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Best Classical Guitar Songs


If you’re just starting out on the guitar, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some easy classical pieces. Due to its long and varied history that spans many centuries and cultures, classical guitar music has a lot to offer.

Playing classical music is a great way to pick up essential techniques like finger placement, phrasing, and sound production that will help you become a proficient guitarist.

Learning and mastering some simple classical guitar songs can help a beginner lay the groundwork for playing more complex music later on. I’ve compiled a list of must-try classical guitar songs for beginners. If you are a beginner on the guitar and would like to explore the classical guitar, here are some songs that might be perfect for you.

1. Minuet in G by Christian Petzold

“Minuet in G” by Christian Petzold is one of the great classical guitar songs for beginners to learn, because it is so easy to play. The song is in the standard time signature of 3/4, and it is divided into two parts that both have straightforward melodies.

The song is written in the key of G major and uses basic chords such as G, C, and D7.

Minuet in G | Image by Wikipedia

The song’s melody is made up of an easy, step-by-step motion, so even beginners can pick it up and play it. As is common in classical guitar music, the musical piece has arpeggiated chord progressions that allow beginners to practice both playing chords and moving their fingers quickly. 

The song’s tempo is just right, so students can concentrate on developing good form and timing without having to sacrifice their enjoyment of the track.

Because “Minuet in G” is so popular and well-known, many guitar method books have different versions of it for players of different skill levels. This makes it easy for people who are just starting to find ways to learn and practice the musical piece.


Click here for Minuet in G’s Tab


Click here for Minute in G’s Chords

2. Ode To Joy by Beethoven

Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” is another great classical guitar song for beginners. For those new to the block of learning, this is a relatively easy musical piece that showcases some essential techniques and skills that are important to develop.

Ode to Joy | Image by Wikipedia

The song’s straightforward beat and 4/4 time signature make it great for newcomer guitar players, who can focus on the song’s melody and harmony rather than trying to keep up with a complicated beat.

Check out the classical guitar tuning guide here.

If you’re still developing muscle memory and finger coordination, you will find this tune to be a perfect practice piece. The majority of the notes are located in the first three frets of the guitar, and the musical piece is written in a familiar key (D major), which means you won’t have to perform finger gymnastics trying to learn this song.

Check out the classical guitar tuning guide here.


Click here for Ode To Joy’s Tab


Click here for Ode To Joy’s Chords

3. Greensleeves by Henry VIII

The English folk song “Greensleeves” has stood the test of time and is now considered a true musical classic. Henry VIII, King of England from 1509 to 1547, is commonly credited with writing it due to his musical talents.  

Greensleeves | Image by Sheet Music Direct

It is widely believed that Henry VIII wrote “Greensleeves” as a love song for Anne Boleyn. The song’s lyrics describe a beautiful and endearing woman who is the subject of a man’s courtship.

Greensleeves is an excellent classical guitar song for beginners to learn because of its simple structure. The tune is only four bars long, and it uses the same basic chord progression throughout. This means that once you master the basic melody and chords, you can easily play the entire song without learning additional sections or intricate arrangements.

Greensleeves is a great song to learn because the melody is simple and easy to recognize. The song’s melody is simple in that it uses only a few intervals and is repeated throughout. The chords are also straightforward, with open positions like G, C, and D dominating the sound.


Click here for Greensleeves’s Tab


Click here for Greensleeves’s Chords

4. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” is a well-known musical piece from the Baroque era that is frequently performed on the classical guitar. If you have nothing to do and want to zone out to some music on a relaxing evening, this is the song for you. 

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring | Image by Wikipedia

There are a few reasons why this is a great classical guitar song for beginners. To begin, it’s not too difficult to learn the guitar chords of this song. It is played in the key of G, which is one of the easier keys for people who are just starting. 

The song’s melody is also simple, made up mostly of quarter and half notes with some eighth notes thrown in for good measure. Open-position chords predominate, making for straightforward chord construction.

Second, the song is well-known and has a catchy melody, which makes it fun for beginners to play and enjoyable for people to listen to. Because it is so popular, there are a lot of tabs and tutorials online for beginners to find to help them learn it.

Thirdly, playing “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” provides a good introduction to classical guitar technique, as it requires basic fingerpicking skills. It’s a good way to practice finger independence and control, as well as get a steady, even tone

In addition, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” has a straightforward and predictable structure, making it simple for beginners to follow. It has an easily-remembered melody and harmony pattern that repeats. When students have mastered the song’s basic melody, they can progress to more difficult variations.


