Easy Guitar Songs: Use 9 Chords To Play 50 Songs

There are literally thousands of chords you could learn how to play on guitar. You could spend years learning them all! On the other hand, what if you just want to play a few easy guitar songs? Do you really need to know all those chords?

Absolutely not.

In fact, most songs only use three to five different chords. That’s it! Plus, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that many of the same chords keep popping up.

The chords on this page are among the most common chords you’ll ever use on the guitar. They all are easy chords to play -with B7 being the hardest of the lot.

“So, What Are These Magic Chords?

The best part about our 9 chords is that they are all open chords. That means you don’t have to know barre chords in order to play these songs. This opens things up for those of you who fall under the beginner category or have physical problems that keep you from forming barre chords.

So, without further ado, here are the 9 chords (and then I’ll tell you about the songs):

Easy Guitar Songs Open C Chord
Open C Chord
Easy Guitar Songs Open G
Open G Chord
Easy Guitar Songs
Open D Chord
Easy Guitar Songs Open A Chord
Open A Chord
chords for guitar
Open E Chord
Easy Guitar Songs
Open Em Chord
Easy Guitar Songs Open Dm Chord
Open Dm Chord
Easy Guitar Songs Open Am Chord
Open Am Chord
B7 Open
Open B7 Chord

A Small Disclaimer…

Just knowing these chords does not mean that you’re going to be able to play 50 songs note for note. No, we’re talking more of a slimmed-down version of the songs. The underlying chord progressions in the songs use one of our 9 chords: A, B7, C, D, E, G, Em, Am, Dm.


“Lucky Man”

Take, for example, the song “Lucky Man” by Emerson Lake and Palmer. The verses just go back and forth from G to D. In the chorus it switches to Am, G, and D. That’s just 3 different chords to play all the verses and choruses from the song:

lucky man
“Lucky Man” by Emerson Lake And Palmer

If you’ve heard the song enough times and have a good mental picture of how it goes then, in theory, you should be able to strum through it.

“Leaving On A Jet Plane”

This John Denver song is the epitome of an easy guitar song. It’s in the key of G and just uses the I, IV, V chords from that key: G, C, and D. Give it a try:

leaving on a jet plane
“Leaving On A Jet Plane” by John Denver

“A Horse With No Name”

Here’s the bare core of the verses to the song from the band America. In reality they jazz up the D chord a little in the actual song, but you can play it like this (if you don’t know another way):

horse with no name
“A Horse With No Name” by America


How about the song Heroes from David Bowie (R.I.P.)?  This snippet has 5 different chords in it, but they’re all the familiar kind:

“Heroes” by David Bowie

Songs That Just Use Our 9 Chords

So, here’s our list of 50 songs that you use only the 9 chords we talked about.

  1. A Horse With No Name – America
  2. Leaving On A Jet Plane – John Denver
  3. For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
  4. Rockstar – Nickelback
  5. Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The People
  6. Bad Moon Rising – CCR
  7. What I Got – Sublime
  8. Rockin’ In The Free World – Neil Young
  9. Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) – Green Day
  10. Heroes – David Bowie
  11. Wild Thing – The Troggs
  12. Twist And Shout – The Beatles
  13. Working Class Hero – John Lennon
  14. I Want To Hold Your Hand – The Beatles
  15. Hound Dog – Elvis Presely
  16. Walk Of Life – Dire Straits
  17. Stand By Me – Ben E. King
  18. Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show
  19. Mrs. Robinson – Simon And Garfunkel
  20. Honky Tonk Blues – Hank Williams
  21. With Or Without You – U2
  22. Glory Days- Bruce Springsteen
  23. Yellow – Coldplay
  24. Up Around The Bend -CCR
  25. Jolene – Dolly Parton
  26. Lucky Man – Emerson Lake And Palmer
  27. Tulsa Time – Eric Clapton
  28. Fire On The Mountain – Marshall Tucker Band
  29. Collide – Howie Day
  30. Jambalaya – Hank Williams
  31. I Used To Love Her – Guns N Roses
  32. Authority Song – John Mellencamp
  33. You Are My Sunshine – Johnny Cash
  34. Louie Louie – Kingsmen
  35. Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles
  36. Dead Flowers – The Rolling Stones
  37. I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty
  38. Red Red Wine – Neil Diamond
  39. No Rain – Blind Melon
  40. Nebraska – Bruce Springsteen
  41. Hey Good Lookin – Hank Williams
  42. Mr. Tambourine Man – Bob Dylan
  43. Rock Around The Clock – Bill Haley and the Comets
  44. Kansas City – Fats Domino
  45. Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry
  46. What I Like About You – The Romantics
  47. Blue Suede Shoes – Carl Perkins
  48. Going Up The Country – Canned Heat
  49. Spirit In The Sky – Norman Greenbaum
  50. The Middle – Jimmy Eats World