What is the easiest Nirvana song to play on guitar? There are quite a number of Nirvana songs that you can easily play on the guitar. It’s the solos and Kurt’s voice that are hard to replicate. Nonetheless, if we have to choose one, perhaps “All Apologies” is the easiest one because of its repetitive chords.
Nirvana has cemented its name in the world of rock and roll. They are one of the many bands that changed the landscape of music through their songs, lyricism, and instrumental dynamics. That’s perhaps why almost three decades since they were last active after Kurt Cobain’s death, they still have millions of followers and listeners all over the globe.
If you’ve just learned about them, or you’ve just learned how to play the guitar, you might be wondering which of their songs you can easily learn. Well, there are quite a few, and we’ll name most of them in this article, so be sure to stick around.
Easiest Nirvana Songs to Play on the Guitar
Here’s a quick list of the easiest Nirvana songs to play on the guitar.
A song from Nirvana’s In Utero album, “All Apologies” is characterized by its repetitive chords and lyrics that are rather easy to memorize. The plucking or string-picking is the difficult part since you’d have to understand how to read tabs to play it. Nonetheless, the song is rather easy if you stick to the basic chords and you have a capo clamped on the first fret.
The entire verses only use one chord, which is C. So, you just have to fret the A, D, and B strings on the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st fret and strum the guitar with only downward strokes.
The chorus, on the other hand, uses the F and G chords. To play the F chord, fret the D, G, and B strings on the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st fret, respectively. For the G chord, press the low E string on the 3rd fret, the A on the 2nd fret, the B on the 3rd fret, and the high E on the 3rd fret as well.
Play only the F chord on the first line of the chorus, followed by the F and G chords on the second line and the G chord on the last line. The entire outro is just the C chord all throughout.
Another relatively easy song to play from Nirvana is “Molly’s Lips” from the Hormoaning EP and Incesticide compilation. It was originally written by a duo called The Vaselines from Scotland but is widely popularized by Nirvana. What makes the song easy to play on the guitar is that it only uses two chords since the entire track is only less than two minutes long.
All throughout the song, you just have to play the chords G and C alternatively, but you have to switch chords rather quickly, which is perhaps the most difficult part about it. You can refer to the quick guide above to learn how to fret the G and C chords on your guitar.
Once you’ve learned that, strum the G chord with two downstrokes and quickly shift to the C chord and strum it with two downstrokes as well. Continue this throughout the entire song, and that’s basically it.
“Come As You Are”
Nirvana has made numerous hits while they were active, and one of these is the song “Come As You Are” from the Nevermind album. Luckily, it’s also one of their easiest songs to play on the guitar. There are many versions you might find online that will teach you how to play this, but the easiest one would only require you to clamp a capo on the 2nd fret, and all the chords become pretty basic.
The verses only use the chords Em and D. To play Em, press both the A and D strings on the 2nd fret. To play the chord D, press the G string on the 2nd fret, the D on the 3rd fret, and the high E on the 2nd fret. Play each chord by strumming with downstrokes and upstrokes alternatively.
For the chorus, you need to play Em and G chords. You can refer to the quick guide above on how to play each of these notes.
The bridge is played using the A and C chords. You already know how to play the C chord. For the A chord, press the D, G, and B strings on the 2nd fret. Play these chords alternatively using the same strumming pattern before switching to Em and D for the solo and back to Em and G for the chorus.
“Something In The Way”
Another song from the Nevermind album that you may want to play on the guitar is called “Something In The Way.” It’s not as easy as the other songs on this list because you have to learn how to play the chord C/G. Nonetheless, if you learn this, you’ll be playing the song in no time. First, clamp the capo on the 1st fret of the guitar.
The verses and chorus only use two chords played alternatively, which are Em and C/G. You can check the song “Come As You Are” to learn how to fret Em on your guitar.
For the C/G chord, press the low E string on the 3rd fret, the A string on the 3rd fret, the D string on the 2nd fret, and the B string on the 1st fret. As you can see, the C/G chord requires you to fret four strings, just like the G chord, which means you’d have to use your pinky finger.
Once you’ve mastered how to swiftly transition from Em to C/G, “Something In The Way” would be a breeze to play on the guitar.
Nirvana is one of the most famous bands of all time. Thankfully, a lot of their songs are not that difficult to play on the guitar, especially the acoustic versions. If you’re looking to sing along to Kurt Cobain’s voice while playing the guitar, learning how to play the songs listed here is the best place to start.
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.