If you are a beginner guitarist then a great place to start is with pop songs. Popular songs often feature catchy melodies coupled with simple rhythms which makes them ideal for newbie players. The structure of songs like this is also easy to pick up, allowing you as a novice to the electric or acoustic guitar to learn the fundamentals of playing.
Anyone who is interested in singing as well as playing will find a lot of allure with pop music. You can couple your guitar playing skills with easy to sing lyrics, often featuring hooks that are certain to get the attention of your listeners.
Not all pop songs on guitar are going to be easy for you to play. Some have complex finger techniques and chord progressions that surpass a beginner’s skill level.
If you are a beginner and want to start out with easy guitar songs from the pop genre, we’ve got what you need right here. This is a list of the easiest pop songs on guitar along with what you can do to develop your playing skills. Let’s get started.
1. Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass
Chords – A, Bm and E
Megan Trainor originally released her break-out hit in 2014 with a catchy tune featuring a heavy bass line. The song revolves around that amazing bassline beat because it truly is All About That Bass. While this isn’t going to be your traditional acoustic folk pop song, it’s superb combo of old school R&B, electropop and art pop.
What makes this one of the easy pop songs on guitar is that it only features three different chords. Once you have nailed the basics of the song you can move to playing the chords a bit higher up on the neck of the guitar. This gives it a better sound, but get those basic chords down first. Start out by skipping the bass notes featured in the intro. Get your focus on that groove so you can rock along to this piece and play pop songs to your hearts content.
2. Lorde – Royals
Chords – D, C and G
Another song that launched the career of a popstress is Royals by the Kiwi singer Lorde. This features catchy tunes and a strumming pattern which is easy for beginners to pick up. The song itself has pop rock roots and quickly became a hit song for the artist. You will also hear influences of grime and indie thanks to the way the song is structured.
If this is the first time you are attempting one of the best hit songs of the decade, we have some pointers for you. Use a single downstrum on every beat of the three chords. As you get more used to playing the chords you can make the change over to the more complicated strumming patterns. What you really need to focus on for your easy pop songs on guitar is the rhythm.
3. Train – Hey Soul Sister
Chords – C, G, Am and F
Let’s move on to easy pop songs on guitar that features four chords. This song was one fo the most popular song written in 2009. It even was awarded a Grammy at the 53rd annual awards, amongst other accolades. This says a lot for a song that went acoustic instead of featuring an uptempo dance beat.
This is on our list of easy pop songs because it only has basic chords. F is probably the trickiest of the four chords. Like most pop songs, it features a simple strumming pattern. Start out using your basic downstrum and then combine up strums once you’ve got the rhythm down. It’s a fun song to sing along too so have fun playing guitar for your friends.
4. Taylor Swift – You Belong with Me
Chords – D, A, Em and G
Taylor Swift is one of those artists that sounds great on acoustic and electric guitar. Her song You Belong with Me is perfect for beginner and more advanced players thanks to the bouncy rhythm and girl power lyrics. It’s the perfect piece for female guitar songs.
Once again, you have four chords that are basic and a simple strumming pattern to start you off. What you need to have for this piece, though, is the right amount of dexterity. Excelling in this skill will make easy pop songs on guitar even easier for you.
5. John Legend – All of Me
Chords – Em, C, G, D and Am
Let’s slow it down with the Legend classic, All of Me. 2013 was certainly this artist’s year and we couldn’t discuss guitar songs without featuring him as part of our ensemble. While you may not think of this as your conventional pop song, it does have elements that come from this genre. There are also hints of indie pop, orchestral sounds and soul. This is why it’s one of the great one string guitar songs for beginners to learn.
Here’s the reason why this is a great starting point for easy songs – you can learn it in under an hour. The chords are so simple and the chord progression won’t give you any sort of hassle. Your wrist and fingers will thank John Legend for making this so easy!
6. Justin Bieber – Love Yourself
Chords – C, G, Am, Dm, F
Get ready for the new reigning prince of pop, Justin Bieber, and his hit song Love Yourself. While he may not be your first choice of artist to play guitar to, this song is actually a fun piece to play. The song was much more relaxed than his normal vibe thanks to the softer melody and huskier quality to his voice.
This song is included on our list of easy pop songs on guitar because it has five easy open chords. Use your electric guitar or acoustic version to play the downstrums of each chord. A more advanced guitarist will be able to experiment with different fingerstylings. Make sure you get that soulful feel to the piece to play it properly.
7. John Mayer – Love on the Weekend
Chords – G, C and D
Mayer really returned to his roots in the upbeat tempo, pop rock genre in Love on the Weekend. It has such a likeable rhythm and the lyrics are something that a lot of us can relate to.
