Have you started practicing songs on your guitar?
Bought a magazine and had a peek for guitar lines and tutorials? Nowadays, it is very easy to learn and find out what you are looking for!
Below are the 50 best guitar songs to help you enhance your guitar knowledge and playing skills in a fun way — either alone, or while having a good jam with friends!
Best Guitar Songs of All Times
1. Stand by Me – Ben E King
The song was written by Ben King, Jerry Leiber- and Mike Stoller. The title was inspired by a spiritual music and many singer and musician has covered this song. It is said that the third line from the second verse was derived from Psalms 46:2c/3c
2. Tears in heaven – Eric Clapton
Tears in heaven was inspired back in 1991 following the death of Eric Clapton’s son, Conor. He then collaborated with songwriter Will Jennings to write the song. The song was a major hit and marked number two at the Billboard Top 100.
3. Wonderwall – Oasis
Wonderwall was written by the lead guitarist of the band oasis along with main songwriter Noel Gallagher. According to them the song is about an imaginary friend that will help you save you from yourself. It was released on October 30, 1995 and until now is a hit with the millennials.
4. Fire and Rain – James Taylor
It is said that the song is about James Taylor’s girlfriend Suzanne, who got into a tragic accident on a plane crash while travelling to attend one of his concerts. The song quickly rose to number three on the billboard hot 100 charts. The song is also about his struggle to overcome drug addiction. The song has been covered many times by different artist.
5. I Don’t Want to Talk About it – Rod Stewart
The song was written by Danny Whitten and performed by Rod Stewart. It was a very successful song covered by many guitar players. It also topped the UK singles Chart in 1977.
6. Let Her Go – Passengers
Let Her Go is a song written by the band Passenger. It has made critical claim and became a huge success, topping many charts around the world. It tells a story of melancholy when ending a relationship. It also inspires to let go of someone whom you love.
7. Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
The song was written in 1986, the song was also one of the last she recorded before recording her first album and is considered one of her biggest hits. Almost all people can relate to this song about driving a car and being involve at the same time. It talks about challenges of life and how to just keep on moving forward.
8. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
We all have a special person in heart who have chosen a different path in life, that’s why we can relate and connect to the song. Wish You Were Here was a song finished by both David Gilmore and Roger Waters who wound up dedicating almost the entirety of the song to their friend who they miss so much; which in this case is Sad Barret, who suffers from his crippling addiction to LSD. This is a very emotional song, and like other records it preceded, it’s a concept album.
9. Black Bird – Beatles
Paul McCartney has written and performed the song entirely out of compassion and love for justice. In what is entirely for black folks, he explained that the lyric “bird” is a brit slang for girl, making the title “blackbird” synonymous to “black girl”. The song varies from interpretation. Some say it’s about nature; others say it’s a message of support for the Black Power Movement, and also a love song.
10. More than Words – Extreme
The song was written by main singer, and frontman of the band, Gary Cherone and guitarist Nuno Bettencourt. More than Words is a love song about a guy and girl who loves each other and show their affection without saying any word. They say that the word love becomes diluted and lost its meaning when we say it to omuch, so its not about saying it but how you express it.
11. Hotel California – Eagles
This song is one of the most iconic song for its guitar solo. It was a billboard-chart-topper; who sold over 15 to 16 million copies in the US. The song also won a Grammy Award for being the “Record of the year”. But the lyrics of the song frequently subjected to debate, some interpretations of the song ranges from the devil, drug and cannibalism. Check out the song below!
12. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen
Freddie Mercury wrote thought about the song while having a bubble bath in his room at the Munich Hilton. He jumped out of the bath, picked up a guitar and wrote the song. He says that he only knows a few chords that gave him restrictions and that he couldn’t work through many chord progression so it was a good thing. The song is a fun song about love and the craziness, and we all go through with it.
13. Dust in the Wind – Kansas
Dust in the Wind is a song about life, its fast phase and eventually all of us will be turned into dust. It was released in 1977 on album “Point of Know Return”. The song was number 6 on Billboard Hot 100 in 1978.
14. The Scientist – Coldplay
The song was written by Coldplay, inspired by George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass”. It was released on Nov 4, 2002 and has reached the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks as number eighteen and thirty four on the Adult Top 40 Chart. The song is still a hit today!
15. Daughters – John Mayer
The song was the third single of John Mayer from his album Heavier Things back in 2003. The song won a Grammy Award for Song of the Year and has sold over a million copies in the States as of May 2013. The song is for fathers and mothers to take care of their relationship with their daughters.
16. Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers
The song was released back in 1971 and was a part of Bill Withers’ album Just As I am.
It has reached number six on the Rhythm and Blues chart in the US and number three on Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was inspired by the movie “Days of Wine and Roses” and thus poured his heart out writing the song.
17. Jolene – Dolly Parton
Jolene was a song written by Dolly Parton and was released back in Oct 1973. It was the first single track from her album “Of the Same Name”. It was nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. The song was about a woman confronting Jolene, a red head woman who is trying to steal away her husband.
