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.
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!
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