The best songs to start as a complete beginner, are songs that only have 2 or 3 chords, and lots of repetition.
- Within You Without You (The Beatles): C (capo on 1st fret)
- Chain of Fools (Aretha Franklin): C
- Coconut (Harry Nilsson): C
- Tomorrow Never Knows (The Beatles): C
- Ever So Lonely (Monsoon): C
- Ohm (Yo La Tengo): D
- Who Do You Love (Bo Diddley, George Thorogood)
Bo Diddley: G (Capo on 1)
George Thorogood: E
- Madeleine-Mary (Bonnie Prince Billy): Am
- Run Through The Jungle (Creedence Clearwater Revival): Dm
- Papa Was A Rolling Stone (The Temptations): Am (Capo on 1)
- Electric Avenue (Eddie Grant) : A
- Get Up Stand Up (Bob Marley) : Am (Capo on 3)
- Give Peace A Change (John Lennon) : C and G, capo on 1st fret
- Paperback Writer (The Beatles): G and C
- Free Fallin (Tom Petty): D and A, Capo on 3
Technically speaking: 3 chords if you count the Dsus4 chord.
- Horse With No Name (America): Em D
- When Love Comes To Town (U2/BB King): E and A
- Never Can Tell (Chuck Berry): C and G
- Silence is Easy (Starsailor): E A
- Three Is A Magic Number (Blind Melon): D G
- Achy Breaky Heart (Billy Ray Cyrus): A E
- Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd): D C G
- Mustang Sally (Wilson Picket): C F G (24 bar blues, see below for blues)
- Thank U (Alanis Morisette): C G F
- Hand In My Pocket: G F C
- Knocking On Heaven’s Door: G D Am
- For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield): E A (Chorus: E D A)
- What’s Up (4 Non Blondes): A Bm D
- Love Me Do (The Beatles): G C, Bridge: D C G
- Three Little Birds (Bob Marley): A D E
- Satisfaction (The Rolling Stones)E A, Bridge: E B E A
- Wicked Game (Chris Isaak) : Bm A E
- Good Golly Miss Molly (Little Richard): G C D
- Long Tall Sally (The Beatles): G C D
- Rock and Roll songs
Based on blues, Rock, and Roll songs for the most part are 12-bar songs and only use I IV V
Great Balls of Fire, Twist and Shout, That’s All Right (Elvis), Blue Suede Shoes, Jailhouse Rock, Rock Around The Clock, Buddy Holly songs, and so much more
Read the following blog to learn the chord progression in the 12-bar blues.
Having the order of the chords in a 12-bar blues memorized will allow you to instantly play any blues or Rock & Roll song.
- Blues Songs
From John Lee Hooker to Eric Clapton’s “Crossroads”, Buddy Guy, to BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and so many more: many thousands of blues songs – all 3 chords only.
That is a vast collection of songs you can play even if you only know about 10 to 15 chords.
With these chords, you can literally play any blues song in any key, using a capo.
In essence, you actually only need to know 6 chords to strum along with blues songs in all 12 major keys and all 12 minor keys.
For the major keys: D, G and A (I IV V in the key of D)
For the minor keys: Am, Dm and Em (I IV V in the key of Am)
With only these 6 chords and a capo, you can strum along with major and minor blues songs in any key.
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