Click here for Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’s Tab


Click here for Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’s Chords

5. In the Hall of The Mountain King by Edvard Grieg

Because of its instantly recognizable melody, Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” is an excellent classical guitar song for beginners who want to hone their chops while performing a musical piece they already enjoy. You don’t need to know the artist or the title of the song to recognize it. Chances are, you have heard this melody at least once in your life.  

In The Hall of the Mountain King | Image by National Library of Australia

The arrangement of the song is simple. It’s just a simple melody played over and over again with some basic chord changes. The slow, steady beat of the song makes it easier for beginners to play the song correctly and on time. This also lets people who are just starting work on their finger coordination, timing, and volume.

“In the Hall of the Mountain King” can be done on a classical guitar without using fingerpicking or arpeggios, which are more advanced techniques. Instead, you get to focus on learning basic skills like where to put your fingers, how to fret, and how to strum, making this an excellent classical guitar song for beginners.


Click here for In the Hall of The Mountain King’s Tab


Click here for In the Hall of The Mountain King’s Chords

6. Boléro by Maurice Ravel

Maurice Ravel’s “Boléro” may have been originally composed for a full orchestra, but its enchanting melody has found a cozy home in the world of guitar music. The rhythm of Boléro is also unchanging, with a snare drum tapping out a steady 3/4 beat throughout the piece. This relentless rhythm drives the piece forward and creates a sense of anticipation and excitement.

Playing “Boléro” on the guitar is like embarking on a mesmerizing musical adventure. Its repetitive melody draws both player and listener into a captivating trance, combining the elegance of strings with the enchantment of percussion.

Fingerstyle Boléro is a popular way to play the song on guitar. It involves using the fingers to pick the strings individually rather than using a strumming motion. This allows for a more complex and nuanced sound, and it is also a more challenging technique to learn.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced guitarist, “Boléro” offers a delightful addition to your repertoire. Embrace this iconic composition, add your unique style, and let its rhythm carry you away into the enchanting world of Maurice Ravel’s timeless masterpiece.


Click here for Boléro’s Tab


Click here for Boléro’s Chords

7. Havana by Camila Cabelo

Havana is a popular song by Camila Cabello that is known for its catchy melody and infectious rhythm. Despite being a great hit, this song has one of the most straightforward guitar chords I have ever seen. It is also a relatively easy song to play on classical guitar, making it a great choice for beginners.

The song is based on a simple two-chord progression: Gm and D. This progression is repeated throughout the song, with the occasional variation. The strumming pattern is also simple, making it easy to learn.

If you are a beginner guitarist, you can start by learning to play the basic chords and strumming patterns for Havana. Once you have mastered these basics, you can start to experiment with different fingerpicking techniques and embellishments.


Click here for Havana’s Tab


Click here for Havana’s Chords

8. Let It Be by The Beatles

This last song on my list is one of my all-time favorites and means a lot to me. If you know anything at all about good music, you already know this song. “Let It Be” by Paul McCartney is a timeless masterpiece that still enchants people 60 years after it came out. It’s also a great song for learning the basics of classical guitar.  

Let It Be | Image by Moosiko

Exactly what makes this song suitable for novice guitarists? A couple of things, to be honest. The chord progression and strumming patterns in this song are extremely elementary. The song is in the key of C major, which is a common key for beginners to learn in. The chords used are C, G, Am, F, and Dm, which are all basic open chords that are often taught early on.

The song’s tempo is low, too, so novice musicians can concentrate on making clean chord changes and keeping a steady beat. The strumming pattern is also simple, with a repeating down-up-down-up progression.

Even though this song is not technically a classical guitar song, it still qualifies as a great practice piece. Even the simple strumming pattern of this song will enable beginner guitarists to play hundreds of new songs on their classical guitars. 


Click here for Let It Be’s  Tab


Click here for Let It Be’s Chords


In conclusion, as we’ve explored the world of guitar playing, we’ve discovered the beauty in simplicity. Sometimes, it’s not about intricate fingerpicking or dazzling improvisations; it’s about the simple melodies and the power of the human voice. In many songs, the guitar takes on a supporting role, allowing us to focus on the chords and strumming patterns while we sing along. It’s a testament to the versatility of this instrument.

To all the aspiring guitarists out there, I hope this list of songs and insights has been useful to you on your musical journey. Remember, even the most famous classical guitar artists once started from scratch, learning the basics and building their skills over time. So, keep practicing, keep strumming, and keep singing your heart out.

Before we wrap up, let’s not forget to pay homage to the legendary classical guitar artists who have played a pivotal role in making this instrument famous. Their dedication, innovation, and passion have left an indelible mark on the world of music, inspiring countless musicians, including us.

FAQs About Classical Guitar Songs

Sharif Leen
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