What makes a great guitar song? Between the soaring electric guitar classics and the mellow acoustic numbers, practically anything is possible with the instrument. The power of the guitar spans across genres and musical earned run average and has played a key character in countless popular tunes .
Whether you ’ ra looking for a celebrated song to learn on guitar or want to discover some of the best players of all time, this list will point you in the mighty guidance. Our peak 50 acoustic and electric guitar songs represent certain moments in history that solidified the guitar as one of the most versatile and expressive instruments out there .
Although the following tilt is by no means comprehensive, you can use it as a scout to dive deep into the versatile guitar genres. Since everyone ’ s number of the “ best guitar songs ” will be different, we encourage you to leave a gossip below with your top tunes !
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50 Famous Songs to Learn on Guitar
Before we dive into which songs made the list and why, check out this clickable infographic for a preview of 25 top guitar songs .
Best Acoustic Guitar Songs
Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
This democratic song was destined to some shape of greatness because of Pink Floyd ’ s established repute. The fact that the chief acoustic guitar riff is so playable has besides helped this song become a staple for many beginning guitarists .
Fire and Rain – James Taylor
This song was one of the singles from James Taylor ’ s second album that made him peculiarly celebrated in the 70s. To this day, he still frequently plays “ Fire and Rain ” in concert. It ’ sulfur known to both older and younger audiences who are familiar with his music .
Hotel California – Eagles
A expression on the excesses of the Rock ’ n ’ Roll life style, this classical tune features both acoustic and electric guitars. It ’ second besides one of the most celebrated songs to learn on guitar for players of all ages. Beginners can start with the acoustic intro and intermediate players can explore the guitar solo !
Blackbird – The Beatles
The retiring capture of this song, along with Paul McCartney ’ s memorable fingerpicking practice, make this a front-runner for beginning guitarists. The unusual left-hand intervals can be challenging at inaugural, but stick with it and you ’ ll have everyone sing along .
American Pie – Don McLean
An bewitching ( and sometimes cabalistic ) ode to Rock ‘ north Roll history, this song is inactive popular as a tune for beginners to learn their basic guitar chords. It ’ randomness besides a great tune to develop your singing-while-playing abilities .
Wonderwall – Oasis
Released on their moment album, “ Wonderwall ” has become Oasis ’ biggest hit. It ’ s the most stream birdcall released before 2000, and it ’ s the archetypal example of 90s pop chord acting .
More Than Words – Extreme
Ironically the most popular song of a a lot heavier band, this sung was released in 1991 and has since forced its writers to embrace their softer side. Known for their grave, funk-metal dash, Extreme reached a much wider audience with this vulnerable ballad .
Dust in the Wind – Kansas
Another crowd pleaser on this list of best guitar songs, “ Dust in the Wind ” particularly hit a steel during the spiritual seeking of the hippie earned run average. The presentation has charmed fingerpicking beginners since the song ’ sulfur release. If you ’ re cook to put down the pluck and learn a fresh fingerpicking pattern, this is the one .
Redemption Song – Bob Marley
Taking inspiration from Marcus Garvey, Bob stripped away all the ample instrumentation of his reggae roots and reduced this song to plainly the acoustic guitar and singing. The song has remained popular both as a protest song and a staple among beginning guitarists .
Sound of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel
This song begins with a elementary but haunting guitar addict that is immediately recognizable to fans of the folk-pop couple. Paul Simon ’ s fingerpicking proficiency remains a capital teacher for beginners of the craft .
Best Rock Guitar Songs
Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
While some may consider this song overact, there ’ s a reason it ’ mho one of the most popular electric guitar songs of all time. An epic, mystic journey concluding with one of the most powerful guitar solo ever, “ Stairway to Heaven ” is one of the most celebrated songs to learn on guitar .
Sweet Child o’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
Another perfect exercise of a big band whose most celebrated sung is a vulnerable love song. This one somehow manages to maintain its epic rock quality amidst all the intimate lyrics .
Voodoo Child – Jimi Hendrix
This is one of several songs Jimi did that changed rock history. The sensitive world power that he holds together with his indefinable endowment made this a piece that captured the imagination of rock guitarists for generations .
