acoustic guitar close upMany people would love to learn how to play an instrument like the guitar, but they don’t know where to start. Playing to a strict rhythm, mastering chord transitions, and building calluses on fingers can seem daunting, but in reality it doesn’t take too much work to be able to learn a few easy acoustic rock songs. Today, we’re going to show you how to play a few songs on the acoustic guitar, but first we’re going to show you how to get started.

 

The Acoustic Guitar

 

The acoustic guitar is defined as any sort of box with strings suspended over it. The sound of the acoustic guitar comes from the string’s vibrations going through the sound hole and reverberating naturally. An electric guitar’s sound comes from an external amplifier. Various versions of the acoustic guitar have existed for thousands of years, and the genre-transcending instrument is more prominent than ever.

 

If you’re learning how to play the guitar for the first time, it’s a good idea to prepare to experience some minor pain and discomfort in your fingertips during your first few weeks of playing. In order to get the right tone, your fingers will have to develop callouses, and this can be a difficult experience for some people. We recommend playing as frequently as possible in the first few months, and to always make sure to take breaks when you need to. Building callouses can be painful, but with effort and some time, you’ll be reaping the benefits of your hard work and playing these easy acoustic rock songs soon.

 

Chord Transitions

 

acoustic guitar with old metronome

Learning how to play a few chords is important, but if you want to learn how to play easy acoustic rock songs (or songs on guitar for any genre), you should work on transitioning from chord to chord as soon as possible. We recommend starting with two simple chords, such as Em and A7. Very slowly to the beat of a metronome, begin by strumming four times on each chord without stopping, even if the chords sound muffled or wrong. With Em and A7, you’ll be able to keep your middle finger down for both chords if you use the correct fingering.

 

Being able to switch from chord to chord is a vital skill for anyone wanting to learn how to play the guitar, so we recommend that focusing on chord transitions should be a major part of your practice for the first few months of playing. Knowing how to play even a few simple chords in a slow rhythm will help you to be able to play a myriad of easy acoustic rock songs.

 

Lessons

 

If you’re serious about learning how to play the acoustic guitar, then we recommend looking into getting lessons from an experienced professional. No Youtube Channel, DVD, or App can replace the thoughtful instruction that comes from a teacher with years of playing and performing experience. Professional guitar teachers have a skill-set that allows them to teach complex concepts in a personalized, patient, and helpful manner that you simply can’t get any other way. Working with an instructor will only bear results if you practice during the week, so remember to carve out plenty of time during your week to focus on your playing.

 

Now that we’ve talked about some ways to get your acoustic guitar practice started, let’s jump into a few easy acoustic rock songs.

 

Easy Acoustic Rock Songs Chords

 

These are all the chords you’ll need to learn to play the four easy acoustic rock songs outlined below. Work on playing them slowly and accurately at first so that they’re easy for you when applying them to these songs.

easy acoustic rock songs chords

guitar tabs easy rock songs

 

Twist and Shout

 

This is a great song for people who are new to the guitar to learn due to its easy chords and catchy sound. Though the Beatles’ version of this song is by far the most famous, the song was actually written by Phil Medley and Bert Berns in 1961. If you’re new to chord transitions, resist the urge to play this one quickly and take it slow at first.

 

 

 

[Verse 1]

D           G          A
Well shake it up baby now, (shake it up baby)
D       G         A
Twist and shout. (Twist and shout)
D          G       A
Come on, come on, come on, come on, baby now, (come on baby)
D     G          A
Come on and work it on out. (Work it on out, ooh!)

[Verse 2]

D     G          A
Well work it on out, (work it on out)
D     G       A
You know you look so good. (Look so good)
D           G      A
You know you got me goin’ now, (Got me goin’)
D             G        A
Just like I knew you would. (Like I knew you would, ooh!)

[Verse 3]
D           G          A
Well shake it up baby now, (shake it up baby)
D       G         A
Twist and shout. (Twist and shout)
D          G       A
Come on, come on, come on, come on, baby now, (come on baby)
D     G          A
Come on and work it on out. (Work it on out, ooh!)

[Verse 4]

D       G           A
You know you twist it little girl, (twist little girl)
D       G       A
You know you twist so fine. (Twist so fine)
D            G             A
Come on and twist a little closer now, (twist a little closer)
D             G           A
And let me know that you’re mine. (Let me know you’re mine, ooh!)

[Bridge]

A        A7
Ahh ahh ahh ahh ahh  yeah!!

[Verse 5]

D           G          A
Baby now, (shake it up baby)
D       G         A
Twist and shout. (Twist and shout)
D          G       A
Come on, come on, come on, come on, baby now, (come on baby)
D     G          A
Come on and work it on out. (Work it on out, ooh!)

[Verse 6]

D       G             A
You know you twist it little girl, (twist little girl)
D       G       A
You know you twist so fine. (Twist so fine)
D            G            A
Come on and twist a little closer now, (twist little closer)
D             G           A
And let me know that you’re mine. (Let me know you’re mine ooh!)

[Verse 7]

D          G           A
Well shake it shake it shake it baby now. (shake it up baby)
D          G           A
Well shake it shake it shake it baby now. (shake it up baby)
D          G           A
Well shake it shake it shake it baby now. (shake it up baby)
A        A7            D
Ahh ahh ahh  ahh

 

You Are So Beautiful To Me

 

This profound song emerged from an impromptu performance at a party in the early seventies. Though he was never officially credited, Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys is said to have helped write the song. Normally played on piano we’ve included “You Are So Beautiful To Me” on our list of easy acoustic rock songs because it’s an excellent song for beginning guitar students with its moderate tempo and simple chord structure.

