A capo is, essentially, a tool meant to change the pitch of a guitar’s strings by shortening their length, which makes it easy to perform a song in a different key without changing technique. But more than that, a capo is an advantage that can expand the repertoire of songs you can perform at ease.
(For more ways to use your capo, see my full guide What Is a Capo Used For on Guitar?)
However, some pieces are simply much easier to play using a capo. The following songs use a capo for their guitar parts, and are best learned by using your own capo on your guitar. That said, they’re still nice and easy. So they’re great to learn if you’re just getting started with a capo for the first time.
One final note before we get started: don’t forget to tune your guitar! These songs won’t sound right if your guitar is out of tune… If you need a great tuner, here’s my favorite clip-on guitar tuner (on Amazon).
Also: you will need a capo to play some of these songs. If you don’t have a capo (or want to upgrade to a better one) here’s my favorite capo (on Amazon).
Take a look at what I consider the 15 best and easiest songs to play on guitar with a capo.
I Got A Name – Jim Croce.
Performed by Jim Croce, written by Norman Gimbel, and composed by Charles Fox, I Got A Name stands out as a song released on September 21, 1973—a mere day right after Croce’s untimely death in a plane crash.
The song has powerful lyrics that reinforce the importance and value of each individual life and the pursuit of dreams regardless of criticism.
Musically, the composition is easy-to-medium in difficulty—it will require a capo on the 2nd fret. Despite this, it does not present any additional problem beyond memorizing the chords and strumming patterns.
Fire And Rain – James Taylor.
Powerful, melancholic, and tragic—James Taylor’s Fire and Rain is a mourning song that oozes despair as the singer reflects on the suicide of a dear friend and other dark challenges.
Considered one of the 500 greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone, the song is nonetheless a beginner-friendly tune and a reliable introduction to the use of a capo. The chords for the song are D, Am7, G, A, C, and Em7, and the capo will need to be on the 3rd fret.
Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles.
Perhaps one of the most brilliant of George Harrison’s compositions for The Beatles, Here Comes The Sun is a celebration of spring—metaphorical and literal—enhanced by a cheery, easy-to-follow sound.
The capo for this track must be on the 7th fret and, while there are many arrangements available, some of the easiest to follow focus on just five chords—D, G, A, and E7.
Coupled with a simple strumming pattern, Here Comes The Sun is an exceptional song for new players to practice with the capo. The best part is that, as they improve their skills, the song’s complexity can also grow.
Last Of My Kind – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit.
Jason Isbell’s Last Of My Kind is a powerful song that resonated with me during certain moments of my life. Its lyrics seem to be a universal anthem for whoever has ever felt misunderstood or like they do not belong.
Isbell’s acoustic guitar is masterful and requires a capo on the 2nd fret and a E A D G B E tuning. It is not the easiest song on the list, but it is still relatively approachable for newcomers that seek doable challenges with a capo.
Better Together – Jack Johnson.
Released in his 2005 album In Between Dreams, Jack Johnson’s Better Together is a charming and laidback folk-rock track that feels particularly happy-go-lucky and dreamy.
That upbeat sound is equal part Johnson’s soft vocals and guitar. Performed in the key of C with a capo on the 5th fret and a tempo of 110 bpm, the song’s difficulty is intermediate but doable if you practice the chords carefully.
Blowin’ In The Wind – Bob Dylan.
Few songs have received as many accolades as Dylan’s Blowin’ In The Wind, not in small part thanks to the exceptional combination of solid protest lyrics and deceptively simple composition.
Perhaps one of the easiest songs with a capo, it is an excellent gateway track for absolute beginners. Blowin’ In The Wind plays in the key of D, requires a capo on the 7th fret, and only features three chords—G, C, and D. The strumming pattern is also extremely easy to follow and memorize.
It is no surprise the song remains a staple for guitar lessons everywhere.
That’s The Way The World Goes Round – John Prine.
The loss of John Prine in 2020 had the Americana scene mourning his departure. Thankfully, he left behind his discography—full of his unique wit and sharp compositions.
