For many decades women have been in the music industry producing some of the best masterpieces that have influenced future generations. With songs about love to lyrics again social inequality, women really can do it all. Here we are looking at some of the easy guitar songs that have women at the helm. These songs have been both written and performed by some incredibly influential female songwriters ever known in music herstory.
Complicated by Avril Lavigne
Canadian badass recording artist Avril Lavigne started out her career with her punchy single Complicated. It was her first debut off the album Let Go which featured many of her angsty yet awesome hits.
Complicated is played in the key of F so you will need to know all of the chords associated with this key. These chords will include F, G minor, B flat, C and D minor. It’s actually quite a simple acoustic guitar song when you get used to it. You can choose to play it with open chords or place your capo on the fifth fret to mimic the sound of the recording.
Ironic by Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morisette is another Canadian-American artist who has changed the face of acoustic guitar songs forever. She originally released Ironic in 1996 and it was her third single from her third album. She was quite an established artist at this point and this hit is instantly recognized as one of her most successful songs to date.
Ironic is played in the key of E. You will need to place your capo on the fourth fret if you want to sound like the original. The song sounds great on acoustic guitar and it’s also an easy guitar piece to pick up if you don’t have that much experience playing.
Rolling in the Deep by Adele
What list of kickass female guitar songs would be complete without Adele? Although all of her pieces are pretty much piano-based, the melodies are easily transposed onto the guitar for easy guitar songs. Adele is a British artist and Rolling in the Deep was part of second album called 21. This is still one of her most popular hits although she keeps knocking it out of the park with her current music too.
Adele once described the song as being a dark and bluesy disco gospel tune. This is quite the description, but if you are interested in playing it then you will need to know the key of C major. Place your capo on the third fret and the simple chords should seem easy to play.
Don’t Speak by No Doubt
Gwen Stefani started her career in the band No Doubt and she went on to be one of the best female artists anywhere in the world. Don’t Speak is by an American band called No Doubt who fell into the rock genre. They released quite a few albums and this single was on their Tragic Kingdom album which was their third one to record. Don’t Speak is probably one of the most known and most iconic songs in the band’s history.
You can learn to play this song with chord progression that is found in the key of C minor. You will also need to put your capo on the third fret. There’s also the choice to play the chords that the vocals sing if you want to follow the main melody of this acoustic guitar piece.
Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis
There’s something about British female artists that give them the extra edge when it comes to producing amazing music. Leona Lewis released her debut album, Spirit, in 2007 after winning a UK singing competition and getting a recording contract with Simon Cowell. She became a big success with her hit Bleeding Love which is popular in America too. Little did Lewis know but this song would become her most known composition and would eventually be the cornerstone of her entire career.
The ballad uses the key of F. If you want to use a capo you will need to put it on the fifth fret to help make the song a bit easier and more accessible for acoustic guitar.
Always Be My Baby by Mariah Carey
The diva herself, Mariah Carey, changed the perception of female artists forever. She is a fiercely strong singer who has had a string of number one albums and songs. Her fifth album was called Daydream which she released in 1996. Always Be My Baby was her third single from this album.
Start out with this easy guitar song in the key of E. You’ll have to watch out for the complex harmony as it can be a bit tricky for novice players. The chords include both open and barre chords except for a few C minor variations. Don’t worry though. All of the chords you need for acoustic guitar songs are included below.
Both Hands by Ani DiFranco
Ani Difranco released Both Hands as her first-ever single which was part of her debut album titled after herself. It came from her won record company too, so she was really being a boss in the music world with her label Righteous Babe Records.
The indie rock song has strong folk influences and you will be playing in the key of A minor. There are actually only three chords involved in the progression throughout the melody. You will need to know the C, G and A minor chords. The G chord has some slight variations but it’s still an easy acoustic guitar song to play and having these changes adds to the overall performance of the piece.
Cold Feet by Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman is another female artist who has released a lot of great music hits over her lengthy career. Cold Feet was featured on her fourth album and was the fifth track to be played. It’s a pretty obscure song from the artist but turned out to be quite ironic and one of the more popular hits from her catalog.
