Easy Guitar Songs for Kids

ukejam

I teach kids as young as three years old to play guitar. One of the keys to teaching really little kids, besides knowing how to spontaneously burp, wiggle your ears, and listen to that orange/banana knock-knock joke 3,000 times without going AWOL, is choosing the right material.

Kids this young can barely pick their own nose, so there’s no way I’m going to try to get them to fret chords. Instead, I teach them a lot of melodies and bass lines on either the first or sixth strings (the easiest ones to pick).

By the way, I have lots more ideas for teaching kids guitar in my handbook for guitar teachers.

Riffs and Melodies On One String

Smoke on the Water
Deep Purple
“Smoke on the Water” is God’s gift to guitar teachers. I believe it’s listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as The Easiest Cool Riff Ever. Normally played on the 3rd and 4th strings, I transposed to the 6th string to make it easier.
smoke

The “Riffs and Melodies On One String” are all available in one Guitar Pro file here. Don’t have Guitar Pro yet? Learn more.

Mary Had a Little Lamb
I promised myself I’d never teach this song, until I was in a pinch during a lesson with a 5-year-old and played this for her. Her look of delight at recognizing the melody cured me of any prejudice I had against this cute children’s song.
mary
mary2

Louie, Louie
The Kingsmen
If a child’s dying to learn a particular song, I’ll often figure out a way to play the bass line to the song on the 6th string of the guitar. Here’s “Louie, Louie,” still recognizable because of its distinctive rhythm.
louie

For What it’s Worth
Buffalo Springfield
This is my all-time favorite beginner’s song. The whole thing can be played with just two chords, E and A, if you skip the C and D in the chorus. I have kids learn both the bass line for the song, simply playing quarter notes, and a fretted version of the harmonics that are played during the intro. Once they learn harmonics, they can play the real thing (12th fret harmonic, then 7th fret harmonic).
fwiw
What’s really cool is when I get a couple kids to play the part together. Here’s a video of Emma, Axel, and Conner rocking out with me and some other students at one of the Coffee Shop Jams. Just wish their guitars were turned up higher…grr…

Songs With Simplified Bass Lines

If a child (or a total-beginner adult) wants to sing and play at the same time, I distill songs to their most simple form: Their bass line, played on the 6th string. Any song can be simplified this way. You just have the guitarist play the root note of each chord in a steady rhythm (usually quarter notes or eighth notes). Music is easier to read if you identify the 6th string fret number instead of the note name (A, B, C#, etc.)

Note that several of my young students have…shall we say…non-standard tastes. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend some of these songs to kids, but if they request them, here they are.

Bush – Glycerine
Cake – Love You Madly
Johnny Cash – Wide Open Road
Bob Dylan – I Threw It All Away
Robbie Fulks – Godfrey
Green Day – Good Riddance
Green Day – Holiday
Merle Haggard – Mama Tried
Lady Gaga – Paparazzi
Iggy Pop – The Passenger
Bruce Springsteen – Chicken Lips and Lizard Hips
Neil Young – Needle and the Damage Done

Strumming Songs

Once kids learn how to arch their fingers and gain some strength and coordination, they graduate to playing chords using my finest invention: The String Mute 4000. This state-of-the-art device employs military-grade hook-and-loop adhesive to minimize sonic vibritization.

Yep, it’s just a little square of Velcro, cut from a long strip I bought at a craft store. The “hook” side had an adhesive backing, which was a bummer until I realized I could stick my business card on it.

The String Mute 4000, in all its glory

The String Mute 4000, in all its glory

Rip the velcro apart, and slide one half under the 4th, 5th, and 6th strings at around the 9th fret, being careful not to touch the 3rd string. Sandwich the other half on top. Now you can play a one-finger G (1st string, 3rd fret), G7 (1st string, 1st fret), and C (2nd string, 1st fret).

Get that edge lined up between the 3rd and 4th strings.  Kids will need help with this.

Get that edge lined up between the 3rd and 4th strings. Kids will need help with this.