That’s The Way The World Goes Round, released in 1978, is the perfect example of his humorous outlook and contributions to the music. Guitar players aiming to play the song will have an easy time, as it only features C, F, and G chords with a straightforward strumming pattern.
Naturally, the song requires a capo. The studio recording of the track uses a capo on the 5th fret, but many of Prine’s live versions instead use a capo on the 2nd fret.
Something In The Way She Moves – James Taylor.
There is something almost ethereal in this romantic track by James Taylor. Released in 1968, this acoustic track is a testament to Taylor’s ability to convey emotion and talent without any excess—simplicity at its best.
Most of the song’s power relies on the lyrics—they inspired George Harrison to write The Beatles’ Something, after all—but the guitar is a thing of beauty as well.
Although it is an intermediate-level song, it is still accessible and doable, featuring a capo on the 3rd fret to give it that characteristic, soft sound.
Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver.
John Denver, Bill Danoff, and Taffy Nivert’s love letter to West Virginia is not only a symbol of the Mountain State but also an emblematic track that has become a representative of the country genre as a whole.
The song is a staple on many guitar players’ repertoire and is relatively easy to learn, not to mention an excellent way to get used to a capo, which Denver places on the 2nd fret.
Wonderwall – Oasis.
For better or worse, there is no doubt that Wonderwall is Oasis’ signature song and the stand-out track in their discography. A hit worldwide, the song also proved to be a trendy pick for new guitar players.
To guarantee the song sounds just like the album version, you need a capo on the 2nd fret and must proceed to play in E minor—the result will be Wonderwall’s characteristic F# minor key.
Keep an eye out for the strumming pattern, though—it can get confusing without proper practice.
Jolene – Dolly Parton.
The impact of Dolly Parton’s Jolene cannot be understated—it is not only her greatest hit but also regularly considered one of the best songs ever recorded.
Based on a real story, the lyrics have a pleading Parton admitting she cannot compete against Jolene’s charms, therefore she resorts to asking her not to take away her lover.
To play Jolene, you’ll require a capo on the 4th fret. Luckily the song relies on just four main chords and features a very minimalistic and straightforward strumming pattern with a tempo of 110 bps, making it a very beginner-friendly track.
Atlantic City – Bruce Springsteen.
Another song fit for beginners seeking to practice with a capo is Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen. Released in 1982, this folk-rock track discusses the area’s organized crime problem from the perspective of a young couple gearing towards tragedy.
The lyrics are somewhat philosophical as they discuss life and death, but the composition is as simple as it comes. The song needs a capo on the 1st fret and only features four chords with a very easy-to-memorize strumming pattern.
Scarborough Fair / Canticle – Simon And Garfunkel.
Scarborough Fair is a traditional English ballad that dates back to at least the 17th century, but perhaps has roots even further in time.
However, Simon and Garfunkel made the song their own, as they modified the lyrics and made a brand-new arrangement for the track. Set it in counterpoint with Canticle, the result is a fantastic psychedelic folk with airs for baroque pop.
To play this ethereal, otherworldly song, you will need a capo on the 7th fret and play the Am, C, G, D, G/B, and Am7 chords. Luckily, these elements make the song an excellent option to introduce guitar newcomers to playing with a capo.
Landslide – Fleetwood Mac.
Landslide is a folk-rock track that is as minimalistic as they come—it only has Stevie Nicks’ vocals and Lindsey Buckingham’s guitar. Nicks wrote the song while in Aspen, with the lyrics reflecting on life achievements and how easily they can crumble down, like an avalanche on a snowy mountain.
The song may not be the best option for a total beginner, but it is one of the most exciting songs to try out. It relies on a capo on the 3rd fret to play in the Eb key.
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright – Bob Dylan
A masterpiece born out of heartbreak, Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright reflects Bob Dylan’s heartbreak after the end of his relationship with Suze Rotolo.
But although Dylan’s Nobel-winning lyrical magic oozes throughout the song, the melody is not his creation. In fact, it is based on a public domain song titled Who’s Gonna Buy Your Chickens When I’m Gone that Dylan learned from Paul Clayton.
To play it, you will need a capo on the 4th fret—it is a simple song that beginners can master in no time since the chords are relatively easy to remember and the strumming is forgiving.