Play Popular Music on Guitar Still 2022
Lots of people can play guitar but what music do you play on your guitar when somebody says, “go on, play something”? Do you play a song, an instrumental, a simple classical piece? Songs are probably best as a general rule because even if you can’t sing, somebody in the crowd will be able to help you out. Just in case you get the party started with your guitar, a repertoire of around twenty songs probably should get you into, and out of trouble.
Your fingerpicking skills will come in handy if you want to impress a crowd of friends. The best thing about that is that you don’t have to be a virtuoso. Just the barest minimum of fingerpicking breaks or short solos in a song will impress the average Joe or Joelene greatly.
Here’s a few suggestions from a wide range of artists and genres. “Feel” and “Angels” by Robbie Williams, “American Pie” by Don McLean, “From the Beginning” by Emerson Lake and Palmer, “Cecilia” by Simon and Garfunkel, “Feelin’ Groovy” by Simon and Garfunkel, “Blowin In The Wind” by Bob Dylan, “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell, “More Than Words” by Extreme, “Under The Bridge” by Red Hot Chilli Peppers, “Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles, “House Of The Rising Sun” by The Animals, “Wild Thing” by The Troggs and “Runaway” by The Corrs. These are songs that everybody in the world knows the words to, or at least they can fake it.
Some artists that are always popular at singalongs are James Taylor, Leonard Cohen and Greenday. Oh, and maybe Suzanne Vega. Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” and “Captain Jack” are songs that get a crowd going but maybe you need some vocal skills for those.
“Wonderwall” by Oasis deserves a special mention. The name was taken from the name of an album by George Harrison, and the song was the subject of speculation regarding who was in the thoughts of the composer, Noel Gallagher when he wrote it. All that aside, “Wonderwall” has been covered by lots of artists and everybody loves it. It’s the kind of song that unites strangers from all over the world.
When you are choosing your repertoire, you can spread your net wide. No need to stick to the Top Forty, go for the Top One Hundred of whatever decade you feel comfortable with. An easy way out that does not need too much research is to just jot down a bunch of Beatles titles. You can be as basic or as flashy as you like because the songs stand up by themselves with just basic accompaniment or you can use any of the classical guitar style arrangements that you can find in music shops. “Blackbird” and “Hey Jude” would be a good beginning and finale.
You might want to think about an instrumental piece to continue the mood once the singing has died away. “Classical Gas” by Mason Williams might be a little challenging if you don’t think of yourself as a “real” guitar player but it is surprisingly easy to play.
Of course if you are not likely to be playing for strangers, you will have some idea of the kind of music your friends like, so just let their tastes be you guide with a little of your own style thrown in.
There are also songs that maybe should not be played. “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, “Freebird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Smoke On The Water” by Deep Purple and “Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles are contenders for this list but that probably only applies if your audience is sober.
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