Friday, November 14, 2014

50+ Three-Chord Songs To Play For Your Kids

If you've been following along with our tutorials on harmonizing children's songs on the guitar here, here, and here, you're ready for the three chord song list. If the D major chord set hasn't been working for your vocal range, try playing these with the A major chord set (A, D, and E) or the C major chord set (C, F, and G). There are chord charts available all over the internet and several good apps that teach guitar chords as well.

Here's a table to help you change keys (chord sets). To change what you've been playing in D major to another key, just use choose your chord set, and replace the chord from the D major chord set with the chord from your key in the same column. If you're changing from D major to A major, you would replace D chord with A, G with D, and A with E.

Chord Roman Numerals
D Major Chord Set
C Major Chord Set
A Major Chord Set

And now for your three chord strategy and song list...

D Major Chord Set

The D Chord. Play everything but the top string. If you use the D chord set, this chord will always be the last one in the song.  It is very likely to also be the first.

The A Chord.  This is usually the second most common chord in a song, and is second most likely to be the first chord.

The G Chord.  Use this one when the other two don't sound right.

Three-Chord Songs

  1. ABC's/ Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/ Baa Baa Black Sheep/Various Others
  2. All Shook Up – Elvis Presley 
  3. Amazing Grace 
  4. Battle Hymn of the Republic  (And various songs to the same tune)
  5. Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis Presley 
  6. Bye Bye Love – The Everly Brothers 
  7. De Colores 
  8. Down By the Bay  
  9. Down on the Corner – Creedence Clearwater Revival 
  10. Five Little Ducks  
  11. Five Little Speckled Frogs 
  12. Get Along Home Cindy – Dean Martin & Ricky Nelson 
  13. Guantanamera – The Sandpipers 
  14. Happy Birthday  
  15. Hawaiian Rainbows 
  16. Hey Mr. Tambourine Man – Bob Dylan 
  17. Hound Dog – Elvis 
  18. I Love Rock N Roll – Joan Jett 
  19. I Saw Her Standing There – The Beatles 
  20. If You're Happy and You Know It 
  21. I’m a Believer – Monkees, Smash Mouth 
  22. I'm A Little Teapot 
  23. I’m Bringing Home My Baby Bumble Bee  
  24. I've Been Working on the Railroad 
  25. La Bamba
  26. Las MaƱanitas 
  27. Louie Louie – The Kingsmen, various 
  28. My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean 
  29. Oats, Peas, Beans  
  30. Ob-la-di ob-la-da – The Beatles 
  31. Oh My Darling, Clementine
  32. Oh Susanna  
  33. Old McDonald 
  34. On Top of Old Smoky/ On Top of Spaghetti 
  35. Over the River and Through the Woods 
  36. Peace Like a River 
  37. Que Sera, Sera – Doris Day 
  38. Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash 
  39. Roll Over Beethoven – Chuck Berry 
  40. Shake My Sillies Out 
  41. She'll Be Comin' Around the Mountain 
  42. Surfin’ USA – The Beach Boys 
  43. The Bear Went Over the Mountain 
  44. The Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens, various 
  45. This Land is Your Land 
  46. This Little Light of Mine  
  47. This Train Is Bound for Glory 
  48. Tutti Frutti –Little Richard 
  49. Twist and Shout –The Isley Brothers, The Beatles, various 
  50. Uno, Dos, y Tres (Counting Song) 
  51. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & the Waves 
  52. Weevily Wheat 
  53. When the Saints Go Marching In 
  54. Wild Thing – The Troggs 
  55. Yankee Doodle 
  56. Yellow Submarine – The Beatles 
  57. You Are My Sunshine – Jimmy Davis, Johnny Cash, various
There are tons of other songs that can be played with these three chords.  The ones on this list fit into at least one of three categories: 1) major American cultural relevance, 2) subject matter and music that appeals to kids, 3) useful for teaching an educational concept.

Any you would add?

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