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Thread: Two chord songs?

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    Default Two chord songs?

    I have a friend who wants me to help her learn guitar. Can anyone think of simple two-chord songs (I and V) that could get her started? I'm beginning with "I Ride an Old Paint", but beyond that, I can only think of fiddle tunes like "Cripple Creek." I think, though, that she needs slower songs with words to start getting pleasure from her initial learning.

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    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Sunshine on my shoulders makes happy.

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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    It’s not a two-chord song, but Neil Young’s “Helpless” is a great starter guitar song because it’s so slow and beautiful. Practice changing chords for a week or so and you can play and sing along with the recording. Gets people feeling the satisfaction of really making music right away. Cripple Creek does have words too. Other two chord songs : Ida Red, Darling Corey, Hot Corn Cold Corn, Shady Grove.

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    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Not a very big leap from two chord to three chord tunes, really. Sorry, I realize that doesn't help with your question.

    I'm at a loss right now, I know there are a bunch, but the only one I've been playing recently is another fiddle tune, Jack Danielson's Reel, played in A and E
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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Angeline the Baker (I and IV)

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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Thanks for the suggestions. I welcome more. Starting with I and IV provides the chance to sing an entire song, it seems to me, and the V chord can then be added shortly after -- opening up a HUGE new world! Shady Grove is good too, although the minor doesn't provide such a solid stepping-stone as the IV. Yes, I know "Cripple Creek" has "words" but like the words to "Hot Corn Cold Corn," they are more like lilting in Irish music or scat singing in jazz. "Cripple Creek" and "Hot Corn Cold Corn" are almost what they call "tunes" in the Celtic tradition, not "songs." The "words" to those songs provide a way to vocally participate in the music, but I guess I'm thinking of songs someone can sing and most quickly learn how to accompany themselves on a guitar.

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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Here is exactly what you are looking for:

    http://songtrain.net/

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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Of the top of my head.. Jambalaya (Hank Williams) I $ V , Walls of Time ( Bill Monroe) I & IV
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    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    I'll Go Steppin'
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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Many thanks. That's lots and lots! By the time she masters these songs, she'll be playing 3 chord songs!!!!

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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Quote Originally Posted by RickPick View Post
    <>, she'll be playing 3 chord songs!!!!
    Well hey now, remember, nobody likes a showoff ...

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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Instrumental whiz Harvey Reid, along with Joyce Anderson, has developed, recorded and published The Song Train, which includes 56 more or less familiar songs that only require two chords. There's a book and a CD, and it's also on several digital media sites.

    I don't have personal experience with it, but it sounds like a source that could help.
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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Angelina Baker
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  19. #15

    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Wilson View Post
    Angeline the Baker (I and IV)

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    Angelina Baker
    Same tunes, right?

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    Whoops, I missed his post ! Sorry ! Same tune !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    JL277z 

  22. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jesserules View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Deju vu or I'm seeing double again??

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  24. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    Whoops, I missed his post ! Sorry ! Same tune !
    Cool, I wasn't sure 'cuz sometimes tune names are pretty similar even though different tunes.

  25. #19

    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Dance the night away - the Mavericks. Not a traditional/old time or bluegrass song, but one that shows you can get a great tune out of just 2 chords.

  26. #20
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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Horse with no name by I think America.
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    Registered User Bob Visentin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Tonight the bottle let me down. Merle Haggard I -V

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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Quote Originally Posted by G7MOF View Post
    Horse with no name by I think America.
    Beat me to it...seems like it lasts forever when you're playing it But fun, esp with others, and most people over the age of 35 will at least sing the chorus...
    Chuck

  29. #23
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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Well you know what they say Chuck. Great minds think alike.
    I never fail at anything, I just succeed at doing things that never work....


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  30. #24

    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    "Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho", Dm and A7.
    "Those who know don't have the words to tell, and the ones with the words don't know so well." - Bruce Cockburn

  31. #25
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    Default Re: Two chord songs?

    Guitars and Cadillacs

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