50 of The Best Acoustic Guitar Songs of all Time

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50 best acoustic guitar songsThere’s this one thing that is so completely awesome about the guitar.

I love the fact that you can choose to be in two complete different worlds. One moment I plug in my electric guitar to make it rock, scream, tear up the place and feel ecstatic.

And the other time I want to indulge in beautiful acoustic guitar songs and get swept away by melody, harmony and lyrics. It’s the best of both worlds.

Today were gonna look at same great songs to do the latter.

As with all lists on this blog they are here to give you inspiration. The lists are in no particular order and totally incomplete. And it doesn’t matter, what matters is that you grab your guitar out of the stand and start playing it after reading and listening to this post.

Maybe you’ll hear a song or artist you haven’t heard before and find yourself pleasantly surprised. Probably you haven’t heard some of the songs for quite a while and it makes you feel good to hear them again. You might consider learning one of these songs and adding them to your repertoire or get inspired to write a song of your own.

Whatever it is…

Enjoy!

  1 – Hotel California – (Hell Freezes Over) – Eagles – Tabs

  2 – Blackbird – Paul McCartney – Tabs

  3 – Angie – Rolling Stones

  4 – Heart of gold – Neil Young – Tabs

  5 – More than words – Extreme – Tabs

  6 – Wonderwall – Oasis – Tabs

  7 – Layla (Unplugged) – Eric Clapton – Tabs

  8 – To be with you – Mr. Big

  9 – Under the bridge (acoustic) – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Tabs

10 – Working class hero – John Lennon – Tabs

11 – Crazy little thing called love – Queen – Tabs

12 – The Times They Are A Changin’ – Bob Dylan

13 – Dust In The Wind – Kansas – Tabs

14 – Daughters – John Mayer

15 – Everlong (acoustic) – Foo Fighters – Tabs

16 – The scientist (acoustic) – Coldplay

17 – The River (acoustic) – Bruce Springsteen

18 – Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers

19 – When the stars go blue – Ryan Adams – Tabs

20 – Teach your children – Crosby, Still, Nash & Young – Tabs

21 – Cannonball – Damien Rice – Tabs

22 – Trouble – Ray La Montagne – Tabs

23 – Jolene – Dolly Parton – Tabs

24 – Wild horses – The Stones – Tabs

25 – Redemption Song – Bob Marley

26 – Free fallin’ – Tom Petty – Tabs

27 – She Talks To Angels – Black Crowes

28 – Fire and Rain – James Taylor – Tabs

29 – Give a little bit – Supertramp

30 – Pride and joy (acoustic) – Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tabs

31 – Sound of silence – Paul Simon

32 – Sweet home Chicago – Robert Johnson – Tabs

33 – Patience – Guns N’ Roses – Tabs

34 – Country roads – John Denver

35 – Have you ever seen the rain – CCR – Tabs

36 – Yellow (acoustic) – Coldplay

37 – The needle and the damage done – Neil Young – Tabs

38 – Horse with no name – America

39 – Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson – Tabs

40 – About a girl – Nirvana – Tabs

41 – American Pie – Don Mclean

42 – Jack and diane – John Mellencamp – Tabs

43 – Iris – Goo goo dolls

44 – Wanted (Dead Or Alive) – Bon Jovi

45 – Both sides now – Joni Mitchell

46 – Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton – Tabs

47 – Maggie May – Rod Stewart – Tabs

48 – Good riddance (time of your life) – Greenday – Tabs

49 – The A team – Ed Sheeran

50 – I Will Follow You Into The Dark – Death Cab for Cutie

What’s your favorite acoustic guitar song?
Please share in the comments.

 

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Comments

  1. Prasana says

    Hi Klaus sir,
    my favourite songs are
    “When the stars go blue” – Ryan Adams
    “Sound of silence” – Paul Simon
    “Pride and joy (acoustic)” – Stevie Ray Vaughan

  2. Paul says

    I’m sorry, but barely any mention of acoustic greats. John Martyn? Nick Drake? Martin Simpson?

    Fair enough you’re approaching from a rock-orientated standpoint though….

  3. Sean says

    Lists like these come down to personal taste, but since you like Ryan Adams you should give Uncle Tupelo’s album March 16–20, 1992 a listen. After Uncle Tupelo pretty much defined the modern alt-country genre with the electric guitar driven albums “No Depression” and “Still Feel Gone” they released one of the best acoustic albums you will ever hear.

    Personally I think Paul Westerberg of the Replacements wrote some brilliant tunes that translate well to acoustic. Here Comes a Regular, Skyway, Achin’ to Be, etc. I also like to play Wilco’s Passenger Side, Box Full of Letters, I Must be High, Pick up the Change…

    Oh and a big second on Paul’s Nick Drake suggestion. I will have to check out his other recommendations.

