Pop music can sometimes sound complicated because of elaborate production and recording techniques, but most pop songs are very simple. In fact, the following three pop songs for guitar are so easy even beginning guitarists can learn them quickly without much effort.
'Delicate' by Taylor Swift
This elegant, brooding pop song by Taylor Swift imitates the title and uses a delicate approach to production and layering. For this reason, the instrumentation is restrained and the chords are few. When there are chords, they are played as simple whole notes that ring over the full count of each measure. Be sure to read the tips below to get the best use out of the tablature. If you need help printing this or any of the other songs, visit the Guide for Adobe Printables.
Tips for Playing 'Delicate'
Keep in mind the following features of the music as you learn the song:
- The official recording begins with four measures (at 90 beats per minute) of Taylor Swift singing acappella with heavy harmonizing effects on her voice. There's not much for a guitar to do there, so if you're not planning on singing the acappella introduction in your performance, you can skip it and begin where the "C" chord starts at verse one.
- The first few words of each line of lyrics are written on the tablature to help you keep track of where you are. Taylor Swift uses fairly simple vocal phrasing throughout most of the song. Her phrases begin at the beginning of each four-count measure and are completed at the end of each measure.
- After you play the bridge, you can return to the chorus and repeat the chorus as many times as you wish, which is one way you can personalize the song. In the official recording, Taylor Swift repeats it a couple times, then ends on "delicate."
'Havana' by Carmella Cabello
Talk about easy: this song uses the same strumming rhythm and three chords for the entire duration of the song. It has plenty of Cuban spice and soul though, and you will likely have it stuck in your head for days after you learn it.
Tips for Playing 'Havana'
Keep these tips in mind as you read this tablature:
- Although it only uses three chords, the key of the official recording uses bar chords on the third, sixth, and fifth frets. Beginners sometimes struggle with bar chords because it causes a strain on the hands. The sheet music has a second version of the song on the bottom half of the page that uses more open chords. If your hands are hurting, try that version instead.
- The Cuban rhythm is highly syncopated and uses the off-beat frequently for chord strikes. It will take some practice and getting used to, but once you get the infectious rhythm down, you'll be tapping it in your sleep.
- The most important chord in the song is probably the seven chord (the third chord in the three-chord progression). If you're not familiar seven chords, it's crucial you learn their shape. Practice fingering the D7 (or the B7 in the second version) until you're comfortable with it before you try learning the entire song.
'Girls Like You' by Maroon 5
This hit by Maroon 5 is also one of the easiest pop songs because it only uses four chords from beginning to end (and the chords are some of the easiest ones for the guitar). If you get a little bored with it, you can learn the more challenging second rhythm guitar part, also transcribed in this tablature.
Tips for Playing 'Girls Like You'
Here are some helpful tips for using this tablature:
- Although the primary rhythm guitar part is very simple-C, G, Am, F that are played as half notes ringing out, if you listen carefully you will hear the guitar player striking the strings with the right hand while muting them with the left hand on beat three. This is a percussive effect in which you turn the guitar into a drum. You can do this on the third beat of every measure to add a little spice to the guitar part.
- The second rhythm guitar part is a fast-picking rhythm. You can practice some speed picking techniques to prepare for learning this part.
- In addition, the second rhythm guitar part uses palm muting. Work on some palm muting exercises if this second part is too challenging to play using palm muting.
Easy Songs Are Confidence Builders
There's no shame in finding the easiest songs to learn on guitar. Some of the most famous and legendary songs are some of the simplest. As you learn these easy but beautifully written songs, it will build your confidence to take the next step in developing your guitar skills.