Around the web, there is 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 an easy to play songs from 2017. Many links lead you to songs that are years old, such as “Stuck in the Middle” or “Three Little Birds”… Now these songs are fantastic (and are definitely easy to play) – but what about for the budding young musician who wants to get started, learning songs they hear every day on the radio rather than what their nan/grandad (or what I heard) on the radio.
Well, I pieced together a small list of 5 newer easy to play 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
I’d start with Ed Sheeran, a fantastic musician who creates some amazing songs. This new one of his is beautiful and great for practising triplet rhythms with a great selection of open chords. What’s great about Ed Sheeran is a lot of his work contains easy to play songs and they are also great for improving your rhythm. (Is there anything that this guy can’t teach us?..)
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
This song is really 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 and one of the easy to play songs of this year!
4. True Colors – Justin Timberlake & Anna Kendric (originally by Cyndi Lauper)
Chords Used: Am G C F
Capo: 4th Fret
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 fantastic 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
Another track that will get stuck in your head, from the beginning – it’s great for 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 easy to play songs from the last 2 years that can be played using open chords! So have fun learning songs you hear right now on the radio (most of the time).
Can you think of any 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!