80 Best Acoustic Guitar Songs of All Time

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Written By Will Fenton

Founder of MidderMusic. From numerous bands to stints working in music shops, read more about me on the 'Here's My Story' page!

Do you want to chill out and take it easy with some classic acoustic guitar songs?

You’ve come to the right place!

Today we’ll show you the best acoustic guitar song of all time.

Table of Contents

1. “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver

Let’s start with a country classic and one of the most loved acoustic guitar songs.

John Denver released “Take Me Home, Country Roads” in 1971, and that was a life-changing event for him.

The song peaked at number 2 at Billboard’s US Hot 100 singles.

Plus, it was certified Platinum in 2017.

2. “Blackbird” by The Beatles 

“Blackbird” is arguably one of the most beautiful acoustic guitar songs.

Paul McCartney said the lyrics were inspired by hearing the call of a blackbird in Rishikesh, India.

But the song is also associated with racial tension in the US and civil right movements in the 60s.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly…

3. “Over The Hills And Far Away” by Led Zeppelin 

“Over The Hills And Far Away” is taken from Led Zeppelin’s iconic album “The Song Remains The Same” in 1973.

It’s one of the great acoustic guitar songs that will make you feel more alive.

And if the song’s title reminds you of the hobbits, you’re not wrong – Plant was inspired by Tolkien’s poem of the same name.

And it was, of course, inspired by his legendary book ‘The Hobbit.’

4. “Tears In Heaven” by Eric Clapton 

Tears In Heaven” is a timeless classic.

And it’s arguably one of the most sentimental acoustic guitar songs ever written, especially if you know the story behind it.

Clapton wrote it with Will Jennings about the tragic death of his 4-year-old son, Conor.

Clapton’s son died after accidentally falling from a 54 story apartment. 

And this song was a result of this unbearably sad accident and Clapton’s grief.

5. “We’re Going To Be Friends” by The White Stripes 

The White Stripes and Jack White are known for making powerful, guitar-driven songs.

But “We’re Going To Be Friends” is very tender.

It’s also not hard to play, so if you’re looking for some easy songs to learn on guitar, this is a great choice.

And if you’re a fan of the band, even better.

6. “Jolene” by Dolly Parton 

“Jolene” is also one of the most popular acoustic guitar songs.

And although it might sound lively at first, it’s actually quite melancholic.

In the song, Parton is begging another woman not to take his man.

Many musicians made their own version of the song over the years, including Miley Cyrus.

7. “Good Riddance” by Green Day 

Good Riddance” is probably one of the most well known acoustic guitar songs ever.

It was released in the 90s so it’s a nice reminder of that music era.

After all, it’s arguably Green Day’s most nostalgic song, even though the song’s title feels bitter.

Billie Joe Armstrong supposedly wrote it about his girlfriend who moved to Ecuador. 

8. “Hotel California” by Eagles 

“Hotel California” is often described as one of the greatest rock songs of all time.

It was awarded the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1978. 

Lyrically, the song is a commentary on American hedonism and over-indulgence.

But some critics also associate it with addiction and interpret ‘Hotel California’ as cocaine addiction.

Either way, the song is one of the timeless classic rock songs.

9. “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas 

“Dust In The Wind” is also considered one of the top acoustic songs.

However, it was Kansas’s only single to reach the top ten in the US.

But more than 25 years later, the RIAA certified Gold the digital download format of the song.

10. “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Survival

We don’t have to tell you that “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” is a classic.

It’s one of the classic rock songs everyone knows.

But the song is also rather melancholic; it’s about an imminent breakup of the band.

Creedence Clearwater Revival didn’t last long after Tom Fogerty left.

11. “Nutshell” by Alice In Chains 

Alice in Chains released “Nutshell” in 1994.

It’s one of their mellow songs, and it’s also quite an easy song to learn on guitar.

So if you’ve just started with your guitar lessons, this beginner-friendly song could be a nice (and interesting) starting point.

