Top 10 Essential Songs to Learn to Play on Guitar

There are some songs that never go out of style. The classics that have been able to stand the test of time are known by two or three generations. The same goes for songs people learn to play on guitar. Some songs whether you’re 15 or 50 are just staples you have to learn along the way.

I’ve done some research and pieced together the top 10 songs people learn to play on the guitar. These span a few decades and are not genre specific. So if you’re looking for some new songs to learn this is a great list to start with.

#10 Dust in the Wind

Depending on your age you either remember this song from when it was originally released in 1978 or you’ve heard it in numerous movies over the last 10-15 years. Either way this classic tune by Kansas is an easy to play song for most beginners. All you need to know your basic open chords.

#9 Sweet Home Alabama

The guitar riff at the beginning of Sweet Home Alabama is as memorable as anything that’s every been played on the radio. It’s easy enough to figure out but fun enough to play that beginners absolutely love it. You can learn this song on an acoustic or electric guitar and it sounds great.

HINT: Take some time to figure out that intro lead part and then tie it in with the simple chords for the verse and the chorus.

#8 Smoke on the Water

Another classic riff during the intro of this song makes it another memorable tune. Deep Purple had quite a few classic rock songs, but none other gained the popularity as Smoke on the Water.

#7 Tears in heaven

One of the newer songs in this top ten, Eric Clapton’s, Tears in Heaven, was first introduced to us on his unplugged album in 1992. He wrote the song about the sudden loss of his four year old son in 1991, but has since stopped performing the song in more recent years.

This is a classic tune to learn on acoustic guitar. It takes a bit of patience and practice to play it properly but it’s worth the time.

#6 Brown Eyed Girl

Few song writers have had the longevity of Van Morrison, and his song Brown Eyed Girl is a testament of just how great he is at his craft. This is an easy song to learn for most beginner players, and even more fun if you learn to sing and play it at the same time.

#5 More Than Words

This great acoustic slow song echoed through most high school gymnasiums in the early and mid nineties. Another great song to play and sing a lot of guitar players have learned to play this one for a special someone they love.

#4 Wish You Were Here

Pink Floyd is one of the biggest rock bands of all time, and their classic song Wish You Were Here is the fourth most popular song guitar players want to learn. If you’re a beginner I suggest skipping the intro lead section and jumping right to the chords.

#3 Hotel California

Another hit that has stayed with us over the years, Hotel California is a great acoustic song to learn either on your own or jamming with friends. There is more then one guitar part in the song so depending on your current skill level you could learn just the chords or also take a stab at the great lead part and solo.

#2 Wonder Wall

This might seem crazy to some of you by Oasis’s Wonder Wall was a classic acoustic tune from the early nineties. It’s still going strong with beginners thanks to it’s unique chord progression and catchy melody. If you can sing and play at the same time this one is a must.

#1 Stairway to Heaven

It’s probably no surprise that the #1 song people learn to play on guitar is Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. This song has a little something for guitar players of all skill levels.

The intro is challenging for beginners to learn, while the solo is as tough as any for more advanced players.

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