  4. Sinnister says

    Like this list or not there are songs worthy of playing here. The beauty of being a musician is playing what appeals to you, not some songs that appear on a list somewhere.

  5. Wharfrat22 says

    Wow! No Alice in Chains? They put out 2 amazing acoustic albums. I feel No Excuses, Nutshell, or Brother should be on here somewhere. (Did I miss them?).

  6. EDirmeyer says

    Don’t know if you can find it but if you really like rock-oriented acoustic guitar you must check out a song called Movies from a 70s band called Hookfoot.

  7. sargie says

    I can’t believe Richard Thompson didn’t make the list, especially his superlative ‘1952 Vincent Black Lightning’. Please revise.

  8. says

    Some great tunes on this list, several of which I love to play. I also second “Night Moves” and any Lindsey Buckingham/Fleetwood Mac tune. I would add:

    “Here Comes the Sun” and “My Sweet Lord,” George Harrison
    “Across the Universe,” the Beatles
    “Sit tin’ on the Dock of the Bay,” Otis Redding
    “Peaceful Easy Feelng,” the Eagles
    “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You,””Going to California” and “Ramble On,” Led Zeppelin

    And probably a dozen others I can’t think of right now.

  9. Noble says

    You forgot THE acoustic guitar song that created the genre for rock hits…
    Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
    I favor it as number 1 easily.

    Shame!!

  10. says

    I am sure you have received comments like “you forgot ….” Or “what about ….” In any case one heck do a post!!!! You made me sit back, drink 4 or 5 beers and listen to some of the greatest songs ever written and sung in some of the greatest performances. Thanks for the list I would not change a thing!

    BTW…What happened to current music today? To all the current musicians…you better kick it up a notch! Create music as powerful as this list and you will never be forgotten.

  11. breWTus says

    So, Stairway to Heaven doesn’t qualify? The first 5 or so minutes are acoustic……….

  12. Mike says

    The Who:
    Love ain’t for Keeping, Who’ Next
    Behind Blue Eyes, Who’s Next
    I’m One, Quadrophenia

    The Beatles:
    Yesterday
    Norwegian Wood

    The Eagles:
    Peaceful Easy Feeling
    The Best of My Love

  13. Jim M says

    Vaseline Machine Gun by Leo Kottke
    Absolutely brilliant , pure acoustic guitar work.

  14. Scott Murray says

    Beatles: Here Comes the Sun, Mother Natures Son, and Yesterday.

    Who: Blue Red & Gray

  15. A Kinnaman says

    Acosutic, huh. Hotel Cali? The band arrangment ith the nice solo on the Martin, er Les Paul in the middle? Right. No band arrangements. Doc Watson Deep River Blues. Bert Jansch Anji. Jorma Kaukonen Water Song. Neil Young should be needle. Anything by Gary Davis or Skip James.

  16. VL says

    After seeing all the other songs, (most of which I agreed with) the first one that came to my mind was “California Dreaming” by The Mamas And The Papas.

  17. Michael says

    very nice list klaus, i´m listing to it now. very nice especially early in the moring.
    gr.michael

  18. pete3072 says

    Where are the Indigo Girls? Or Patty Griffin? Especially if you want to talk about “being swept away by melody, harmony and lyrics.” Your list is fine, definitely some gems in there, but terribly one-sided. You need to listen to more variety before you write a “Top 50″ list.

  19. says

    This is a great list. i wish there was a way i could put all these songs into a playlist. I totally feel what you are saying about the guitar having two worlds. I have been spending a lot of time in the world of melody and harmony laity myself as well so this list makes me happy.

    I love 32 – Sound of silence – Paul Simon and 40 – About a girl – Nirvana.

    I’m sure I will cover one of the songs in this list soon.

  20. Lee A. says

    If you haven’t heard Colin Hay’s acoustic version of “Overkill” from his solo album ‘Man @ Work’, you haven’t really heard this song. This has been my favorite acoustic guitar song for some time now. I like the mainstream version, but this one blows it away. For a taste, try listening to it as a sample on iTunes or amazon. BTW, if you decide to download it, DO NOT get the much shorter edited version off of the ‘Scrubs’ soundtrack.

  21. says

    My favorite songs and guitarists are ANYTHING by Bireli Lagrene, Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, Les Paul, Jacob Fischer, and Bucky & John Pizzarelli

  22. says

    Hi Fanis,

    Tom Waits’ I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You is absolutely beautiful.

    That entire album “Closing time” is awesome.

    Best regards,
    Klaus Crow

  23. Jan Ruizendaal says

    1) Miles Kennedy – Watch over you
    2) Sound of Silence – Simon And Grafunkel

  24. Elton Bloye says

    You missed Alice in Chains mate! There must be one of Jar of Flys in there somewhere. Otherwise great list!

