50 of The Best Acoustic Guitar Songs of all Time

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There’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

  3 – Blackbird – Paul McCartney – Tabs

  4 – Angie – Rolling Stones

  5 – Heart of gold – Neil Young – Tabs

  6 – More than words – Extreme – Tabs

  7 – Wonderwall – Oasis – Tabs

  8 – Layla (Unplugged) – Eric Clapton – Tabs

  9 – To be with you – Mr. Big

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

11 – Working class hero – John Lennon – Tabs

12 – Crazy little thing called love – Queen – Tabs

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

14 – Dust In The Wind – Kansas – Tabs

15 – Daughters – John Mayer

16 – Everlong (acoustic) – Foo Fighters – Tabs

17 – The scientist (acoustic) – Coldplay

18 – The River (acoustic) – Bruce Springsteen

19 – Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers

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

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

22 – Cannonball – Damien Rice – Tabs

23 – Trouble – Ray La Montagne – Tabs

24 – Jolene – Dolly Parton – Tabs

25 – Wild horses – The Stones – Tabs

26 – Redemption Song – Bob Marley

27 – Free fallin’ – Tom Petty – Tabs

28 – She Talks To Angels – Black Crowes

29 – Fire and Rain – James Taylor – Tabs

30 – Give a little bit – Supertramp

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

32 – Sound of silence – Paul Simon

33 – Sweet home Chicago – Robert Johnson – Tabs

34 – Patience – Guns N’ Roses – Tabs

35 – Country roads – John Denver

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

37 – Yellow (acoustic) – Coldplay

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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    70 Responses to “50 of The Best Acoustic Guitar Songs of all Time

    • Peter:

      Zachary Breaux’s “Thinking of Alexis”

    • Cliff:

      Cat Stevens. ‘The Boy with the Moon and Star on his Head’

    • Prasana:

      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

    • Paul:

      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….

    • Sean:

      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.

    • Sinnister:

      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.

    • Wharfrat22:

      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?).

    • NoChance:

      Bob Seeger’s Nightmoves

    • Any solo Lindsey Buckingham. He perfectly distills rock down to one voice and one guitar.

    • EDirmeyer:

      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.

    • sargie:

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

    • Michael T:

      Astonished that ‘The Clap’ by Yes from The Yes Album was not included.

    • Brandon:

      “Hands” by Goo Goo Dolls

      “Touch, Peel And Stand” by Days Of The New

    • KB:

      The Jazz Butcher, with the incomparable Max Eider on lead – Just Like Betty Page https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WER6YPELmIA

    • Jim:

      Don’t Follow by Alice in Chains
      Life Uncommon by Jewel

    • Hi Sean,

      Thanks for the tips. I really appreciate that.
      I will definitely check out those albums.

      Best regards,
      Klaus Crow

    • Thanks everyone for sharing your favorites and giving me inspiration in return.

      Best regards,
      Klaus Crow

    • 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.

    • Richard:

      Joe Walsh….The Confessor

    • Jude brigley:

      No Joni Mitchell! You cannot be serious.

    • Noble:

      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!!

    • 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.

    • breWTus:

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

    • Richard:

      Classical Gas

    • Mike:

      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

    • Barrie:

      “Never Going Back Again” by Fleetwood Mac
      “Coyote” Joni Mitchell

    • Marianne:

      “Mull of Kintyre” Wings

    • jim:

      los indo tabajaros …. maria elena

    • Jim M:

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

    • Roguewave 1:

      “Leyenda” – Andres Segovia

    • Jim:

      @Cklords. Dylan’s Times they are a changing is on the list.

    • Evil dick:

      Yes – The Clap and Mood for a day

    • Scott Murray:

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

      Who: Blue Red & Gray

    • Scott Murray:

      Paul McCartney: Put it There, Jenny Wren, Bluebird, & Early Days!

    • Robert McDill:

      What about Grantchester Meadows?

    • A Kinnaman:

      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.

    • VL:

      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.

    • Michael:

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

    • pete3072:

      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.

    • 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.

    • Lee A.:

      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.

    • tom:

      Stair way to heaven should be on your list

    • Tom Waits’ “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You” and “Hold On”

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

    • Ken Pasco:

      Led Zep’s Going to California.

    • 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

    • This is like a go to list for all the songs I should learn to play :P

    • Jan Ruizendaal:

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

    • Elton Bloye:

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

    • BeeMusic:

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

    • Ashok:

      Good list!

    • Rob:

      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!

    • Rob:

      oh crap, dont forget “Wish You Were Here”, by Pink Floyd.

    • Hi Rob,
      Love that one!
      The list is just not long enough is it? :)
      Thanks for sharing.

      Best regards,
      Klaus Crow

    • Max:

      Can’t you see Marshall Tucker Band. One of the best!

    • Fabio:

      You guys forgot John Mayer!!

    • Erma:

      Wendy Waldman’s “Vaudeville Man”
      Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen”

    • cthulhu:

      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.

    • Wombat:

      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

    • Wombat:

      Oh and Fabio!
      John Mayer did actually make the list!

    • 50023:

      Led Zeppelin – “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”

      &

      Radiohead -“Street Spirit”

    • Joe:

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

    • Corn dog:

      “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand

    • :):

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

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

    • James Waltz:

      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!

    • Cookie Monster:

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

    • Cookie Monster:

      Three days grace- “Never too late”

    • z:

      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…

    • Emil:

      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’

    • Eric C.:

      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

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