 

 

[Verse]

G           Csus2
You are so beautiful to me
G           Csus2
You are so beautiful to me
Dm
Can’t you see
C                       B7
You’re everything I’ve hoped for
Em                   A7
You’re everything I need
G           Csus2
You are so beautiful to me

[Ending]

G       Csus2      Dsus  D
You are so beautiful
G  Csus2  G
to me

 

The Scientist

 

This 2002 Coldplay song was featured on the band’s second studio album A Rush of Blood to the Head. Singer Chris Martin has said in interviews that he was inspired by the George Harrison song, “All Things Must Pass.” When asked what the song was about, Martin replied, “It’s just about girls. It’s weird that whatever else is on your mind, whether it’s the downfall of global economics or terrible environmental troubles, the thing that always gets you most is when you fancy someone.” Adapted from piano, this song features simple chords played over a steady 4/4 beat. Use a capo on the 3rd fret.

 

 

[Intro]

| Bm7    | G    G | D      | Dsus2  |
| Bm7    | G    G | D      | Dsus2  |

[Verse 1]

Bm7         G                      G   D                      Dsus2
come up to meet you, tell you i’m sorry, you don’t know how lovely you are
Bm7       G                    G   D                     Dsus2
i had to find you, tell you i ne-ed you, tell you i’ll set you apart
Bm7           G                       G   D                   Dsus2
tell me your secrets and ask me your questions, oh lets go back to the start
Bm7         G                  G   D                 Dsus2
running in circles, coming in ta-les, heads are a science apart

[Chorus 1]

G                      G   D               Dsus2
nobody said it was easy,   it’s such a shame for us to part
G                      G   D             Dsus2                 A
nobody said it was easy,   no-one ever said it would be this hard
A7                      ( D )
oh take me back to the start

[Interlude 1]

| D      | G   G  | D      | D   D |
| Bm7    | G      | D      | Dsus2     |

[Verse 2]

Bm7         G                       G   D                   Dsus2
i was just guessing at numbers and f–igures, pulling the puzzles apart
Bm7           G                    G   D                        Dsus2
questions of science, science and pr-ogress, do not speak as loud as my heart
Bm7          G                      G  D                 Dsus2
tell me you love me, come back and ha-unt me, oh and i rush to the start
Bm7         G                G  D            Dsus2      D
running in circles, chasing t–ales, coming back as we are

[Chorus 2]

G                      G   D                 Dsus2
nobody said it was easy,  oh it’s such a shame for us to part
G                      G   D            Dsus2                 A
nobody said it was easy,  no-one ever said it would be so hard
A7                     ( D )
i’m going back to the start

[Interlude 2]

| D      | G      | D      | D      |
| Bm7    | G      | D      | D      |

[Outro]

Bm7    G            D
oh – ooo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Bm7    G            D
ah – ooo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Bm7    G            D
oh – ooo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Bm7    G            D
oh – ooo-oo-oo-oo-ooo

 

Blister In The Sun

 

This quirky song somehow went from complete obscurity to being unavoidable in popular culture. Written in 1982 by The Violet Femmes, this song is a unique example of acoustic punk music. It was featured in an episode of the TV series My So Called Life. The song’s master tapes were lost, so the band had to re-record the song in 2000 when the song appeared in the film Grosse Point Blank.

 

 

[Intro]

[Verse 1]

III G       III  C
When I’m out walking
G         C
I strut my stuff
G       C         G     -xx–xx-
And I’m so strung out

G         C
I’m high as a kite
G      C     G       C         G     -xx–xx-
I just might stop to check you out

[Chorus]

Em
Let me go on like a
C
Blister in the sun
Em
Let me go on
C                        D
Big hands, I know you’re the one

[Verse 2]

G        C
Body and beats,
G         C
I stain my sheets
G       C         G     -xx–xx-
I don’t even know why
G      C
My girlfriend,
G            C    G      C           G     -xx–xx-
She’s at the end, She is starting to cry

[Chorus]

Em
Let me go on like a
C
Blister in the sun
Em
Let me go on
C                         D
Big hands, I know you’re the one

[Verse 3]

(1/2 WHISPER [use palm muted base with muted chords)

G            C
When I’m out walking
G         C
I strut my stuff
G       C         G
And I’m so strung out

G         C
I’m high as a kite
G      C     G       C         G
I just might stop to check you out

[Verse 4]

(1/2 WHISPER [use palm muted base with muted chords)

G            C
When I’m out walking
G         C
I strut my stuff
G       C         G
And I’m so strung out

G         C
I’m high as a kite
G      C     G       C         G
I just might stop to check you out

[Verse 5]

(1/2 WHISPER [use palm muted base with muted chords)

G        C
Body and beats,
G         C
I stain my sheets
G       C         G
I don’t even know why
G      C
My girlfriend,
G            C    G      C           G
She’s at the end, She is starting to cry

[Verse 6]

(1/2 WHISPER [use palm muted base with muted chords)

G            C
When I’m out walking
G         C
I strut my stuff
G       C         G
And I’m so strung out

G         C
I’m high as a kite
G      C     G       C         G
I just might stop to check you out

[Chorus]

Em
Let me go on like a
C
Blister in the sun
Em
Let me go on
C                        D
Big hands, I know you’re the one

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how to play these easy acoustic rock songs. With some time and hard work, you’ll be able to play these songs like a pro. Check back with the Musika blog for more helpful music articles, lessons, and resources.

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