I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll – Joan Jett
A arrant integration of ability chords and childlike blues licks make this an ideal presentation to rock guitar. It ’ south besides great for getting people to sing with you in a cake !
Sunshine of Your Love – Cream
Another song that is often used to introduce rock guitar to beginners, this birdcall has a soulful punch that continues to draw Clapton fans back to his early days .
Back in Black – AC/DC
Of the enormous library of laughably catchy riffs in the AC/DC canon, this one stands out near the top .
Seven Nation Army – Jack White
many millennials who didn ’ thyroxine grow up with the early rock ‘n’ roll records find this modern electric guitar classical to be the gateway to the rest of the rock experience. Easy to play, easy to love !
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
This is another song that is celebrated partially because of its poignant lyrics that spoke to the rebellion of a generation. It ’ s besides a perfect song to learn might chords on .
Smoke on the Water – Deep Purple
This song gets a bad rap because so many guitarists know the first hook but not the rest of the birdcall. The rest of the song is surely worth a listen, though !
Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne
This song has both one of the easiest power chord riffs and one of the hardest guitar solo. It ’ s a sung that fans love to sing and guitarists love to play !
Best Folk Guitar Songs
Sweet Home Chicago – Robert Johnson
This retiring folk blues song comes to us only from playing field recordings, but it was incredibly influential on many british rock stars. Johnson ’ s raw guitar style and troubled lyrics heavily influenced the Stones, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, and others .
The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Bob Dylan
This unapologetic protest song summarized the rebellion of the hippie coevals and became a folk music standard that is silent spill the beans and played to this day .
If I Had a Hammer – Peter Paul and Mary
Sung by many family artists, this metaphorical song served as a rally war cry for social change and remains a campfire favorite .
Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright – Bob Dylan
One of Bob Dylan ’ s more personal songs, the intricate fingerpicking in this tune lends a unique timbre to lyrics about love gone wrong. Have a listen and you ’ ll quickly find out what makes this a dateless classic.
Alice’s Restaurant – Arlo Guthrie
many audiences wonder if Arlo made up the verses on the spot. In any case, the 16 browning automatic rifle guitar coil is the jumping-off point for a drawn-out political bombast that anyone with a feel of wit can enjoy .
Scarborough Fair – Simon and Garfunkel
Based on an english poem, this song is accompanied by Paul Simon ’ s cryptic fingerpicking and a vocal melody that many remember as a childhood lullaby .
Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell
This song is decidedly a foot-stomper ! It has had activists singing the charged lyrics since its publish – at the altitude of the environmental bowel movement in 1970 .
Mr. Bojangles – Jerry Jeff Walker
This song was written in New Orleans when the composer was arrested and put in a cell with a street dancer. The report has been a darling among tribe artists since its premier on a radio prove in 1968 .
Minor Swing – Django Reinhardt
First recorded in 1937 by the Hot House Band, this is one of Django Reinhardt ’ s most celebrated tunes. It ’ south besides a standard introduction to gypsy wind .
Guitar Boogie – Arthur Smith
This sung was first released in 1945 and has since been played by many other thumb-picking greats, including Tommy Emmanuel .
Best Classical Guitar Songs
Asturias – Isaac Albeniz
A landmark of the classical music repertory, this piece is more evocative of flamenco traditions from Andalucia than the northern spanish region of Asturias. This is credibly because it was given its name by a german publisher after the composer ’ s death .
La Catedral – Agustin Barrios-Mangore
The masterpiece cortege by a confederacy american composer, La Catedral is a musical exemplification of a grand piano building and a service within the building .
E Minor Bouree – J.S. Bach
This nibble is a popular excerpt from the Lute Suite in E minor, but it plays great on the guitar. It much tricks beginners because it sounds good at a slowly speed, but it ’ second mean to be played rather quickly .
Etude in A Minor – Dionisio Aguado
Often the first assemble a classical scholar will ever see, this simple fingerpicking etude is a capital introduction to the process and pleasure of classical music guitar !