18. Redemption song – Bob Marley
The song was released on Oct 1980 as part of Bob Marley’s final track on his ninth album. Unlike the other songs there, it is strictly a solo music consisting of his singing and acoustic guitar playing. It was an acoustic ballad without any hint of reggae rhythm.
19. Sound of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel
Sound of Silence was written by Paul Simon and performed by him and Gurfunkel known as Simon & Gurfunkel. It was released on the 12th of September 1965 and eventually reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending January 1, 1966. The song was major hit globally; namely Australia, West Germany, Austria, Japan and also in the Netherlands.
20. Sweet Home Chicago – Robert Johnson
The song is a Blues standard recorded by Robert Johnson back in 1936. Sweet Home Chicago have been interpreted by many artists of numerous styles and variation and had become a pillar for the blues music scene. The melody is also found distinctively similar to other blues song, namely “Honey Dripper Blues” and “Red Cross Blues”.
21. Country Roads – John Denver
Country Roads, also known as “Take me Home, Country Roads”, is a folk song made famous by John Denver back in April 12, 1971 as a single. It has reached number 2 on Billboard’s US Hot 100 singles for the week ending Aug 28, 1971. The song was a success and has become one of John Denver’s most loved and popular song.
22. Yellow – Coldplay
The British rock band Coldplay did it again with a hit song namely Yellow. The song was released on the 26th of June 2000, the song reached number four in the UK single charts and paved the way for the band’s popularity. It has since then covered by many artist and bands worldwide.
23. I’m yours – Jason Mraz
This song is very intimate and intentional, the message is clear and is about love and giving your best to someone. Im yours is a single released by Jason Mraz as a part of his studio album “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things” back in 2008. It was then nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and also at the 51st Grammy Awards.
24. Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson
The song is a carefree song written by Jack Johnson as a part of his third studio album In Between Dreams. It talks about life and deciding not to be responsible, relax and lay around the house lazily. It is a really adorable song with a beach vibe perfect for vacation or morning drive.
25. American pie – Don Mclean
American pie is a song written by Don McLean was released and recorded in 1971 as a part of his album “American Pie”. It has a hit in the US and reached number one for four weeks in 1972. It also topped the charts in Canada, New Zealand, UK, and Australia. It is a very catchy song and ‘til now it is played all over the radio.
26. Iris – goo goo dolls
Iris is a song by the Goo Goo Dolls, an American alternative rock band. It was originally written as a soundtrack for the movie City of Angels. The song was also added in the band’s sixth album “Dizzy up the Girl”.
27. Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
The song was one of the ballads Eric Clapton wrote. It was added to his album “Slowhand” back in 1977. The story was for Pattie Boyd, Eric’s wife, while preparing for a party hosted by Paul and Linda McCartney. It was a reminder for all that we must always say to our special someone that they are beautiful.
28. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
The song was made well known as a song of Guns N’ Roses. It first appeared on their debut album “Appetite for Destruction” and was released in August 1988 as a third single for the album. It topped the Billboard Hot 100; it then became the band’s only number 1 hit song in the US single. It’s a song covered by many guitarists because of Slash’s iconic intro and guitar solo.
29. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
Stairway to heaven is a song inspired and composed by Led Zeppelin’s guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant. It was released on the 8th of November in 19771 and was often regarded as the best or greatest rock songs of all time. It was also placed number 31 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest songs of all time.
30. Voodoo Child – Jimi Hendrix
The song was made famous by Jimi Hendrix back in 1968. It was also featured in his album Electric Ladyland. It was a guitar player’s music and is full of Blues improvisation and vocals from Jimi Hendrix. It is also one of the best known songs and is covered by many guitarists until today.
31. Sunshine of Your Love – Cream
The song was recorded in April and May of 1967 by the All Star band Cream, composed of Eric Clapton, Jeff beck and Jimmy Page. It was released in 1967 with elements of pop, heavy metal and psychedelic music. It is filled with distinctive repeated bass riff that fills and stay into the listener’s ears.
32. Back in Black – AC/DC
One of the most badass guitar intros ever, this is widely known for its cool opening guitar riff. Back in Black is a song tribute from their former singer Bon Scott by his replacement Brian Johnson. Johnson made him a celebration song that describes his lifestyle. It was released on the 21st of December in 1980.
33. I Love Rock’n Roll – Joan Jett
The song was originally written by Alan Merrill of the Arrows. The song was then made famous by Joan Jett in 1982. It was first released back in July of 1975. The song has a badass opening guitar riff and call & response lyrics in it.
34. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
It was the biggest hit of the alternative rock band Nirvana. It was first released back in September 10, 1991 as a part of the opening track of the band’s second album “Nevermind”. It has also topped the Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics as well as winning two MTV Music Video Awards.
35. Smoke on the Water – Deep Purple
Ranked number 4 in Total Guitars Magazine’s Greatest Guitar Riff Ever, smoke on the water is a huge song released by the English rock band Deep Purple. It made fame back in May of 1973. It is regarded as one of the most iconic guitar riffs ever and is covered by many rockbound to this date. It is also number 12 at the list of 100 greatest guitar tracks.
