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10 Easy Pop Songs to Learn on Guitar
We've compiled a list of some simple pop songs that you can pick up in minutes.
By Mike Duffy
Another genre Fender Play offers is pop, with many of the greatest chart-topping hits from some of the biggest artists on the scene.
For those beginning guitar players who want to learn a variety of popular pop songs, here’s a list of 10 of the easiest with Fender Play:
1. Lukas Graham: "7 Years”
Danish pop band Lukas Graham formed in 2011 and quickly began gaining commercial success. They broke into mainstream American pop culture with "7 Years," which came off their 2015 self-titled album.
2. Twenty One Pilots: "Ride”
"Ride" is a song written and performed by Twenty One Pilots. Along with the Beatles and Elvis Presley, Twenty One Pilots became the third rock group in history to have three songs in the Top 5 simultaneously. After running through this song, you'll get some great practice in basic strumming patterns.
3. MGMT "Kids”
"Kids" was the third and final single from MGMT's 2007 album, Oracular Spectacular, but it was definitely the biggest. If you watched television, saw a movie or played a video game during that period of time, you've likely heard its familiar and highly danceable beat. What's more, MGMT even earned a Grammy Award nomination for it. Try to play it in this four-chord version.
4. John Legend: “All of Me”
It’s hard not to get emotional when hearing John Legend’s heartfelt piano-driven ballad “All of Me,” and it also sounds great on the guitar. It’s all open chords during the intro and verse (E minor, C, G, and D), and A minor comes in during the pre-chorus and chorus, as shown by Fender Play instructor Nikki Stevens.
5. The National: “I Need My Girl”
Fender Play instructor Jen Trani runs through four chords (A minor, C, F and G) of the National’s “I Need My Girl” to give you a simplified strumming version of the 2013 single. It’s perfect for a beginner, as using a capo makes this song easier to play.
6. Wilson Pickett: "Land of a Thousand Dances”
"Land of a Thousand Dances" is famous for its "na na na na na" hook. The song's best-known version was Wilson Pickett's 1966 recording, which became his biggest pop hit.
7. Andra Day: "Rise Up”
Pop superstar Andra Day gained worldwide notoriety on the heels of the single, "Rise Up," which came out on her 2015 debut album, Cheers to the Fall. The platinum-selling single even earned a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance.
8. Maren Morris: “My Church”
Maren Morris scored a Grammy Award for Best Country Solo Performance with “My Church,” not bad considering it was her debut single. Featuring three chords and only a single chord progression, it is the perfect song to learn for a beginner. In this video, Fender Play instructor Scott Goldbaum leads you through the down/up strumming patterns.
9. U2: “With or Without You”
Released in 1987, “With or Without You” was U2’s first No. 1 hit in the U.S. and their most successful single at the time. The blockbuster hit boasts melodic chord progressions and a solid way to practice 8th note strumming.
10. Ben Kweller: “Thirteen”
Ben Kweller wrote “Thirteen” while in the studio recording his eponymous 2016 third album. This tutorial simplifies the piano line that runs through the entire track into two one-finger chords (G and C).
11. The Zombies: “Time of the Season”
As the 1960s came to a close, the Zombies scored a hit with the moody “Time of the Season,” a track that landed at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. By using the chords C, G, E minor and E, you can amplify your whole- and half-note strumming technique.
Want to learn more songs? Check out our list of easy songs and beginner chords by genre and instrument: Folk Songs l Rock Songs l Blues Songs l Country Songs l Songs for Electric Guitar l Songs for Acoustic Guitar l Songs for Ukulele l Songs for Bass