/soggy_bottom_boys/man_of_constant_sorrow_chords_1113648 – Transpose up 5

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

A – D – E (capo 8)

Country/Bluegrass (Trad.)

Medium

All I Want is You – U2

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gwahh04Y1Y

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/u2/all_i_want_is_you_chords_477621

TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSXqFKB6DWM

A – D (tune song up 1/2 step)

Rock (1989)

Easy

Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6hQ9HSKlIE

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/tracy_chapman/give_me_one_reason_chords_702441 – transpose up 3

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

A – D – E – A (capo 9)

Acoustic Blues (1995)

Medium

Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People

YOUTUBE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDTZ7iX4vTQ

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/foster_the_people/pumped_up_kicks_chords_1032143 transpose down 1

TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpYkvr5h69E

Em – G – D – A (capo 1)

Indie Rock

Easy

Hard Sun – Eddie Vedder

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

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/eddie_vedder/hard_sun_chords_566461 (transpose +2 or until you see As, Ds and Es!)

TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TzvxvwdzEo

A – D – E (capo 4)

Acoustic Rock (2007)

Easy

Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdqoNKCCt7A

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/simple_minds/dont_you_forget_about_me_chords_1448722
TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccbDaSfCk_w

D – Em – D – Em – C ; E – A – D- A ; C – G – D – A (no capo)

Pop (1985)

Medium

Mad World – Tears for Fears

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1ZvPSpLxCg

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/tears_for_fears/mad_world_chords_47761

TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iebLDKCE8Xs

Em – G – D – A ; Em – A (capo 2)

Pop (1983)

Easy

No Rain – Blind Melon

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qVPNONdF58

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/blind_melon/no_rain_chords_57624

TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1HPls9NkOk

E – D; E – D – A – G – E (no capo)

Acoustic Rock (1992)

Medium

Hey Joe – Jimi Hendrix

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXwMrBb2x1Q

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNkRT-ojg-s

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/jimi_hendrix/hey_joe_chords_1419169

C – G – D – A – E – E – E – E (no capo)

Classic Rock (1966)

Medium

(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.)

Take A Lesson!? ? ? ? ? Take A Class!

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)

Easy

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)

Difficult

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)

Medium

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)

Easy

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)

Easy

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)

Medium

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)

Medium

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)

Medium

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)

Difficult

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)

Medium

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)

Medium

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)

Medium

(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.)

10 Awesome Split Measure Songs For Guitar Beginners (Songs For Absolute Beginners Class 9)

10 Awesome Split Measure Songs For Guitar Beginners

Are you right on the edge between being a very much beginner guitar player, and a not so much of a beginner guitar player?

If so, you’re probably ready to play songs where the chord changes come faster than every measure–and in this blog post I’ve picked out eight easy beginners songs for you to practice chord changes on which feature “split-measure” chord changes.

A “split-measure” is a measure which has two (or more) chords in it. They can be played with lots of different strum patterns, but most typically are played using a “basic strum.” Usually, one chord is played for two beats and the other is played for…two beats! The measure is split in half!

And a default strum pattern which sounds great on almost any rock, pop or folk song is to play a “best strum” on any measures in a song which only have one chord and the aforementioned “basic strum” pattern on any measures which have two chords.

So pick up your guitar and get ready to rock. Below I’ve listed some great split measure songs and I’ve even included audio links, music charts links, and sometimes even links to video tutorials. These songs are guitar titanium–they will make your playing harder than steel, and twice as shiny.

If you DON’T yet feel ready for split measures FEAR NOT! Immediately either click this link for easy online tutorials on beginning guitar at guitarlessons.nyc or sign up for a lesson or class right away at NYC Guitar School.

Keep in mind:

  • I transposed a few of the songs in order to avoid difficult chords like F, Bb, Qrelative, and Zsharp minor 7th, so that you can concentrate strumming split measures.
  • If a song is transposed, the notes on the song will tell you how many half-steps to transpose the chart–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.

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

(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.)

