37 Top Easy Fingerpicking Songs For Beginners [With Tabs]

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“The Sound Of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel


For a song supposedly recorded in a bathroom, The Sound Of Silence has become an important piece of work. There have been few songs that portray the sense of loneliness on the level this track provides. 

The important thing to learn here is the ability to have an accurate, yet delicate, touch. If you have someone to sing the harmony parts with, then that’s even better!

“Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s


In the golden age of emo, the Plain White T’s had a breakthrough hit that harkened back to folk roots. This is primarily evident in the fingerpicked guitar heard as the song’s basis throughout its entirety. 

Hey There Delilah is a wonderful choice for beginner fingerpickers. Plus, it makes a good repertoire piece for when you need to play something a little on the romantic side.

“Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers


Soul powerhouse, Bill Withers, is known for quite a few songs in his catalog. Ain’t No Sunshine is a bonafide classic, and should be a standard repertoire piece.

If you learn this song, it’s a guarantee you’ll be able to play with any seasoned musician at any time. It’s also an ideal song for singing your head off, especially if you have something tearing you up inside.

Once you start experimenting with lead guitar, you might find a good use for Ain’t No Sunshine. Its chord progression makes for an excellent loop to have for guitar solo practices.

“I Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley


Elvis Presley’s song, I Can’t Help Falling In Love, is an absolute masterpiece as far as romantic ballads are concerned. It has a delicate sense of beauty that seems as fragile as the act of falling in love.

You’ll notice that the recording doesn’t highlight the guitar (likely due to the sound Nashville was producing at the time). However, its chord progression and arpeggiation can easily be applied to a fingerpicking pattern on the guitar.

“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” by Led Zeppelin


The unfortunate flip side to falling in love is the act of leaving once love is beyond its expiration date. Led Zeppelin’s Babe I’m Gonna Leave You makes this subject as plain as day. 

It’s one of the few songs in the early Led Zeppelin catalog that has a unique acoustic sound. In some ways, it almost resembles the style of classical guitar as opposed to folk and rock.

The song has a nice blend of fingerpicking and strumming involved and gives great insight into song composition. Take notice of how Led Zeppelin builds intense energy during the song’s classic descending riff. 

“Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M.


One of the fundamental teachings within Buddhism is that suffering is an unavoidable fact of life. It would seem that R.E.M. touched on this very topic with their smash hit song, Everybody Hurts.

This song is absolutely fit for somebody who has never really dabbled in fingerpicking. The majority of the song primarily utilizes the simple arpeggiation of chords, plucked along subsequent strings.

Another reason why the song is ideal for beginners is that the tempo is rather slow. You won’t need to spend as much time bringing the fingerpicking pattern up to speed with Everybody Hurts.

“Dear Prudence” by The Beatles


Another golden track from the famed self-titled “White Album” that features fingerpicking is Dear Prudence. For such a simple melody, Dear Prudence’s descending line is extremely potent and memorable. 

In a way, the fingerpicked guitar part makes the song seem to swirl around in a sort of circular fashion. Perhaps that’s part of the reason why the lyrics allude to moving around in a similar manner.

Dear Prudence is relatively simple, but you’ll want to spend a little time getting the rhythm right. The first note is accented, but the in-between notes play a role in getting that circular sound.

“Yesterday” by The Beatles


Have you ever felt nostalgic for the past in a way that you just can’t quite comprehend? If so, there’s a fair chance that playing the hit song, Yesterday, will especially resonate with your inner being. 

Yesterday doesn’t have anything overly intricate as far as fingerpicking goes. It does utilize some claw techniques in order to provide that sense of storytelling inherent in the song. 

Like most memorable songs, you’ll want to make sure that you can play the guitar part as precisely as possible. Many people know this song, and getting it right ensures that your audience will know exactly what the song is.

“Fire And Rain” by James Taylor

“Fire And Rain” by James Taylor


James Taylor is one of the foremost artists that helped to deliver the sound of Laurel Canyon to the world. His biggest hits, including Fire And Rain, featured memorable fingerpicking and powerful lyrics.

Fire And Rain will have people singing along, and if played at the right moment, could induce some tears, too. Nailing the fingerpicking is quite crucial here, but at the very least, aim to play the signature fingerpicked licks.

“Stop This Train” by John Mayer


If you’re familiar with John Mayer’s track, Neon, you probably know he’s an exceptional fingerpicker. Even if you don’t like Mayer, you can probably agree that we all aspire to play at that level. 

A song that will get you started in the right direction is, Stop This Train. However, do be forewarned that you’ll want to have learned many of the other songs mentioned here beforehand.

The reason for this is that Stop This Train incorporates more of a rhythmic aspect to the fingerpicking style. Throughout the song, the thumb taps on the strings to give the track a rhythmic locomotive pulse.

“Greensleeves” (Traditional)


Sure, Greensleeves might traditionally be thought of as a Christmas song. After all, some of the most famous Christmas songs have used the melody of Greensleeves as their musical foundation.

But, if you’re willing to look beyond that, Greensleeves is actually an excellent piece of art. It might be part of the reason why it has endured for so many centuries.

This song will utilize more chords with passing notes in between to provide that iconic melody. Anyone interested in jazz or classical guitar will find this to be right at home in the wheelhouse. 

“Let Her Go” by Passenger


Although it was released over a decade ago, Passenger’s Let Her Go is still as relevant as yesterday. If you grew up with Passenger, there’s a fair chance that you wouldn’t mind learning Let Her Go.

The most difficult aspect of the song is primarily in the cosmic intro. After that, you’ll pretty much be strumming some simple chords. 

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