Here are two great one-chord songs that kids can sing while strumming a G chord using the string mute. Just Google ’em to find the lyrics:

Are You Sleeping, Brother John?
Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Here’s a song from Peter Pan that sounds lovely sung over the C chord:

Tender Shepherd

And once they get good at these 1-chord songs, they can graduate to some songs that just use C and G7:

Ain’t No Bugs On Me
The Hokey Pokey

My Darling Clementine
London Bridges
Buffalo Gals

OK, those songs should get ’em rolling! Remember that young kids have the attention span of hummingbirds, so if you’ve gotten them to focus on a song for at least two minutes, you’ve hit a home run.

Comments 147

  1. Rob

    Awesome, Mike! Yeah, these are great for adult beginners. I thought if I billed the lesson for adults some would get touchy about being offered “Mary Had a Little Lamb”….

  2. pete

    Good first lesson stuff for all ages, isn’t it?
    I use Smoke On The Water first, then Bad To The Bone ( without the damps) and Summer Love from Grease, then Sunshine Of Your Love for finding the 12th and other higher frets, and then move ’em on to more than one string with Wipeout.

  3. Lauren

    Your article is inspired. I teach classes of 3, 4, K, and 1st graders and a beginning/intermediate guitar class to 7th and 8th grade. Guitar is my tertiary instrument (voice and piano), so I need all the great ideas I can get. Keep them coming! P.S. Conner rules.

  4. Jordan

    thanx heaps i’m only like 11 years old and this helped me alot with noticeing the music notes i do keyboard for about 5 years or so and now i’ve praticed gutair for about three years? anyway thanx heaps!

  5. joe

    Nice one man, I’m teaching kids as young as six and it’s nice to hear I’m not the only one struggling with their attention spans! The velcro string mute is a great idea, I’ll be sure to try it with my new beginners next semester..

  6. Scarlett

    Hey im 13 and this helped me so much .My uncle taught me smoke on the water when i was really little and now i want to learn guitar so im trying to teach myself a little before getting in to anything serious and this helped me alot ! thanks a bunchh 🙂
    Any other tips you could give me would be greatly appreciated !

  7. Zac Moore

    Some great songs here for kids to learn, have to teach a playgroup this week and will use some of these ideas,Thanks. P.S. I always use Three Little Birds, by Bob Marley. Great lyrics for the kids to sing and only three chords.

  8. Brian Lehmbeck

    Thank you so much for the ideas and songs. I have been working with my 5 year old daughter to help her learn guitar. I am a guitar teacher of 5 years and a player of 20. One of the hardest students I have had is my own daughter…. 🙂

    Anyway…. I would love to see what other lessons you have for kids…. please post more.

    Thanks,

    Brian

  9. gorden

    Thanks for the tips and nice web site.

    I just discovered that “You’re in the Army now” uses only three notes in a chord. Try it.

    Start with the C chord and play G on the third string,
    C on the second string, E on the first string and G on the first string. I’ve transposed the song into other chords and it still works with the three notes of the chords. If you would like a pdf file of the different keys that I arranged for “You in the Army Now”, email me.

  10. Greg Welker

    Rob, I’m trying to teach myself guitar (using Mel Bay guides and now your site). Recently, I’ve discovered that my brother & his wife are trying to get my nieces involved in learning musical instruments. My seven year-old niece initially was trying to learn the drums but my brother is having problems finding an instructor. Meanwhile, my six year-old niece is having a great time learning piano. Naturally, the oldest niece is jealous and frustrated. So much that this has become a sore subject in their household. (They’re very competitive… the nature of sisters.)

    Anyways, I started to think that if my oldest niece was interested in guitar maybe she & I could learn together. My big concern is she’s a lefty. I was going to recommend that my brother purchase a “baby” Taylor etc. I know that left-handed guitars are hard to come by. I assume that a kid’s left-handed will be even more so.

    Any recommendations? How hard do you think teaching her right-handed technique will be for someone so young?

    Also do you think your e-book would be of any help in this endeavor. Thanks.
    greg

    1. Rob

      Hey Greg,

      I have a 5-year-old lefty who plays a 1/2-size “righty” electric that’s been strung for a lefty, a-la Jimi Hendrix. I believe the same thing could be done with an acoustic, though a baby Taylor may still be too big for a 7-year-old. If she’s interested in electric guitar, go with that–it’ll be easier to adjust it for playing lefty, and electrics in general are easier for little fingers (lower string tension, lower action, smaller body).

      I wouldn’t recommend having her play righty. I used to, but have come to realize how important it is to have your picking hand be the dominant hand.

