By JOHN DALY
There are lots of benefits to learning how to play the guitar. Not only can learning guitar build confidence, it has been proven that learning a musical instrument can sharpen concentration. And after all, who can argue that the music of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin doesn’t capture the listener’s focus?
Learning some of rock’s most famous songs can also teach a valuable skill or can simply be a means to express those thoughts and emotions that are difficult to put into mere words.
The guitar is one of the most fundamental instruments to create the sounds in rock music. In line with this, below are some of the most famous rock songs that almost every guitarist knows. As guitar sales skyrocket during the pandemic, we want to arm you with some great songs to play.
1. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
Wish You Were Here is a song that appeared in Pink Floyd’s 1975 album. The guitar element of this song is composed of some picking, a solo, as well as basic chord changes that are not that difficult to master. For this reason, this is a perfect song to play as soon as you are already comfortable with your guitar and you understand the depths that you can take in playing it.
2. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
Another famous rock song that almost every guitarist has an experience playing is Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven. The song was composed by the band’s guitarist, Jimmy Page, and it was released in late 1971. It is categorized as an intermediate song in terms of its level of difficulty when played using a guitar. Nevertheless, it is crowned as the song that features the best guitar solo of all time.
3. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit is a song that every guitarist knows how to play. This is because it is characterized by a chord progression and a strumming style that is the most used riff in the rock genre. This is also considered as the most iconic song in the 90s, featuring Kurt Cobain playing a Fender Mustang guitar in their music video.
4. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
This song has something for every kind of guitar player, from the beginners to the experts. Surprisingly, this is also considered as one of the hardest rock songs to play on a guitar because of its complex chord arrangement. Throughout the song, you will experience a jangly open-chords section and a power chord chorus if you take the rhythm guitars. There are also some nice slow melodic solos in between verses, as well as a couple of more advanced solos at the end.
5. Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Under the Bridge is Red Hot Chili Peppers’ second most performed song. It is part of the band’s Blood Sugar Sex Magik album which was released in 1991. It is a song that is fun to play but it displayed the genius capabilities of John Frusciante’s when his isolated guitar track was featured.
6. Wonderwall – Oasis
Originally released in the band’s 1995 album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, Wonderwall is a song that is great if you intend to practice on your strumming. It is even considered as one of the most played songs in acoustic guitar, perhaps because it is such a fun song to play. This song is also one of the band’s greatest hits.
7. Enter Sandman – Metallica
Enter Sandman has a basic song structure, as well as a standard and easy riff. It is an all-time classic, which is a great song to learn if you are just beginning to learn how to play the guitar. This song was part of the band’s self-titled fifth album released in 1991.
It was the rhythm guitarist James Hetfield who wrote the lyrics of the song. You will be able to find it effortless to master this song if you are already comfortable with your instrument.
8. Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits
It can be considered that this song is complete when it comes to the guitar tracks. This is because it has a blend of simple and difficult guitar chords, as well as other guitar techniques such as sweeps, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and finger-sweeping. The song was re-recorded in 1978 with Knopfler using mainly fingerpicking on the recording. In a gist, if you decide to study this song to enhance your guitar skills, then for sure, you will be able to learn a lot.
While these are only a few of the most popular rock songs to play, experimenting with different music genres that guitarists also keeps your talents current and sharp.