As we’re sure you’ll agree; singing while simultaneously playing the guitar is no easy feat.
Not only will you have to coordinate two separate instruments (yep, your voice is an instrument), but you’ll also have to ensure both your vocals and guitar sound as good as they possibly can without commanding your full attention.
In this article, our expert gang of writers-slash-singers-slash-guitarists have put together this all-encompassing list of 50+ easy songs to sing and play guitar to, along with an insight into why each track is a great choice.
50+ Easy Songs To Sing And Play Guitar To
1. Losing My Religion (REM)
The steady rhythm and simple chord changes of this powerful classic make it easy even for beginners. Add in lyrics with memorable lines sang over a limited vocal range and you have a ready-made favorite to sing and strum along to.
2. What’s Up (4 Non Blondes)
One that gets people to really let it all out, this iconic 90s hit has a formula that’s surprisingly simple to replicate. Repeat A-Bm-D all the way through and you’ll find yourself picking up the lively beat in no time.
3. Sunshine Of Your Love (Cream)
With one of the most instantly recognizable riffs around, learning Cream’s much-loved tune has been a must for new guitarists since the 60s. Helpfully, the vocals more or less follow the riff, so you end up learning both at the same time.
4. Alberta (Eric Clapton)
No guitar discussion is complete without a mention of old Slowhand, but his best-known masterpieces are a challenge for those without his talents (i.e. almost everyone). Not so with Alberta, whose AAB twelve-bar blues structure and straightforward lyrics are up there with Clapton’s easiest.
5. All The Small Things (Blink-182)
Consisting of only 3 chords (C-G-F), this steady-paced pop punk anthem is one of the easiest to sing while playing the guitar. The lyrics are conveniently weaved inbetween the chord changes, making for easy coordination between your vocal and guitar parts.
6. You Really Got Me (The Kinks)
The Kinks epitomized the typical 60s pop-rock scene, and the musical simplicity of this hit is one of the finest examples of their formula for success. A single riff repeats throughout the verses, with only an occasional key change to mix things up.
7. A Horse With No Name (America)
America’s best-known track has a beat that seems to follow the same up-and-down bounce of the rider in the lyrics. This is largely due to the use of only two chords throughout, which allows you to place slightly more focus on your vocal part.
8. Wonderwall (Oasis)
So often the tune to round off a musical evening, the anthemic qualities of Wonderwall make it one of the most popular tunes from the 90s. Based around a steady four-chord progression, this one is super easy to play while singing along.
9. All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan)
The number of artists who have covered this masterpiece is an indicator of just how easy it is to put your own spin on it. Get to grips with the basic chord progression and follow in the footsteps of Jimi Hendrix by giving it your own interpretation.
10. Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
A simple strumming pattern, super easy D, A, and G chords, and a friendly bounce make this tune a great crowd-pleaser. The repeated first-person lines in the lyrics are both catchy and straightforward to remember.
11. Zombie (The Cranberries)
With a chorus you can enjoy wailing out at full volume, Zombie is another 90s anthem that revels in its simplicity. The same four chords repeat throughout, so you can put yourself on strumming autopilot and lose yourself in crying out that melody.
12. Banana Pancakes (Jack Johnson)
Far from the world of synthesizers and electronic effects, Jack Johnson’s stripped-back approach on the acoustic is somewhat refreshing for his era. Banana Pancakes is a great example of a simple rhythm you can pick up easily from the comfort of your bedroom.
13. Fast Car (Tracy Chapman)
Tracy Chapman’s heartfelt lyrics keep the flow of this song moving pretty quickly, but the four guitar chords are actually rotated at a much slower pace. No heavy strumming is needed, so you can give your hands a break and focus on getting the feel of that melody.
14. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
Rather different from the psychedelia and electronic experimentation that defines Pink Floyd’s best-known classics, Wish You Were Here is a slow and soft acoustic piece. Doused in lonely melancholy, this is one you might prefer to sing to yourself!
15. Love Me Do (Beatles)
The early 60s’ Beatlemania lay partly in the band’s staggering ability to create such simple catchy tunes. Anyone can get to grips with the bouncy beat and rhyming lyrics of Love Me Do in minutes, following the straightforward D-C-G chord pattern.
16. California Dreamin’ (The Mamas and the Papas)
The playful call-and-response style of the vocals makes this one of the most fun to sing as a duo, or perhaps even with larger groups split in two. Follow the repetitive cycle of chord changes and it’s easy to get stuck into those back-and-forth lyrics.