      I discuss all these issues at length in my book. I think you’d find it to be a big help. Tell me which percentage of the book you find helpful and I’ll refund you the rest! 🙂

      Rob

    2. Kyrila S.

      Paul McCartney is one of the most famous lefties who play guitar and he simply restrings a guitar to suit his needs.  I agree that a Baby Taylor is too big for a 7 year old.  My youngest student is 8 and he can’t play my Baby Taylor (which is the perfect size for me as I’m very petite with small hands and short fingers).  He has a First Edition.  It has a good tone but difficult to stay in tune for more than a single 30 minute session.  But it’s fine for now until he grows some more and is more competent in his playing.  His dad asked me if he should buy his son a guitar like mine and I said there was no need for now.

  11. Karl

    This is great!!
    At last I’ve found a great site that talks about teaching kids guitar. I’ve been playing for 20 odd years and teaching for 5.
    I am very impressed by Conor the kid who released an ep. I also have a 12 year old that finished recording an ep. “Machine”, all her own stuff. She played guitar, bass , drums and sang on it. Shes great! Great to hear it’s for sale on amazon, how did you do that? My student might like to do that too.
    Ok so better go now, by the way you’ve got great ideas for teaching the young 1s.

    Cheers!!

    1. Rob

      Hey Karl,

      I’m glad you’re digging the site! And it’s great to hear about your young recording artist!

      I’m using CreateSpace, a company owned by Amazon. You submit album art and either upload .mp3’s or send a CD, and they reproduce and distribute CD’s on-demand. It took a while to get things set up, but overall it’s been the perfect service for a young musician who wants to sell an album without making a big financial investment or deal with the hassle of distributing.

      Hope this helps,

      Rob

      1. Kyrila S.

        Thanks for sharing that, Rob!  I produced a demo album with about 14 original songs on it, and this sounds like the perfect way to distribute my music!  I had no idea it existed.  Now to figure out how to do the technology…may have to consult a friend of mine who transferred it to MP3 and CD from cassette tape.

    1. Kyrila S.

      You could write some songs…..  When I first learned to play, I wrote my own songs to utilize the few chords I knew because I couldn’t afford to buy music books, nor were any available in the tiny town where I lived.

  12. Claire

    Just make sure you never use numbers. Because if you learn that way and then go to a band offering and they just give you guitar music, you will not know what to do.

  13. kat

    I want to thank you for this site and your great work with kids. I have so enjoyed watching the videos and seeing the enthusiasm from these little guys…wowwee!
    I teach guitar for free in our community and have 9-16 students…I know it’s crazy. We have done all of these suggestions and they are working great….I need more, and fast! I can’t keep up with their good work! Wish you were closer we would get you for a visit..but if you are ever in Maine, we live in Friendship, little town of 1000 people…so what kind of material could we get from you?
    THANKS..Kat

  14. sopranoman

    I have a question — I teach a 9 year old, and I’m wondering if his behavior is typical. He refuses to do anything that looks the least bit difficult – and I mean least bit difficult. He learned to play Skip To My Lou, which is two chords, on the soprano guitar we’re using (a ukelele tuned D, G, B, E, only 4 strings, nylon strings, easy to press down and play). Then, when we went to another song that added a third chord, he refused to play it. If I make a suggestion to improve his playing (like use your ring finger instead of your middle finger on that note) he refuses and argues with me about it.

    Sometimes he sits there, sullen if I make any kind of a suggestion to him, and when I ask what’s wrong, he won’t talk to me.

    Last time, I ended up with no material to show him because he refused to play anything from the well-written book we were using. One song, he agreed to learn, but only if he sings it. No playing.

    But, if I suddenly turn to a game, like standing on strips of masking tape which represent the staff, after I gave a note, (such as B, for example). He perks right up as if nothing was wrong. He also perks up when give him something easier than what he’s already learning. He also perks up if I give him something from the dollar store if he’s practiced.

    Most of the time, he practices only in the car on the way to the lesson, and never at home.

    He was taught in group lessons before I took him on as a student, which he says were funner for several months, but in my view, he didn’t learn much, and can’t play anything musical after all those lessons. At least with me, he can play a few songs using chords and a couple simple melodies that I can accompany him with.

    Any suggestions on how to teach a child like this?

