40 Best Songs In E Minor – Guitar Tabs Included

The E minor is one of the most-used chords in popular music. With the perfect blend of bass, mid, and treble notes on the guitar, E minor is quite a melancholic chord. It has a depth that is unmatched among other chords. Plus, it is one of the easiest chords to play!

There are many reasons why e minor is so popular among artists and why there are so many well-known tunes in E minor. So, here are some of the best songs in E minor chosen from different genres like rock, pop, funk, blues, and more.

If you want to practice the E minor chord progressions or E minor soloing and riffing, here are some of the best tracks you can go with!

Zombie – The Cranberries

The Irish rock band, The Cranberries, hit the world with their amazing song Zombie in 1994. The protest song against the I.R.A. attack in 1993 became one of the most-listened and one of the most-played guitar tunes of all time.

The song is played with only four chords and is in the key of E minor. It is quite an easy and fun song to play, which is perfect for beginner guitarists. If you play it with an electric guitar, you can switch between overdrive and clean tones to play it like the recording.

Zombie Guitar Chords

Nothing Else Matters – Metallica

One of the most famous and iconic songs of the thrash metal giants Metallica is Nothing Else Matters. The song became a rock legend with its amazing intro riff, impressive arpeggios, great lyrics, and the delicious solo of Kirk Hammett. 

The song uses almost every position in the E minor scale, from the amazing intro riff to Kirk Hammett’s solo. It is an easy-intermediate level song to play but sounds quite amazing when you can play it well.

Nothing Else Matters Guitar Tabs

Bring Me To Life – Evanescence

The breakthrough song of the rock band Evanescence in 2003 was Bring Me To Life with its killer rock riffs and sentimental lyrics. The song uses great palm mutes and plenty of distortion, creating a quite heavy atmosphere. It is a great song to learn and play if you like nu-metal.

The song is played with power chords mainly and goes to some arpeggios in the bridge sections. It is a pretty easy song to play with a few chords and a lot of E power chords.

Bring Me To Life Guitar Tabs

Animal Instinct – The Cranberries

Another The Cranberries tune is Animal Instinct from their 1999 album Bury The Hatchet. The beautiful song talks about motherhood as the song was written shortly after the lead singer of The Cranberries, Dolores O’Brian, gave birth.

With its straightforward strum pattern and easy chords, it is an ideal song for beginners to learn strumming, changing chords, and singing. The song is played with an open chord and is in the key of E minor.

Animal Instinct Guitar Chords

Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi

The glam rock legend Bon Jovi’s great song Livin’ On A Prayer is yet another rock classic that was written in the key of E minor. The iconic chorus with power chord riffs and the great vocal performance of Jon Bon Jovi was the reasons behind the many awards that the song won. It was later featured in many T.V. shows and movies.

The song has quite easy riff to play with single notes and palm mutes, while the verses and chorus have power chords. For intermediate-level players, there is a nice glam rock solo that takes advantage of the E minor pentatonic scale.

Livin’ On A Prayer Guitar Tabs

Take Me To Church – Hozier

The famous song of the Irish singer Hozier, Take Me To Church, was a big hit when it came out in 2013. The mid-tempo soul song was written against homophobia, using religious terminology. It is a great song full of emotions, making it perfect for playing and singing.

The song is played with 8 elementary chords along with a basic strum pattern. The scale is E minor, and all the chords have easy positions, making the song a perfect practice for beginners.

Take Me To Church Guitar Chords

Enter Sandman – Metallica

Enter Sandman is another amazing thrash metal tune by the great Metallica. The song features a great intro riff played again and again throughout the song. It starts with a clean tone before giving way to a more metal-style distorted version of the same riff.

The song uses techniques like palm mutes, slides, and pull-offs to create astonishing patterns. It might be a challenging song for beginners, but it is an utterly fun-to-play tune to explore the E minor scale.

Enter Sandman Guitar Tabs

I Was Made For Lovin’ You – KISS

I Was Made For Lovin’ You is one of the most famous songs of the glam rock giants KISS. The song has a great main riff that reflects all the soul of the 80’s rock scene. With an iconic and catchy chorus added, you have one of the most memorable tunes of the 80’s shiny rock stages.

The song was composed in the E minor key and is played mainly with double stops and power chords. You can also play the short solo as a great E minor pentatonic scale practice.

I Was Made For Lovin’ You Guitar Tabs

Du Hast – Rammstein

Rammstein is one of the most experimental and interesting metal bands ever. One of their most famous tunes, Du Hast, is a great example of what these artists can achieve with their unique sound called Neue Deutsche Härte. The incredible and aggressive riff of the song and the adventurous as well as provocative live shows of the band make this song a must for Rammstein lovers.

The tune goes around the main guitar melody, played repeatedly throughout the song. The main melody is played with only three power chords, and there are some slides in between them. And that’s all; this one is one of the easiest metal songs you can find in the E minor scale.