12. “California Dreamin’” by The Mamas & The Papas 

“California Dreamin’” is the best-known song by The Mamas & The Papas.

And it’s definitely one of the most popular acoustic guitar songs.

The song also heralded the arrival of the nascent counterculture era.

The lyrics of the song express longing to be in another place, without any hardships.

13. “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley & The Wailers

Another song that will take you to another place is “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley.

This is one of the best reggae songs of all time.

The lyrics refer to oppression and liberation from all forms of slavery.

In other words, it’s a song about emancipation and freedom. 

14. “More Than Words” by Extreme 

“More Than Words” is one of the most beautiful rock ballads and a favorite wedding song.

It’s romantic, tender, and emotional.

But it’s also a warning that the phrase ‘I love you’ can become empty and meaningless if you don’t mean it. 

15. “Between The Bars” by Elliott Smith 

“Between The Bars” is Elliott Smith’s best known track.

It’s a rather sad acoustic song, but there’s also something soothing about it.

It talks about loneliness and the feeling of being trapped. 

The song was used in several movies and TV shows including ‘Good Will Hunting’ and ‘Rick and Morty.’

16. “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran 

“Photograph” is taken from Ed Sheeran’s 2014 album “x.” 

The song starts as a mellow acoustic guitar song and evolves into a powerful, emotional ballad.

The song talks about the long-distance relationship inspired by Sheeran’s personal experience.

The singer was away from his girlfriend a lot because he was on tour.

17. “A Horse With No Name” by America 

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name…

This 70s classic is a perfect road trip song.

It’s also one of the great songs for acoustic guitar.

It’s a fairly easy song to learn to play on guitar, even if you’re a beginner. 

18. “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel 

“The Sound Of Silence” is a familiar, calming tune.

It’s often interpreted as a song about the escape to a more peaceful environment.

But considering the time it was released, it’s also associated with thoughts on the Vietnam War and political unrest of the 60s.

19. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen

If you’re an intermediate guitar player, this song is for you.

However, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” is quite lively, but don’t sweat – with enough practice, you’ll get the chords right.

Nevertheless, it’s a beloved rock tune from one of the greatest bands that ever existed.

20. “Better Together” by Jack Johnson 

This is one of the sweetest acoustic guitar songs.

It was released in 2005 on Johnson’s album “In Between Dreams.”

The whole album is ideal for a day of relaxing and appreciating nature, little moments, and people around you.

21. “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers 

“Ain’t No Sunshine” is an iconic acoustic guitar song.

It’s an emotional song about the end of a relationship.

Therefore, the song is relatable to many people, and it feels very healing if you’re going to some tough times at the moment.

The song has been covered by many artists over the years, but no one managed to pour their soul into it quite like Bill Withers did. 

22. “Georgia” by Vance Joy

Vance Joy released many great acoustic guitar songs.

But “Georgia” stands out as one of the singer’s signature songs.

You can also learn it on the guitar in a relatively quick and easy way.

23. “High And Dry” by Radiohead

When thinking about acoustic guitar songs by Radiohead, “High And Dry” immediately comes to mind.

It was released on the band’s 1995 studio album “The Bends” as a double-A side single with the song “Planet Telex.”

And it still remains one of their most classic and sentimental ballads. 

24. “Wanted Dead Or Alive” by Bon Jovi 

Many Bon Jovi’s fans agree that “Wanted Dead Or Alive” is one of the best acoustic guitar songs.

It was released in 1986, and it certainly made a huge impact on the rest of Jon Bon Jovi’s life and career.

The track is now considered one of the band’s signature songs.

25. “Heart of Gold” by Neil Young

Released in 1972, “Heart Of Gold” is a timeless classic.

It was released on Young’s iconic album “Harvest.”

Ultimately, the song is about salvation and the search for true love in life.

26. “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes

If you’re looking for a more modern song to learn on the guitar, how about this 2015 hit by Shawn Mendes?

It’s familiar, catchy, and fairly easy to learn.

Lyrically, it’s a song about heartbreak and trying to get yourself together after being hurt.

