Guitar Tabs

When you are learning to write songs, nothing is better than learning from the greats. It’s how the greats became greats, like the young George Harrison, above. Practicing, and becoming proficient, at simple, effective songs lets your body learn as much as your mind as to what makes a good song. A surprising amount of your most original songs will be variations of classics.

If you are a beginner guitar player, here are some links to some simple song tabs, that might stretch your songwriting muscles just that little bit to be useful.


That’s Entertainment (cover of the Jam) – Capo on 3rd Fret – lyrics version here

Songs: Ohia

Ring The Bell – The chords are just Am, G, so just a lyric version is shown.

The Beatles

Sexy Sadie – A classic with just enough tough/interesting chords to keep pushing your skills.

George Harrison

My Sweet Lord

The Dandy Warhols


Not if You Were The Last Junkie on Earth – Four simple chords – AECD – and a Bridge that is merely A – makes this an exercise in simplicity and strumming. Note that the chorus uses a shift into double time.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre

When Jokers Attack Music and Lyrics

Big Star

September Gurls. Basically D A G (Em), with a whole lot of fine-tuning by the tabber. If you just want the lyrics, there here.

The National

Lemonworld – A good reminder that less can be more with songwriting. Capo on 1st fret, or optional.

The Minders

Hooray For Tuesday -  A lovely song, great for practicing basic bar chords.

Elliott Smith

Smith’s songs are complex and often tuned down, but a rich source for guitar lessons. Included are as many versions as possible for fans to decide their favorite.

Clouds (Quasi cover). Sounds best tuned down a step.

thirteen (v.2)

waterloo sunset (v.2)

condor ave (v.2) (v.3)

Needle in the Hay – easier than you might have been led to believe!

say yes (v.2) (v.3)(v.4)

waltz #2 (xo) (v.2) (v.3)(v.4)

independence day (v.2) (v.3) (v.4) (v.5) (v.6)

son of sam (v.2) (v.3) (v.4) (acoustic)

wouldn’t mama be proud (v.2)

riot coming

georgia georgia (v.2)

miss misery (v.2) (v.3) (v.4)(v.5)

antonio carlos jobim (v.2)

plainclothes man

Daniel Johnston

True Love Will Find You in the End. Easy to play. There is a link to a more complex tuning on the same page.

The Traveling Wilburys

Inside Out – As with many Beatles, Dylan, or 1960′s songs, a relatively simple melody is actually quite complex. This uses eight chords, including the lovely shift from C#m to G#m.

Jason Morphew

Marry the Moon (chords required)


Need to find a chord? This is a great resource –’s Chord Search

(this is a copy from an old post – more tabs from the old list to come)