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8 Awesome Split Measure Songs For Guitar Beginners (Songs For Absolute Beginners Class 9)

8 Awesome Split Measure Songs For Guitar Beginners

Are you right on the edge between being a very much beginner guitar player, and a not so much of a beginner guitar player?  

If so, you’re probably ready to play songs where the chord changes come faster than every measure–and in this blog post I’ve picked out eight easy beginners songs for you to practice chord changes on which feature “split-measure” chord changes.

A “split-measure” is a measure which has two (or more) chords in it.  They can be played with lots of different strum patterns, but most typically are played using a “basic strum.”  Usually, one chord is played for two beats and the other is played for…two beats! The measure is split in half!

And a default strum pattern which sounds great on almost any rock, pop or folk song is to play a “best strum” on any measures in a song which only have one chord and the aforementioned “basic strum” pattern on any measures which have two chords.  

So pick up your guitar and get ready to rock.  Below I’ve listed some great split measure songs and I’ve even included audio links, music charts links, and sometimes even links to video tutorials.  These songs are guitar titanium–they will make your playing harder than steel, and twice as shiny.

If you DON’T yet feel ready for split measures FEAR NOT! Immediately either click this link for easy online tutorials on beginning guitar at guitarlessons.nyc or sign up for a lesson or class right away at NYC Guitar School.

Keep in mind:

  • I transposed a few of the songs in order to avoid difficult chords like F, Bb, Qrelative, and Zsharp minor 7th, so that you can concentrate strumming split measures.
  • If a song is transposed, the notes on the song will tell you how many half-steps to transpose the chart–sounds tricky, but it is easy, just hit the “transpose +” or the “transpose -” button on the song until you know all the chords.
  • If that means you need to use a capo, the notes on the song will tell you what fret to put the capo on.

Here’s the list of songs, along with where to place your capo (if applicable) plus links to the song, tutorials and charts.  

(And don’t forget–if you want to play more and better guitar, we invite you to join our friendly guitar community at NYCGuitarSchool.com.  If you’re not in NYC, you can still get the step-by-step goodness at guitarlessons.nyc.)

***Every once in a while links break…please let us know if you notice a broken one!

Man on the Moon – REM

YOUTUBE http://youtu.be/1hKSYgOGtos

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/r_e_m_/man_on_the_moon_chords_697336

TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA8yPCT923M

C – D – C – C   ; Am – G – Am – G – Am G – D – D (no capo)

Alt. Rock (1992)

Difficult

Imagine – John Lennon

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkgkThdzX-8

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/john_lennon/imagine_chords_117730

TUTORIAL (Oh no, we don’t have a good tutorial to share!  Let us know if you find one.)

G – C  ; Em – Am – D – D7  ; C – D – G (capo 5)

Folk Rock (1971)

Medium

Take it Easy – The Eagles

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v8KEbQA8kw

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/eagles/take_it_easy_chords_14322

TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjRk75bqJOY

G – C – D – Em etc. (no capo)

Classic Rock (1972)

Medium

Look at Miss Ohio – Gillian Welsh

YOUTUBE http://youtu.be/9NPEj63d0jY

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/gillian_welch/look_at_miss_ohio_chords_1089277 transpose down 5

TUTORIAL (Oh no, we don’t have a good tutorial to share!  Let us know if you find one.)

C – G- D – D (capo 7)

Country/Folk (2003)

Medium

Redemption Song – Bob Marley

YOUTUBE http://youtu.be/QrY9eHkXTa4

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/bob_marley/redemption_song_chords_670722

TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHFMobs6BW0 **Note they use G/B between C and Am**

G – Em – C -Am ; G – Em – C – D ; G – C – D ; Em – C – D
Acoustic Reggae (1980)

Difficult

Despacito – Luis Fonsi

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJQP7kiw5Fk

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/luis_fonsi/despacito_chords_1963983

TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eftAUy1HsKo **Note they use a different Em shape***

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH-SXs8QM60 ***Note this is in Spanish***

Em – C – G – D (capo 7)

Latin Pop (2017)

Easy

Let It Go – James Bay

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsPq9mzFNGY

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/james_bay/let_it_go_chords_1680532

TUTORIAL  (Oh no, we don’t have a good tutorial to share!  Let us know if you find one.)

G – C – Em – D  ; Em – D – C (capo 6)

Pop (2015)

Medium

Come As You Are – Nirvana

YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vabnZ9-ex7o

CHART https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/nirvana/come_as_you_are_chords_1202432  transpose down 2

TUTORIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJZuY6Ee-DQ

Em – D ; Em – C ; A – C (no capo)

Grunge Rock (1991)

Easy

(And don’t forget–if you want to play more and better guitar, we invite you to join our friendly guitar community at NYCGuitarSchool.com.  If you’re not in NYC, you can still get the step-by-step goodness at guitarlessons.nyc.)

 

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