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

Man on the Moon – REM

YOUTUBE http://youtu.be/1hKSYgOGtos

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/r_e_m_/man_on_the_moon_chords_697336

TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA8yPCT923M

C – D – C – C ; Am – G – Am – G – Am G – D – D (no capo)

Alt. Rock (1992)

Difficult

Imagine – John Lennon

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkgkThdzX-8

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/john_lennon/imagine_chords_117730

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

G – C ; Em – Am – D – D7 ; C – D – G (capo 5)

Folk Rock (1971)

Medium

Umqombothi-Ivonne Chaka Chaka 

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS8MhJig-hM

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

D; G – A (Capo 1)

Easy

South African Pop

Take it Easy – The Eagles

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v8KEbQA8kw

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/eagles/take_it_easy_chords_14322

TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjRk75bqJOY

G – C – D – Em etc. (no capo)

Classic Rock (1972)

Medium

Look at Miss Ohio – Gillian Welsh

YOUTUBE http://youtu.be/9NPEj63d0jY

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/gillian_welch/look_at_miss_ohio_chords_1089277 transpose down 5

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

C – G- D – D (capo 7)

Country/Folk (2003)

Medium

Redemption Song – Bob Marley

YOUTUBE http://youtu.be/QrY9eHkXTa4

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/bob_marley/redemption_song_chords_670722

TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHFMobs6BW0 **Note they use G/B between C and Am**

G – Em – C -Am ; G – Em – C – D ; G – C – D ; Em – C – D
Acoustic Reggae (1980)

Difficult

Despacito – Luis Fonsi

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJQP7kiw5Fk

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/luis_fonsi/despacito_chords_1963983

TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eftAUy1HsKo **Note they use a different Em shape***

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH-SXs8QM60 ***Note this is in Spanish***

Em – C – G – D (capo 7)

Latin Pop (2017)

Easy

Let It Go – James Bay

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsPq9mzFNGY

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/james_bay/let_it_go_chords_1680532

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

G – C – Em – D ; Em – D – C (capo 6)

Pop (2015)

Medium

Guantanamera  – Traditional Cuban Song

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=craeb9A7MQ8

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4oZHqOlUpQ

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/celia-cruz/guantanamera-chords-65411

G – C ; D – C (no capo)

Medium

Come As You Are – Nirvana

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vabnZ9-ex7o

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/nirvana/come_as_you_are_chords_1202432 transpose down 2

TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJZuY6Ee-DQ

Em – D ; Em – C ; A – C (no capo)

Grunge Rock (1991)

Easy

(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.)

Take A Lesson!? ? ? ? ? Take A Class!

13 Easy Basic-Strum Songs With G, C and D (Songs For Absolute Beginners Class 6)

13 Easy Basic-Strum Songs With G, C and D

Have you started to mix down strums with up strums? Awesome! That probably means that you have learned the “basic-strum,” also descriptively referred to as the “down, down-up” strum or the “boom chuck-a” strum. And it means you will benefit from playing your basic strum with real songs!

But as a beginner, it can be tricky to find songs that match your level. That’s why I wrote this blog EXPRESSLY and EXACTLY for students who have just learned the basic strum and want to practice it with easy chord changes. These songs all sound great with a basic strum, and can all be played with G, C and D (with occasional guest starring roles from Am and Em). And I’m even giving you links to the audio and music charts, and sometimes even links to video tutorials. This is guitar ambergris–it’s that valuable!

The basic strum is one of the most common strum patterns in guitar! In a song in a 4/4 time signature, you just play down on the “one”, down-up on the “two-and”, and then you do it again for the “three” and the “four-and”. Not only does it sound terrific, but it is the foundation for learning all sorts of other, even trickier, combination strums.

If you DON’T yet know the basic 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 basic 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 basic strum are a little simpler than the “real” song. Don’t worry! You can always go back and learn the “real” chords later. Check out a baby…crawl…walk…run…get bitten by a radioactive spider. I promise, the best way to do something super cool later is to get started with something pretty cool now!!!!

Here’s the list of songs, along with where to place your capo (if applicable) plus links to the song, tutorials and charts. For super convenient playing along, grab your guitar, then check out our YouTube Beginners 6 playlist or our Spotify playlist. How convenient is that?

(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!

I’m Yours – Jason Mraz

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkHTsc9PU2A

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ugeJWAMz6w

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/jason_mraz/im_yours_chords_373896

G – D – Em – C (capo 4)

Acoustic Pop (2008)

Easy

Somebody that I Used to Know – Gotye

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UVNT4wvIGY

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/gotye/somebody_that_i_used_to_know_chords_1094597

Transpose Down 5

Em – D ; Em – D – C (tune song up 1 step)

Pop/Indie (2011)

Difficult

Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver

YOUTUBE:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vrEljMfXYo

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR_k8knLero

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/john_denver/take_me_home_country_roads_chords_57606

G – Em – D – C – G (capo 2)

Folk (1971)

Easy

Anyone Else But You – Moldy Peaches

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-N3BjVMWziE

TUTORIAL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-N3BjVMWziE

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/the_moldy_peaches/anyone_else_but_you_chords_630353

G – C (no capo)

Indie (2001)

Easy

Ho Hey – Lumineers

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvCBSSwgtg4

TUTORIAL: *No Tutorial in Our Key BUT we have an NYC Guitar School in the Original Key*

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl1Askl9ef8

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/the_lumineers/ho_hey_chords_1047662

Transpose Down 5

G – C; Em – D – G (capo 5)

Pop (2012)

Difficult

Thinkin Bout You – Frank Ocean

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLWJSFJ7D1Y

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbpwsWkoDVE *The chords and fingerings don’t exactly match, but you can still play along with it.

