I have been asked to teach a 17-year old Belgian foreign exchange student some simple (3-4 chord) songs in English. He's been playing guitar for a couple of years and knows his majors, minors and 7ths pretty well. So, again my task is to teach him songs instead of giving him lessons.

So -- simple songs in English -- what song(s) would you teach?

Thanks in advance.
Quote by Tony Done
What genre(s) and playing style?

Rock (old and new), country and/or blues.

Playing style: mostly strumming with a pick.
Wildwood Flower is pretty cool, and only 2 chords (C, G7) I think. Have to learn how to "flick" the treble strings

"House of the Rising Sun" is pretty simple too. 5 chords, with a real simple picking pattern. That's more chords than you asked for (3-4), but it's a really simple and fun song to play. Plus it gives him a "blues" song Everybody wants to learn blues.

If he learns "House of the Rising Sun" please tell him to send me some chocolate. Or a waffle. I'm easy.
Last edited by TobusRex at Jan 26, 2016,
Which tuning?

One that I can think of off the top of my head with strumming (with a pick), in C#G#C#F#A#D#, is:
War of Change - Thousand Foot Krutch

According to Google, TFK is classified in the Rock Genre.
Lots of power chord based songs. Can get the hang of the chord shape in a very short period of time and quickly teach a bunch of songs. Even if the song isn't exclusively power chords, can make an easier version that is.

Kind of songs I would teach for this situation:

All the Small Things - Blink 182
When I Come Around - Green Day
Wild Thing - The Troggs
7 Nation Army - White Stripes
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To be honest i do not understand this request 100%...

The Belgian Boy knows how to Play and you don't know what to do with him or what Songs to Show him...
You know that this page hosts one of the world's biggest tab/chord database...?

honestly...I suggest

American Pie
Diamonds ( check yt for Alyssa Bernal's Version...3 simple chords )
Smells like teen Spirit
Adele's "Hello"
what does HE like?

see what he knows, and come back here.

teach him some good ole' american metal. COC, superjoint ritual, Down, or something like that. i say that because that is one thing he probably wouldn't run across that in Belgium.
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Quote by trashedlostfdup
what does HE like?

That was my first thought. Ask him and pick something he is interested in playing.

If he's been playing for a couple of years then perhaps he knows some songs which you can work on to polish too?
Listen to some music and see what moves him.

Most Creedence, Clapton acoustic, Eagles are easy strummers with simple chords and melody. Maybe some blues like Boom Boom, or Psychedelic like White Rabbit or Doors.
Chasing cars - Snow Patrol is a great one for beginners. The picking part is really simple but actually sounds nice when beginners play it and it's only 3 chords in the Chorus
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I'd really appreciate any feedback & suggestions.

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teach the songs in every position easy he'll be more independent.

E013 --+5 =
B 568 --+5 =
G 910 12 --ETC
+1 to Cajundaddy's reply. Keep it up, keep it simple and do songs everyone recognizes. CCR, Eagles are perfect with full six string chords, full and consistent strumming patterns and (except for "Proud Mary") they are all in normal tuning.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Feb 18, 2016,