Perhaps the perfect inspiration for beginner guitar players just taking the baby steps and learning how to play guitar is to start with easy guitar melodies that you can learn quickly to build your confidence.
Once you master these, it is always easy to gradually increase the degree of complexity of the songs that you play.
If you are looking for some easy guitar melodies to start with, you have come to the right place.
I have compiled some of the easiest guitar melodies from popular hits in pop culture through the decades.
They are not only easy to strum along but they are also fun to play.
They are the kind of melodies that can help you progress on your guitar and begin developing a solid technique.
The list contains some of the well-known tunes, many of which you are already familiar with.
They span multiple genres and can be played with either an acoustic or electric guitar.
All the songs we have included in this compilation are easy to play, easily recognizable, and can be played easily by guitarists with varying skill levels.
We have compiled everything from the riff-based melodies to the campfire guitar songs that are popular singalong tunes.
Now thrust yourself into these easy guitar melodies and start honing your guitar-playing skills today.
Tracy Chapman – Talkin Bout A Revolution
Tracy Chapman’s timeless protest song has a simple sequence that you can easily play to the end as a beginner.
The song opens with a simple four-chord progression: G-C-Em-D and the progression continue to the end without a change once you have mastered the sequence.
‘Talkin’ Bout A Revolution’ has interesting dynamics and you can also match it with other instruments.
The song lasts less than 3 minutes but it will still take you about 75 seconds for the arrangement to build to a full pelt.
When you are playing this guitar melody on your own, you can vary how hard you strum the guitar as well as the pace of the rhythm.
This is one of the best ways to bring out the dynamics in the recording.
Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl
This tune is a favorite in parties and weddings.
It is also easy to learn with the three guitar chords: G major, C major, and D major.
You can bring in the E Minor chord in the chorus part as you come to the first “My Bown-Eyed Girl”.
The song takes the pattern G|C|G|D and then C|D|G|Em.
You can solidify your skills as a guitarist depending on the strum pattern that you are working with.
As you will gradually come to appreciate, learning the rhythm of the song you are playing is just as important as learning to play the chords correctly.
Muddy Waters – Mannish Boy
This 1955 hit by Muddy Waters and Jimmy Rogers remains an iconic guitar line.
The melody crystallizes into five notes: A D A C A and that’ all!
It is one of the easiest guitar lines to strum and as a beginner, you won’t have trouble riffing this along.
This riff is best done with a guitar, harmonica, and bass with each of these instruments adding to the rich tapestry and harmony.
The five notes can be played on a higher or lower pitch on a fretboard.
You can also incorporate extra notes.
For example, when you come to the D note, you can play the D together with F#, or when you reach C, you can play the C together with E.
If you just want to keep it simple, then you can simply focus on the five-note riff.
As you continue honing your guitar playing skills, you will gradually develop an ability to play this riff just by ear.
Nirvana – Polly
‘Polly’ is the Kurt Cobain-written alt-rock or grunge acoustic sound.
The sequence of the intro and verses goes as E5-G5-D5-C5 while the choruses follow the pattern D5-C5-G5-Bb5.
It isn’t difficult.
The whole number consists of five chords and they are almost similar in terms of how the player places their fingers on the guitar.
Once you learn D5, the other chords will simply fall into place.
You will need to play the fifth fret on the fifth string for D5.
After this, proceed to the 7th fret on the 3rd and the 4th strings.
Both C5 and Bb5 are similar and they are both only two frets lower each time.
You should focus on keeping the other strings quiet.
You can do this by resting the fretting fingers against those strings.
The G5 also follows a similar shape but you play it with the 4th, 5th, and 6th strings.
The same applies to the E5 but it is down in an open position and has an open string.
Overall, ‘Polly’ is a very easy-to-play guitar song.
Taylor Swift – Wildest Dreams
‘Wildest Dreams’ is a melody that would go well with the traditional guitar-playing audience but it is a note that is easy to strum along.
At the core, it consists of C, Em, and D in its verses while the choruses feature G, D, Am, and C.
All of these are five shapes.
It also features a gentler tempo.
For a beginner, you will find this melody easy to learn and also quite enjoyable.
The hardest part with the ‘Wildest Dreams’ is whether you will actually remember the order of the chords but once you can do that, it will be easier to strum along.
For perfection, practice a lot and you will get it right pretty quickly.
Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight
Eric Clapton’s ‘Wonderful Night’ is a perfect wailing intro for every beginner looking for an easy and memorable guitar melody to master for their first solos.
The lead line is easier and memorable and will stick in your mind.
The only challenge will be the string bends.
String bending refers to a guitar-playing technique where the player bends the strings to change the pitch.
This comes out very vividly in the first notes of the ‘Wonderful Night’.
However, it requires some practice.
Even the more seasoned classical guitarists sometimes fluff the fluent bends in this song.
It is therefore crucial that you work on the basics.
An effective way of practicing this song is playing the un-bent target note on the fretboard before bending the string to hit the note.
Use your ears well and listen keenly on as you proceed.
Bob Marley – Three Little Birds
If you love reggae, here is a simple song that you can do nicely on the guitar.
It is easy primarily because of its sheer simplicity.
The song makes use of only three major chords of A, D, and E.
You should strum this song intentionally and give it that “island” feel.
Because its D chord is an open chord, you can play this song on the guitar with one string unfretted.
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama
‘Sweet Home Alabama’ is a good guitar song for someone who is into old rock country songs.
You can also learn this song easily on the guitar thanks to its easy chords; C, D, and G.
The Beatles – Love Me Do
The Beatles’ ‘Love Me Do’ has two first chords for its chorus; the G major and the C major.
In the bridge part of the song where it begins with “someone to love…”, you can incorporate the D major chord.
The song starts with only two chords and is very simple and easy to learn.