  25. BeeMusic says

    Just Breathe – Pearl Jam
    …just listen to it… shouldn’t it be on the frist place?

  26. Rob says

    I have to say, even if you arent an Alice in Chains fan, it seems your missing the boat not to have one of their many fantastic songs on there. I get it though, there’s a LOT of great acoustic songs out there and your list is miniscule.

    For me, I’d at least add the acoustic version of Rooster, by Alice in Chains.

    i think though, its never going to be complete. I’d have a 500 acoustic songs you should know list.

    okay, i am done droning on, move along!

  27. cthulhu says

    In 1979, there was a benefit for Amnesty International called “The Secret Policeman’s Ball”. Pete Townshend played acoustic versions of “Pinball Wizard”, “Drowned”, and (in a duet with classical guitarist John Williams) an astonishing version of “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. Unfortunately the soundtrack for that show has never been available in the CD and digital download era, but you can often spot these performances on YouTube. Highly recommended.

  28. Wombat says

    Good list mate!!
    Here’s a few you should check out!

    Avett brothers:
    “Go to sleep””salvation song”

    Mumford:
    “The cave”

    Old crow medicine show:
    “Wagon wheel”
    “Take em away”

    Zeppelin:
    “Tangerine”

    Paul Kelly:
    “Dumb things”

    Xavier Rudd:
    “Messages”

    And also agree with “going to California” by zep!
    Best song ever on acoustic guitar!

    Enjoy

  29. Joe says

    Take me home Country Roads – John Denver
    The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
    Dust in the wind – Kansas
    Listen to the music – Doobie Brothers

  30. :) says

    “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” made the list!

    but what about plain white t’s hey there delilah?

  31. James Waltz says

    A few essential ones:
    1. Bread – Guitar Man
    2. Jim Croce – I Got a Name
    3. Jim Croce – Operator
    4. Fleetwood Mack/Stevie Nicks – Landslide
    5. Cat Stevens – Wild World

    Come on, Peoples!

  32. Cookie Monster says

    A day to remember – “If it means a lot to you”
    All time low- “Remembering Sunday”

  33. z says

    ben harper has a few i rate could make it… could listen through his entire discography without getting bored… try his first two albums and lifeline for inspiration! try the song forever…

  34. Emil says

    Laugh And A Half – D-A-D
    To Be With You – Mr. Big
    Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley (Clean electric guitar but whatever)
    Hurt – Johnny Cash
    This Is My Life – Gasolin’

  35. Eric C. says

    Too many to mention so I’ll just name five good ones that are missing:

    If I Could – Blue Merle
    Ooh la la – The Faces
    Riverman – Nick Drake
    All I Want – Joni Mitchell
    Octopus – Syd Barrett

  36. jlee says

    Red hot chilli peppers californiacation tracy Chapman fast car needs to be there where’s stairway to heavan

  37. Andy J says

    I agree any list is purely personal taste. That’s what’s so special about the arts and music. The world would be a boring place if we all liked the same stuff.
    For me i like a fair amount on the list but it needs some Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and one track off the 1971 “Foxtrot” album by Genesis; go check out Horizons on side 2 if you’re still into vinyl or track 5 on the cd.

  38. Ron D. says

    STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN- Led Zeppelin

    Didnt make the list either, who created this list. No Zep on it at all

  39. John F. says

    What, no Taylor Swift, Tiny Tim, or Weird Al Yankovich? Where’s “Wheels on the Bus” or “Who Let the Dogs Out?” Or the greatest hits of such esteemable bands as Bread and Air Supply? You can’t be serious! (And neither am I of course. Great list and great additions in the comments… Thanks!)

  40. Sheik Yerbuti says

    “Never Going Back” and “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac (Lindsay Buckingham) blows away ALL of these songs.

    So does “Mood For a Day” by Yes (Steve Howe).
    And “From the Beginning” by Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

  41. Sheik Yerbuti says

    Also…”Silver Wheels” segue into “Crazy On You” by Heart (Nancy Wilson) blows away any songs on this list, too.

  42. Brad Roberts says

    Dream on Aerosmith is a necessity.
    Goo goo dolls, radiohead, led Zeppelin?

  43. Donald says

    The black keys- little black submarines (first 2 minutes) and just got to be (probably doesn’t qualify.)

  44. Wayne says

    Here is some brilliant songs , you should absolutely listen to them :
    Oasis- Talk Tonight- Married with Children- Half the World Away
    Bob Dylan- Mr. Tambourine Man – Blowing in the Wind
    Green Day – When it’s Time
    Radiohead – True Love Waits
    The Beatles- Across the Universe

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