8 most popular guitar chords in pop music

8 most popular guitar chords in pop music

Before you start learning to play the guitar, you don’t really know what you’re listening to.

I don’t mean this in a bad way. Most people listen to music, the have their favorite songs that they can sing by heart and hum in the shower.

But as you learn to play guitar, or any other instrument for that matter, you will naturally want to learn how to play your favorite songs.

This is probably the stage you are at right now, and I’ve got good news for you.

Using a handful (OK, 2 handfuls) of guitar chords, you can play hundreds, if not thousands of really popular guitar songs.

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15 great tips for teaching yourself guitar

15 great tips for teaching yourself guitar

Teaching yourself to play guitar is a challenge, there is no doubt about it.

Would it be easier with a guitar teacher? Maybe, but it would cost a small fortune to pay for the recommended 2 lessons per week.

If you’ve decided that you will learn go play guitar by yourself, here are 15 very useful tips you need to take to heart.

Tip 1: Sign up for QUALITY online lessons

Back in the day when I taught myself to play guitar (around the year 2000), the internet was not what it is nowadays.

All we had back then were guitar books, an occasional VHS instructional tape, and our ears.

Nowadays, online video guitar lessons are everywhere you look (or search). Some of them are great, some of them are bad.

You will be tempted to learn guitar for free using YouTube videos. While some of the lessons you can find on YouTube are great, there is an inherent problem with learning from YouTube.

You need a structured way of learning every guitar skill, where each lesson build on another.

YouTube cannot provide this.

Great sites that provide structured beginner guitar courses are:

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Learning guitar as an adult with GuitarTricks or JamPlay.com

Learning guitar as an adult with GuitarTricks or JamPlay.com

In case you are thinking about learning to play a musical instrument, learning the guitar is a fantastic choice:

  • it’s cheap
  • uses up very little space
  • playing a song that you have been listening to your entire life, or simply jamming to a backing track will be really enjoyable

Learning guitar as an adult is not so easy though. Why?

Because adults are pressed for time. We have busy schedules, always juggling our responsibilities.

But you don’t need to give up on your dream of jamming along with your favorite songs.

Is it hard for adults to learn guitar?

This might be the first question that comes to your mind if you are an adult who wants to learn to play guitar.

In short, it’s just as hard as it is for kids.

But is it more difficult to learn guitar as an adult?

Undoubtedly yes. But not for the reasons you would think.

The only reason it’s harder to learn guitar, or anything else for that matter, is that adults do not have as much free time on their hands as young people do.

Being an adult means rushing to get kids to school, than rushing to work, possibly working overtime, coming home to prepare dinner, learning with the kids, etc.

With all of the chores and responsibilities adults have (vs kids), time becomes a rare commodity.

If you want to learnt to play guitar as an adult, you need to consciously set aside practice time everyday. If you can find 1 hour per day to practice, you can learn guitar just as child or teenager would.

How can adults learn to play guitar?

The most effective way an adult can learn to play guitar is through online guitar lessons. Online lessons are great for adults, since:

  • you can turn them on whenever you have time
  • you can learn at your own pace, revisiting any video whenever you need to
  • the best lessons are succinct and efficient

There are many websites offering guitar lessons on the internet.

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Top 20 acoustic guitar tabs – Songs for beginners

Top 20 acoustic guitar tabs – Songs for beginners

When I start teaching a total beginner how to play guitar, I am always thankful that we have tabs to make things easier.

Guitar tablature (tabs) makes learning songs so much faster and simpler than having to read standard notation.

Do you doubt me?

Let’s prove it! Here are the tabs to 20 acoustic songs which are super popular, yet easy to learn and play on guitar.

Reading guitar tablature

If you don’t use tabs yet to learn songs, you’re really missing out. You can find the tablature to basically any song ever written. Some good sites to get tabs are:

At first, tabs may look like a bunch of numbers on lines. Well, technically they are.