Recuerdos de la Alhambra – Francisco Tárrega
This piece is the most legendary of tremolo classical music guitar pieces. Using a technique that involves quickly plucking a single string, the difficulty of this birdcall is matched entirely by its fundamental beauty .
D Minor Chaconne – J.S. Bach
One of the most profound pieces in the classical repertoire, this part was primitively written for violin. It has since been transcribed for pretty much any other instrument that has a consummate to play it, and guitar is no exception !
Mazurka Choro – Heitor Villa-Lobos
This prolific Brazilian composer had many big pieces, and this one is the beginning in a suite called “ Suite Popolaire Bresilienne. ” Give it a listen and see if you can resist the urge to learn all five movements .
Prelude from the E Major Lute Suite – J.S. Bach
One of the most celebrated and uplift pieces in classical repertory, this assemble falls under the fingers about serendipitously and fills a room of any size with the warmest musical bath you can imagine .
Study in B Minor Opus 35 no 22 – Fernando Sor
A gem of the novice ’ s authoritative guitar repertory, this is a piece that teachers often introduce to their students. Give it a heed and you ’ ll see why it ’ s so unforgettable !
Romanza – Anonymous
“ Romanza ” is another charming patch frequently learned by beginners. The gentle repeat of fingerpicking over the beautiful spanish melody make this a favorite for both players and audiences .
Best Electric Guitar Songs
Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Mournful and rich in feel, this guitar riff is capital for getting early pick techniques going. It ’ south besides an excellent choice when you want to play something recognizable to a distribute of guitar fans .
Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits
This is a front-runner of music lovers and musicians alike ! It includes a rhythm riff that ’ s not excessively difficult, along with some solo passages that will give any actor a run for their money. Mark Knopfler ’ s electric fingerstyle tone opens up a whole new range of dynamics and expression on the guitar. Put down the foot and try to play it like he does !
Gravity – John Mayer
John said he was particularly gallant of this song because he felt he could apply the lyrics to any situation he found himself in. The soulful guitar work captured the matter to of many electric guitarists, both aspiring and established .
La Grange – ZZ Top
This isthmus had a bent for writing hooks, and Billy Gibbons loved to play crazy blues solo. Both are reasons why “ La Grange ” is one of the coolest electric guitar songs out there !
Freebird – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Anyone who has played in a ring has credibly heard more audience members scream “ Freebird ” than any other sung in history. Most people actually request it as a joke !
While My Guitar Gently Weeps – The Beatles
This is a deep and reflective song, which refers to a guitar that has emotions of its own. See if you can make your own guitar sing or war cry !
Eruption – Eddie Van Halen
With its explosive tap sections, “ Eruption ” ripped open the gates to progressive guitar play. The song still stands as a staple for aspiring electric guitar virtuoso to maestro .
Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry
This pioneer piece opened up the fathom of early rock to wider audiences. It ’ mho another classical electric guitar sung that younger players should be mindful of .
Pride and Joy – Stevie Ray Vaughan
This song can be unmanageable to learn at first because of its muffle techniques, but it brings along the full moon ability of the Texas Blues to anyone who masters it !
Layla – Eric Clapton
“ Layla ” is revered for both its powerful lyrics and its capture virtuosic guitar hook. Clapton fans expect to hear it at every concert, whether in its original electric form or the rework acoustic interpretation .
There you have it, our list of the best guitar songs of all time. Don ’ t see your favorite guitar tune on here ? Leave us a comment below with your must-listen and must-learn guitar songs !
With such a wide range of guitar play possibilities, these songs could inspire anyone to pick up the instrument. When you ’ re ready to master some of these tunes on your own, there ’ s no better way than with know guitar lessons. happy play !
Post Author: Jonathan B.
Jonathan B. teaches acoustic guitar, bass, and more in State College, PA. Jonathan is a Temple University, Music Theory graduate and YouTube celebrity with thousands of subscribers. Jonathan B.Jonathan B. teaches acoustic guitar, bass, and more in State College, PA. Jonathan is a Temple University, Music Theory graduate and YouTube celebrity with thousands of subscribers. Learn more ! Need Private Lessons?
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