Du Hast Guitar Tabs

About a Girl – Nirvana

E minor is a great key to reflect the melancholy and depressive side as well as the angry side of grunge music. That’s why Nirvana uses the key pretty often, and About A Girl is one of the best examples. The song’s acoustic version is great for beginners as you strum through different chords and experiment with various strum patterns.

The song is played in the E minor key and has 9 chords with odd shapes. It also has a basic solo which you can enjoy even if you are an absolute novice player.

About a Girl Guitar Chords

Can’t Stop – Red Hot Chilli Peppers

American funk rock band Red Hot Chilli Peppers is one of the biggest rock bands of the 90s. One of their signature tones is Can’t Stop, which rocked the world back in 2002 with the By The Way album. The funky melody of the tune is extremely fun to play.

The song’s main riff is written in the E minor key and is played with the string skipping technique. You play two notes in the A string and then two on the G string to get the funky sound of the tune.

Can’t Stop Guitar Tabs

Breaking The Habit – Linkin Park

Linkin Park is known for their unique style combining rap and metal, and electronic music. But Breaking The Habit sits at a different place in the band’s history as it is more like a rock song than their style. The beautiful song has amazing lyrics, great groovy guitar and synth lines, as well as impressive vocals from Chester.

The song is played with single-note riffs composed in E minor scale. You can either strum the chords or play the melodies as you like.

Breaking The Habit Guitar Tabs

Fallin – Alicia Keys

Fallin by Alicia Keys is a wonderful song that won three Grammy awards. The love song has many emotions, portraying love with its ups and downs.

The song is played with only two chords, making it one of the most beginner-friendly songs on the list. The chords you need are Em and Bm7, along with a standard traditional strum pattern.

Fallin Guitar Chords

You Rock My World – Michael Jackson

The king of pop Michael Jackson has so many legendary songs but only a few of them are in the key of E minor. One of them is the uptempo post-disco and R&B song. You Rock My World, which talks about love in a sweet way.

The song has the chord progression, Em-A5, in most parts before going into the chorus at the final of the song. It is a great song to cover on acoustic guitar.

You Rock My World Guitar Chords

Paranoid – Black Sabbath

The pioneers of heavy metal, Black Sabbath’s great song Paranoid was one of the first songs that indicated the born of a new genre, heavy metal. The 1970 song is an amazing tune with great power chord riffs, great lead guitar partitions of Tony Iommi, and great vocals of Ozzy Osbourne.

The song is composed in the key of E minor and is played with power chords. The solo is in the E minor pentatonic scale and is a great solo to play for experienced guitarists. So, add some distortion to your tone and play one of the first heavy metal songs of history.

Paranoid Guitar Tabs

Last Resort – Papa Roach

The iconic song of the American rock band Papa Roach is another great song in the E minor key. Last Resort was released back in 2002 and was the soundtrack of the movie Ready To Rumble.

The song is played in the drop D tuning and is played with triad chords and single-note riffs. It is a great song to practice E minor scale in an alternative tuning.

Last Resort Guitar Chords

Lucky – Radiohead

The English alternative rock legends Radiohead is known for their melancholic and depressive songs, which go perfectly with the minor scales. Lucky is one of them and is composed in the key of E minor.

The song’s chord progression has 11 chords, and is an intermediate-level song to play. While the strumming is quite easy, and all the chords mainly have comfortable finger positions, with so many chords, it might be hard for beginners to get the hang of it.

Lucky Guitar Chords

Riders On The Storm – The Doors

The legendary blues-rock band, The Doors is known for its poetic lyrics, amazing keyboard lines, great riffs, and uplifting as well as sentimental grooves. Riders On The Storm is one of the most famous and amazing Jim Morrison tunes, as it has an amazing blues riff and impressive lyrics.

You can play the song in an acoustic version with 5 chords. The 1971 song is quite easy to play with a basic strum pattern and all-open chords.

Riders On The Storm Guitar Chords

Fragile – Sting

One of the most sentimental songs of the English singer-songwriter Sting is Fragile which was released back in 1988. The song’s emotional lyrics, as well as the downtempo melody, go beautifully with Sting’s smooth voice.

You need seven chords in the E minor chord progression to play the tune. You can arpeggiate or strum the chords, but it goes better with arpeggios.

Fragile Guitar Chords

Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles

The English rock giants The Beatles have many iconic songs, including the great Eleanor Rigby. It is the hit song from their 7th studio album, Revolver. The song was composed in the E minor scale by Paul McCartney, who got quite experimental with the tune using different instruments like strings.

The song has only two chords, Em and C. There are also Em variations, including Em6 and Em7. The strum pattern is also different as you use a down strum before using a percussive mute on the half beat. On the second beat again, a down strum before the percussive beat again, and it goes on like that.