But after you learn how to read guitar tabs, you’ll realize how logical it all is. Here is an amazing video on deciphering tablature:

Now it’s time to get to the real meat of this post, the song tablature.

As promised, here are the beginner acoustic guitar tabs to 20 popular songs.

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Happy Birthday easy guitar chords

Happy Birthday easy guitar chords

After playing guitar for 20 years, I would say that if I had to name 1 song that I’ve played most often in front of kids, it would be Happy Birthday.

If you want to learn how to play Happy Birthday, I have great news for you.

It involves playing just a few simple beginner chords on your guitar.

And singing of course. Can’t help you there, I’ve been told on occasion that my singing voice stings ears like needles 🙂

Let’s get to it, here are the chords, after which I’ll also give you the strumming pattern I use.

Guitar chords to Happy Birthday

You can play this song in many different keys. Most people will choose the key that fits their voice better.

I like playing it in the key of G, I think this is the classic version:

  • G
  • D
  • D7
  • C

You can transpose these chords to different keys if you wish, I’ll give you the chords in other keys as well in a second.

You can also use a capo to create a higher voicing.

Keep in mind that Happy Birthday is in 3/4 time, which means that there are 3 beats to a measure.

G major D major D7 C major
Gmaj-chord1 Dmaj-chord1 D7-chord1 Cmaj-chord1

{ G } Happy birthday to { D } you
{ D7 } Happy birthday to { G } you
{ G } Happy birthday dear { C } YOUR_NAME
{ G } Happy birthday { D7 } to { G } you

There you have it, nice and easy.

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10 nursery rhymes with easy guitar chords

10 nursery rhymes with easy guitar chords

If you play guitar and have children, you will undoubtedly want to play guitar for them. Making music to your children will not only make you a superhero rock star in their eyes, but also pass on your love of music to your kids.

Eventually, you will probably want to teach them how to play guitar as well, but at first, get the ball rolling by playing some of their favorite children’s songs on guitar to them.

Playing these nursery rhymes will be a lot of fun, since you can all sing along to them. Try to get them dancing a bit as well.

10 popular children’s songs with their guitar chords

Let’s have a look at some of the most popular songs your kids will already be familiar with. I’ll give you the lyrics, as well as the chords to each song.

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Types of guitars

Types of guitars

Navigating through the different types of guitars can be frustrating at first.

I remember when I was a newbie, I though getting an electro-acoustic guitar was the way to go, because that way I would have an electric and acoustic guitar in 1 package. Not quite.

Here are the main types of guitars.

Acoustic guitars

The acoustic guitar is an ancient instrument, whose history can be traced straight back over 4000 years.


They are steel-stringed instruments used in about every style of music. These would be the most typical guitars newbies begin with.

The acoustic guitar’s top, has a strong effect regarding the loudness associated with the guitar. Woods that actually are great at transmitting noise, like sitka spruce, are generally used for the soundboard.

Acoustic guitars have natural amplification, as the sound resonates within the body cavity, and is released through the sound hole. Some acoustic guitars have built-in pickups, which allow amplification through an amplifier as well. These are called electro-acoustic guitars.

Acoustic guitars come in several forms, here they are from smallest to largest:


Range – Sometimes called a mini jumbo, is three-quarters how big is a guitar that is jumbo-shaped.

Parlor – Parlor guitars have little bodies that are compact making it convenient for players who find large human anatomy guitars uncomfortable.

Grand concert – Mid-sized body shape which is not as deep as other full-size guitars.

Auditorium – Similar to the dreadnought physique, however with an even more pronounced waist.

Dreadnought – The classic electric guitar physique. The style was designed to produce a deeper sound than “classic”-style guitars, with very resonant bass.

Jumbo – The largest guitar body shape that is standard. The large body provides more punch and volume.

Classical guitars


Classical guitars are actually acoustic guitars, but the distinction is still made.

