The Song Rating: Organizing Songs by The Level of Difficulty

The Song Rating: Organizing Songs by The Level of Difficulty

The song scale rating helps you find songs that are exactly the level of difficulty you want.

Let's face it: Most people pick online guitar lessons that are too hard for them to learn. Why can't each lesson come with a difficulty rating?

To this end, each song lesson that you'll find on this site is given a difficulty rating, and formally, it's called the Song Rating. It's simple to understand: 0/10 rated songs are so simple to learn that anyone can do it, 10/10 songs are best approached by experts.

The lower the number, the easier the song will be for you to play if you have little to no experience. Get it?

Song ratings come with skills descriptions


Songs with a 0/10 rating are excellent for complete beginners with zero experience. These would be songs with one simple chord and one very simple strumming pattern. Please note that very few songs will ever be rated a 0/10, simply because you do need to learn a few things on guitar before it gets interesting.


Songs with a 1/10 rating involve changing open chords and keeping strumming going at the same time. Most will have two or less chords in the entire song. A good example would be Tugboat by Galaxie 500, or Horse With No Name by America.


Songs with a 2/10 rating only have chords inside of a basic chord set or have larger movements of power chords. For example, Dead Flowers by The Rolling Stones is an 2/10 because it uses D, G, and A only, which are found in the D–G–A chord system. An example of an 2/10 power chord song could be When I Come Around by Green Day because it does move around a five fret radius.


Songs with a 3/10 rating use the chords within a basic chord set but adds one to three open chords beyond it. For example, She Don't Use Jelly by The Flaming Lips is based off of the D–G–A chord system but it also includes C and E minor. Additionally, The Sweater Song by Weezer use power chords but jumps around even a little bit more.


Songs with a 4/10 rating are more challenging versions of 3/10 songs for the fact that they have more intense song forms, chords, or strumming patterns. For example, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel is a relatively simple chord song, but the strumming is super challenging. Surf Wax America by Weezer is another power chord song that is faster and requires more strumming agility.


Songs with a 5/10 rating include barre chords, does fingerpicking, or has power chord craziness. War on War by Wilco is a good example, as it uses the A–E–D chord set but adds a B minor barre chord. Landslide by Fleetwood Mac is also a good example, as it is a basic fingerpicking song. No One Else by Weezer is a great example of a truly challenging power chord song.


Songs with a 6/10 rating are more intense versions of a 5/10 rated song. Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips adds an F major barre chord in many instances, and you have to approach it from many different chords. Dust in the Wind by Kansas is an excellent fingerpicking song, but is quite challenging.


Songs with a 7/10 rating require the learner to play more complicated techniques. This could be multiple barre chords, single note picking, hammer ons, pull offs, new and oddly named chords that are hard to play, or even improvising. Hey Hey What Can I Do? by Led Zeppelin is an excellent example because it mixes single line picking as well as strumming (and a fairly difficult strumming pattern to boot).

8/10 to 10/10

Songs with a 8/10, 9/10, or a 10/10 rating are songs best attempted by those who are extremely familiar with guitar. These songs are terrible for beginners! If you're a beginner, save them for later. 

Find songs with the same rating by clicking on tags

You'll see the song rating as a tag on this blog. Clicking on this tag will get you a whole category of songs with a similar difficulty level.

If you're interested in finding songs that are just a bit more of a challenge than what you're used to, pick a higher song scale rating. If you find songs that are rated 2/10 to be too easy, then pick a song that is a 3/10 and jump in.

Introducing Song Lessons

Introducing Song Lessons

Introducing the Guitar Videopedia

Introducing the Guitar Videopedia