27. “Give A Little Bit” by Supertramp

“Give A Little Bit” is also one of the famous acoustic guitar songs.

The message of the song is pretty straightforward: it’s about sharing the love with others around you and giving your best.

As it’s not too difficult to play on guitar, it’s also a popular choice for guitar beginners.

28. “Take It Easy” by Eagles 

“Take It Easy” is another song by the Eagles worth mentioning.

The song was released as the band’s very first single in 1972 and appeared one month later on the band’s self-titled debut album.

It eventually became one of their signature songs.

Plus, it’s listed as one of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

29. “Little Black Submarines” by The Black Keys 

The Black Keys are known for making catchy, guitar-driven songs.

“Little Black Submarines” starts off calmly, and then it transforms into a powerful rock tune.

Either way, it’s one of the songs you can learn on your acoustic guitar if you want to expand your repertoire. 

30. “Layla” by Eric Clapton

Clapton’s “Layla” is one of the greatest classic rock songs of all time.

The song is about Clapton’s forbidden love for the wife of his close friend George Harrison.

She eventually became Clapton’s wife.

And the name Layla was derived from the Persian poem about unrequited love ‘Layla and Majnun.’ 

31. “Can’t You See” by The Marshall Tucker Band 

“Can’t You See” is a nice blend of Southern rock and country rock.

And it’s an ideal song to learn on the acoustic guitar.

Lyrically, the song is a little somber; it depicts the feelings of heartache and running away in order to heal.

32. “Never Going Back Again” by Fleetwood Mac 

If you’re a fan of Fleetwood Mac, you probably already know they made it in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

And their track “Never Going Back Again” is regarded as one of the best acoustic guitar songs.

Also, this could be a fun acoustic song to get into if you’re looking for something to add to your repertoire.

33. “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Something 

“Breakfast At Tiffany’s” was a huge hit when it came out in 1995.

And since Deep Blue Something didn’t release anything that matched its success, they’re often categorized as one-hit wonders.

Either way, this feel-good hit still sounds great.

34. “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan 

“Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” is an absolute classic that will live forever.

Lyrically, it’s about a man on his deathbed. 

And there’s a bit of optimism in the song as it suggests a more positive outlook on normally grim circumstances.

At the end of the day, you can interpret the lyrics any way you want; and that’s the charm of this timeless song.

35. “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison 

“Brown Eyed Girl” is Van Morrison’s signature song.

It has nostalgic lyrics about a past love.

But nevertheless, it’s an ultimate feel-good song, at least in our opinion.

And it’s a great tune to play on the acoustic guitar.

36. “Wild World” by Cat Stevens 

Yusuf Islam known by his stage name Cat Stevens released “Wild World” in 1970.

And it has been played on radio stations across the world ever since.

It’s arguably one of the most popular acoustic guitar songs.

And you can easily learn it on guitar, even if you’re just starting out with your guitar lessons.

37. “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake 

Nick Drake left us a number of sentimental acoustic guitar songs.

This year it was fifty years since Nick Drake made “Pink Moon”, his third and final studio album.

And this song of the same name will always be remembered as one of his best pieces of work.

38. “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind 

“Jumper” by Third Eye Blind is another great song to play on guitar.

It’s rather lively and youthful, despite the story behind it.

The lyrics are inspired by a rather somber situation; they’re based on a story of a guy who killed himself by jumping off the Coronado bridge.

The song conveys an important message that we should all strive to understand each other a little better. 

39. “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M.

Without a doubt, “Losing My Religion” is R.E.M.’s best piece of work.

It’s one of the iconic and widely popular acoustic guitar songs.

And you can interpret the lyrics any way you want.

Some critics claim they refer to faith, and others believe it’s about losing one’s temper.

40. “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon 

“You’re So Vain” was one of the very popular songs in the 70s.

And it still rocks!

Plus, if you wish to learn it on the guitar, you’ll be happy to hear it’s fairly easy to play.