    1. Bill

      I would have a serious conversation with the parents. If it continues, I’d drop the student. But first talk with the parents, seek input from them, maybe have some tangible, fairly immediate (at least in the beginning) reward for good cooperation. The parents can help determine what would the reward would be. Also, ask the parents to sit in on the lesson with you.

    2. Stu

      I would not tolerate that kind of behavior in my room. You need to realize that YOU are the authority and that the student (at his age) should be following YOUR directions without resistance. It sounds like this kid is just being a brat and throwing a fit every time you try to teach him something. You need to stop allowing him to control the room. It’s YOUR room and YOU are the teacher and he must do as you say and show you respect at all times. He is old enough to know this. When this kind of temper tantrum behavior shows itself in my lessons, I let the student know (sternly) that that behavior will not be tolerated, and that he/she will try their very best at all times and follow my every direction. I give no alternatives, no or else’s. If the child can’t comply with your rules, then you shouldn’t teach them. But as the adult you need to put your foot down, take control of the situation, and tell that kid that what he is doing is NOT OK!

      1. Kyrila S.

        I fully agree with you about taking control of the classroom.  I teach an eight year old and I have to remind him to respect my authority at times about some things but he’s usually pretty good during guitar lessons, although he does tend to quit before the 30 minutes is up. 

  15. Val

    Hi,
    I’ve spent a short amount of time on your site and have already found it more than helpful. Unfortunatly I don’t have a whole lot of time to spend on here right now. I am starting to teach kids guitar and I had my first lesson a couple days ago. It was unexpected so I wasn’t entirely prepared but I also found out that I have no idea where to start with these 2 7 year old boys. Their fingers were hurtinng within the first 10 minutes and I talked to their parents about getting nylon strings. However, I have no clue what I should teach them or where to start. They’re having a hard time even making noise let alone play a song on even one string. I am a bit discouraged in teaching kids uner 10 and I remember how hard of a time I had when I started learning although I was 13. I would like some help on how to make it fun for them and still teach them something without them becoming discouraged with the realization that it’s not as easy as they thought it would be. I teach gymnastics to kids as young as 1 year old so I know children. i am having a really hard time coming up with a guitar lesson plan though and could really use your help. I know you’re busy with over 400,000 veiws to your site but if you could help me it would be so greatly appreciated. Please email me if you get a chance.

    1. B

      Sounds like their guitars have bad action…strings hard on fingers. An child’s electric strat (Squier) with #9 strings and low action (IT NEEDS TO BE SET UP) is pretty easy on fingers…Everyone’s fingers will hurt…but a small child and big metal strings and perhaps high action are going to be a problem for them or anyone. An acoustic guitar with #10 strings and lowered action might help.

    2. Kyrila S.

      I created my own lesson book for my students and allow them to color code finger positions with whatever colors they prefer.  I start with the basics about parts of the guitar and how to tune their strings, etc.  Then I encourage them with “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams….”Played it ’til my fingers bled….”  This song inspires them to play even if it does hurt, and I play them videos on my laptop of great guitarists who “played it ’til their fingers bled” like George Harrison and Eric Clapton.  The first thing I teach them is the tablature to “Dirty Water” which has got to be the easiest to play.  When it comes to harmonics I teach them “For What it’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield.  It helps that their parents are familiar with these songs and get really excited when they hear their kids play real songs instead of those Mel Bay tablatures that sound like nothing.  And the kids get excited to be able to play real songs right off the bat.  I call my lesson book “Ten Lessons” however, it should be ten chapters because I could squeeze more than one lesson out of each section based on the child’s pace.  It’s not a ruse…I let the parents know this ahead of time that I’m not going to insist the child go through a whole lesson chapter in one week.  It’s impossible unless you’re a prodigy.Other songs I use are by John Denver (pretty easy stuff) and the Monkees, and the Archies, among others.  Having the laptop to show them the videos is a great tool.  I also inspire them by showing guitar solos from “Layla” and “Hotel California” among other great guitarists.  I like the idea of using show tunes and usually stick to stuff they are familiar with (Disney animation films).  Also “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Both Sides Now.”  But I stay away from the Beach Boys until the kids are ready to play the flat and sharp chords, because those songs are deceptively complex.   I keep some contemporary Christian numbers handy for people who insist on not using secular songs.  Most have simple chords easy for kids to learn. 