The chords are really basic and the song sounds great on a beginner guitar. You will also find the strumming pattern to be straightforward as well. It will give you all of the basic skills you need as a beginner guitarist through one of the hippest songs from 2016.
8. Ed Sheeran – Photograph
Chords – D, Bm, A and G
Let’s go back to a slow tempo and four basic chords. Ed Sheeran is a huge name in the music industry and he spans many genres, from hip hop to romantic lyrics. Anyone who is in love loves the acoustic pop music that comes from Sheeran. It’s even a triple platinum song in the UK which is a great feat for the artist.
Sheeran uses guitar balladry interlaced with a simple rhythm that makes it a great song for beginners. The progression of open chords make up the lovely melody which will be a cinch for beginner guitar players. The entire song is predictable, with only a few variations on the chord progression in the bridges. All the chords are ones a beginner should know so you will have an easy time with this one.
9. Maroon 5 – Payphone
Chords – Cadd9, G, Em7 and D
This song from Maroon 5 mixes pop music with rhythm and blues to create a truly catchy melody. It’s definitely a song that was worthy of the top ten, reaching number two in the global charts upon its release. Using only four chords, the melody is catchy and doesn’t feel too aggressive like some bubblegum pop songs do. The beat pulses with a precision that is almost military like but the piece still manages to sound warm.
Mastering Payphone as part of your guitar journey is super simple. This certainly is no Cup Song. The Cadd9 chord may look a bit intimidating but once you learn the correct finger positioning, you’ll find it a lot easier. Get to grips with the bluesy flair that makes up the rhythm and start out using your basic strumming pattern. This will definitelyhelp you get into the right groove and discover this piece is so much fun to play.
10. Kesha – Die Young
Chords – C#m, B, E and A
Kesha is one of those artists that you love or hate. We think the electronic rhythms featured in this piece are definitely ones that a beginner guitarist should love. It’s got that anthem like feeling behind it that makes you want to celebrate whenever you hear it. When you play it for other people we’re sure you will get them dancing too. The pleasant vibe is the epitome of what electropop should be and we just couldn’t leave this off our list.
Because it’s such a popular song all over the world, it’s no wonder that many people want to play it on their guitars. The chord progression and chords themselves are simple and steady so it’s easy to play along. You won’t find any sort of fancy fingerstyling to confuse. Plain and straightforward is the way we’re going here. If you want to add a little twist on the piece, add in some synth riffs for a new wave edge.
11. Bruno Mars – Just the Way You Are
Chords – D, Bm7, G and D
Bruno Mars makes great music for beginners who are new to the guitar because it teaches you new fingerpicking skills which you will need throughout your playing career. The fingerstyling coupled with the strumming techniques will help you do justice to all of the wonderful harmonies that Mars included in this song.
There’s almost a soft rock edge to the song with hints of R&B which makes the song so distinct as Mars’s style. You can dance to it and sing along with the catchy chorus. While you may find the lyrics to be a bit sappy, we don’t think there’s anything not to love about Just the Way You Are.
12. Icona Pop – I Love It
Chords – G, C, Am, Bb
We don’t care, we love it! Every single time this song is played, you can’t help but want to get on your feet and jump around with careless abandon. There’s such a strange hypnosis to how the rhythm works along with the groove that makes you want to head to the dance floor.
While your guitar might not be able to mimic the electric beat that the original song produced, the chords are really simple and the strumming doesn’t strain your fingers. The key with this piece is to find your rhythm so that you elevate the song to a new level.
13. James Blunt – You’re Beautiful
Chords – G, G/F#, Em7, Cadd9, Dsus4
James Blunt was a musical wonder when he wrote this song, only taking two minutes to compose the lyrics for the piece that would eventually define his entire career. The inspiration came from an unusual place but the song works wonderfully.
It has a soft-rock feel with pop elements that play really well on the guitar. If you’re a singer as well, have a go at those falsetto vocals that Blunt is so famous for. Thanks to the slower tempo of the piece the strumming won’t be too taxing for a beginner. If you want to serenade someone, this is the song to go for.
What is the easiest pop song to play on guitar?
You can take a look at our list above to find easy pop songs on guitar. Some are harder than others but there is plenty of choice in there that will be ideal for beginner guitarists. A good place to start is with this list. There are also some great choices from Twenty One Pilots in terms of easy beginner pieces in the pop genre.
What popular songs use guitar?
Almost every pop song in the last decade has used guitar for at least some part of the song. The guitar is such a versatile instrument that it can fit in with a lot of different music genres.