Pop songs are great starting points when it comes to learning guitar. They’re catchy and follow a straightforward structure that most beginners can pick up pretty quickly.
Today, I’ve compiled a list of easy pop songs that are super-fun to play and instantly recognizable by anyone.
The best part?
If you learn just a few of the most common chords, you’ll be able to play most of them.
To make things even easier, you’ll find the links to each song’s official and unofficial tabs (wherever available).
Without any further ado, here are 20 easy pop songs for guitar, in no particular order!
What Are the Best 20 Easy Guitar Pop Songs?
Here is my list of the best 20 easy guitar pop songs.
1. “Love on the Weekend” By John Mayer
John Mayer is not someone you look to for ‘easy’ songs, but “Love on the Weekend” is certainly a step back from his highly-technical compositions.
The entire song comprises of three primary chords: G, C, and D, with occasional Gadd9 and Cadd9 for embellishments. This makes it accessible to most beginners.
Not only that, the original recording has great electric guitar lead lines too, so this song can serve electric guitar players as well.
2. “Ride” By Twenty One Pilots
Here’s a fun fact: Twenty One Pilots are one of only three artists/groups to have two singles in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100. The Beatles and Elvis Presley are the only two rock acts to have managed this feat.
With their song “Ride,” Twenty One Pilots took their popular electro-pop style and threw some alternative rap, hip-hop, and even reggae into the mix.
The song has a very unique ‘vibe’ to it. The seemingly basic chord progression of F#, G#m, D#m, B (standard tuning) is just so funky and exciting. Also, if you want to use open chords, you can tune your guitar half step-down and play the chords G, Am, Em, C instead.
3. “Photograph” By Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran is the king of romantic songs played at a super-slow tempo. What’s even better is that most of his songs are meant to be performed as solo acoustic-vocal pieces.
His song “Photograph” is a fan favorite and is an easy pick for beginners. Just 4 simple chords and a basic strumming pattern is all you need.
4. “Back to December” By Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s songs are easy recommendations for guitar newcomers because they’re very easy to learn, can be performed solo, and pretty much everyone knows them.
“Back to December” is ideal for people of all ages, especially if you’re performing in front of a young crowd.
It’s slow, emotional, and still full of character. The entire song is played using simple beginner chords and a capo on the 2nd fret.
5. “7 Years” By Lukas Graham
“7 Years” is the song that took Lukas Graham from a relatively unknown Danish artist to huge international success. This pop-soul hybrid summarizes his life so far and what he wishes to achieve in the future.
You can strum throughout the song with a 3rd fret capo. However, if you fingerpick it, you’ll be able to cover the bassline and the distinctive intro melody that runs throughout the song.
6. “With or Without You” By U2
“With or Without You” is one of U2’s most successful singles ever. The song’s famous for the ambient guitar effects used by the guitarist Edge through his prototype of the ‘Infinite Guitar.’
He developed a special system that allows a note to sustain indefinitely. But don’t worry if you can’t emulate those effects yet! You can strip down the piece to just the guitar and vocals when you’re starting out.
7. “Hey, Soul Sister” By Train
Originally played on a ukulele, “Hey, Soul Sister” is the highest-charting single from the American band Train. It peaked at spot #3 in Billboard Hot 100, received 6x platinum certifications, and even has a Grammy to its name.
The song’s lyrics and melodies are incredibly catchy and upbeat. Once you learn this song, you’ll never feel like putting your guitar down!
8. “All of Me” By John Legend
This is an incredibly powerful and popular ballad from John Legend, winning a Grammy and selling over 5 million copies. The love song is a single from his fourth album titled “Love in the Future.”
And even though the original piece is piano-driven, you can easily translate the chords to the guitar and it sounds wonderful. The song uses 3 open chords (C, Em, and G) and an easy downstroke-only strumming pattern that’s quick to get used to.
9. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” By Elvis Presley
A ‘60s classic by none other than Elvis Presley. If you love Elvis or are just a fan of those retro-pop vibes, you’ll love playing this one!
The song’s melody is derived from the French classic “Plaisir d’amour,” and it was featured in Presley’s film “Blue Hawaii.”
The best part is that you’ll be playing a lot of variations using basic open and 7th chords, so you can practice a lot of chord shapes with just one song.
10. “Love Yourself” By Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself is your perfect entry into fingerpicking on a guitar. His songs are easy-to-play and yet very catchy, making them great for beginners looking for some familiar songs to impress their friends.
For this one, you’ll be picking 2-3 strings simultaneously using your fingers. The song also uses a ‘percussive slap’ which is basically hitting the strings to produce a groovy ‘snare drum’ like sound.
And not to mention, the song is super-addictive once you start singing along with it.