You can even learn it on your own, especially if you’re taking online guitar lessons.

41. “Pinball Wizard” by The Who 

“Pinball Wizard” by the legendary band The Who is one of the energetic guitar-driven songs.

Maybe it’s not their most popular tune, but that can be an advantage if you’re looking for something original to learn on your guitar. 

Although it’s an old rock song, it might be a refreshment for your usual guitar playing session.

42. “Listen to the Music” by The Doobie Brothers 

The idea behind Doobie Brothers’ “Listen To The Music” is very utopian.

In one of the interviews, Tom Johnston explained that the world would be a much better place if world leaders got together to relax and listen to music.

It’s a nice idea; and we can daydream about it while listening to this tune.

43. “Going To California” by Led Zeppelin 

Another famous track by Led Zeppelin you may want to try playing on your guitar is “Going To California.”

Or you can simply sit back and enjoy this dreamy masterpiece.

Find a queen without a king

They say she plays guitar and cries and sings…

44. “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd 

Needless to say, “Wish You Were Here” is regarded as one of the greatest songs of all time. 

The song tackles themes of alienation as well as criticism of the music business.

But at its core, “Wish You Were Here” sounds like a nostalgic love song.

So it all comes down to your current mood and personal experiences associated with the song. 

45. “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles 

“Here Comes The Sun” is a feel-good anthem.

It was released in 1969, but it somehow still sounds fresh and inspiring.

Also, it’s a great song to learn on guitar for beginners. 

So if you’re looking for something easy, familiar, and uplifting, “Here Comes The Sun” might be a perfect choice.

46. “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty

“Free Fallin’” is another popular acoustic song. 

Although it was released in 1989, it sounds like the 90s rock.

And even today, you can frequently hear it on the radio.

The track remains Petty’s highest and longest-charting song.

47. “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz

“I’m Yours” is a sweet acoustic song from 2008.

It’s a popular choice both for guitar and ukulele beginners.

Lyrically, the song is about sharing love and choosing to live in the moment. 

Just listening to this song will make you feel more calm and connected to the world.

48. “Naked As We Came” by Iron & Wine

If you’re looking for some calm, slow-paced indie songs for acoustic guitar, Iron & Wine has plenty of them.

“Naked As We Came” is a good example.

The atmosphere of the song reflects Sam Beam’s approach to music.

And it will make you feel more grounded and conscious.

49. “Who Says” by John Mayer

“Who Says” is a tender, laid-back song by John Mayer.

And since he is known for making catchy acoustic guitar songs, this song deserves a place on this list.

In a way, the song talks about forgiving yourself and feeling good.

So why not grab a guitar and spend some quality time with yourself while learning this tune? 

50. “Wonderwall” by Oasis

Today is gonna be the day that they’re gonna throw it back to you…

Oasis might be a self-proclaimed greatest band of all time, but they surely created some influential songs.

“Wonderwall” is probably their biggest hit.

And it’s a popular choice for young guitar players who want to play something everyone knows.

51. “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s

And maybe this well-known acoustic song is your cup of tea.

The backstory of “Hey There Delilah” is inspired by the real person, Delilah DeCrescenzo.

The band’s frontman Tom Higgenson met her at a party and wrote the song about her afterward.

But it was just daydreaming – the two never dated. 

52. “Helplessly Hoping” by Crosby, Stills & Nash

“Helplessly Hoping” is a true gem among the best acoustic guitar songs.

Just like the previous track, the song talks about unrequited love.

But it also feels like it’s so much more; hopeful and melancholic at the same time.

Perhaps this is the hope we need during these hectic days.

53. “Like Real People Do” by Hozier 

Hozier’s “Like Real People Do” is an acoustic song inspired by the Irish poet Seamus Heaney.

Lyrically, the song is about a couple who enters a relationship with a lot of baggage that they don’t want to share with each other.

However, this ultimately sounds like a love song.

It’s romantic, tender, and slightly melancholic.

54. “Romeo And Juliet” by Dire Straits

Dire Straits released “Romeo And Juliet” in 1980.

