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 (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.)

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

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