11 Easy Beatles Songs on Guitar

Some people think that the Beatles are overrated but I say that is their loss

Especially if you are learning guitar… because not only does learning the Beatles’ songs give you a masterclass in how to write songs, but you can pick up a lot of great chords along the way.

And the sheer variety is astounding too. I mean in the context of their time, they basically started out as a boy band.

But the poppy love songs that famously had young women screaming and jumping up and down eventually gave way to songs that explored all kinds of topics.

And if you ask people of a certain age, they will probably tell you that many of the Fab Four’s songs were basically the soundtrack to their youth.

Although I’m not quite that old, some of the songs that we will cover here are also some of the first Beatles songs that I learned too. 

And they have had a lasting influence on my playing by making me more proactive about using “7” chords and trying to think outside of the box.

So without further ado, let’s take a little trip back in time to the glorious Sixties!

1. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

We’ll start with a really fun song that stands out by telling the story of a young couple instead of opting for the usual “first person” approach to love songs. 

And with its nonsense chorus and boppy rhythm, it can quickly put you in a good mood.

Note that you’ll need to put a capo on the first fret to get the sound of the recording.

Here’s how the song breaks down.

Intro: E A

Verse: A E E7 A A7 D A E A

Chorus: A E F#m7 A E A (play this two times)

Bridge: D A Asus2 A A7 D A/E (A chord with open 6th string) E

Outro: A E F#m7 A E A  (like the chorus) then A E F#m7 A E F#m E A

You’ll quickly see how the little changes like the 7th chords really help the song come alive.

And if you’re a beginner you can just strum the song.

But if you want to take it to the next level, practice rhythmically pressing and then releasing the chords with your fretting hand to get that “bouncy” sound. The video below demonstrates it well!

Link to tab

And here’s a lesson:

2. Yellow Submarine

This song is notable not just for how strange it is lyrically, but it is actually the drummer Ringo Starr doing the vocals as well. 

And it’s a great song to know if you have (or work with) children as well since it was apparently written as a kids’ song. 

Now to play along with the recording I think you need to tune your guitar half a step down to Eb major. But for practicing I think standard tuning is just fine.

This one is super easy as far as the chords needed and the video tutorial will help you with the timing of the chords (on the first and fourth beats in the beginning of the song). 

Here is the song:

Verse 1: (G) D C G Em Am C D (play four times)

Chorus: G D G D G

Verse 2: G D C G Em Am C D G D C G

The break also uses the same chords as Verse 1.

Link to tab

And here’s a lesson:

3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

If kids’ songs aren’t your thing, then you can learn to play this song about a serial killer…

But I think there is meant to be some humor in the song as well as you can clearly hear Paul McCartney actually laughing while he is singing it. 

And while the recorded song relies heavily on piano, it also shines when played on guitar, especially an acoustic. 

Here are the parts of the song.

Verse: D B7 Em A7 D A

Pre Chorus: E7 A7

Chorus: D E7 A7 Em A7 D

Interlude: D F#/C# Bm D7/A G D

Solo: D E7 A7 Em7 A7 D A D

Outro: D F#/C# Bm D7/A G D A D

Don’t be scared of some of the complicated-looking chords; they are actually very simple and usually just involve playing an extra string or two.

If you want to master a more complicated version of the song with the single-string walk-ups and downs, you can check out the video below. 

Link to tab

And here’s a lesson:

4. Sexy Sadie

Whether you wanted to or not, I’m sure you have heard One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful many times. 

And it’s basically about a girl who is attractive because she doesn’t realize how beautiful she is.

But the Beatles’ Sexy Sadie is about the opposite situation: a girl who knows exactly how attractive she is and takes advantage of it. 

Well, actually it was about some of the unbecoming behaviors of a yoga guru that the guys met during their travels in India.

But whatever the true inspiration behind the song was, this is my personal favorite to play when it comes to “easy” Beatles songs.

Here are the chords you will need.

Intro: C D G F#7 F D7

Verse: G F#7 Bm

C D G F#7 (two times)

F D7 G

Chorus: G Am7 Bm7 Cmaj7 

G Am7 Bm7 C 

A7 G# G

Bridge: Bm7 C D G F#7

Link to tab

And here’s a lesson:

5. Let It Be

Some people may think this song is overly simple, especially for being the title track off the band’s final album.

But it is still a classic and sometimes we all need these  “words of wisdom” in our lives

And I’m pretty sure that “Mother Mary” was intentionally meant to be interpreted as the Virgin Mary, but in reality, she was simply McCartney’s mother

Here are the chords for the song.

Intro: This is the same as the verse but omit the Am/G chord.

Verse:  C G Am Am/G Fmaj7 F6 (F barre chord with the 5th string “open” at the first fret (A#))

C G F C/E Dm7 C (play both parts two times)

Chorus: Am G F C G F C/E Dm7 C

Bridge and outro: F C/E Dm7 C Bb F/A G F C (once for the outro and two times for bridge section)

Chords during solo: C G Am F C G F C (play two times)

Link to tab

And here’s a lesson:

6. Hey Jude

Link to tab

7. I Want to Hold Your Hand

Link to tab

8. Drive My Car

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9. The Long and Winding Road

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10. Twist and Shout

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11. Can’t Buy Me Love

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