Electric guitars


Electric guitars work differently than acoustic ones. Electric guitars need some form of amplification to give off their sound.

Bass guitars


Bass guitars can be electric or acoustic. They only have 4 strings, which are tuned much lower than that of a normal guitar.

Other guitars

The term other guitars doesn’t do it justice, since there are loads of guitars that are not part of the typical range of guitar. Here they are:

7 string guitar


Most guitars have 6 strings. Advanced players will use 7 string guitars. The extra string is an added low string, usually tuned to B1. This gives the guitarist more options with regard to playing low notes.

12 string guitars


12 string guitars have 12 strings in the six courses of a steel stringed guitar, which produces a chimy, chorus like effect. The tuning of each set of double string is usually the same note 1 octave apart, but different tunings exist.

If you think changing guitar strings is a pain, you ain’t seen nothing until you change strings on a 12 string guitar.

Double necked guitars


You may have seen double necked guitars at concerts, being used by extravagant showmen. They have a very distinct form, in that the body is attached to 2 guitar necks.

Guitars made of special materials

People have experimented with building guitars out of all types of materials, including stone, 4 x 2 logs, etc.

14 + 1 tips for learning guitar

14 + 1 tips for learning guitar

All musicians know the feeling of fulfillment playing an instrument causes.

It is one of those things in your life, that just really needs to be experienced, it just can’t be described. Should you be considering learning an instrument, the guitar is a superb option. Just lifting your own guitar and performing a song anytime you feel like it is comparable to practically nothing else.

As with things rewarding in life, it will take practice, but is going to bring about an experience that is certainly worth it.

Once you start, you’ll never look back again. There will be ups and downs, but if you keep going with it, you will get better and better.

Here are some excellent tips on learning guitar

Read about the anatomy of the acoustic guitar, what it really is made of, how it functions. This sounds unproductive at first, but knowing how something operates is always an initial step up learning how exactly to utilize it.

  1. Practice guitar chords. These will be open chords in the beginning.
  2. Discover ways to strum your acoustic guitar in rhythm. This will be significant, since rhythm is everything in music.
  3. Learn a few guitar songs. You are able to actually get started playing tracks early on. Needless to say, they will be straight forward tunes, but hey, all great guitarists had to start off somewhere too.
  4. Study something new regularly, as well as learn to use it in real tunes too.
  5. Learn guitar and music theory. This is very important later on, and it is required before you can actually start trying to play your very own solos and improvising.
  6. Practice as much as you are able to, this is truly the key to teaching yourself your guitar.
  7. If a guitar string just isn’t ringing clean, or is even rattling, you may be either not holding it down hard enough, or one of your fingers is coming in contact with a string it’s not intended to be. Look at your fingers.
  8. Whilst fretting a given chord, make sure to not ever bend any other strings. This will affect the pitch of that string, which means that your chord will most likely sound wrong and the instrument will most likely seem in need of tuning.
  9. When teaching yourself a new chord, just pluck one string at once. Pay attention to the distinct tone of every string.
  10. The simplest way to teach yourself guitar chords is slowly and gradually at first. You must teach your hands precisely where to move, prior to speeding up.
  11. The only secret to getting great at playing the guitar is daily practice.
  12. You want to keep your axe in plain view where you are able to see it. Do not keep it out of sight, it might simply just stay in that location forever.
  13. Be inspired, through learning how to play well-known songs from the start. Learning to play fun music tends to make a big difference, and will help you practice more.
  14. Learn the essentials initially, and build on them.

As you start learning, you’ll encounter difficulties. A lot of people quit right there, but you won’t.

TIP: One way to to keep yourself motivated is to learn popular beginner guitar songs at an early period already. Playing easy songs is much more exciting than practicing basic exercises, since you are going to be playing songs you’ve known for years.

And rest assured, practice enough, and you will definitely be able to do it soon, guaranteed. This method of mastering the guitar will work, no question about it.

And a final bit of motivation, my favorite from BB King.



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