Learning your first song is a big milestone for any musician. You will always remember the first song that you learned to play. One day you’ll be able play it with your eyes closed and you can look back at the time you spent trying to play the song all the way through for the first time . It can be difficult to choose a song and commit to learning it all the way through, so I’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 Songs that I have taught to beginning guitarists. This list contains songs for acoustic and electric guitar and spans multiple genres, so you can pick a song that fits your musical taste. I’ve provided links to Chords and Tabs on ultimateguitar.com for each of these songs so that you can learn them for yourself.
#1 Horse With No Name – America : https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/america/a-horse-with-no-name-chords-59609
This is a great song for someone just starting out on acoustic guitar. Over the years I have worked on this song with many students and it makes a great first song for a beginner guitarist. It has an easy strumming pattern and includes just a few easy chord shapes.
#2 Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes : https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/the-white-stripes/seven-nation-army-tabs-47366
This is probably the most requested song among kids learning to play guitar for the first time. The song has a fun main riff and introduces a few power chords as well as an optional guitar solo. This is a great song for someone who wants to learn something fun that they can rock out to.
#3 Wonderwall – Oasis : https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/oasis/wonderwall-chords-39144
I can’t write this list without including Wonderwall. This is a classic song to play at a party or campfire. It has a simple chord progression and easy strumming pattern. This is a great song for someone who want to sing and play at the same time.
#4 Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison : https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/the-beatles/eight-days-a-week-chords-848333
Another easy song and recognizable classic. Brown eyed girl is a great song to learn because everyone knows it! When your friends ask you what you know on the guitar, you want to be able to play them something that they know. Look no further than this song.
#5 Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd : https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/lynyrd-skynyrd/sweet-home-alabama-chords-1053582
The most requested song of all time is “Freebird” without a doubt, but “Sweet Home Alabama” is a close second. With only three chords and a nice twangy riff this can be a really fun song for beginning guitarists.
#6 Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan : https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/eric-clapton/knocking-on-heavens-door-chords-138823
For fans of Bob Dylan this is a great song to learn. Knockin On Heaven’s Door has a simple chord progression and only has 2 verses, which is uncommon among Dylan’s songs. For an aspiring singer/songwriter looking to learn from the greats, this is a perfect option.
#7 Stir It Up – Bob Marley : https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/bob-marley/stir-it-up-chords-1053322
There are many Bob Marley song’s that I could have included in this list, but I choose stir it up because it was the first Reggae song that I learned. It features the iconic upbeat “skank” strumming pattern over a 3 chord progression. For fans of Reggae this song is a great place to start.
#8 Eight Days a Week – The Beatles : https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/the-beatles/eight-days-a-week-chords-848333
This is the first song that I ever learned on the guitar, and for that reason I need to include it on this list. This is a fun tune with easy chord shapes and typical Beatles harmony. If you want to learn something from the most popular band of all time, this tune is a great choice.
#9 Smell’s Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana : https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/nirvana/smells-like-teen-spirit-tabs-202727
For the punk rockers and fans of 90’s grunge there is no better song to learn than “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Get yourself a distortion pedal and a couple buddies to jam with. This is a great first song for a garage band to learn to play together.
#10 Back In Black – ACDC : https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/acdc/back-in-black-tabs-212065
Last but not least is ACDC’s “Back In Black”. This is probably the hardest song on this list because it has two long guitar solos. If you aspire to be a lead guitar player and melt faces with your licks then you need to know this one.