17. Redemption Song (Bob Marley)
Reggae is maybe not the first genre you imagine when picking a guitar/vocal song, but Redemption Song shows why you should keep your options open. The more orthodox beat compared to most Bob Marley hits can be slowly strummed while you focus on the lyrics.
18. Your Cheatin’ Heart (Hank Williams)
For lovers of country music, you don’t get much better than this early 50s classic. Though considered the gold standard of the genre, the slow rhythm is not difficult to learn and lets you concentrate on those mournful lyrics.
19. Heart of Gold (Neil Young)
In case of any doubts about how easy this one is, you should know Neil Young deliberately wrote it to be played sitting down due to his back problems! It’s so simple that it was recorded in only two takes by Neil himself.
20. 1979 (The Smashing Pumpkins)
The distinctly 90s guitar sounds of The Smashing Pumpkins include some of the most complex and melodic solos for even advanced guitarists. However, 1979 has a far more laidback feel, which you can sing and strum along to at a slower pace.
21. Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell)
The environmental message of Joni Mitchell’s hit makes it a fun call to action for any more politically-minded singers. Its success is also down to a quick-paced tempo, which you can replicate without too much practice to get listeners hooked.
22. Do You Wanna Dance (The Beach Boys)
Typically short and punchy, Do You Wanna Dance is another of those early 60s songs that relies on its simplicity to grab attention. Try it for yourself and see if anyone can resist the urge to dance.
23. Under The Bridge (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
John Frusciante is the man responsible for some of the best-known riffs from the early 90s onwards. This ode to LA features a fairly relaxed tempo throughout with a not-too-difficult intro to add some extra tuneful flair to your performance.
24. Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Definitely one of those that sounds more difficult than it actually is. Sweet Home Alabama is essentially made up of a three-chord rotation between D, C, and G. With minimal finger movement required, you can quickly integrate this classic into your repertoire.
25. Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Green Day)
Another Green Day hit where the intensity makes the tempo feel quicker than it really is. The strumming follows a simple repetitive pattern while your voice follows Billie Joe’s calling down that lonely road.
Bonus Tip: If you took us up on the suggestion to learn Wonderwall earlier on in this article, you’ll already know the chords to Boulevard of Broken Dreams!
26. The Thrill Is Gone (BB King)
One of the ‘Three Kings of the Blues Guitar’, BB King is best remembered for his sophisticated solos. But the slow 12-bar blues rhythm of The Thrill Is Gone reminds us how his work is accessible to musicians of all abilities, especially if you’re keen to try something different.
27. Sweet Child O’ Mine (Guns N’ Roses)
The genius improvisation of Slash gave this hit a riff that is regularly voted number one of all-time. But if you strip away the crazy solos, you can learn the chord progression and lead breaks with just a short amount of practice. The chords only change every 2 bars in the verses, making for a super simple guitar part to accompany your vocals.
28. Steady As She Goes (The Raconteurs)
The Raconteurs really weren’t lying when it came to naming their breakout song. An almost mechanical rhythm forms as a steady backdrop to a repetitive chorus making it a perfect practice piece for beginners.
29. Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel)
Vocals are undoubtedly the standout element of Simon & Garfunkel’s music, and Sound of Silence is no different. The gentle, rocking pace of the guitar is intended as a useful (but basic) accompaniment, while you pour your soul into the deep lyrics.
30. Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple)
One of the best-known electric guitar riffs of all time is also one of the easiest. Dial some overdrive into your amp to give it some beef while you handle the vocal delivery.
31. American Pie (Don McLean)
If your party is ever in need of a pick-me-up that gets everyone involved, American Pie is definitely an option to keep up your sleeve. Featuring mainly open chords throughout, you can rely on revelers to keep the melody going even if the guitar comes unstuck!
32. Budapest (George Ezra)
Modern music sometimes gives the impression guitars are on their way out, but Budapest is a handy riposte to that idea. While requiring more work than finding the right chords, this fingerpicking song is one of the quickest to master.
33. Ain’t No Sunshine (Bill Withers)
Another to support our theory that the more covers a song has had, the easier it is to learn. Bill Withers’ 1971 bluesy ballad had stood the test of time. The straightforward chord progression gives you a chance to experiment with your own interpretation of this short-but-somber tune.
