For many musicians, soloing is the most enjoyable part of playing music. Although the legendary guitar solos are primarily associated with electric guitars, there are many beautiful acoustic guitar solos, from basic melodic structures to complex flamenco techniques.
“There’s no lying with the acoustic guitar. There’s something very pure and very humbling about it.” These words are from one of the most celebrated electric guitar heroes, Slash. And he has a point. With acoustic guitar, your skills are on the scene without any effects or studio make-up. In the end, a great solo only needs 6 strings and a lovely melody.
The tracks on this list are perfect for beginners and intermediate players to practice and push their abilities on acoustic guitars. It is essentially important for a guitar player to have the versatility to play on different guitar types to be a complete player. So grab your instrument and enjoy playing these amazing solos with the magic of acoustic sounds.
Don’t Speak – No Doubt
Don’t Speak is the biggest hit of the American band No Doubt. The song has tremendous popularity globally with its emotional lyrics and soft melody. It was also nominated for Grammy Awards back in 1995.
Don’t Speak has a melodic solo in the key of C minor, and it mainly uses the natural minor scale with some arpeggios. Of course, it´s played with an acoustic guitar with nylon strings.
As always recommended, try every partition slowly at first and start adding speed gradually with a metronome. The solo has many legatos, slides, and vibratos that can help you progress with your technique.
Patience – Guns N’ Roses
Released in 1989, Patience is the slow-paced ballad by American hard rock band Guns N’ Roses from the album G N’ R Lies. Although the band is known for its hard-rocking sound, this ballad was one of their biggest hits with its acoustic structure.
The song has an intermediate-level solo with many techniques that are characteristic of Slash’s way of playing. It is a beautifully melodic solo with repetitions to express the feelings.
The solo is in the key of G major key and played with a guitar tuned half-step down. Try to play this solo slowly with the proper technique of legatos and slides to really get close to the sound.
More Than Words – Extreme
The 1989 hit of Extreme, More Than Words was a detour from the band’s funk-metal style, which ironically became their greatest hit. The song has a beautiful acoustic melody with percussive knockings against the guitar’s top.
The outro solo is intermediate-level with many legatos and also the tapping technique, which is rarely used on acoustic guitars. Although it is a melodic, fun-to-play solo, it may need some practice and patience with its complicated structure.
Played in the key of G major, the solo is originally played with a guitar tuned half-step down. This is a great solo to expand the limits of your technique.
The Man Who Sold The World – Nirvana
Nirvana’s David Bowie cover, The Man Who Sold The World, is a rare example of the covers being better than their original recordings. The song earned his vast popularity thanks to Kurt Cobain’s haunting vocals getting together with Bowie’s dark lyrics, a brilliant synthesis.
The song has a simple yet fantastic lead guitar melody on which its solo is based on. The simple solo consists of the main melody with slides and walks to higher notes.
The song is in the key of E major and played with a half-step down tuning. The Man Who Sold The World is easy and fun to play with many lead acoustic guitar partitions and melodies.
Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
One of the most popular songs of Pink Floyd and rock history, Wish You Were Here, was released in 1975 with the same-named album. The song was dedicated to the former band member and founder Syd Barrett.
The song has two beautifully composed melodic solos that are milestones of acoustic rock history. Both solos are relatively easy if you are not a total beginner. With many slides, legatos, and bends, both solos use many techniques.
The song is played in the key of C minor. On the second solo, David Gilmour accompanies the guitar with his voice, making the solo sound more profound.
Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
One of the most covered songs of all time, Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, is a slow-paced emotional song. Jeff Buckley’s cover is probably the most famous one with his sentimental voice and many beautiful arpeggios.
The song is in the key of C major and played with a capo on the 5th fret. The arpeggios of the cover can be hard for beginners with its complex structure. The solo also mainly consists of arpeggios with transitions and different picking patterns.
So take your time and try to play it slowly, building up the speed as you gain comfort. This is an intermediate-level song and solo that sounds outstanding and deserves to be in your acoustic repertoire.
Wanted Dead Or Alive – Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi’s hit song, Wanted Dead Or Alive, from the 1986 album Slippery When Wet, is one of the band’s signature songs. The song is one of the most famous ballads of the ’80s, hitting top positions on many lists.
The whole song can be adjusted for every level; it can be played straightforward for a beginner or be played with chord embellishments for more advanced players. The song has a pretty easy solo with notes on upper strings and techniques such as legatos and bends.
The most important thing about this solo is the timing. So listen to the song carefully and try to get the feeling.
Redemption Song – Bob Marley
The wonderful song from the reggae legend Bob Marley, Redemption Song, is purely Bob Marley at his best. The song was released in 1980, right after Bob Marley learned he had cancer and when he was dealing with his own mortality. The song’s lyrics are from a political speech that Marcus Garvey gave back in the 1930’s.
The amazing song has a pretty easy intro solo in the key of G major. It is one of the most iconic intros of music history.
Try to give the accents correctly and enjoy this simple yet beautiful little solo.
Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton
One of the most touching songs of rock history is Tears In Heaven by Eric Clapton, which he composed for the death of his four-year-old son. Was released in 1991, the song became Clapton’s best-selling hit.
With its slow-paced double stops and triads, the song has many nuances that can be tricky for beginners. Although the solo part of the song is short and relatively simple, the whole guitar partitions of the song have many solo transitions and chord embellishments that sound fantastic.
This song is a must-learn for every acoustic guitar player; it is a classic from its solo to fantastic riffs.
Michelle – The Beatles
As one of the most fabulous acoustic Beatles’ songs, Michelle has become one of the most played Beatles’ songs ever. Released in 1965 on the Rubber Soul album, the song contains nice riffs and an elementary solo that deserve to be in your acoustic repertoire.
The song is played in the key of F major with a capo on the 5th fret. While the song’s chord progressions can be complicated for some players, the solo is extremely easy for every level.
The solo is pretty straightforward, with single notes and an easy rhythm. So just grab your guitar and enjoy this melodic acoustic solo.
Layla – Eric Clapton
The unplugged album by Eric Clapton is definitely a classic, and Layla is the most famous tune from the album. It’s a highly fun-to-play ballad. It is an excellent practice for your barre chords and acoustic soloing skills.
The song has two different solo partitions. Both are intermediate-level solos that have tricky parts. Clapton uses many techniques such as double-stops, triads, vibratos, bends to enrich the solo.
The song is played in D minor key and requires a bit of practice and patience to play it fully. As one of the most classic acoustic songs of history, this song deserves the time to practice it and be in your repertoire.
To Be With You – Mr. Big
To Be with You is a ballad by American rock band Mr. Big. The campfire singalong ballad was released in 1991 and became a huge success internationally with its simple structure and romantic lyrics.
The solo of the track, played by the virtuoso Paul Gilbert, is short but full of little details and techniques that make it an outstanding one. From natural harmonics to triad vibratos, it is a fantastic solo to practice and play.
This song has one of the most well-written acoustic solos of all time, so practice it slowly. You will enjoy playing this one.
Year Of The Cat – Al Stewart
Released as a single in July 1976, Year Of The Cat is the signature of British musician Al Stewart. The song was one of the most played songs on the radio after its release.
The song has two guitar solos. one is for acoustic while the other is for an electric guitar. You can adjust the electric guitar solo for an acoustic guitar, but it might be hard to play the higher notes.
The acoustic solo is pretty melodic and enjoyable with its simplicity. It is a lovely solo that will enrich your acoustic repertoire.
Someday – Flipsyde
Someday is the most famous single of the alternative hip-hop group Flipsyde, from their 2005 debut album We the People. After its release, the song got very popular and was used as the main song of the 2006 Winter Olympics.
The song is a unique combination of rap and Spanish guitar, a rarely heard combination. The solo is a wonderful example of flamenco-style solos with its fast-paced picks and techniques such as legatos and sweep pickings.
This is an intermediate to advanced level solo with many complex techniques. It can be an outstanding addition to your repertoire if you give it the time to practice and play properly.
Innuendo – Queen
Innuendo is one of the most unforgettable songs of the British classic rock legend Queen. It was released in 1991 and immediately went to the top positions on music lists.
The song is very long and progressive, with flamenco guitar partitions, an operatic interlude, and hard rock sections with odd rhythms. The intro solo is exceptionally good with flamenco characteristics. It is an advanced level solo with a fast rhythm and complex techniques.
If you are an experienced player and want to play a nice flamenco solo, this song is perfect for you.
Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
Landslide is an incredible Fleetwood Mac song written and sung by the incredible Stevie Nicks, featuring some beautiful fingerpicking acoustic guitar. The song has many covers by many famous bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins and The Dixie Chicks.
The song is played in the key E# major and with a capo on the 3rd fret. An experience with fingerpicking is needed to play this amazing solo, as it is full of arpeggios and transitions.
The solo is played simultaneously with the main arpeggios of the song, making the song an excellent example of the fingerpicking technique. If you are not familiar with this right-hand technique take it slow and be patient.
Live Forever – Oasis
Live Forever is the first big hit of the British band Oasis. It was released in 1994 with the album Definitely Maybe. The song received general applause with its optimistic lyrics and basic structure, contrary to the Grunge genre, which was dominant in the music scene at the time.