Cold Feet is best described as a folk-rock piece and you will be playing in the key of G for this one. It also features the typical V-IV-I chord progression which makes it one of the easy guitar songs on our list. At the start of the song, you may notice that there’s a pentatonic riff in G as well which is a great little piece to add to your skills as a guitarist.
Chantaje by Shakira feat. Coldplay
Shakira is a Colombian-born songstress who is known for her spicy beats that make you want to get up and shake your hips. Chantaje was a collaboration between her and Coldplay frontman Christ Martin which was released in 2017. Originally it was released as a taster of Shakira’s upcoming eleventh album entitled El Dorado. The song also has some special vocal parts sung by another Columbian singer, Maluma.
Chantaje is played in the C minor key and you’ll need to put a capo on the fourth fret of your acoustic guitar. The version we’ve chosen has been taken from a live concert performed in 2017. This performance saw Shakira being accompanied by both Martin and Coldplay guitarist Jonny Buckland.
If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys is best known for her hip-hop influences but she took inspiration from elsewhere with her song If I Ain’t Got You. The song came from her second album which she went on to release in 2003. The song was originally written to commemorate the memory of her friend Aaliyah’s death. It was also used as a tribute to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers.
The song is played in the key of C and pretty much uses the same seven chords throughout the piece. However, these chords are a bit more complex than the ones we’ve already discussed in the piece. The more complicated open and barre chords make the whole song sound so much richer.
Juice by Lizzo
Juice is one of the greatest hits to come out of 2019. Lizzo burst onto the rap scene and released this song from her third album entitled Cuz I Love You. The album is classed as her first proper album because it was released as part of a major label record deal.
You can feel the retro-inspired funk in this tune which will use the key of D minor. You can pop your capo onto the third fret to make the chord progression much easier and have all of the chords open.
COPYCAT by Billie Eilish
Eilish has become iconic in her own right for wacky hair colors and amazing music. COPYCAT was actually her very first song ever to be released. It featured as the fourth single on her debut EP called Don’t Smile At Me. The song played a huge part in her rapid rise to fame. The song along with many of her other compositions were both written and produced alongside her brother Finneas.
You’ll need to use the key of E minor to play this song on the acoustic guitar. You can actually see Finneas playing the song in the video so it’s well worth a watch to get the strumming patterns down.
Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine
Florence + The Machine are a British indie rock band that released their debut album Lungs that featured the song Dog Days Are Over. It was the second single released as part of their initial promotional campaign to gain fans for the band.
Dog Days Are Over is played in the key of G and uses just three chords, making it an easy song to play. You will need to know the main three chords of G, A minor and E minor. Some tabs will also feature the vocal chords to play along to to get the main melody of the song.
Valerie by Amy Winehouse
The powerhouse that was Amy Winehouse was a huge loss to the world thanks to her remarkable talent. Valerie was originally a song composed by the British indie rock band named The Zutons. In 2006 Winehouse paired up with music producer Mark Ronson to cover the hit. They went on to have a lot more success than the original song ever did and thanks to this fame, it then went on to be one of Winehouse’s signature pieces.
You’ll have to master the E flat major key and then capo the third fret of the acoustic guitar so you can use all of the open chords found in the C major scale.
Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
Dreams comes from the Brit rock band Fleetwood Mac and it was on one of their more popular albums, Rumors. It had a spike in popularity again in 2020 thanks to a TikTok video that went viral. Although the band isn’t made of all women, Stevie Nicks is classed as writing this piece and she made some fantastic music throughout her career.
The song is in the key of A minor and it only uses the F and G chords over and over again in a constant round. You may want to add in some variety to these chords if you want to spice it up a bit. We would recommend that you put your capo on the fifth fret to prevent any barre chords from cropping up.
There are so many amazing female artists and songwriters out there that make great music for acoustic guitars and other instruments. This list is purely here as a starting guide where you can find inspiration to expand your overall guitar playing skills as well as your love for music. If you liked this article then remember to share it and leave your comments below.