34. Buddy Holly (Weezer)
We’re fortunate that Rivers Cuomo was ultimately persuaded not to ditch what became one of the catchiest hits of the 90s. A simple rhythm provides the beat while you can bring out your cheesy side through the lyrics.
35. Suitcase (Keb Mo)
Providing a modern-day link to the old-school Delta blues of the 20s and 30s, Keb Mo brings alive the music of a century ago. Suitcase is a relaxing ode that offers a fine introduction to the genre for curious newcomers.
36. Seven Nation Army (White Stripes)
Jack White’s pitch-shift experimentation helped create a 7-note riff that has spilled over from its musical origins and spread like wildfire. Once you get stuck into this one, you may indeed need a seven nation army to hold you back!
37. Lola (The Kinks)
Unlike the Kinks’ other more straightforward hits, Lola does involve a degree of fingerpicking that requires some practice to master. But given the typically 60s ‘la-la’ lyrics, it’s not hard to dedicate most of your focus to the fingerwork.
38. With or Without You (U2)
There are so many options to choose from when you sing along to U2, but With or Without You probably offers the best balance between voice and guitar. Soft and simple chords provide an accompaniment that doesn’t distract from the meaningful lyrics.
39. Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison)
Even those unfamiliar with Van Morrison’s chart-topper can join in with the ‘sha-la-la’ of this chorus. Put a little time into mastering the short intro and you’ll be the one everyone turns to when someone needs to get the music going.
40. Friends In Low Places (Garth Brooks)
Nothing puts you in that country spirit like a Garth Brooks tune; Friends In Low Places is a karaoke favorite that always a room going. The slow-paced guitar part is just as easy to pick up and a great way to practice arpeggios.
41. Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)
Chasing Cars became a favorite of romantics in the 00s. While you can’t go as far as accepting Gary Lightbody’s invitation to just forget the world (completely), you do only need to remember three chords to perform this epic tune.
42. Roadhouse Blues (The Doors)
A brilliantly catchy tune that bounces along at a nice rhythm. Roadhouse Blues is fantastic for doing what blues is all about and improvising. If you’re already familiar with the E minor pentatonic scale, put it into practice and start jamming along to this one.
43. Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da (Beatles)
Depending on who you want to believe, these lyrics are either Paul McCartney’s tribute to Jamaican ska or just a load of nonsense! Either way, they’re unique enough to not forget, good fun to blare out, and accompanied by a relatively simple set of chords.
44. The One I Love (REM)
This dark love song is defined by its distinct riff, which ends with a twang that lingers like the musical equivalent of an aftertaste. It works well on acoustic, but you’ll have real fun making those notes ring out on the electric.
45. Mrs Robinson (Simon & Garfunkel)
In contrast with other entries here, the lack of repetitive chord progressions in this hit gives it an intimidating impression at first. However, the chords themselves are simple enough for you to have a crack at emulating Paul Simon’s doleful delivery.
46. Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver)
An instant crowd-pleaser, John Denver’s classic is arguably the country song of choice for fans all over the world. Play out that opening chord sequence and you’ll have everyone clapping, singing, and praising the beauty of West Virginia in no time!
47. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan)
You only need to repeat four chords on a loop to get to grips with this soundtrack to 1973 film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Covered by everyone from Eric Clapton to Guns N’ Roses, you can certainly have some fun putting your own spin on the basic tune.
48. Closing Time (Semisonic)
The late 90s didn’t feature the same kind of formulaic catchiness as the 60s, but Closing Time is difficult not to get hooked on. A wave of nostalgia will seize guitarists of a certain age as you suddenly discover your head bobbing to the chorus while you’re singing and playing along.
49. Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) (Green Day)
Notably different to their other anthem-style songs on this list, Good Riddance rapidly became a high school favorite after its 1997 release. You’ll need some patience to learn the fingerpicking intro, but master that and you may find yourself on the receiving end of invites from prom dance DJs!
50. It’s All Over Now (Rolling Stones)
Written and released originally by Bobby Womack’s Valentinos, It’s All Over Now went on to earn the Rolling Stones their first UK number 1. Wonderfully simple to sing along to, those up for a challenge can use Keith Richards’ guitar solo as something to work toward once they’ve got the hang of the basics.
We hope you enjoyed our ultimate list of easy songs to sing and play guitar to! Why not check out our list of easy songs to sing that sound impressive next?