Did ever occur to you that you meet new musicians or that people ask you to play a song on the guitar? And you have problems remember nice songs to play? We collected the 5 best guitar songs that you can cover on your acoustic or electric guitar!
I’ve been there probably a thousand times: “Can you play a song on your guitar?” Sure I can, but which one? When people ask you to play a song, suddenly not a single one comes to your mind, although you probably have played zillions of songs before. But not every song is a great one to played alone or together with a bunch of people you might not know. You have to pick one that is easy to play
What are the best songs to play on your guitar?
When people ask you to play a song on your guitar, they usually want to hear a song they will recognize and will carry them away. Nothing brings people together more than singing a song together. It’s a great way to break the ice between unknowns.
When you meet new musicians, it will also be easier to start off with a song that everybody knows because people usually remember the rough structure of a song and know harmonies and melodies. So, you can just jump into the song without the need to writing everything down.
And nothing beats the sensation when you play a song on your guitar and people start singing along.
We compiled this list of best guitar songs by taking into consideration that they are easy to play, are usually well recognized and – the most important thing – they will sound awesome no matter if played alone or in a band and you will be able to learn them in almost no time!
Our list of the best guitar songs to play
Christina Aguilera – Beautiful
Are you surprised to find this song among this list of best guitar songs? Actually, in the original song, there is no guitar and the harmony is mainly played on the piano.
However, it will sound great when you play it on the guitar. And it is surprisingly easy to sing, even though it’s a Christina Aguilera song. You can be sure that everybody will sing the chorus with you… you know how it goes: „I am beautiful, no matter what they say.“ The song conveys a great message, too!
The chords are pretty easy: D, C, Bm, Bb in the intro & verse. G, Em, D, C, Bm in the chorus.
Radiohead – Creep
Radiohead has written a lot of beautiful songs that you can play on the guitar. But sometimes they are not easy to play or to sing or even both. Some of their songs have really challenging chord progressions, unusual guitar tunings or rhythms.
Creep is a big exception. It has only 4 chords throughout the song, you can apply a very straightforward strumming pattern AND it is very easy to sing. And you can bet that everybody in the room knows the words, “But I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo”.
Chords: G, B, C, Cm
There is one tricky part sing later in the song, namely the part „She’s running out…“ which is sung with a falsetto voice. You can absolutely sing it one octave lower in your normal voice and it will just sound as good.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Otherside
It’s hard to pick one particular song of RHCP as one of the best guitar songs, simply because they have written so many good ones. Personally, I think their album Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic is out of this world and I really love playing Under the Bridge.
The reason I picked otherside for this list is that it both has a very high recognizable verse and chorus. And although the original has a very interesting arrangement of bass and guitar, you can play it easily alone on your guitar. The chord progression is also not complicated.
Chords: Am, F, C, G; Bridge: Em, C
Amy Winehouse – Valerie
Valerie is a beautiful song to play on the guitar. Actually, it is a cover song and the original was released one year earlier by the band The Zutons, but I have to admit that the arrangement of Amy Winehouse is much better.
What I really like about playing this song on the guitar is that you can give a real great groove with some very simple strumming patterns. The chord progression is very easy and it sounds great playing it in the style of The Zutons (which is poppier) or in a slightly jazzy style like Amy Winehouse, using some maj7 chords.
Verse: Dm, Em, D, Em
Chorus: G, F#m, G, F#m, G, F#m, A, D, Em
Black – Wonderful life
I picked this song because it uses a very simple chord progression together with an easy strumming pattern that combined are so characteristic that it will take you only seconds to impress your audience with a great cover. And it is really easy to play.
Wonderful Life is a classic and many people know that song. The chorus ends with this great hook line (“It’s a wonderful, wonderful life”) which will make people sing along with you.
Verse: Em, G
Pre-Chorus: Em, Am, Em, Am, Em, G, Am
Chorus: Em, G, G, Am, D
One guy from our team even made a How To on YouTube to learn this great song.
Play the songs with some friends
The songs of this list of the best guitar songs for you to cover will take you approximately one day per song to learn! You will enjoy playing them and the people around you will enjoy listening to them. It is a lot fun playing those songs on your guitar and having other people join you singing to them or playing along on another instrument.
Are you looking for other musicians to play those songs the best guitar songs with? On sofasession you can find other musicians like you, connect with them and play songs with them online and in real-time.
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About the author
Helmut has been making music for over 20 years. He played in the Austrian rock band The Amplified and recently founded the group Pizza Trottoir.
Helmut likes rock music, but also jazzy and bluesy tunes and loves very simple arrangements with guitar and voice only. With his side project Zweierreihe, he started incorporating singer / songwriter structures in his musical experiments.