Hey There Delilah is an ideal song to learn for beginner guitarists. It features easy chords and strumming patterns that are simple to master.
Fingerpicking is also an invaluable skill that all guitarists should practice as quickly as possible; especially the last A5 chord can be challenging without using a capo.
John Denver – Rocky Mountain High
John Denver’s iconic tune Rocky Mountain High marks 50 years this year and became Colorado’s second state song while also conveying a feeling of beauty for this part of America.
In the verses, the chord progression is quite straightforward and only uses open chords. For the chorus however, additional advanced chords such as Bm barre chord and first slash chord may be present but learning them should still be manageable.
The bridge can be more challenging, requiring you to use an F#m chord with many alternating eighth notes. Finger-style players and singer/guitarists should use this pattern as a good exercise; with more practice comes better results!
Peter Paul & Mary – I’ll Be There
Chords are groups of at least three notes played simultaneously, typically represented on guitar tablature by circles or other shapes indicating which frets and strings the chord is on, as well as numbers on individual frets to indicate which finger should play on that fret. O’s (circles on top) indicate when strings are not played while x’s (usually black) indicate when strings can be muted by placing your fingers over them.
Though this song features predominantly major chords, there are a couple of minor ones sprinkled throughout which add variety and dimension. Minor chords tend to sound darker than major ones and can help convey sadness or other emotional states more effectively.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Rainy Days & Mondays
Red Hot Chili Peppers were well known for their hyperactive jumpy funk in the ’80s; by 1999’s Californianication album however, they had evolved into something much more mature; evidenced here by this lovely acoustic ballad featuring bassist Flea with classic disco influences and Anthony Kiedis’ lyrics about trying to remain positive when one may feel down and out.
It was the only track on their second album featuring Dave Navarro from Jane’s Addition, who fits right in with his heavy psychedelic guitar sound. This song clearly had special significance to them as they dedicated it to Hillel Slovak who passed away during production.
Soul Asylum – I’ll Be There
Grave Dancers Union remains one of the band’s standout albums despite some misguided criticism, offering up plenty of musical tricks from “Runaway Train” to “Passing Sad Daydream.” It remains an incredible work.
Let Your Dim Light Shine, their underrated 1995 release, showcases their impressive versatility and ability to switch styles on a dime – from Caged Rat’s hard rock fury to String of Pearls’ mysterious jazz introduction – this album doesn’t shrink from taking risks and exploring all manner of musical terrains.
Omnivore Records celebrated Soul Asylum’s 30th anniversary by issuing three deluxe editions of their early albums this year, along with Dave Pirner’s annotated book Loud Fast Words which features all song lyrics ever composed by Soul Asylum.
Creedence Clearwater Revival – I’ll Be There
Those looking for an effortless yet enjoyable song to learn should definitely add this one. With only four chords to learn and a comfortable strumming pattern that’s fun for beginner guitarists to learn, this one won’t take much practice at all! Although its tablature may look complicated at first glance, once you master its strumming pattern it will quickly become natural.
Creedence Clearwater Revival’s classic rock song about gentrification became one of their top two hits in 1971, two years after Ike and Tina Turner had popularized their version. With catchy riffs that will stand the test of time, this timeless rock tune from Creedence Clearwater Revival remains timeless today.