It is only natural that once you decide on learning to play the guitar, you want to start playing popular songs as quickly as possible. And yes, it IS possible! Once you've grasped some basic guitar concepts, learned a few beginner guitar chords and the pick doesn't fall out of your hand anymore when you strum, you will be able to play beginner guitar songs.

Which Beginner Guitar Chords Will You Need to Know?

As I mentioned before, by knowing some basic chords, you'll already be able to play tons of popular songs. The most famous chords that are used in literally thousands of songs are G major, C major, D major, E major and A major. These chords can be used in the classic I-IV-V chord progression, and should be pretty much the first chords you learn. If you don't know what a chord progression is yet, don't worry, just know that the following chords can be played in the I-IV-V progression, and will always sound good together:

  • G-C-D
  • A-D-E
  • D-G-AWatch video lesson on chords

If you already know how to fret them, you're all set, but if not, than go ahead and watch our free video guitar lesson on beginner chords. You might also want to watch our video on how to change between guitar chords.

Just for the sake of revision, here is the fingering for each of the above chords:

G MajorC MajorD MajorA Majore Major

Ok, learn them well, because here comes the best part!

Popular,Yet Easy Beginner Guitar Songs

There are literally thousands of very popular songs which use the above chords and the I-IV-V chord progression. Here are just 2 that we teach at

Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash

Ring of Fire was one of the most popular hit songs by Johnny Cash. It uses chords G, C and D, and is loads of fun to play and sing along to. Have a look at our Ring of Fire guitar lesson.

Twist and Shout by The Beatles

This is a very famous, fast paced song that will allow you to practice chord changes and single string plucking as well. Have a look at our video guitar lesson on Twist and Shout.

And these are just 2 popular guitar songs that use simple beginner guitar chords, there are many more. If you are still just starting out on the guitar, make sure you practice by playing songs. You can start at a very early stage as you can see, since after being able to play and change between just a few chords, you can already try playing popular songs. Of course, if you are a total beginner, you'll want to check out our beginner guitar lessons before attempting to play songs.

Ok, enough reading, start playing already! 🙂

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4 replies
  1. Paul Reed
    Paul Reed says:

    I`ve been playing guitar for 15 years now and I often do guitar lessons for beginners. I have to say that articles like these really help not only beginners but also teachers to know how to approach their students and which are the chords they should first use in their lessons.


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