  16. Val

    Turns out a had a little extra time to check out your website. After reading about your book I couldn’t wait to purchase it. i am so strapped for cash right now but I decided it would be worth the investment. Then I found out it was an Ebook. I don’t have a computer. I’m using my grandpa’s right now. I can’t wait for your book to be in print! I would be willing to pay for the download but I don’t have a computer nor can i afford the ink and paper it would take. (pretty pitiful right?) I’m not giving guitar lessons for the money either which was something about you that I was drawn to. In my eyes, the sooner you don’t need be, the better! Anyways, please send me an email when the book is out. I would love to own one of the first copies 🙂

    1. B

      Why don’t you purchase the book and get a friend to print it out…have them print out the first few pages to start…don’t do it all at once. Get the E book copied to a CD and then go to the library and read it if you can’t print it yet. There are ways to do this if you want the book.

      1. Kyrila S.

        It would actually cost more than twice what Rob charges for the eBook to print it out, depending on the type of printer you have and the cost of ink.  Considering it’s over 100 pages that might take two or more cartridges of ink, but at least the paper is cheap.

  17. Alex

    Thanks for all the songs, im attempting to teach my girlfriend how to play, but i have 6 years of experience and was having dificulties finding songs to get her started where she is only able to play on one string.

  18. Donna Paine

    What a great website! I popped in via Google to find a few simple songs to teach my granddaughter on guitar. I am amazed to find a host of songs for myself: Gillian Welch and David Rowlings, Alison Krauss and many others. I will return; keep up the good work.

  19. John Bryant

    Hello,
    You might like to try using Asus2 on the: “For What It’s Worth” song verses and regular “A” in the chorus. Love this song, been playing and teaching since the 60’s and I now enjoy using Asus2 for the verses. So you have chords (E and Asus2) and of course ( E, D, A, C) for the chorus.

    Have Fun!

    John Bryant

  20. John Bryant

    Another real easy 2 chord song. “How Much is That Dogie in the Window” can use only G and D chords. As you get better you can add an optional (D7) just before changing back to G

    G                             D
    How much is that dogie in the window
                            G
    The one with the waggly tail
                                  D
    How much is that dogie in the window
                   (D7)        G
    I do hope that dogie's for sale
    
  21. joe

    This site is amazing! i am teaching twin ten year old girls that fight constantly. And this site made it so easy to get them to see there progress and stop fighting about whos better causing them to drop my guitars on the wood floors.thank you so much for such a great teaching tool. for young girls they really loved the smoke on the water and mary had a little lamb. i can never think of any songs to teach them because they just wont agree on anything if they are together.you saved me a ton of frustration and a ton of scratches and dings on my guitars. thank you again.
    joe.

  22. Sheila

    Hi my 5year old son wants to learn guitar and I really did not know how to start. Your site is excellant and has given me an idea how to go about. THANK YOU! GREAT JOB.

  23. Tom

    Hi ,
    Im looking at buyinga 1/4 size guitar for my 5 year old grandaughter and some easy 1st step learning books.
    She has never played guitar before and Im not sure if she will continue, so I wanna keep the prices down.
    Any suggestions, please? Also do you teach on line or is it better to come to your studio, If so where is your studio.

    Thanks
    Tom

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      Rob Hampton

      Hey Tom,

      I like the First Act Discovery Series guitars, but a ukulele also might work well. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any guitar instruction books for kids that young, and my waiting list is so long I may never get to the end of it. Sorry I can’t help more!

      Rob

  24. MissSusan

    Thank you for the ideas! here’s are some more easy one string songs/riffs for little beginners: Eye of The Tiger, I Love Rock And Roll, Blame It On The Boogie, Pink Panther, Lean On Me and Hit The Road Jack. Thank you for your great book! -Susan

  25. amy

    My 5 year old received a First Act Discovery acoustic guitar for Christmas. Santa , who has never played guitar, didn’t realize there is a difference for right and left handed players! My kiddo is a lefty . . .instructor says to have it restrung for left handed play. My hubby thinks he can do this himself. On this type of kid guitar, will a guitar center do this for a reasonable price? Is it possible to do at home? Don’t want to spend a fortune until we know we are going to stick with it!

