Guitar songs are song that celebrate the guitar, songs that put the guitar at the forefront of the mix, songs that make you want to play air guitar. Guitar songs are songs that inspire you to pick up a guitar and learn to play. They can be songs in any genre, although you typically find them in the rock and metal genres. The list of songs that pay tribute to the guitar could easily go on and on, and depending on who you are, the list could vary. My favorite guitar songs are not necessarily yours. The thing is, some of the songs I’ll mention here are so intrinsic to the history of music, so well known, and so associated with the guitarists in them, that you’ll find those same songs on many lists.
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Check out the riffs to “Smoke on the Water” and “Highway to Hell” below. These two songs are inevitably on any list of great guitar songs. What do they have in common? The chords are simple and the riffs can be sung. These riffs provide the basis for the songs. Learn how to play them and you’ll be able to play ninety percent of the song. These two songs are also instantly recognizable, and who hasn’t played air guitar at least once upon hearing these songs on the radio?
Other classic rock songs that fall into the category of great guitar songs are “Crazy Train,” “Start Me Up,” “More Than a Feeling,” and “Born To Be Wild.” A lot of bands have several songs that fit on this list. Bands like The Rolling Stones and AC/DC consistently produce songs that many guitar players favor.
Acoustic guitar songs are also popular. Songs by the Eagles, Bob Seger, America, and John Fogerty are known for songs that can be played on guitar and that showcase the beauty of the instrument. Consider the opening of “Night Moves” below. Who doesn’t recognize this simple strum pattern that carries the entire song? The version below shows tablature notation for the song, but does any guitarist really need to see it notated out like this? No. The pattern is emblazoned on our souls, a part of our fingers when we pick up the guitar and strum those chords.
If you musically dissect a sampling of the greatest songs for guitar, you’ll find common some common factors. Most of them are constructed of simple progressions and rhythms and often use the same, or similar, chords. Guitar songs are primal and incite gut level energy and excitement. They are typically the first songs beginning guitarists learn to play. They are the songs you turn up on a summer day with the window down. These songs are a part of the fabric of our lives. Guitar songs are, indeed, some of the most classic songs in music history.
If learning songs on guitar is your goal, I recommend you to check out these courses: