40 Best Acoustic Cover Songs To Play On Guitar – Tabs, Lessons included

If you own an acoustic guitar, you are probably looking for songs based on this instrument. After all, acoustic and electric guitars are quite different even though they share the same basic principle. There are so many tricks and techniques you can’t use on both types. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of different songs you can find that are performed on acoustic guitars. You can also create your own adaptations of nearly any song, but the results may vary. Some songs will sound better than others if you switch guitars. 

Of course, if you are a beginner, you probably won’t feel ready to create your own covers. Whether you are looking to expand your repertoire and learn something new or explore different songs on acoustic guitar, this list can help you. 

Johnny Cash – Hurt

One of the best songs on acoustic guitar is Hurt by Johnny Cash. What many people don’t know is that the original version was written and recorded by Nine Inch Nails, and Cash only did the cover. 

The song is beginner-friendly, and you can learn it without any problems even if you are a beginner. What matters is that the song will still sound great, and it is something you need to learn. 

Hurt Guitar Chords

Nirvana – The Man Who Sold The World

The Man Who Sold the World is a song by David Bowie, and it was released in 1970. But many people are more familiar with the cover by Nirvana. The band played their own version during the famous MTV Unplugged, and it gained new fans worldwide. 

This version starts with an overdriven acoustic guitar, but you can experiment with the intro as you please. Learning it is not too challenging, and you only need to follow the chord progression

The Man Who Sold The World Guitar Chords

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here

The Wish You Were Here album came out in 1975, and it features the song of the same name. It is also among the most popular songs on acoustic guitar. The original intro is played on a twelve-string guitar, but you can play it on your standard acoustic one without any issues. 

If you are a beginner, you might need to learn a couple of new chords. But at the same time, the song is not too challenging, and the slow tempo will give you enough time to switch to the next chord.

Wish You Were Here Guitar Chords

The Beatles – Blackbird

While Blackbird might not be the most famous song by the Beatles, it is still a fun piece to learn. The song came out in 1968, and it first appeared on The White Album. It was written by Paul McCartney, and it is so much fun. 

When it comes to the difficulty, it might be a bit challenging for beginners since they will need to learn the fingerpicking pattern. You won’t be able to just strum the chords, and it’s the only way to make the song sound good. 

Blackbird Guitar Chords

The Eagles – Hotel California

Hotel California is a rock classic by the Eagles, and it came out in 1977. The original version starts with a twelve-string guitar, and you can play the majority of the song on your acoustic guitar. 

But if you want to push things a bit further, The Eagles played a fully acoustic version in 1994, which became almost as popular as the original. And the basic idea behind both of these versions is the same. 

Hotel California Guitar Chords

Extreme – More Than Words

More Than Words is a single by Extreme, it was released in 1991, and the song also appeared on the Pornograffitti album. While the band was primarily focused on funk and metal, this song was a step in a different direction. 

The ballad is played on an acoustic guitar, it’s simple, and it can be quite fun. Another great thing about More Than Words is that it is suitable for all skill levels, which means that beginners won’t struggle a lot with it. 

More Than Words Guitar Chords

Incubus – Drive

Incubus is an alternative rock band from California, and Drive is a song from their third album called Make Yourself. The album was released in 1999, while Drive came out a year later. The song received positive reviews, and it introduced the band to a wider audience. 

Now, there are a few ways to play this song. But the correct one includes chords that are not as common as you might expect. This is a great option for intermediate players, but beginners should be able to learn it with a bit of practice. 

Drive Guitar Chords

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car

Fast Car is a song by Tracy Chapman, and it was released in 1988. The song was also a lead single from Chapman’s debut album, and it easily topped numerous charts across the globe. Keep in mind that you will need a capo on the second fret to play it. 

This will simplify the process, and make it a bit easier to learn all the bits. Playing the song without a capo would be nearly impossible, especially for beginners. Furthermore, it might challenge your skills if you want it to sound accurate. 

Fast Car Guitar Chords

Green Day – Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) is a song by Green Day, and it came out in 1997 on Nimrod. The first thing you will notice is that the song is on an acoustic guitar, which is not something people expected from Green Day at the time. 

Fortunately, it is not too difficult to play. Of course, if you have just started your musical journey, you might struggle with the G major chord as many other players. This song can be a nice way to practice this chord and learn one of the most popular songs by Green Day. 

Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) Guitar Chords

Eric Clapton – Layla

The original version of Layla came out in 1970, and it was recorded by Derek and the Dominos. The song appeared on the Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, and it is considered one of the greatest songs of all time. 

In 1992, Clapton performed at MTV Unplugged where he played an acoustic version of the song. And it was once again a huge hit. The acoustic version is a bit simpler to learn, and it doesn’t have a piano outro like the original version. 

Layla Guitar Chords

Bob Marley – Redemption Song

Redemption Song is one of the most popular songs by Bob Marley and the Wailers. It was released in 1980, and it appeared on the album called Uprising. The single for this song came out with I Shot the Sheriff on the other side. 

Over the years, the song got numerous covers, and it is among the favorite songs to play on acoustic guitar. The chord progression is quite simple, and the song is beginner-friendly. 

Redemption Song Guitar Chords

Taylor Swift – Shake It Off

Shake It Off came out as a single from Taylor Swift’s fifth album, and it was released in 2014. If you are a fan of Taylor Swift, you’ll be delighted to know that playing Shake It Off is not that difficult. 

The song has three main chords, you won’t need a capo, and the only thing you will need to master is switching chords on time. Since this is a dance-pop song, you will need to be a bit faster while playing it. 

Shake It Off Guitar Chords

Maroon 5 – She Will Be Loved

She Will Be Loved is a song from Songs About Jane, it was released in 2004, and the song was written by Adam Levine and James Valentine. This was also the third single from the debut album, and it is still one of the most popular songs by Maroon 5. 

The first thing you will need to do to play She Will Be Loved is to place a capo on the third fret. Keep in mind that the live version of the song is a bit different, especially when it’s only played on one guitar. 

She Will Be Loved Guitar Chords

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Simple Man

Simple Man is a song from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s debut album called (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd). Simple Man is still one of the best songs by the band, and it’s quite fun to play. However, there are a few things you should know. 

Firstly, the original version is on an electric guitar, but playing it on acoustic gives the song a whole new feel. Especially since it starts with a nice arpeggiated sequence. This also means that beginners might need a bit of practice to play it correctly. 

Simple Man Guitar Chords

John Mayer – Neon

Neon is a song from John Mayer’s debut album Room for Squares. But the majority of people prefer the live version from Where the Light Is. The live album came out in 2008, and it gave us one of the best versions of the song. 

The first thing to mention is that this is one of the hardest songs to play on this list. You will also need to tune the low E string to C, while the rest of the strings are in the standard tuning. You will need a lot of practice for this one regardless of your skill level. 

Neon Guitar Chords

Oasis – Wonderwall

Wonderwall is among the most famous songs for acoustic guitar. It was written by Noel Gallagher, and it first appeared on the (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? album from 1995. It is also one of the first songs many people learn. 

It is beginner-friendly, and it sounds good. To play Wonderwall along the original track, you will need a capo on the second fret. Additionally, the song uses a couple of new chords, but it isn’t too difficult. 

Wonderwall Guitar Chords

Passenger – Let Her Go

Let Her Go came out in 2012, and it is a single from the All the Little Lights album by Passenger. Besides the song being such a huge hit, it is also a fun song to play. But it is far from being easy. 

You will also need a capo on the seventh fret, and the song is an excellent way to polish your fingerpicking skills. The song is great for intermediate players, but beginners can check it out as well. 

Let Her Go Guitar Chords

Dua Lipa – Love Again

Love Again was released in 2021, and it appeared on Dua Lipa’s second album called Future Nostalgia. And it is quite an interesting song to play. As you can probably expect, guitars are not the main focus of the song, but they are still present. 

This is one of many reasons why acoustic covers of this song can sound rather good. You will need a capo on the second fret, and there are only four chords. The song is not complex, and it’s great for beginners. 

Love Again Guitar Chords

Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You

Shape of You is a song from Ed Sheeran’s third album called ÷ (or simply: Divide). It was released in 2017, and it became a global hit. The song reached the number one place in over thirty countries, and so many people love it. 

Now, there are two ways to play this song. If you are comfortable with barre chords, you can just start with C#m. Otherwise, you can place a capo on the second fret, which will eliminate a few barre chords and make it a bit simpler. 

Shape Of You Guitar Chords

Black Crowes – She Talks To Angels

She Talks to Angels is a song by Black Crowes, and it was released in 1991. This is an acoustic rock tune, and it is such a fun piece to play. Now, the first thing you will need to do is change the tuning of your guitar.

This song is in the open E tuning, which means that the notes are E, B, E, G#, B, and E. Playing all of the open strings will give you the E major chord, and it will allow you to easily play this song. 

She Talks To Angels Guitar Chords

Tom Petty – Free Fallin’

Free Fallin’ is the opening track from Tom Petty’s debut album, and it was released in 1989. The song quickly became a hit, and it’s the most famous song by Tom Petty. If you aim to learn how to play it, you will need a capo on the third fret. 

The chord progression is a bit more complex, and it will challenge some beginners. It doesn’t include standard easy chords, but it is a nice opportunity to learn something new and improve your skills. 

Free Fallin’ Guitar Chords

Dire Straits – Romeo And Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is a song from Making Movies, and it came out in 1980. The single came out a year later, and it is one of the songs Knopfler often played live. If you are looking to play that incredible fingerpicking intro and main theme, you will need to tune your guitar to the open G. 

The open G tuning means your strings will be D, G, D, G, B, and D. You will also need a capo on the third fret. Once you retune your guitar and place a capo, you will be ready to proceed to the learning part. 

Romeo And Juliet Guitar Chords

Coldplay – Yellow

Yellow first appeared on Parachutes in 2000, and it is among the best songs by Coldplay. Playing this song will require you to adjust your tuning, but it is not too drastic. You will need to have E, A, B, G, B, and D#. 

This means that you will change only two strings from the standard E tuning. Keep in mind that the song is played on two guitars, and you might need to make a few adjustments. But both guitars are in this tuning. 

Yellow Guitar Chords

Lindsey Buckingham – Big Love

The original version of Big Love came out in 1987, and it appeared on the Tango in the Night album by Fleetwood Mac. The song was written by Lindsey Buckingham, and he continued playing an acoustic version of the song during his shows. 

The first thing to say is that the song is quite challenging. You will need a capo on the third fret, and you will need to practice a lot. The fingerpicking pattern, the speed, the chord changes, everything can be a challenge based on your skills. 

Big Love Guitar Chords

Bob Dylan – Mr. Tambourine Man

Mr. Tambourine Man was released on Bringing It All Back Home in 1965, although the record was titled Subterranean Homesick Blues in some countries. It is one of many hits from the album, and numerous artists recorded their covers throughout the years. 

For playing Mr. Tambourine Man, you will need a capo on the third fret, and just a few chords. The song is beginner-friendly, and you should struggle with it. Even if you are a beginner, it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. 

Mr. Tambourine Man Guitar Chords

The Weeknd – Blinding Lights

Blinding Lights was one of a few singles from After Hours, which is the fourth album released by The Weeknd. The song became a huge hit across the globe and one of his most successful tracks. 

But playing it is not too challenging. There are a handful of chords, and they are not too difficult. This makes the song perfect for beginners too. Just don’t forget to put a capo on the third fret before you start. 

Blinding Lights Guitar Chords

Ben E. King – Stand By Me

Stand by Me is a song performed by Ben E. King, and it came out in 1961. The song later appeared in the soundtrack for the movie Stand by Me (based on Stephen King’s The Body), and it became quite popular. 

Playing the song is not too difficult. There are four basic chords you will need to follow and a capo on the second fret. However, the song is not too fast, and it would be possible to play it without a capo. 

Stand By Me Guitar Chords

Jason Mraz – I’m Yours

I’m Yours is a mixture of reggae, folk, and pop, with elements of soft rock. The song was written by Jason Mraz, and it came out in 2008. The song also appeared on his third album called We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. 

For playing the song on your acoustic guitar, you will need a capo on the fourth fret, and just a couple of basic chords. The song is beginner-friendly, and it won’t take you too long to learn how to play it. 

I’m Yours Guitar Chords

Metallica – Nothing Else Matters

Everyone knows of Nothing Else Matters by Metallica. Even if they are not a fan of heavy metal (or thrash), it is still one of the most famous songs of all time. People often make a mistake believing that playing it is simple because of the intro. 

You will need a bit of practice to play the song and make it sound as good as the original version. Furthermore, you can explore different guitars, solos, and ways to make it sound even better. 

Nothing Else Matters Guitar Chords

James Blunt – You’re Beautiful

Back to Bedlam came out in 2004, and it was the debut album by James Blunt. The record came with a couple of singles, with the third one being You’re Beautiful. The song quickly became a hit, and it topped charts across the globe. 

To play the song, you will need a capo on the eighth fret. The chord progression is not too difficult, but you might need a moment to get used to the song and playing notes so high on the neck. 

You’re Beautiful Guitar Chords

Goo Goo Dolls – Iris

Iris was written for the movie City of Angels, and it appeared on the official soundtrack. Goo Goo Dolls later released the song on the Dizzy Up the Girl in 1998. It is the most famous song by the band, and it is an interesting one to learn. 

But to play it, you will need to go for an unusual tuning. The low E string should be tuned to B, while all others are tuned to D. The tuning should be B, D, D, D, D, and D. And while it might seem strange, it will allow you to accurately play the song. 

Iris Guitar Chords

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Road Trippin’

Road Trippin’ is a song from Californication, and it came out in 2000. What is surprising is that the song was released as a single too, but only in Europe and Australia. The song is played on bass and acoustic guitar only, and there are no drums. 

What is interesting is the fingerpicking pattern, and how exciting it will be when you finally nail it. Needless to say, you might need a bit to master the entire song, but it shouldn’t be too difficult with enough practice. 

Road Trippin’ Guitar Chords

Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train A-Comin’

Hear My Train A-Comin’ is a song by Jimi Hendrix, and it’s also known as Get My Heart Back Together. The original version came out in 1967, and it’s a classic blues played on an electric guitar. 

The other version is quite popular among acoustic guitar players, and Hendrix played it on a twelve-string guitar. The song is great for practicing blues and expanding your repertoire. Naturally, it is not too easy, but you should be able to learn it. 

Hear My Train A-Comin’ Guitar Chords

The Rolling Stones – Angie

Angie was released in 1973, and it appeared on Goats Head Soup. The song was written by Jagger and Richards, and it is one of the most beautiful rock ballads of all time. To play the song, you will need a few barre chords, but it is not too difficult. 

The song has a wonderful chord progression, and it sounds incredible. Especially if you add all the fillers that Richards and Taylor play on the record. Needless to say, you might need to practice a bit. 

Angie Guitar Chords

Alice In Chains – Nutshell

Originally, Nutshell appeared on the EP Jar of Flies, but one version that everyone adores is from the famous MTV Unplugged concert in 1996. To play this version, you will need to tune your guitar half-step down. 

This means the strings should be Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Bb, and Eb. The slow tempo and progression are suitable for beginners, and the song doesn’t include a lot of challenging parts. And it sounds so good. 

Nutshell Guitar Chords

Stevie Ray Vaughan – Life By The Drop

Life by the Drop was written by Doyle Bramhall, and it appeared on The Sky is Crying by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. This is a classic blues on an acoustic guitar, and it shouldn’t be too surprising if you have experience with the genre. 

But at the same time, it is a nice way to start exploring blues even if you’ve never played it before. The song is not one of the most popular ones by SRV, but it is quite fun to learn. 

Life By The Drop Guitar Chords 

Sting – Fragile

Fragile was written by Sting, and it appeared on his second album …Nothing Like the Sun. The album came out in 1987, and Sting recorded versions in Spanish and Portuguese too. The single was released a year after the record. 

If you have some experience with playing the guitar, you might be able to learn how to play Fragile with ease. But if you are a beginner, take your time. Ideally, you should practice with a metronome to ensure everything goes according to plan. 

Fragile Guitar Chords

Deep Blue Something – Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Are you familiar with the song called Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Needless to say, the name of the song is based on the legendary movie with Audrey Hepburn, and the song was performed by Deep Blue Something. 

This was the band’s one and only hit in the United States, and it is so much fun to play. The song is great for practicing your rhythm hand and seamlessly switching between chords. It is great for various skill levels. 

Breakfast At Tiffany’s Guitar Chords

Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl

In 1967, Van Morrison released the Blowin’ Your Mind album, and Brown Eyed Girl was one of the thirteen songs on it. The song was on the top of numerous charts across the globe, and it is often mentioned as one of the best songs of all time. 

Fortunately, it shouldn’t take you too long to learn how to play it. The song is suitable for all skill levels, it’s simple, and it’s quite fun to play. There are just a few chords, and you won’t need to worry about barre chords at all.

Brown Eyed Girl Guitar Chords

Limp Bizkit – Behind Blue Eyes

The original version of Behind Blue Eyes was written by The Who, and it came out in 1971. But in 2003, Limp Bizkit released a cover that introduced the song to a wider audience. At the same time, the song was a bit different from the original and offered new parts. 

Playing the song is an interesting way to improve your skills, and learn more about different techniques of plucking notes with a pick. Unless you want to focus on fingerpicking. Either way, the song is excellent for intermediate players. 

Behind Blue Eyes Guitar Chords


Playing songs on acoustic guitar can be so much fun. But the instrument is quite different from what you’d expect from an electric guitar. There are different techniques you can use, and the primary focus will be elsewhere. 

At the same time, you can always explore songs that are recorded on acoustic guitars, or at least performed on them. This will allow you to still sound accurate to the original while learning more about acoustic guitars. 

Needless to say, it will be easier for you to perform live with just your guitar if you learn a few acoustic songs. This list might help you along the way. Some songs are more popular than others, but they aim to cover all skill levels. And hopefully, you will enjoy learning how to play them.

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I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

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