  26. junex

    I was once a kid when I learned on how to play and use guitar. My brother who is three years older than was the one teaches me on using it. Thanks for the teaching bro I never regret I learned this skill. For me this is my talent already. I am now in a small band of friends and were starting to spread noise.

  27. Tom D

    Rob – Just a big THANK YOU for sharing your idea, about the “String Mute 4000”. I have a 9 yr old son, and 7 yr old daughter. Both enjoy banging on the strings of my guitar, but I have been looking for some “entry window” for them to start playing ACUTUAL chords.

    Your velcro mute idea is brilliant. I have seen kids guitar books that suggested the one note C and G chords. But your velcro idea makes that seem actually possible. I have created my velcro patch tonight. I have even put a mini post it note dot, under each finger position. I am going to give it a try this week, and see what they say… Thanks so much. Great Idea and Great web site. Well done!
    Tom D, Minnesota

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  28. Kate

    This is the best website to teach beginners how to play guitar ever! I’m 13 and got a guitar for Christmas and didn’t know how to play, so I decided to look on the internet. The songs are great and really helped. Thank you!

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      Rob Hampton

      Hi Kristen,

      I do have a few Taylor Swift songs in the Chord Charts Section. None in the “bass line” format I used in this article, though. Sorry, I can’t take requests–all this material was originally requested by my private guitar students, and I just don’t have time to offer music to everyone else.

      Enjoy the music,

      Rob

  29. Karen

    Can you recommend a brand of guitar for an 8 year old?. I am looking for a 3/4 size acoustic with nylon strings. I’ve seen brands like Stagg and Lyons and Hoener. Are any of these any good just to see if he even likes guitar?

    Thanks.

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      Rob Hampton

      Kate, if you know the song’s chords, then you can figure out a simple bass line. Simply play the root notes of each chord (the lowest-pitched note in the chord). For a G chord, that’s a G note. Usually a steady quarter-note rhythm is best at first, until they can handle more complex rhythms.

  30. Becca

    I was teaching my 5-year-old for the first time and I was crashing & burning until I found your website. Louie, Louie and Mary Had a Little Lamb saved the day. She was ready to put it down before that. Thank you so much!

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  31. alex

    just wanted to say thanx, my friend asked me to teach her dyslecix, dysphaxic 6 year old broher and considering i’m only 15 i was struggleing to find a way to hopfully keep him interested and its given me a lot to work with 🙂

  32. Caroline

    Thanks!! Since im only 13 and ive been wanting to play guitar ive been looking up on the different cords and simple song and your site has really helped me so thank you!!!

  33. Matilda

    I am only 12 and i am learning how to play an electric guitar. I have just learnt how to play ‘Mary had a little lamb’ i love it thanx <3 🙂

  34. Cat

    Hey Rob,
    my 4yr old son and 5 & 6yr old daughters are really into justin biebers and my son really wants to be a rockstar now…. so i bought him a first act 1/2 size for his birthday not knowing that it didnt come with a book(should of known huh) well i was wondering if you could tell me what would be the better first song to start him on

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      Rob Hampton

      Hi Cat,

      I don’t know any Justin Bieber songs (though I’m sure it’s just a matter of time). I’d recommend searching on ultimate-guitar.com for the song with the least amount of chords possible, then teach your son to play the root notes of those chords on the 6th string playing whole notes or quarter notes.

      Good luck!

      Rob

  35. Stevo

    Wish I had found your site earlier. Could’ve saved me a lot of time trying to figure out what to teach a small 7-year old over the summer. First time teaching a small kid, and spent a lot of time trying to find out what he could or couldn’t do.

    Also found an easy, fun song to do, though, and he requested for it: the TV Batman theme song from the 70’s! Had a blast doing that one.

    Thanks for the other suggestions.

  36. Sarah

    I am 18 years old and I have ALWAYS wanted to play guitar… My sister found one for 50cents at a garage sale but only the E and A strings are good…. So I found an online tuner and I am having so much fun with just my two strings!! 😀
    hahaha thanks for teaching this 18 year old how to play Mary Had a Little Lamb… I am so excited haha (:
    Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

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  37. Phil

    What guitars are best for a three or four year old lefty? Is the Oscar Schmidt OGHSBLH a good guitar for $90? The Yamaha JR-1 does not get good reviews online. Thanks!

