Classical guitar is a beautiful combination of technique, composition, tradition, and passion. If you want to get started exploring the classical guitar, here are ten easy classical guitar songs perfect for beginners.
Let’s get started.
Choosing Classical Songs for Beginners
Choosing the songs is both easy and difficult. It’s easy because the classical guitar repertoire has been around for a while. So there has been a lot of time to see patterns emerge – which songs do beginning students do well at? which ones have proven popular?
It’s difficult because (as is often the case!) there are lots of different opinions. And because the repertoire is so large, limiting it to just ten means purposely cutting out some wonderful pieces.
In the end, we refined our choices based on a survey of existing resources out there, including books (like this and this), websites (like this, and this), and forums (like this, this, and this). We also used our own experience in the world of guitar, as well as insight from guitar lesson curriculum and syllabi.
Note: If you’re just getting started with classical guitar, even the “beginner” songs listed below will be a challenge. To get the very basics of holding a guitar, playing your first notes, and understanding notation, we recommend the lessons fromEvan Taucher. He’ll get you up and running from scratch. And even if you already play a little, he’ll take you to the next level.
In the end, here are the results of our research – the top ten classical songs for beginners:
Top 10 Easy Classical Guitar Songs For Beginners
1. Lágrima by Fransisco Tárrega
This romatic prelude is one of the best known works by Spanish guitarist and composer, Fransisco Tárrega. Often included in beginning classical guitar materials.
- View Lágrima Tab
2. Op. 60, No. 1 by Fernando Sor
Fernando was a Spanish guitarist and composer. He often collected his works into Opuses. This piece from Opus (Op.) 60 is a simple and popular piece for beginners.
3. Romanza (Anonymous)
Romanza is a popular composition for classical guitar, but it’s author is unknown. It has variously been attributed to the typical classical guitar composers like Tarrega and Sor, but it is not certain. You can read more here. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful song for beginners, using open strings and arpeggiation to great effect.
- View Romanza guitar tab
- Get the video lesson available on YouTube >>
4. Waltz in E Minor by Ferdinando Carulli
Waltz in E Minor is from Carulli’s Opus 241. Ferdinando Carulli was an Italian composer and guitarist who wrote early instructional material for the instrument. He was a prolific composer and we’ll see some more of his works below.
5. Españoleta by Gaspar Sanz
Gaspar Sanz was not just a Spanish guitarist and composer, but also a priest. He wrote instructional material for baroque guitar that are still referenced today. And, of course, his Españoleta remains a wonderful piece for beginning classical guitarists.
6. Andantino (G Major) by Ferdinando Carulli
Another from Carulli, Andantino (G Major) is a short 16-bar form with a wonderful harmonies. There’s a great article on the piece here worth looking at .
7. Tanz by Georg Leopold Fuhrman
This piece was originally written for lute by Fuhrman in the Renaissance era. It has been re-arranged for guitar and is a common “beginner” song for classical guitarists.
- View Tanz guitar tab
8. Country Dance by Ferdinando Carulli
I told you we’d see more of Carulli! Here’s a rendition of the piece:
9. Andante – Opus 241 by Ferdinando Carulli
Previously (#4 in this list), we mentioned Waltz in E Minor, which is from Opus 241. Opus 241 from Carulli offers many great starting places, including #4 and #18 (you’ll recall that Carulli organized his compositions into collections, called an “Opus”).
10. Bourrée in E minor
J.S. Bach towers over the Baroque period as a composer and keyboardist. But he also wrote for lute. The Bourrée in E Minor originally was a lute piece, but has been re-arranged for guitar. See a video below of Per-Olov Kindgren playing it. He’s playing it at a fast pace, but slowing it down makes for a great beginner study in multiple moving lines.
- View Bourrée in E minor
Have some other recommendations? Did we miss a song that should be here? Let us know in the comments below!
Also, there’s a LOT of resources out there for classical guitar – free pdfs, databases, YouTube video lessons, and more. If you have some particularly good resources you want to recommend, put those in the comments below too. Thanks!
Heads up! If you click through the video links above and end up signing up for his course, a few bucks will come back to support this site (at no extra charge to you). Thanks in advance!
This is a ridiculous list of pieces for a beginner to attempt.
The Bourree by Bach requires lots dexterity and co-ordination between the hands – as well as heaps of musical understanding – to bring out the contrapuntal lines.
To play Lagrima by Tarrega you need to use barre chords as well be able to stretch and, again, play melody and accompaniment lines simultaneously.
Even Carulli’s Andantino or Country Dance are still pieces that require a substantial amount of preparation for a beginner: freestrokes (and the ability to project those with good tone), play two-note chords with IM while the thumb plays basslines, the ability to move up and down the fretboard, and, as ever, projecting a melody over an accompaniment.
These are all nice pieces but no way they should be labelled as beginner-friendly; beginners should focus on playing single note melodies and eventually building up to adding open bass thumbs and then filling out first position notes. THEN move on to freestroke pieces
Those ascii text tabs are useless, no rhythm/timing. I can’t listen to a recording with my hearing impairment.
With a good teacher and a lot of practice this is do-able as a beginner student. But. But… these pieces are definitely challenging. I started my classical guitar studies 12 years ago and Bourrée would still take me at least a week of practicing to master, and perhaps even longer to take to performance level.
Guys, are these pieces really easy? I’m having a hell of trouble playing the final part of lagrima, and Romanza seems so far fetched…
Maybe I’m prior beginner even?
I’m a beginner to classical guitar, only started playing about 5 weeks ago but have been able to learn the first 8 pieces on this list already. In saying that though, I’ve played electric guitar for around 20 years (very poorly though!) so I’ve had a head start on finger dexterity.
I feel Romanza is a much more advanced piece, especially the second part… some of those fingerings are a big stretch and not easy to switch to. I’ve been very militant in keeping my A.I.M. fingers on ONLY those strings so they learn to naturally gravitate to those strings.
Have you made any further progress in the past few months?
Victor Neves these guitar songs are more like early intermediate level
Yes, these are definetely not begginer pieces.
They might have a very different concept of begginer, or they might have lost touch or forgotten how they learned to play.