Serious fingerstyle songs good for beginners

It’s usually prudent to start your fingerstyle adventure with something that’s specifically aimed at your current level of playing. There are a lot of publications containing songs especially written or arranged for students. Sooner or later however, you might want to learn some real “stage” songs by your favourite artists. That’s where this list might come in handy. Have in mind that these are by no means easy songs. They are just easy compared to other “stage songs” by the likes of Tommy, Chet etc.


Freight train – a lot of people start with this one even though it isn’t the easiest one I can think of. There are couple of reasons for that: there is quite a lot of barre, there is some thumb-over-the-neck fretting, it’s played in boom chick which on its own isn’t that easy. It’s easily customizable so a lot of artist have their own iteration.

Trambone – Chet’s classic. Again it’s in boom-chick. Some thumb over the top but no barre.

Windy and warm – Depending on the version it can be very easy or very hardcore (see Tommy Emmanuel’s medley with Classical Gas). Nice introduction to boom-chick.

Imagine – aside from false harmonic ending and repetition of the theme in higher positions, Tommy’s arrangement is pretty straightforward and sounds great thanks to the 6th string dropped down to D.

Here comes the sun – short and not that difficult.

Blue moon – not all of it. If you’re just starting, do the main part and ending as a great introduction to walking bass lines. As you progress, you’ll be able to add other segments.


From this point on it gets a little more difficult

Mr Bojangles – arranged by Chet Atkins. If you cut a little here and there it’s pretty straightforward.

Stay close to me – requires strong barre but pretty doable.

Papa George – sweet tune, has couple of tough spots however.

Up from down under – if you loose crazy cascading harmonics part it’s not that hard.

Countrywide – solid boom chick song with not so many difficult parts.

Cowboy’s Dream – G6 tuning but overall doable.


This list will expand with time. Also feel free to suggest your songs.


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