Top 5 Acoustic Guitar Songs for Beginners to Learn First

beginner guitarists - top 5 acoustic guitar songs

Picking up a new skill can be a lot of fun, especially when you decide to learn how to play an instrument. An acoustic guitar is a great option. You can play music from a wide variety of genres and time periods on a guitar and it's a good way to start learning to read music. So what are the best acoustic guitar songs to start learning? Here are our top five.

5 Best Acoustic Guitar Songs to Get Started

When you first pick up an acoustic guitar, you may be intimidated and wonder what skills matter the most. As you start practicing your playing, there are a few things you should focus on:

  • Work on building good playing techniques such as hand positioning, finger placement, and picking or strumming patterns. Learning proper technique from the start will help you play more accurately and efficiently, prevent injury, and keep you from having to unlearn bad habits later.
  • Learn the basic chords such as C, G, D, A, and E. Practicing these chords regularly will help you build finger strength and dexterity and prepare you to play more complex chord progressions.
  • Develop good rhythm and timing skills. Practice playing along with a metronome or backing tracks to improve your sense of timing and feel for different tempos.
  • Train your ear to recognize the sound of different chords, scales, and progressions. This will help you learn songs more easily, play by ear, and improvise.
  • Build a repertoire of songs that you enjoy playing. Start with simpler songs and gradually work your way up to more complex pieces.

As you gain strength in each area, playing acoustic guitar will become more natural and enjoyable.

1. 'Blackbird' by The Beatles

The Beatles are remembered as one of the greatest musical acts in history and for good reason. They created many classic songs that new artists can still enjoy, including "Blackbird". This is one of the best acoustic guitar songs for beginners because it uses a simple fingerpicking pattern that is relatively easy to learn. It's played in the key of G, using basic chords that many beginners are already familiar with. The song also has an easy-to-follow melody.

2. 'Photograph' by Ed Sheeran

For something more contemporary, try "Photograph". It is a modern pop hit but is not too complicated, making it a good choice for new players to try, especially fans of Ed Sheeran. The slow and steady tempo makes it easy to learn the song and it only has a few chords for novice guitar players to master. It's a great song if you need to practice your chord progressions.

3. 'Sweet Home Alabama' by Lynyrd Skynyrd

When you want a song the entire crowd will know, turn to "Sweet Home Alabama". The song has a simple strumming pattern that's good to practice as you get comfortable with your instrument. It's also one of the best acoustic guitar songs to learn by ear since the opening riff and chorus are so well-known, not to mention Lynyrd Skynyrd is a great band to start on. This piece also makes use of the D, C and G chords which are used in many songs, so mastering them in this song can make it easier to play other things.

4. 'Hotel California' by The Eagles

Going back to a bit of classic rock, new acoustic guitarists may want to add "Hotel California" to their list of songs to learn. The song uses basic open chords that are easy to learn and play, including Em, G, D, A and F#, and has a slow, even tempo. You can also make this song harder as you get better. There is a guitar solo that you can skip as you first learn to play and practice later once you are more skilled. This is a great intro to other, more complicated Eagles songs.

5. 'Redemption Song' by Bob Marley

To try out a different genre, learn to play "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley. The reggae classic is melodic and simple, so new guitar players can focus on mastering the chords. Like many of the best acoustic guitar songs, it uses just a few simple chords including G, C, D and Em. You can also practice your strumming technique while playing this piece.

What It Takes to Learn Acoustic Guitar

An outstanding list of practice songs is important for learning how to play the acoustic guitar, but you also need to have good habits so you can master your new instrument. Before you even start to play, focus on the basics of guitar playing, such as proper hand positioning, finger placement and strumming. Everyone wants to jump right into songs, but scales and exercises are ideal for building finger strength and speed.

You also need to find time to practice. Try to play at least 15 minutes a day to improve your technique and get completely comfortable with playing. You can also collaborate with other musicians. Play together and get feedback on your progress. More experienced guitar players can also offer tips for the best ways to play and overcome common mistakes.

As you play the best acoustic guitar songs, you'll find yourself developing muscle memory when it comes to playing certain chords. Use this to your advantage and start playing those same chords in different songs or even coming up with your own compositions. The more you do this, the more you'll understand the flow of the music.

Don't forget to have fun. Music is about expression and joy so you have to keep that in mind as you work on your acoustic guitar skills. Even if you have frustrating moments while learning to play, keep a positive attitude and stay persistent. When you're having a rough time, try a different song with a different tempo just to help you improve. Remember, everyone starts somewhere and a few mistakes along the way are okay.

Get Started with the Best Acoustic Guitar Songs

Acoustic guitars are great instruments to learn to play. You can grab your guitar and play almost anywhere, making it easy to share music with the world. As you get started learning to play, tap into the list of best acoustic guitar songs to find tunes that you can easily understand and that support your development as a guitar player. To get sheet music for your acoustic guitar favorites, check out the selection on Musicnotes.