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      Rob Hampton

      Boy, I don’t know, Phil. RIGHTY guitars for little kids are hard enough to find. I think your best bet is to buy a good righty guitar and then restring it as a lefty.

      I like the smallest guitars First Act makes.

      Rob

  38. steven

    Thanks for the lessons and believe me I thought that i was the only adult trying to learn and all most gave it up.I’m in my late 50’s and find this refreshing like they say when you get old it takes a little longer for it to sink in.Have you giot a course or a song book we can buy?

  39. Ian O'Brien

    Hey thanks for the great ideas Rob. I find youngsters are fond of the songs from the Gruffalo too. Especially one string versions and it’s great to get them singing and playing with this stuff from an early age too before the get too self conscious.

  40. harry

    hi rob
    thanks for all of these great songs
    ive been playing guitar for a while now and i sort of ran out of songs to play until i stumbled on your site
    thank you for keeping me occupied

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  41. Kelly Weeks

    Amen amen! It’s good to see another teacher that can think outside the box. I’ve come to your site several times throughout the years. Thank you for the great information. I too teach young children. I was tired of using the standard Mel Bay and Hal Leonard methods. I created my own instead called “Kasey’s Guitar Jams for Kids.” You should check it out Rob.

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      Rob Hampton

      Wow Kelly, if I were to compose some beginning guitar songs for kids, this is what I’d hope to do. Great work! I’m currently creating a course to teach parents (and teachers) how to teach their kids guitar, and I’ll be sure to recommend this product.

  42. guitar picks

    Thank you so much for this post. I think your techniques are so great for children and beginner adults. I will definitely have to follow you up. Thank you again for helping me realize a dream I have always wanted since I was a kid.

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      Rob Hampton

      Hi Ed,

      Unless otherwise specified, standard tuning is EADGBE. But as long as you’re playing by yourself (not to a recording or with other people), and the key suits the voice of whoever’s singing (if in fact anyone’s singing), you can play them in any key you like, so your high-strung tuning will work fine. Make sense?

      Rob

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  43. Dave Ellis

    I just found this post and spent the last 20 minutes with my 7 year old son teaching him Smoke On The Water and Louie, Louie – absolutely perfect songs for his level. I then showed him Deep Purple on YouTube and he couldn’t understand why they would be playing such a basic song in front of a crowd – I think he assumed it was some kind of nursery rhyme or something!

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  44. Emma

    I am a beginner at guitar, and i already know lots, here are some easy songs

    Peter Gunn:
    00203053

    Smoke On The Water:
    035036503530

    Eye Of The Tiger:
    7 757 757 753

    Iron Man:
    03355 8787 8355

    Viva La Vida:
    9999 11 11 11 11 4444 1111

    (all these songs are riffs you can play on any string, and are super easy, so have fun with them!)

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  45. Onidis

    Hello, my 3 yr old loves playing with the guitar, I have no knowledge of it, nor how to tune it, but would like to know if there are lessons for young children in the Miami Florida area?

  46. mishal

    Thanks. Am teaching a 16 year old and i guess these tunes will do good for a start. definitely an easy variety to the standard exercises that repeat similarly over all strings

  47. Kyrila Scully

    Found your website while looking for new songs to teach my students.  I’m really impressed!  Will be subscribing to your YouTube videos.  Thanks for the help.  My students are kids, too.  I had to laugh because the first song I taught was the Dirty Water riff followed by Mary Had a Little Lamb,  I also taught them to play Summer of ’69 mainly because of the line “Played it till my fingers bled.”  My kids complain about how the strings hurt their fingers, so I tell them about great guitarists who practiced until their fingers bleed.  This song makes them feel a kinship with guitarists who have ‘made it’.  I also use Blowin’ in the Wind and some John Denver songs and Love is All Around, etc.  I’ll be checking in.  I developed my own set of 10 Beginners’ Guitar lessons in a notebook that covers everything from tuning to tablature and chord runs (plus about 40 chords).  All the best,Ms. Kyrila Scully 

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  48. Chance Motta

    Found this site because I have a lesson today with a little kid. I think they said between 2 and 3. Some good song ideas to get them started. Lui Lui and Come as You Are were the first ones I learned at the Experience Music Project in Seattle when I was in high school. Is it sad that I’ve never learned Mary had a Little Lamb? Next I’m sure I’ll be looking up Twinkle Twinkle or something lol.

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