12 Easy Guitar Songs Without Capo for Beginners

Although Capo is a great device for transposing chords there are some guitar players that don’t prefer using one. If you count yourself among these guitarists then you have come to the right place.

In this lesson, I have put together 12 easy guitar songs that you can play without the capo.

These songs have the simplest chord progression and strumming patterns and are best for new learners.

If you are just starting out on guitar then this set of songs will be very helpful for you.

Most of the songs in the list have a maximum of four chords and they are all basic and open chords. The good thing is these songs don’t require any advanced guitar techniques.

The four most used chords you will find in these songs are D, G, C, E. Below are its chord diagrams that you can refer in case you are not aware of these open chords.

Also ReadGuitar Capo – Everything You Need To Know

I have linked each song with its tabs, chords, and youtube tutorial so that it will be easy for you to find it. So, let’s have a look.

Here are 12 easy no capo guitar songs for beginners

1. Riptide

Originally written and composed by Vance Joy, Riptide is the second single from his debut EP, “God Loves You When You Are Dancing”.

This is a ukulele song but sound amazing on an acoustic guitar.

If you are a new learner then this song is perfect for you as it has the most common chord progression with a super-easy strumming pattern that goes very well together.

Song Structure and Chords

The song has only 4 open chords: Am-G-C-Fmaj7 and one strumming pattern that is super easy to play and repeats throughout the song.

Here is the complete breakdown of “Riptide” with chords and strumming patterns.

  • Intro – Am-G-C ( DD-UDU )
  • Verse – Am-G-C ( DD-UDU )
  • Pre-Chorus – Am-G-C ( DD-UDU )
  • Chorus – Am-G-C ( DD-UDU )
  • Bridge – Am-G-C-Fmaj7 ( DD-UDU )

As you can see above, for the entire song the chords and the strumming pattern are repeating over and over again.

It is only in the bridge section the Fmaj7 chord is played.

Besides this, it also has a beautiful and easy picking pattern that comes after the second chorus which really adds up more charm to the song.

If you are thinking of learning this song in detail then I highly recommend you to watch this video lesson by Lee John Blackmore.

Note: To exactly sound like the record or to play along, you have to use the capo on the first or tune your guitar down a half step.

Lesson

2. All Of Me ( John Legend )

“All Of Me” is one more song you can play on guitar without the capo.

Written by John Legend, this is one of the hits from his fourth studio album “Love in the Future”.

As said by John, this track is inspired by and dedicated to his wife Chrissy Teigen.

Apart from charting number one on Billboard Hot 100, a remix version of this song managed to fetch the Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording.

Song Structure and Chords

This is a piano-driven song but also sounds great on an acoustic guitar.

Originally it was written in the key of A-flat major, however, the chords: Em-C-G-D-Am fits perfectly when transposed to guitar.

Like the song Riptide, this song is also best for new learners as you only need just 5 open chords and a couple of super simple strumming patterns to play the entire song.

All Of Me breakdown with chords and strumming

  • Intro & Verse – Em-C-G-D ( DDD DDD DDD DDD )
  • Pre-Chorus – Am-G-D ( DDD DDD DDD DDD )
  • Chorus – G-Em-Am-C-D ( D & DU DU )
  • Bridge – Am-G-D ( D & DU DU )

As you can see, there are five parts to this song, each allocated with a simple chord progression and strumming patterns.

You can also notice that most of the parts are repeating just like the ‘Riptide’ song. This is the reason that makes it a complete beginner-friendly song one can play without the capo.

Watch the full video lesson of “All Of Me”

3. Hey Soul Sister ( Train )

Co-written by Patrick Monahan ( lead singer of Train ), Amund Bjørklund, and Espen Lind, “Hey Soul Sister” is one more amazing song you can play on guitar without the capo.

Just like the song “Riptide”, this is also a ukulele song that sounds fantastic on an acoustic guitar.

This is also one of those songs that you can sing along to while strumming as it has only one simple chord progression: G-D-Em-C that repeats over and over again.

Song Structure

The song can be broken down into five sections: intro-verse-chorus-bridge-outro.

For all the section the chord progression and the strumming pattern remains the same except for the chorus, where there is a slight change in the chords. Here is the full breakdown:

Breakdown

  • Intro – Am-G-C ( DD-UDU )
  • Verse – Am-G-C ( DD-UDU )
  • Pre-Chorus – Am-G-C ( DD-UDU )
  • Chorus – Am-G-C ( DD-UDU )
  • Bridge – Am-G-C-Fmaj7 ( DD-UDU )

If you are a complete beginner then I highly recommend you to add this song to your learning list.

Lesson

4. Perfect ( Ed Sheeran )

Originally written by Ed Sheeran, “Perfect” is a romantic ballad from his third studio album “Divide”.