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/frank_ocean/thinking_about_you_chords_1115436

C – G – D – Em (capo 5)

R&B (2011)

Medium

Ripple – The Grateful Dead

YOUTUBE:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=671AgW9xSiA

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4chk7EuNyOY

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/grateful_dead/ripple_chords_462863

G – C ; G – D – C – G ; Am – D – G – C – A7 – D (no capo)

Classic Rock (1970)

Difficult

Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPL_SV3n7IU

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

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/pink_floyd/wish_you_were_here_chords_1088963

G – C – D – Am (no capo)

Classic Rock (1975)

Easy

Leaving On A Jet Plane – Peter, Paul, & Mary

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc-7SnMnX78

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KK9pUsqn_Q *Not The same key, but correct chords*

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/peter_paul_and_mary/leaving_on_a_jet_plane_chords_1048668

G – C – D (capo 2)

Folk (1969)

Medium

Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BmEGm-mraE

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfQIqnEfyqU **These tutorial is in the original key (D A7 G)

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/creedence_clearwater_revival/bad_moon_rising_chords_15892

Transpose Up 5

G – D – C (capo 7)

Classic Rock (1969)

Difficult

Skinny Love – Bon Iver

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

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/bon_iver/skinny_love_chords_1050843 *Hard to find a good chart, but this one kinda mirrors a version I saw one of our Absolute Beginners Classes doing on Youtube*

Em – C – G (capo 4)

Indie Folk (2008)

Medium

Someone Like You – Adele

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLQl3WQQoQ0

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts2W_Q1Q9o0

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/adele/someone_like_you_chords_1006751

G – D – Em – C (capo 2)

Pop (2011)

Difficult

Turn the Page – Bob Seger

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

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJKAJMN0fYo

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/bob_seger_and_the_silver_bullet_band/turn_the_page_chords_1787164

Em – D – A7 – Em

Classic Rock (1976)

Easy

(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.)

17 Easy Four Chord Songs for Guitar Beginners With G, Em, C and D7

17 Easy Four Chord Songs for Guitar Beginners With G, Em, C and D7

Guitar may take a lifetime to master–but unlike the harpsichord and trombone, beginning guitar players can start making beautiful and awesome music RIGHT AWAY.

These chords are huge. A guitar student who learns to pivot from G to Em to C to D7 has taken an exponential leap in guitar capabilities, because that combination of chords allows you to play all the major chords in the key of G, PLUS the relative minor. Now, that might not make sense if you haven’t yet learned music theory, but trust me–it means you can play A LOT of songs! In fact, in this blog post, I’m giving you 17 songs that you can start playing right away with these magic chords. And I’m even giving you links to the audio, tutorials, and music charts. These are guitar gems!

Learning these chords also helps to get you physically ready for more advanced moves. In fact, pivoting to the C from the Em chord allows a nice, safe, baby step way to practice the C chord–which for many beginners is a big-deal chord.

Q: “Dan, what is a pivot?”

A: “A ‘pivot’ is when you leave a finger tip down on a string while changing chords. For example, in these songs, when you change from G to Em, you can leave your 1st finger down; when you change from Em to C you can leave your 2nd finger down; when you change from C to D7 you can leave your first finger down; and even when you change from D7 back to G to start the whole series of chords over again, you can still leave your third finger down. Pivoting is a great guitar habit which makes changing chords more easy and efficient.”

By the way, there is one more shortcut worth talking about–the “third finger hover.” Here’s how it works: prepare for your Em to C change by keeping your third finger just above the fifth string, ready to drop down on the third fret when you change to C. I call this The Third Finger Hover, and it makes moving into a C chord SO EASY. Do NOT let your third finger be floating in some weird random place when you play an Em chord–no, no, no, instead keep it hovering in position to change chords.

Here’s a quick flow chart for what to do next.

  • If you DON’T know how to pivot from G to Em to C to D7 yet: Fear not, immediately either click this link for easy online tutorials on how to play those chords or sign up for a lesson or class right away at NYC Guitar School.
  • If you DO know G, Em, C and D7: You are golden! Grab your guitar and get ready to start strumming–remember, playing along with songs is one of the best (and most fun) ways to improve!