Eleanor Rigby Guitar Chords

Voulez Vous – ABBA

The hit song of the same-titled album, Voluez Vous, is one of the most dynamic tracks of the Swedish pop band ABBA. The song was released back in 1979 and did not receive much attention as other ABBA hits. However, it became a classic with its chirpy disco sound and bright horns.

The song can be adapted to an acoustic version to play with a guitar and sing along with. It has 6 elementary chords along with a basic strum pattern. 

Voulez Vous Guitar Chords

Are You Gonna Go My Way – Lenny Kravitz

The roaring rock tune of Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way” from the same-named album was one of the first big hits of the artist back in 1993. The song is remembered for its  Jimi Hendrix-style guitar riffs and spare boogie rhythm grooves.

The song is suitable for experienced guitar players as it features many techniques and different riffs throughout the song. Playing the lead guitar of the song is quite fun and sounds extremely cool.

Are You Gonna Go My Way Guitar Tabs

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) – Jimi Hendrix

The guitar god Jimi Hendrix has many iconic songs, but the most iconic intro he ever created is probably the one in Voodoo Child (Slight Return). The great riff with many mutes and wah pedal effects before the song explodes to a more open full sonic force, along with Hendrix’s psychedelic Delta Blues style, make this song one of the legendary tunes.

The main riff in E minor pentatonic scale, along with the verse and chorus riffs, are almost beginner-friendly, but the lead guitar partitions and the solos are more suited for advanced guitarists. In any case, playing the main riff of this song is a must for any guitarist that loves rock.

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) Guitar Tabs

Road Trippin’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers

The acoustic tune, Road Trippin’, is one of the fan-favorite songs of the 1999 Californication album of Red Hot Chili Peppers. The song talks about how the band made a road trip along the Pacific Coast. The song is entirely acoustic and does not feature drums.

Built around the main riff, the song goes around the melody which is clearly played in the intro. It is quite a fun-to-play riff and is a great practice for fingerpicking technique.

Road Trippin’ Guitar Tabs

Breathe – Pink Floyd

Nobody would disagree when somebody says Dark Side Of The Moon is one of the best albums in music history. The second song of the album Breathe is one of the most-known tracks of the album that perfectly reflects the David Gilmour-style blues-based chords and solos along with its slow pace and rich texture.

It is played with 8 chords, including some odd-shaped blues chords. The moderate-slow pace of the song helps with the chord transitions, but still, you might need to practice the changes for a while before playing the song properly.

Breathe Guitar Chords

Scarborough Fair – Simon and Garfunkel

The Simon And Garfunkel version of the traditional English ballad, Scarborough Fair, first came to the stage in 1966. The ballad is a great song to play with guitar and sing along with as it reflects every part of the soul of folk music.

The song can be played with strums or fingerpicked arpeggios. It has five open easy-to-play chords, but for the fingerpicked version, you need to use the Travis picking pattern, which means that the thumb plays the double bass routine. For players who are not familiar with Travis fingerpicking, it can be challenging on the first try.

Scarborough Fair Guitar Chords

Electric Eye – Judas Priest

As one of the most famous tunes of the heavy metal band Judas Priest, “Electric Eye” was released back in 1982 in the album Screaming for Vengeance. It is one of the most covered heavy metal tunes, as bands like Helloween and Benediction have their own versions.

The song has a classic heavy metal main riff with power chords, palm mutes, and single notes on the lower strings driving the melody like a bassline. The song requires a good picking hand orientation and good stamina as palm mutes and fast-rhythm grooves accompanied by the guitar can be exhausting.

Electric Eye Guitar Tabs

Nights In White Satin – The Moody Blues

The timeless classic Nights In White Satin is another great pop-rock classic from the ’60s. The Moody Blues song is considered one of the best singles of the 60s and has a quite easy structure with sentimental lyrics and basic chords.

You will need 9 elementary chords to play the tune, and the strum pattern can be quite easy with only down strums. You can also try to play with triplet strums, including the up strums, too.

Nights In White Satin Guitar Chords

Come As You Are – Nirvana

One of the grunge classics and the hits songs of the Nevermind album in 1992 is the iconic Come As You Are of the grunge pioneers Nirvana. The tune features an amazing main riff followed by grunge-style aggressive power chords and a basic solo.

The song in E minor key uses only four power chords, along with a basic main riff on the lower strings and an extremely short solo. It is an absolutely fantastic song for beginner guitarists.

Come As You Are Guitar Tabs

Black – Pearl Jam

Written by the grunge band Pearl Jam, Black is an amazing power ballad. Released in 1991, the sentimental tune is one of the best-known songs of the band. To keep the song’s fragility and emotionality, Eddie Vedder never agreed to release it as a single, and it was never released.

The song is played with barre chords in different positions with the accompany of a lead guitar here and there. It is an intermediate-level song to play written in the E minor key and using E, A, C, Em, and D chords.

