Want to master playing a classic guitar? Start with these classical guitar songs for beginners. They have repetitive patterns, easy-to-remember plucking, and smooth transitions. We’ve even included a video tutorial so you can get started right away!
Andantino in G by Ferdinando Carulli
Ferdinando Carulli’s 1825 Andantino is one of the easiest classical guitar songs for beginners. You will play the introductory pattern twice and move on to variations of notes while using this same picking pattern. Plus, you don’t have to use a capo!
With this classical music, you are going to keep your picking fingers planted in the same spot for the duration of the song. You have the option to use your thumb on the top E string for added dimension. Your other hand will be holding notes that are sometimes pretty high on the neck of your guitar.
So what makes Spanish Romance an easy classic guitar song? You will play a lot of this piece with open notes, making it a great practicing song for your picking hand!
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring was composed in 1723 by Johann Sebastian Bach. It may take a bit more time for you to learn, but it is definitely worth it! Plus, it will test your picking and chord hands.
This song is very upbeat and has a happy vibe. The tabs this video displays look overwhelming, but the video walks you through each step.
Tip: You should learn the melody first, which is the most important of this piece, and then build off of that.
Ode to Joy by Ludwig Van Beethoven
This song was first performed in Vienna in 1824 by Ludwig van Beethoven in his 9th Symphony. You have probably heard it before, so you will be able to hear it coming together as you learn. You will play this song using no capo and only a few fingers.
Tip: Make sure you do not release your fingers too fast from the neck so that your notes will ring longer.
Etude in E Minor by Francisco Tárrega
Our list of the best classical guitar songs for beginners wouldn’t be complete without Francisco Tarrega, the father of classical guitar. Etude in E Minor combines E-minor chords and picking patterns to create a soothing and beautiful piece.
Andantino (G Major) by Ferdinando Carulli
Ferdinando Carulli composed music all over the world. He began performing in Naples and became so popular that he eventually did a tour in Europe. He composed Andantino in the late eighteenth century, around the time he met his wife.
The G Major version of Andantino is richer and deeper in sound than the G variation.
Lagrima by Francisco Tarrega
Francisco Tárrega composed Lagrima, which means “teardrop” in English, w between late 1891 and early 1892.
You are going to play Lagrima in an E major key, starting with the second and fourth frets. You will pluck the strings using your thumb, ring, and middle fingers. During the second part of the song, you will need to transition your fingers on the neck from the second and fourth frets to the fourth and fifth frets. Lastly, you will move them two frets up in the third part to six and seven.
Bolero by Maurice Ravel
Mauric Ravel’s Bolero debuted at the Paris Opera on November 22, 1928.
Fun Fact: Maurice Ravel composed this piece while suffering from a degenerative brain disease.
Bolero is known for its soft beginning and extremely loud ending. While monumental, this gorgeous and popular piece is also one of the easiest classical guitar songs for beginners. You will be moving your fingers a lot on both ends of the guitar. Between a series of patterns and picking, there are a few variations of drumming patterns that you can throw in there using your hands and guitar!
Classical Gas by Mason Williams
Mason Williams composted the Classical Gas in 1967. He named it “Classical Gas” because it was written as “fuel” to play if anyone wanted to hear something.
The first four bars will be important for you to learn as they are the main theme of the song. You’ll play these four bars several times throughout the piece, making it a great learning song!
Asturias (Leyenda) By Isaac Albeniz
Asturias Leyenda is a great song for beginners because of its repetitive patterns. The six-minute song was originally written on the piano and published in Barcelona by Juan Bta. Because the piano sheet music of this song cannot be translated to guitar, it was rewritten by Isaac Albeniz for the guitar.
You should begin with mastering the melody. This is played, in order, from the seventh fret on the fifth string to the ninth fret on the fourth string. This sequence ends with a note at the tenth fret on the fourth string. Then, you will go back to the seventh fret, ninth fret, and then end on the tenth fret on the fifth string.
You should practice this sequence and master it before moving on to the remainder of the song, which builds off of that pattern!
Allegro by Mauro Giuliani
Allegro is one of the easiest songs for beginners to learn because it uses one pattern throughout the entire piece. This pattern requires you to use your thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers.
You should practice this picking pattern and slowly master it before adding chords to the mix. The first chord you will use will be the modified A minor chord, and then you will transition to a D minor chord.
Finally, this beautiful melody will come together to make a complex sound with many levels that you should be proud of mastering!
Op. 60, No. 1 by Fernando Sor
Fernando Sor wrote the Introduction a letude de la guitar or Op. 60. The easy transitions and combination of picking patterns and chords played in this song make it a great piece for you to learn as a beginner! It is also a very slow-paced song!
You will need to learn how to glide through the bars to create that smooth and “flowy” sound this song is known for.
Study in A Minor by Dionisio Aguado
Composed in 1843, Study In A Minor comes from lesson 19 of Dionisio’s teaching method. It emphasizes arpeggio playing and keeps the picking pattern steady throughout the song.
After staying in A minor for a while, you will transition to C major to give it a different feel. You will play this at the end of the neck by the head of the guitar, which is another factor making this an easy song to play!
Op. 60, Study No. 7 – Matteo Carcassi
This piece was composed between 1792 and 1853 by Matteo Carcassi. Op. 60, Study No. 7 is one of the most famous pieces because of its blend of technical skills and romantics.
This one is faster-paced than any of the others on this list. Slowly progressing through higher levels of speed and mastering each will be the key to gradually being able to play it at its full speed. Luckily for you, the picking pattern is the same throughout the song, and the right hand transitions are reasonably simple.
Time to “Pick” Away!
These fifteen classical guitar songs for beginners will have all your friends and family impressed! Remember, even the best classical guitarists started as a beginner!