This acoustic solo is pretty straightforward that is played in the same position throughout the whole partition. Many bends are giving an excellent melodic structure to the solo.
The most important thing with this solo is to play the bends properly, hitting the right note every time. Other than that, it is pretty simple. Enjoy having this melodic solo in your acoustic repertoire.
The River – Bruce Springsteen
The River is the hit single of the same-named album by Bruce Springsteen. The song is an iconic Bruce Springsteen song, which he composed to pay tribute to older folk music. The folk influence is clearly heard throughout the song.
The song has a particular right-hand technique, something between strumming and fingerpicking, that is a joy to try to play. Although the song does not technically have an acoustic guitar solo, the harmonica solo can be interpreted to the acoustic guitar, and it sounds pretty good.
The solo is pretty easy to play with all the notes in the same left-hand position. As this is an acoustic classic, it deserves a place in your repertoire.
Society – Eddie Vedder
Society is the acoustic song from the soundtrack album composed by Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder for the movie Into The Wild. The song has profound and beautiful lyrics with a simple acoustic foundation.
It is a song about the greed and materialism of our society and how those who don’t accept it are forced to leave it.
The solo in the key of B minor is amazingly melodic and easy to play. Many slides and legatos in the solo make it sound richer. The song is very sentimental, profound, and fun to play with all of its aspects.
And I Love Her – The Beatles
And I Love Her is one of the most classic love songs of the legendary band The Beatles. It was composed by the Lennon-McCartney partnership. It is a wonderful song with a basic melody and direct emotional lyrics.
The song has a short melodic solo sequence that is super easy to play. It is one of the most elementary acoustic guitar solos suitable for absolute beginners.
And I Love Her is a super point for novice guitarists to add some cool solo partitions to their acoustic collection.
If You Leave Me Now – Chicago
American rock band Chicago’s first great hit, If You Leave Me Now, was released in 1976 and topped the lists worldwide. It is an easy listening acoustic song that also won two Grammy Awards.
More than one hundred covers of If You Leave Me Now are recorded by musicians worldwide. It is one of the most popular acoustic songs with its iconic lyrics and solo.
The solo sequence is pretty straightforward and short. Just try to feel the melody and enjoy this beautiful melody.
Slow Dancing In A Burning Room – John Mayer
Slow Dancing In A Burning Room is a song by John Mayer from his album Continuum, released in 2006. The song is an R&B-oriented ballad, and its theme centers on a relationship on the brink of ending.
The song has a relatively complex structure that can be tricky for beginner and intermediate players. There are many variations and techniques used in the solos and the song’s riffs.
The solo is fast-paced, which requires an experienced left hand that has a good harmony with the right hand. The whole song is impressive and deserves to be in the collection of an advanced acoustic guitar master.
Father And Son – Cat Stevens
Father and Son is the famous song written and performed by English musician Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, on his 1970 album Tea for the Tillerman. The song narrates the heartbreaking conversation between a father and a son, who don’t understand each other.
The piece has an elementary solo partition, mainly played on the 3rd and the 4th string with many repetitions. It is a perfect melodic solo for beginner players to start their lead guitar journey.
The song and the solo are in G major key and played with standard tuning. As said before, it is the perfect song to start building up your acoustic repertoire.
Soldier Of Fortune – Deep Purple
The famous blues-rock ballad of the mythical rock band Deep Purple, Soldier Of Fortune from the 1974 album Stormbringer, became one of the band’s signature songs. It is one of the band’s most popular songs and was covered by many artists.
The song has two easy-to-play solos. Even though the original song was recorded with electric guitars, it is mostly played with acoustic guitars at concerts and sounds terrific.
Many slides characterize the main solo. It is a slow-paced but technical solo. So try to be accurate on the timing and techniques to make it sound more professional.
I’ve Just Seen A Face – The Beatles
I’ve Just Seen A Face is the country-influenced uptempo hit of The Beatles, from the 1965 album Help!. It was written by Paul McCartney and became one of his favorite Beatles songs.
The song has one of the most elementary acoustic guitar solos of all time, yet it is entertaining to play with the song’s uptempo rhythm. The solo is highly rhythmic and melodic, with almost all the notes on the A string.
If you are familiar with the fingerpicking technique, you can also try the intro partition of the song, which is a bit more tricky than the solo.
About A Girl – Nirvana
Released in 1989, About A Girl is one of the early hits of Nirvana, which showed the potential talent of Kurt Cobain’s songwriting. Later it was covered as an unplugged version in 1993 for MTV and topped the lists after Kurt Cobain’s death.