36. Scarborough Fair – Simon and Garfunkel
The song is a traditional folk English ballad, the story was an unknown person sang it when he visited the Yorkshire town of Scarborough. The Melody of the song is in Dorian mode, and is very typical in the middle ages of the English Period. It was also made famous by the duo Simon and Garfunkel back in February of 1968.
37. Danny Song – Loggins & Messina
The song was written by Kenny Loggins, for his brother Danny as a gift for his new born son, Collin. It was released on November of 1971 and later appeared on his album by “Gator Creek”. The song talks about love and what it takes to be happy and as a father.
38. Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Under the Bridge is a song by Red Hot Chili Peppers released on March 10 1992. It helped the band to gain fame by having it as a hit and gaining number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Its success led to the departure of their guitarist John Frsuciante, as he preferred to play on the underground scene.
39. Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry
This song was recognized as one of the most influential song merging Blues and Rock and Roll. It was written and recorded by Chuck Berry and was released on the 31st of March 1958 and has been major hit. It became number two on BillBoard magazine’s Hot R&B chart, also number eight on its Hot 100 chart.
40. Pride and Joy – Stevie Ray Vaughan
Pride and Joy was a hit song by Texas Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan in the late 80’s. It first appeared on his “Epic Record” album in June 13, 1983. It has then became one of his most famous and well known song. All blues musician knows this song for its awesome guitar improvisation. Check it out below!
41. Beat it – Michael Jackson
This song features the guitar line of Eddie Van Halen. And is regarded as one of the best pop songs of all time. Beat it is performed by Michael Jackson from his sixth album “Thriller”. It peaked number one on Billboard’s 100 and has one the 1984 Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
42. We are the Champion – Queen
We Are the Champion is a single by Queen, and is first released on 1977 as a part of their album “News of the World”. It was a worldwide success having reached the Billboard Hot 100 as number 4 and the UK’s single chart as second. It has then become anthems for sports match and victory parties.
43. Leader of the Band – Dan Fogelberg
The song tells a story tribute to Dan Fogelberg’s father. It was first released in 1981 and following the death of his father in 1982. It then became number one on the Billboard Adult and Contemporary chart, followed by his single “longer” in 1980.
44. While my Guitar Gently Weeps – The Beatles
It is a song written by George Harrison of The Beatles. It was first released in November 22, 1968. Eric Clapton also contributed an overdubbed lead guitar part in the songs; though was not formally credited, it remained a song worth the while. It is loved by many guitar players and is covered by the likes of Clapton, Santana and Frampton.
45. Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin
This song is the opening track for Led Zeppelin’s second album “Led Zeppelin II”. It was first released on November 7, 1969 in the states and as a single in several countries in Japan and in Europe. The song ranked number 75 on Rolling Stones Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
46. Eruption – Van Halen
The song is an instrumental by Edie Van Halen and is considered as one of the best guitar solos of all time. It was released on Feb 10, 1978 as a segue to “You really got me” and lengthened for 1:42. Over all, you can hear the guitar prowess Van Halen has.
47. Black Magic Woman – Santana
This song was originally written by British Musician Peter Green and made famous as a cover by Carlos Santana. It was first released on March 29 1968; it has since then came as a hit on 1971 by Santana. Combining Hungarian folk and Latin Rhythms, Santana made it very different and interesting.
48. Yesterday – Beatles
The song was released in September 13, 1965 by the band The Beatles written by Paul McCartney as part of the album Help. It was considered as the first solo performance of the band because of Paul McCartney’s vocal and acoustic guitar accompanied by strings. It has then become essentially the most covered song with 2,200 cover version.
49. Smooth – Santana
The song has a distinctive guitar intro. The song was mainly a collaboration of Latin rock artist Carlos Santana and Matchbox Twenty vocalist Rob Thomas. It was first released on June 29, 1999 and has garnered tons of awards such as three Grammys for Record of the Year, Song of the year and Best Pop Collaborations with Vocals. The song is still covered by many bands nowadays and is a hit for almost all who listens to it.
50. Can’t Get No Satisfaction – Rolling Stones
This is a hit song by the English Rock band the Rolling Stones. It was first released in June 6 1965 in the US and August 20 in the UK. It also has the 2nd spot for “The 500 Greatest song of All time “ in the Rolling Stones Magazine.
The essence of music to our roots and culture has since then become global, connecting us not with words but through melody and harmonies. It’s always a nostalgic feeling listening to songs you grew up with. Songs that remind you of your childhood or your first love, music serves us as a timeline of sorts. It is also a time machine that we can always ride and dream into the memories we had have while reliving the good ol’ times.
Songs and music has brought us more closer than we think, with today’s technology any open eyes or ears can easily see hear and transfer ideas. It has helped us get connected and share our differences. With that said, pick up the guitar choose a song in the list and give it a go! Enjoy!
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