11. “I See Fire” By Ed Sheeran
Yet another excellent fingerpicking song, and one that’ll work your fretting-hand legato technique. You’ll be using a capo on the 6th fret.
The intro uses a short legato riff followed by plucking some easy chords. It sounds wonderful with the added ‘slap,’ but feel free to skip that if you’re just starting out.
12. “You Belong With Me” By Taylor Swift
The second Taylor Swift on our list, and yet another easy one. “You Belong With Me” is from her debut album “Fearless” and was actually the album’s highest-charting single.
Yes, this goes back to her early days as a massive country-pop influence, and you’ll instantly recognize that from the song’s laidback feel.
All you need is four open chords (D, A, Em, G), a capo on the 4th fret, and a couple of basic strumming patterns.
13. “Let Me Down Slowly” By Alec Benjamin
Let Me Down Slowly is a 2017 superhit by Alec Benjamin, taking him from sidewalk performances to a Hot 100 artist. People were surprised by the vocal delivery and the emotional impact of this song.
The song’s played at 75bpm. You can either choose to play a fingerpicked riff throughout the song or if you want to strum, there are just 4 simple chords all along with the song.
14. “Let it Be” By The Beatles
It’s hard to imagine how pop and rock would sound today if there was no band called “The Beatles.”
“Let it Be” is one of the most cherished pop songs of all time. Paul McCartney shared that he had the idea of this song after he had a dream about his mother.
This is an excellent piece for beginners as you’ll learn about interesting phrasings and continual chord changes.
15. “Rolling In The Deep” By Adele
One of Adele’s greatest singles ever. In fact, the song crowns the 3rd position in Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s. As described by Adele, the song is all about classic gospel-blues composition, and lyrics every woman could immediately relate to.
The song is in standard tuning on guitar. You’ll be using palm-muted chords for the build-up to the chorus, where you’ll be strumming barre chords.
But the guitar is the only thing that’s ‘easy’ about this song. Good luck singing the vocals of this one!
16. “Eastside” By Benny Blanco
I’m sure you’ll love this one! It’s not the easiest song on this list, but it’s just so appealing and fun to play.
With powerful vocals by Khalid and a very catchy melody running in the background, this song is a joy to play or hear at any social gathering.
The intro melody sounds best when fingerpicked, but for the later sections, you can strum four easy chords using simple patterns.
17. “Just The Way You Are” By Bruno Mars
“Just The Way You Are” is the lead single of Bruno Mars’ first studio album “Doo-Wops & Hooligans.” The song won the 2011 Grammy Award for ‘Best Male Pop Vocal Performance’ and has always been a fan favorite.
It’s a harmonious blend of balladesque vocals, piano, and drums. Although piano forms the backbone of the music here, you can play it on a guitar using the chord progression D, Bm7, G, and G.
18. “You’re Beautiful” By James Blunt
There’s something about acoustic chords played on the higher register. “You’re Beautiful” is a fantastic song to be played as a duo – with a continuous rhythm guitar and a single-note melody that sounds great on top.
You’ll be using the capo on the 8th fret and playing exciting chord variations and inversions: G/F#, G, Em7, Cadd9, and D/F#. The lead melody doesn’t require any capo.
19. “Die Young” By Ke$ha
Now here’s a song that’ll fit the mood of any party. “Die Young” is from K$sha’s second studio album titled “Warrior.” It combines R&B/Soul influences with modern electronic-pop style.
Although there was some drama about the song’s name, it was a big commercial success, peaking at number four on the Hot 100.
The song uses electronic effects and a groovy beat to add a ‘dance’ vibe to it, but you can simply play the main riff hitting barre chords with as much energy as you can.
20. “I Have a Dream” By ABBA
No pop song list would be meaningful if it didn’t include the Swedish pop legends ABBA!
“I Have a Dream” is one of the most recognizable tunes of the ‘70s. Of course, like any other ABBA song, this one was a massive hit, reaching number two in the UK Singles chart and topping various charts across Europe.
The song uses just 3-chords: A, E, and D, with a consistent strumming pattern all along. Of course, once you master it, you can move on to harder ones like Dancing Queen and Chiquitita.
20 Easy Guitar Pop Songs [Infographic]
Well, you’ve now got an entire repertoire of pop songs to choose from, from classics to modern ones. Practice each song over and over until you’ve memorized it.
If you’re picking up the guitar for the first time, just get all the chord shapes down first and then work out the rhythm & strumming patterns.
Once you’ve mastered all of them and think you’re ready for a bigger challenge, check out this list of advanced acoustic guitar songs that’ll take your guitar skills to a whole new level.
That was it for this post. Hope you enjoyed it!
If you think we missed any of your favorites, feel free to share them in the comments down below!