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Greatest ever acoustic songs

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Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 91
Topic starter  

Ok - I've been playing guitar for about 12 years now, and I find lately that I really enjoy acoustic. I used to play electric all the time when I was young. I think for the first 6 years I just played Metallica songs, occassionally chucking in Under the Bridge for a change up.......Must have driven my parents mad.

Fortunately my repetoire and appreciation of music managed to extend beyond that eventually to what I now believe is quite a respectable variety.

Anyway, I've noticed lately that my electrics have been gathering dust (I don't do any gigs at the moment and haven't for a while sadly) and my callouses have been getting bigger due to all this bashing away on my acoustic.

I have been jamming with a female sort of jazz style vocalist lately and also playing stuff myself, and I really want to work up to a few gigs. I do write my own stuff, but enjoy playing covers too. Basically what all this blathering on has been leading to is that I want to know what everyone's favourite/most impressive/rockingest/off the wall/craziest/most beautiful acoustic covers are. I'm hoping there will also be lots of songs/artists that are awesome and I've never even heard of yet. And also maybe some songs that work surprisingly well as acoustic versions - one's you wouldn't expect. I want to keep away from just strumming chords etc, I want songs that will keep my left hand interested and also impress the hell out of my cat.

I'll kick off the list with my usual favourites;

Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah, Last Goodbye, Grace
Johnny Cash - Hurt
Eva Cassidey - Autumn Leaves
Tommy Emmanuel's version of Classical Gas (very f'n cool, I've seen it on this blog -
Metallica - Nothing Else Matters
The Smiths - The Boy With A Thorn In His Side
Dave Matthews - So Much To Say

But please give me some more good ones - I'm sick of playing these over and over!!! :shock: :shock:

Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1468

anything by James Taylor (can't forget him), anything early by Joni Mitchel, John Frusciante has an acoustic album out called curtains; nice songs on there. Radiohead's first album called Pablo Honey has some great songs on it with acoustic parts.

Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 205

The Who - Behind Blue Eyes - been listening to and trying to play this one lately. lots of fun, and good to work the fingerpicking on (or flatpicking, if you prefer).
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here - dhodge's lesson here is great, and was one of the first songs I learned to play all the way through. Also one of my favourite songs ever, so I really appreciated that lesson early on.
Led Zeppelin - Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp - I can't play this one at all, but it's a foot stomper for sure.
Les Zeppelin - Tangerine - easier to play. Still cool.
ok that's enough classic rock... gotta dig through my mp3s to try to find some stuff you maybe haven't heard of...
Marc Broussard - Home - mostly acoustic. Would love to be able to play this sort of bluesy stuff.
Iron and Wine w/ Calexico - Red Dust - more kinda bluesy stuff. Doesn't sound too complicated. If you've got a good ear you can maybe figure it out.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Ain't No Easy Way - another good foot-stomper.


Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 177

I'd add Seasons by Chris Cornell of Soundgarden. love the sound..

Psa. 42:8
By day the LORD commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 91
Topic starter  

Oh yeah - I forgot about Seasons, that's a great song. If only I could somehow get Chris Cornell's voice......

That's interesting - I didn't know Frusciante released a solo acoustic album. I like his sound in the Chili Peppers, will have to check that out.

Led Zep would be cool to, I saw a New Zealand girl called Carla Werner (amazing voice) do an excellent cover of Going To California on acoustic once. I think she hangs out in LA a lot these days actually.

And Calexico has got a great sound....

Good suggestions so far!

Some mellow jazz stuff would be good to, I was thinking of trying Girl From Ipanema.

I also want to learn some impressive songs - I know it's showing off, but you know those occasions when you happen to be handed a guitar at a party or something, I never really know what to play. Would be cool to know some really impressive stuff to rip out. The version of classical gas I mentioned is good for that I think but I've only just learned it.

Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 273

Dittos on:
- Braun-y-aur Stomp - Led Zepplin
- Hurt - Johnny Cash

And I'll add:
- Crystal Ball - Styx
- What Would You Say - Dave Matthews
- Seven Bridges Road - Eagles

I guess by 'great' I'm going with 'sounds awesome' not 'technically challenging'...but that makes sense to me :smile:

To those about to rock, we salute you!

Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 320

"Stagger Lee" by Mississippi John Hurt for that blues fingerpicking sound.


Isaac Priestley: World Racketeering Squad

Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 420

someone mentioned soundgarden.... Black Hole Sun sounds good (in my opinion) unplugged. There are tabs of it floating around online.

Thanks Dudes!
Keep on Rockin'


Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 17

Some of my favorite acoustic songs are from The Smashing Pumpkins: Spaceboy, Stumbeleine, Jupiter's Lament, Disarm...

Alice In Chains have a bunch too, but Nutshell stands out for me.

Wes Inman
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5582

I really love Classical Gas.

As another said, Billy Corgan played lots of acoustic, I especially love In the Arms of Sleep on the Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness album. I don't know what kind of guitar that is, but it has the most beautiful tone.

Simon and Garfunkel has so many great acoustic hits like the Boxer. And I used to really love America with Sister Goldenhair, The Sandman, Ventura Highway... they were great.

How about Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young? Sweet Judy Blue Eyes is one of my all time favorites.

I also loved Neil Diamond, Cherry Cherry, Kentucky Woman, Thank the Lord for the Night, Solitary Man, lots of folks do not know Neil wrote I'm a Believer and A Little Bit Me A Little Bit You made famous by the Monkees. Neil knows how to play acoustic.

I was a big T Rex fan, Marc Bolan wrote many great songs on acoustic like Main Man and many others.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis

Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 311

Hands Down - Dashboard Confessional (Acustic version)

Not a very complex song, in fact it's very simple. I love the way it sounds though

'You and I in a little toy shop, bought a bag of balloons with the money we got"

feel free to talk with me on msn at [email protected] no icq anymore

Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 482

Kansas-Dust in the Wind
Jethro Tull-Mother Goose

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 157

Going to california, Bron y Aur stomp

isnt Hurt a NIN song?

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 115

Crosby Still Nas Young __ Helplessly Hoping
Zep __ The Rain Song
Allman Brothers__Sweet Mellisa
Kenny Wayne Shepard__Blue on Black
Third Day (Version)__Your Love Oh Lord
Heart__Dog and Butterfly

Alot of "clasic" rock tunes. But it seems they had better acoustic stuff then now a days IMHO

Ghost Rider
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 267

I've been playing Tracy Chapman's, Fast Car, which is a great acoustic song, and relatively easy.
I'd love to learn a favourite Paul Simon song, American Tune; but this is considerably more difficult. Got to learn Travis picking, which will open up a wealth of Simon tunes!
Been listening to a lot of Suzanne Vega this week. Some nice acoustic stuff there, too.

So many great acoustic tunes. There just isn't enough time! :D

Ghost Rider 8)

Which one are you?

"Colour made the grass less green..." 3000 miles, Tracy Chapman

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