As revealed by Sheeran, the song is about his then-fiance, now wife Cherry Seaborn.

To play this song without the capo all you need is four open chords: G-Em-C-D and a super simple strumming pattern that goes as DDD DDD DDD DDD.

Song Structure

The song starts off with Sheeran’s vocals, backed up by light down-strums on G-Em-C-D chord progression. It goes on for 2 straight bars until the bass and the synth kicks in.

Here is a complete breakdown for your reference.

Breakdown

  • Verse – G-Em-C-D
  • Pre-Chorus – G-Em-C-G-D
  • Chorus – Em-C-G-D
  • Interlude – G-Em-C-D

Note – To exactly sound like the original song or to play along you have to use a capo on the first fret and use the same chords mentioned above.

Watch the “Perfect’ guitar tutorial.

5. Happier ( Ed Sheeran )

Happier is one more amazing song by Ed Sheeran on this list that you can play without the capo. It was released in 2018 and co-written by Sheeran, Ryan Tedder, and Benny Blanco.

With over 359 million views on Youtube, this is one of the most popular songs ever written by Sheeran.

As revealed by Ed, the song is about retrospecting at an early relationship that has ended and the girl is happier with someone else.

Song Structure

The song starts off with a melodious and super easy fingerpicking riff which repeats over and over throughout the song.

Besides this, it has only three open chords: Am-F-C and a strumming pattern that goes as DD DD DD DD.

Breakdown

  • Intro – Am-F-C
  • Verse – Am-F-C
  • Pre-Chorus – Am-F-C
  • Chorus – Am-F-C
  • Outro – Am-F-C

As you can see, the chord progression stays the same for all the sections. It is only in the chorus that the strumming becomes more energetic.

I recommend you to watch this video lesson by Kurt Berg to learn this song in an easy way.

6. Wonderwall

Wonderwall is an amazing song that you should learn on an acoustic guitar. The crispy and simple strumming pattern in the song is very ear-pleasing and makes this song a must-learn.

To get the sound as in the record you have to use the capo in the second fret.

For no capo version, the intro chord progression goes like Em9#, G, Dsus4-A7sus4. Here is an awesome tutorial of Wonderwall ( no capo ) by Marcos Alberto that you can refer to for more details like strumming pattern and chord progression for the bridge and verse of the song.

7. Turn the Page

Turn the page is again a simple and great acoustic guitar song, sung by Bob Seger that you can play without the capo.

The song is about the situations a rock artist faces along the road while touring for concerts. The song starts with a cowboy-style guitar riff in the key of E minor.

The full chord progression of the song looks like Em, D, A, and returns to E minor. It has a couple more variations in the chord progression that is easy and newbie-friendly.

Lesson

8. Dusk Till Dawn

Dusk till dawn is once again an easy beginner guitar song sung and recorded by Zayn in the year 2017. The chord progression for the song goes like Am, F, C, and G without the capo. You can also hear a simple arpeggiated melody behind the song which is very easy to learn.

The strumming pattern for the song goes like D D UU DD. The chords and strumming pattern are the same for the verse, pre chorus, and chorus section of the song.

9. Havana

Havana is a popular pop song sung by Camila Cabello that you can play on an acoustic guitar without the capo. This song also features famous rapper Young Thug. This song was originally written by Camila Cabello and released in the year 2018.

The song has only 3 chords i.e, Em-Cmaj7-B7. The whole song revolves around these 3 chords which makes this song perfect for beginners. The strumming pattern goes like D DUDUDU UD UDU. To learn the song in detail refer to this lesson.

10. Fly Me To The Moon

Fly me to the moon is originally written by Bart Howard and Kaye Ballard in the year 1954. This is one of the best songs that you can play without the capo. The chord progression of the song goes like C-Am7-Dm-G-F-Em. There are a couple of variations in the progression that won’t create any problem and are easy to learn.

The strumming pattern of the song goes like D D DUDU, which is a folk pattern. Here is a lesson of this song.

11. Love Story by Taylor Swift

Love story is a popular love song by Taylor Swift that has one of the simple chord progression and a couple of super simple strumming patterns.

The chords for the song go like D-G-Bm-A. You can play only downstrokes for the first bar and for the next part the pattern changes to D DU U DU. Refer to this lesson by Good Guitarist to learn the song in detail.

12. A Thousand Years by Christina Perri

This song was originally written by Christina Perri along with David Hodges and released in the year 2011.

This pop song is also very easy to learn as it has only open chords and a super-easy strumming pattern. The chord progression without the capo goes like C-Am-F-C-G and the strumming pattern for the song is D DU DU.

Lesson

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