This Is How You Start Playing Guitar (The Fun Way)

Kent Shores  /  Lessons / Oct 15

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Do you ever start learning a song on the guitar just to realize it’s way too tough? Sometimes, it’s hard to tell just how challenging a song might be until you’ve sunk some serious time into it. Thankfully, Kent’s got your back with three easy songs you’ll love that use only two beginner guitar chords!

“What I Got” by Sublime

The first easy guitar song is “What I Got” by the band Sublime. This song uses two simple chords you should already know — D major and G major. When changing between these two chords, try using your ring finger as an anchor point and moving your other fingers around it.

The strumming pattern for this song is down, down, up, up, down. You’ll hear some single string picking being played when you listen to the original song but it’s best to ignore this and focus on the strumming pattern for beginners.

If at any point in this lesson you want to work a little more on the chords used in these songs, be sure to check out Ayla’s lesson on 8 Beginner Guitar Chords You Should Know.

“Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles

For the next song, we’ll tackle “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles. This song uses the C major chord and the E minor chord. In the original recording, there isn’t a guitar being played, however, in live versions, you’ll see Paul McCartney playing these two chords.

For the first section, you just play C major eight times followed by E minor eight times. For the verse, you’ll play three bars of E minor, then one bar of C major, followed by two strums of C major and two strums of E minor. This can be a little bit confusing but if you sing or hum along you’ll be able to figure it out pretty quick. 

For the “all the lonely people” section, you can just play E minor. If you do want to get fancy, you can add the descending line on the B string. This starts on the third fret and descends down one fret at a time with each strum. 

“Jane Says” by Jane’s Addiction

For the third and final song, we’ll be learning how to play “Jane Says” by Jane’s Addiction on the guitar. This song uses G major and A major. The unique challenge with this song is something called a “push”. This “push” means the transition from the G major to the A major is a little bit early.

The strumming pattern is down, down, down, up, down, up, up, up, down, up, down, up. With a more complicated strumming pattern like this, it’s important to keep your hand bouncing up and down the whole time. Doing this will make your strumming significantly smoother. 

If you want to sound more like the recording, you can add the little lick at the end of the A chord section by barring the A major chord and using your ring finger or pinky to play the fourth fret of the G and D strings but don’t feel like it’s necessary.

As always, if you feel like things are getting a little too hard, you can slow it down or simplify the strumming pattern until you gain some more confidence. 

And there you have it! You can now impress your friends and family with three awesome two-chord songs on the guitar!

GuitarQuest with Rob Scallon

If you want to keep having fun while playing the guitar, check out GuitarQuest with Rob Scallon where you’ll learn how to write your own melodies, jam with your friends, and even write your own commercial jingle! Click here to check it out!

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