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 are a little simpler than the “real” song. Don’t worry! That just means that later you’ll get the pleasure of learning these songs even deeper and better.

(And don’t forget: for broken-down step-by-step guitar skills, 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! And sometimes we can’t find a good tutorial to share–let us know if you find one you like!

Despacito – Luis Fonsi

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbBsUe1pA_g

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

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/luis-fonsi/despacito-chords-2062935

Em – C- G – D (capo 7)

Latin/Pop (2019)

Easy

Fast Car – Tracy Chapman

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwrHwZyFN7M

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ-i5hK0vc0

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/tracy-chapman/fast-car-chords-1044807

C – G – Em – D (capo 2)

Pop/Singer Songwriter

Easy

What A Wonderful World – Sam Cooke

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4GLAKEjU4w

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAGRM1si8pw

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/sam-cooke/wonderful-world-chords-258832

G – Em – C – D (capo 4)

R&B/Soul (1960)

Easy

Perfect – Ed Sheeran

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

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

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/ed_sheeran/perfect_chords_1956589

G – Em – C – D (capo 1)

Pop/Soul (2017)

Easy

Friday – Rebecca Black

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfVsfOSbJY0

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3JX8v2Mz0Q

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/rebecca_black/friday_chords_1038099

Transpose Down 4

G – Em – C – D7 (capo 4)

Pop (2011)

Easy

Joey – Concrete Blonde

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdpTcvSn8HQ

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW5RPujkzQo

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/concrete_blonde/joey_chords_63783

G – Em – C – D7

Rock (1990)

Easy

Last Kiss – Pearl Jam

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0B-hJ_gotc

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaxB0TY3fmQ&t=59s (part 1)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW2w1ruuSmg (part 2)

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/pearl_jam/last_kiss_chords_38269

G – Em – C – D7 (capo 1)

Folk Rock (1999)

Difficult

Stand By Me – Ben E. King

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vbg7YoXiKn0

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu3AJetyITs

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/ben_e_king/stand_by_me_chords_1724608

G – Em – C – D7 (capo 2)

Soul/R&B (1960)

Medium

Macy’s Day Parade – Green Day

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EL4njT8g98

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/green_day/macys_day_parade_chords_20407

G – G – Em – Em – C – D7 – G – G ; C – C – D – D ; C – G – Em – G – C – D (capo 4)

Rock/Pop (2005)

Easy

Viva la Vida – Coldplay

YOUTUBE:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvgZkm1xWPE

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p51MD17X448

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/coldplay/viva_la_vida_chords_675427

C – D7 – G – Em (capo 1)

Pop/Rock (2008)

Difficult

Complicated – Avril Lavigne

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NPBIwQyPWE

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

CHART: https://www.guitartabsexplorer.com/lavigne-avril-Tabs/complicated-(Ver3)-crd.php

G – Em – C – D7 (capo 10)

Pop

Medium

Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvKyBcCDOB4

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zx3Tv5uBAaE

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/darius_rucker/wagon_wheel_chords_1215756

G – E – G – D – Em – C (capo 2)

Country/Bluegrass (2013)

Difficult

You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift

YOUTUBE:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuNIsY6JdUw

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSaR1ROosCA

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/taylor_swift/you_belong_with_me_chords_752550

D – A7 – Em – G (capo 4)

Pop (2009)

Easy

With or Without You – U2

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

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/u2/with_or_without_you_chords_835 (chart has wrong capo)

G – D – Em – C (capo 7)

Rock (1987)

Medium

Dance With Me Tonight – Olly Murs

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3EG4olrFjY

TUTORIAL: *No Suitable Tutorial Exists*

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/olly_murs/dance_with_me_tonight_chords_1103228

G – Em – C – D7 (capo 7)

Transpose Down 5

Pop (2011)

Medium

Twistin the NIght Away – Sam Cooke

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

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8CxiQP6ZXI *Tutorial Doesn’t have Capo, but used correct chords sans D7*

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/sam_cooke/twistin_the_night_away_chords_258829

G – Em – C – D7 (capo 2)

Transpose Down 2

R&B (1962)

Medium

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD6_QXwKesU

TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwDf5OnTqCE

CHART: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/neutral_milk_hotel/in_the_aeroplane_over_the_sea_chords_35827

G – Em – C – D7

Indie (1998)

Medium

(And don’t forget: for broken-down step-by-step guitar skills, 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.)

“Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by The Temptations, Beginner Guitar Tutorial

Jam to The Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” guided by star teacher Shane! Good luck and keep shredding!

For more tutorials, click here.

To take a lesson with Shane, click here!


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