The solo sequence of the song is relatively easy, with an easy lick from higher strings to the lower strings played four times consecutively.
The song is in the key of E minor and played with a half-step down tuning.
Holiday – Scorpions
“Holiday” is a song by the German hard rock and heavy metal band Scorpions from their Lovedrive album released in 1979. It is a lovely acoustic tune with arpeggios and a simple yet melodic solo.
The song is played in the key of D minor with standard tuning. It has a relatively easy solo sequence mostly played in the same left-hand position.
As one of the greatest acoustic rock ballads, Holiday deserves a place in your collection with its nice arpeggios and beautiful solo.
The Bard’s Song – Blind Guardian
The Bard’s Song (also known as In the Forest) is a single by German power metal band Blind Guardian, released in 2003. The song is a folk-rock ballad, in contrast to the band’s usual power metal sound. The song is about J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, the globally famous novel.
The solo sounds very lovely and folkloric that really takes you to fantastic worlds. It is pretty easy to play, but you have to be careful with the rhythmic aspect of the notes since many different timings are used.
This solo is also perfect for playing with a friend or with a backing track.
Uncle John’s Band – Grateful Dead
Uncle John’s Band” is one of the signature songs of the Grateful Dead, the famous American rock band from the ’60s. The song was included in the Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll due to its iconic acoustic structure.
The song has one of the most accessible and memorable melodies of the band and is inspired by folk arrangements with acoustic guitars. The solo sequence written by Jerry Garcia is an intermediate-level solo, with different time signatures and walks on the scale.
The song is one of the ones that shaped the genre, and it deserves to be in any acoustic guitar collection.
Stranger Things Have Happened – Foo Fighters
Stranger Things Have Happened is the acoustic song of Foo Fighter from their 2007 album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. The song has an excellent solo sequence starting with triad chords, followed by nice pentatonic scale licks.
The song has an intermediate-level solo which is extremely fun to play. If you are not familiar with using chords for soloing, this is the perfect opportunity for you to start learning.
This is also a great song to play as a guitar duo since the rhythm guitar plays the main riff throughout the song, creating an excellent harmony.
Two Steps Behind – Def Leppard
Two Steps Behind is a 1993 hit ballad by English hard rock band Def Leppard from their album Retro Active and the soundtrack of the film Last Action Hero. The song also has a beautiful acoustic version.
The song’s solo is pretty easy, with many double stops and slides, creating the essential part.
The song is played in the key of D major with standard tuning.
Hollow Years – Dream Theater
Hollow Years is the ballad from Dream Theater’s fourth studio album, Falling Into Infinity. The song has a slow tempo and a simple structure contrary to the band’s progressive metal style.
The acoustic solo at the beginning of the song written by the virtuoso John Petrucci is simply amazing. It is not suitable for beginners, but it is not a very hard solo.
The ending guitar solo is mainly played with arpeggios with little nuances that make it more difficult. Overall, both solos are impressive and will enrich your acoustic collection.
Jane Says – Jane’s Addiction
Jane Says is the hit song by American rock band Jane’s Addiction. The band’s most famous and iconic song had a huge success when it was released back in 1988.
With only two chords, the song is straightforward to play. The solo sequence is relatively more complicated than the rest of the song, with major scale licks and various techniques.
Take your time with this solo, listening to it carefully and trying to maintain a proper technique to make it sound nice.
Look Out For My Love – Neil Young
Look Out For My Love is one of country-rock musician Neil Young’s lesser-known songs from the 1978 album, Comes A Time. With folkloric elements and country-rock influences, the song has all the characteristics of Neil Young’s style.
The song features a short solo in the key of B minor. It is a pretty easy solo with legatos and walks on the pentatonic scale.
The song’s rhythm guitar also has many chord embellishments to add to your repertoire and enrich your rhythm guitar technique.
Devotion And Desire – Bayside
Devotion And Desire is the hit song of the American rock band Bayside from the album named Bayside. The song was released in 2005 and mainly received positive feedback.
The track has a relatively advanced level solo with fast-paced licks and many techniques such as bends and legatos. It is a very entertaining solo to play once you get the hang of it.
You have to practice this solo part by part and slowly to play it properly. Just be patient and build up with time. In the end, you will add a fantastic acoustic solo to your collection.
With their characteristic sound, acoustic guitars have their own soul that pushes every guitar player to their limits. If you want to be a fully developed guitar player, you have to learn these excellent techniques and create an acoustic repertoire. Playing acoustic guitar also helps your technique and comfortability with electric guitar.
All of these songs are specially picked from different genres for different levels to enrich your collection. So grab your guitar and start amazing yourself and your audience with these beautiful songs and solos.
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