What Songs For The Guitar Should I Learn (And Re-learn)?

playing the guitarNow that I bought my first acoustic guitar (I’ve always borrowed Phillip’s, who has had at least three, I think: classical, regular acoustic, and a 12 string), what songs should I learn to impress the chicks?

I USED to know a lot of tunes, but that was 20 years ago: The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, etc. Plus I taught myself how to play The Trees and Closer To The Heart (I still remember to play its beginning) by Rush, and similar guitar songs.

Songs I do NOT care to learn: anything by Bon Jovi or most other Top 40 bands.

I gotta figure out some kid songs for my children, too.

20 Replies to “What Songs For The Guitar Should I Learn (And Re-learn)?”

  1. I gave my regular acoustic to an ex-girlfriend who I haven’t seen for years. I was recently talking to her, though, and she told me she doesn’t play it. I would take the guitar back now if I could, but she lives closer to Talkeenta than St. John’s now.

    I recommend learning how to play “Slow Road Home.” Kids love it. Ask Paul C.

  2. A big hit at family gatherings is usually Folsom Prison Blues, but that depends entirely on your range (my b-i-l can, my uncle can’t, and my sister’s boyfriend can, but has to change keys). Really, any Johnny Cash should put you in good stead.

    If you can learn Fleetwood Mac’s Never Look Back, you’ll be a guitar god.

  3. Oddly enough, I tend to be most impressed when someone just noodles something they made up. Maybe that’s what you need if you want to impress a rooster?

    Seriously, I found getting a fairly elementary book about music theory really kept up my interest in guitar. Something about understanding the circle of 5ths and how music works i.e. ‘why does that note sound good and that one doesn’t?’ kept my programmer based engaged. Also learning the notes on the fretboard was very rewarding.

    But it’s been years since I studied seriously though so now I just have to rely on sliding an E and A chord up and down the neck to impress – no one…

  4. > I found getting a fairly elementary book about music theory…

    I already play the piano, having a good foundation in music theory. Being creative is the hard part, as most artists can attest to. A buddy and I used to churn out pop songs in our late teens. I haven’t been able to do that since, but really, I haven’t tried either: it requires the right environment and mood.

    I’ll be happy if I can play as well as Danny Schmidt; I can’t imagine being THAT creative – that’s wishing too much.

  5. Tool has a very beautiful acoutic-ish tune called, LAMC (Los Angeles Metropolitan Courthouse, IIRC). Well, technically, that’s just the intro. The song itself is unlisted but it usually goes by “Maynard’s Dick.”

    Um… you could rewrite the lyrics, it really is a nice song.

  6. Never heard of Alice in Chains? That’s scandalous. That’s a travestity. That’s tragically unhip. Ho-ho.

    They were the last great guitar band. So I say.

    rekounas gave the right advice on them already.

    And though it has little to do with your quest for tabs, you should try Clutch (associate link). There are a couple of blues tunes on the newest one which could be fun.

  7. Just watched that Tool video (or tried). I’m out of the loop when it comes to most popular music. I’ve yet to feel like I’m missing out on anything.

    There comes a point after one’s formative years where you either move on, or you never move on past the kind of music you listened too in your formative years. Whatever turns your crank.

    I like to think I moved on. Although I can appreciate just about any form of music, these day I mostly listen to acoustic-based music, music that doesn’t need to be plugged in or highly-produced to sound like music. I’ve become an old fogie and I like it.

  8. I HEARD of Alice In Chains. I wouldn’t recognize any of their songs, though. I haven’t heard of Clutch at all. I’ll take a listen to them. I’ll try Alice In Chains, too.

    I like that Liqour And Whores tune. Here are the chords for it.

  9. ahhh the trees….stick with rush..ahh or broons bane….jody i am in the same popular musical void…you mean rush is not popular?

    my kids currently enjoy stan rogers…anja is wearing out between the breaks..she particullary likes…flowers of bermuda, and old maui..the song about the whalers…when she was younger it was barretts privateers..but she was getting too rowdy every time she listened to it…demanding a draught and a table to bang on…while she got drunk…

    henry is currently entranced with the Oliver soundtrack in particular “pick a pocket or two…”

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