There are numerous beautiful guitar songs that can be played without needing a capo, including songs that feature movable chord shapes or transposed into keys without barre chords.
This list of guitar songs without capo is tailored specifically for beginner guitarists, with easy chord progressions and strumming patterns for them to learn quickly. These tunes also serve to familiarize players with playing on a fretboard without needing a capo.
1. Fly Me to the Moon
This classic by Frank Sinatra can be played without needing a capo using open chords and its strumming pattern remains constant throughout, making it simple for beginners to pick up.
Ed Sheeran is a widely popular guitarist renowned for creating music suitable for beginner guitarists. This song by Ed is no exception – slow paced yet emotional love song featuring Cherry Seaborn as inspiration behind its lyrics which reflect her reconciliation with Ed.
No matter your genre of choice, this iconic country song is an ideal way to practice playing acoustic guitar without needing a capo. Perfect for cowboy-themed parties and easy enough for beginners to learn without capoing; its simple strumming technique also serves as an effective way to practice basic strumming technique. Tuning your guitar up half step can achieve it easily! Here are the chords!
2. Hey Ya
James Blunt’s Mad World can be easily played on guitar using an acoustic version, with only basic open chords that are easy to learn, plus a strumming pattern to help get more familiar with these chord shapes.
This song explores a relationship that’s gone sour, making it both emotionally powerful and relatable for many people. Additionally, its major/minor chord voicings create some edge to it, and those looking for an extra bit of flavor may want to try fingerpicking instead of standard strumming techniques.
Hey Soul Sister is another Train song which makes our list of great guitar songs without capo. This tune centers around two people in love who want to marry each other. With four easy chords and a D DU DU strumming pattern that even beginners can easily master, Hey Soul Sister can help hone rhythmic speed skills as well.
3. All Of Me
Ed Sheeran’s hit “Don’t” doesn’t require the use of a capo, making it easier for beginners to pick up and play without one. Open chords make this song accessible – G, C and D chords dominate its verses and chorus while it also includes DDUDU patterns for bridge and interludes.
Luke Bryan’s song “Hump Day Blues” is another great choice for beginners looking to pick up country music. With its four chord progression and easy strumming pattern, this track can help you practice barre chords at an appropriate tempo.
Kurt Cobain’s classic tune “Nevermind” lends itself well to beginner guitar players. With just minor adjustments made to its chord structure, even novice players can pick it up and start playing without difficulty.
Ed Sheeran’s melancholy love song is another ideal song for beginners to learn, with its easy tempo and three chords (F, C and A minor with DU DU strumming pattern). Plus there are some stunning single note guitar parts layered into it all for added appeal!
As with the earlier ukulele hit, this song can easily be transposed onto acoustic guitar without needing a capo. However, for authentic performances of its original key we advise using one at the second fret of your instrument.
Riptide’s intro, verse and chorus all contain unique strumming patterns for easy learning by new guitarists. As with the ukulele version of this song, we recommend learning both its fingerpicked sections as well as its strung ones to increase picking skills while strengthening finger strength simultaneously.