5 Beginner Songs from 2016/17

Around the web, there are a ton of fantastic resources for finding new songs to learn, especially for beginners. However, one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s  challenging to find any songs that are suited for 2017. Many links lead you to songs that are years old, such as “Stuck in the Middle” or “Three Little Birds”… Now don’t get me wrong, these songs are fantastic – but what about for the budding young musician who wants to get started learning songs that they hear every day on the radio rather than what their nan/grandad (or what I heard) on the radio.

Well, I decided to piece together a small list of 5 newer songs that have been made in the 2-3 years that are designed perfectly for the beginner guitarist that use simple open chords as a basis and are a fantastic starting point to get to know the guitar. I’ve also included a handy download which can show you the chords you need to play and what the rhythm is as well!

1. Perfect – Ed Sheeran

Capo: 1 Fret

Chords Used: G, Em, C, D

Chord & Lyrics

Of course, I’d start with Ed Sheeran, a completely fantastic musician who creates some amazing songs. This new one of his is beautiful and a great way of practising triplet rhythms with a great selection of open chords.

2. Look What You Made Me Do – Taylor Swift

Chords Used: Am, G, F E
Chord & Lyrics

Taylors new song has turned quite a few heads recently with her newest release. This song is reasonably easy to play as well only requiring downstrokes on the guitar. Eagle-eyed readers will notice the he-who-must-not-be-named chord F. If you’re not a fan of the barre chord use the much kinder and simpler Fmaj7 (see Don’t be Scared Of F Chord for more details) which fits perfectly here. See I’ve made it so you can play the F chord…Look what I made you do…sorry not sorry

3. Human – Rag n Bone Man

Chords Used: Am, F, Dm, C, E

Capo: 1st Fret

Chord and Lyrics

This song is currently incredibly popular with my students. One of my favourite songs of the last year, catchy, fun and with a great message. A great chance to experiment with percussive taps for acoustic guitarists! Just a great song to listen to!

4. True Colors – Justin Timberlake & Anna Kendric (originally by Cyndi Lauper)

Chords Used: Am G C F

Capo: 4th Fret

Chords & Lyrics

Now, granted this isn’t a “new song” strictly speaking, but listen to the video, and tell me it’s not worth putting on this list. Justin & Anna do an amazing cover of this song, and the guitar is just beautiful. The fingerstyle could be a little tricky for real beginners – however, the chords themselves are reasonably easy to play, and the Fmaj7 is really really good on this song. I can’t help gushing slightly with this song, but it’s just that good. I’m so grateful for one of my current students for introducing me to this cover.

5.Despacito – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee ft Justin Bieber

Chords Used: Em C G D

Capo: 4th Fret

Chord & Lyrics

Another track that is going to get stuck in your head, from the beginning – it’s a great way of experimenting with rhythms a little more! No matter what you think about Justin Bieber, this song is fun to play and also simple to get your head around! Just don’t rush the song, take it slowly (yeah…I did it again)

Now these are just 5 songs from the last 2 years that can be played using open chords! So have fun learning songs that you hear right now on the radio (most of the time).

Can you think of any that I missed off? There are plenty of songs in the charts so I’m bound to miss some – let me know some of your favourite songs from this year, and I’ll see if I can add them to this list!


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