The song was inspired by Mark Knopfler’s failed romance with Holly Vincent.

The lyrics refer to Romeo as someone who is still very much in love with Juliet.

55. “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman 

“Fast Car” is one of the good acoustic guitar songs for anyone who wants to learn something new.

It’s Tracy Chapman’s Grammy award-winning signature song.

It’s about fantasizing to leave your life behind; it’s evidently written from the perspective of someone unhappy.

Nevertheless, the song sounds wonderful; even after more than 30 years of its initial release.

56. “Hole Hearted” by Extreme

Besides “More Than Words”, you can try playing “Hole Hearted” by Extreme.

This track has a fuller sound and a more energetic atmosphere.

And it’s a great song for an acoustic guitar.

57. “Crosses” by José González

If you’re looking for easy indie songs to play on guitar, you can choose almost anything from Jose Gonzalez.

Not all his songs are easy to play though, but it will certainly be worthwhile.

“Crosses” is more fast-paced but still nice and steady.

And it’s one of his best known songs.

58. “Working Class Hero” by John Lennon

“Working Class Hero” is a commentary on the difference between social classes.

The song was released on John Lennon’s first album after the break-up of The Beatles.

And Lennon really seemed to believe in this song.

He said he thinks it’s based on a revolutionary concept.

59. “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” by Led Zeppelin 

“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” is arguably one of the best rock songs for acoustic guitar.

It starts off slowly and gently…

And then it transforms into a powerful guitar-driven rock tune.

It’s epic – and it’s pure classic rock.

60. “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash 

A song that can usually be found on acoustic guitar music lists is “Ring Of Fire” by Johnny Cash.

You can certainly play your own version of this legendary tune.

It’s fun and uplifting, and you probably already know it by heart. 

Lyrically, the song is based on a poem ‘Love’s Ring Of Fire.’

61. “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor 

This is another song with fire in the title you can learn how to play on guitar.

It’s not too fast, but it’s powerful and emotional.

However, the stories it tells are rather dark; they revolve around suicide, addiction, and mental issues.

It’s an honest depiction of someone’s hardship.

62. “Down in a Hole” by Alice In Chains 

“Down In A Hole” is a power ballad released in 1992.

It was written by guitarist and vocalist Jerry Cantrell for Courtney Clarke who he dated at the time.

Since it’s a rather soft song, Cantrell was at first hesitant to present it.

But everyone seems to be glad he did. 

63. “Green Eyes” by Coldplay

“Green Eyes” is undeniably one of Coldplay’s most beloved songs.

You can interpret the lyrics of the song however you see fit.

But generally, it’s about someone who we can depend on; whether it’s a friend or a partner.

64. “Road Trippin’” by Red Hot Chili Peppers 

“Road Trippin’” is one of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ best acoustic songs.

It’s tender and melancholic, and as the song’s title suggests, it’s a perfect addition to your car playlist.

The song is taken from their iconic rock album “Californication.” 

65. “Moonlight Motel” by Bruce Springsteen 

“Moonlight Motel” is a sentimental acoustic ballad about life and love.

Some critics claim the song’s title is the metaphor for the protagonist’s heart.

And maybe it’s an honest depiction of romance; fragile and unpredictable.

Either way, it’s a very nice song, and a good melody to practice on guitar.

66. “Promise” by Ben Howard 

Ben Howard is known for making dreamy and sentimental indie songs.

And “Promise” is one of his best-known songs.

It’s rather melancholic though; the lyrics refer to separated lovers.

So if you’re going through some hard times, this song may help you process your emotions in a calm way.

67. “Halo” by Lotte Kestner 

Lotte Kestner covered Beyonce’s “Halo” and created a whole new song.

It’s a beautiful cover, and her dreamy voice also fits perfectly.

So if you want to perform pop songs in an acoustic version, this might be a nice inspiration.

68. “All Apologies” by Nirvana 

If you’re looking for good songs to play on the acoustic guitar, Nirvana is always an excellent choice.