Black Guitar Tabs

Phantom Of The Opera – Iron Maiden

A heavy metal classic, Phantom Of The Opera of the heavy metal giants Iron Maiden is a perfect song in the E minor key for metal lovers to play. Released in 1980, the song is one of the band’s first hits and is remembered by its iconic main riff accompanied by vocals.

The song mainly features single-note riffs along with some power chords on verses and choruses. Don’t forget to add plenty of distortion to your tone to play this one. 

Phantom Of The Opera Guitar Tabs

Hallowed Be Thy Name – Iron Maiden

Another legendary Iron Maiden tune is Hallowed By Thy Name from the 1982 album The Number Of The Beast. The song has a killer main rock riff along with fast-paced power chord transitions. It is an utterly fun song to play, making you feel like a rock star.

The song is composed in the key of E minor and takes advantage of the key with many power chords and great riffs written in the pentatonic E minor scale. After the clean chorus, you can switch to the distortion realms to play the song making it more fun to play.

Hallowed Be Thy Name Guitar Tabs

Howlin’ For You – The Black Keys

The Black Keys song Howlin’ For You is a great rock tune written in E minor key. Considered one of the best tunes of the band, Howlin’ For You became a big part of popular culture as it was featured in many TV shows, game soundtracks, and commercials.

The song is played with power chords and some lead guitar embellishments in between. You will be using mostly the E minor pentatonic scale in the first position. All in all, it is a great song to add to any rock repertoire.

Howlin’ For You Guitar Tabs

Rockin’ In The Free World – Neil Young

The folk-rock icon Neil Young’s great song Rockin’ In The Free World is another gem in the key of E minor. The song takes advantage of overdrive tones, but you can play it strumming the chords with clean tones or with an acoustic guitar.

The song is actually a criticism of the George H. W. Bush administration and has many political references. It features 8 very basic chords, but the challenge is with the strum patterns as they change from verses to chorus.

Rockin’ In The Free World Guitar Chords

I Put A Spell On You – Creedence Clearwater Revival

The Creedence Clearwater Revival cover of the famous song I Put A Spell On You by the Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins is a great song to play for singer-guitarists. It features 8 chords and is played with a capo on the second fret. But you can adjust the capo as you like according to your voice range.

I Put A Spell On You Guitar Chords

Take Me Away – Avril Lavigne

The pop-rock song Take Me Away by Avril Lavigne is another option to play for guitarists looking for songs in the key of E minor. The song is played with 8 chords and uses some odd chords with easy but different shapes. Using these chords is great for exploring the whole scale of the E minor.

Take Me Away Guitar Chords

Heart Of Gold – Neil Young

Another great folk-rock tune by the Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young is Heart Of Gold. Often considered the signature song of the artist, Heart Of Gold has amazing lyrics, simple yet emotional chord progression, and sweet harmonica and vocals of Neil Young.

The song features 6 fundamental chords of the E minor key with Em, D, Em7, C, G, and A. The strum pattern is unique, but you can have a more traditional approach if you want. In any case, listen to the song carefully to get the rhythm right.

Heart Of Gold Guitar Chords

Should Have Said No – Taylor Swift

Pop artist Taylor Swift’s Should Have Said No is another nice song in the E minor key. It is a pretty easy song to play with only one barre chord, which may be the only challenge to play the song. The D-F# chord is tricky to get, but it is great practice as many songs use this odd chord.

Should Have Said No Guitar Chords

Dos Gardenias – Buena Vista Social Club

The amazing ensemble of Cuban musicians, Buena Vista Social Club, is one of the most authentic music you can find. Their cover of the great Bolero Dos Gardenias is one of their top songs and is a joy to listen to or play.

The song has only four basic chords if you want to play the simple version. The chords are Em, Am, B7, and Dm. The challenge here again is with the Bolero rhythm. Try to emphasize the bass notes on beats 1, 3, and 4, which are the foundation of Bolero.

Dos Gardenias Guitar Chords

Play That Funky Music – Vanilla Ice

The funky disco tune Play That Funky Music by Vanilla Ice is a fun song to play in the key of E minor if you want to explore the funky side of minor scales. The song has a main and a chorus riff with single notes that you should play as funky as possible with slaps and staccatos, along with a single chord played with mutes and again with staccatos.

Play That Funky Music Guitar Tabs


So, here are 40 great E minor tunes, offering you a wide range of moods and emotions, from sentimental melodies to epic riffs and thoughtful chord progressions to killer rock solos. You can explore and get inspired with the E minor scale using these songs, so make sure to add them to your playlist.

E minor is a great scale that brings out a natural richness and creates a melancholy atmosphere that can be manipulated to any realm with the help of different chord progressions or notes. So, play E minor songs as much as you can to really get the hang of the scale.

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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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