“All Apologies” has a steady rhythm, and it has an easy riff to learn.

And not to mention it’s one of the band’s best songs.

69. “Freight Train” by Elizabeth Cotten

“Freight Train” is an old American folk song.

It was popularized during the American folk revival and British skiffle period in the 50s and 60s.

Elizabeth Cotten recorded the song in th1 1957, and that remains one of the most popular versions of the song.

70. “Love Me Do” by The Beatles 

When thinking about acoustic songs, perhaps The Beatles’ music isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.

But they have many songs ideal for acoustic guitars, and “Love Me Do” is a popular choice for guitar players of all levels.

It’s fast and lively, and you probably know all the verses.

71. “Sweet Home Chicago” by The Blues Brothers 

And if you’re a fan of blues, why not try playing “Sweet Home Chicago”?

Either way, it’s a popular song first recorded by Robert Johnson 1936.

The song has become an anthem for the city of Chicago, and it has been covered by many artists in a variety of styles.

In short, “Sweet Home Chicago” is a classic.

72. “Tenerife Sea” by Ed Sheeran

“Tenerife Sea” is one of Ed Sheeran’s less known songs, but it’s a great acoustic guitar song.

It’s tender and romantic, and you can learn it on guitar with ease.

The song was written by Sheeran, Johnny McDaid of Snow Patrol, and Foy Vance.

73. “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Although it sounds catchy and energetic, the popular rock tune “Bad Moon Rising” was inspired by something bad and uneasy.

Fogerty got an idea for the song after seeing a 1941 movie involving a hurricane.

He explained that the song refers to “the apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us. “

74. “Angie” by Bert Jansch

If you want to try playing something different on your acoustic guitar, this song is for you.

Bert Jansch was a Scottish folk musician and a leading figure in the 1960s British folk revival.

His discography consists of 24 studio albums, and “Angie” is one of his notable songs.

75. “The World I Know” by Collective Soul 

“The World I Know” by American band Collective Soul sounds like a true 90s rock tune.

It was released in 1995, and it’s regarded as one of the top acoustic guitar songs. 

The story behind the song is somber but truthful.

It’s about losing hope in humanity and the world. 

76. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison

“Every Rose Has Its Thorn” is one of the classic acoustic guitar songs.

According to the most common interpretation, the rose from the title represents the singer’s musical career.

And the thorn is success that cost him other important things in life like meaningful relationships.

77. “Lola” by The Kinks 

“Lola” by The Kinks marked the year 1970.

The song made it to the list of the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Lyrically, the song depicts a romantic encounter between a young man and a trans woman whom he meets in a club in Soho.

It’s an uplifting and catchy song, and it could be a fun acoustic song to play on guitar.

78. “Roundabout” by Yes 

Some lists of the best acoustic guitar songs include “Roundabout” by Yes.

And that’s an interesting choice.

But if you’re a skilled guitar player, you can easily jam to it.

The music of the progressive rock band Yes is a sound of its own.

79. “Shallow” by Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper

“Shallow” is one of the most popular acoustic guitar songs of the past decade.

This touching ballad is also a great option for a powerful karaoke duet.

The song was written for the movie ‘A Star Is Born’ in 2018, and it has been frequently played on radio stations ever since. 

The song topped the charts in more than twenty countries and it received numerous awards including the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

80. “Something In The Way” by Nirvana 

“Something in the Way” is a final song on Nirvana’s iconic album “Nevermind.”

In the song, Kurt admits that he thinks there’s something in the way of him being happy.

There’s something special about this song, so it’s no wonder it’s often regarded as one of the best acoustic guitar songs. 

So if you’re looking for songs to play, “Something In The Way” will make a nice addition to your usual repertoire.

Best Acoustic Guitar Songs – Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed going through our list of the best acoustic songs of all time!

It wasn’t easy to make this selection though, and we left out many amazing tracks.

But all the songs we mentioned today are widely regarded as great acoustic guitar songs.

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