U2 is one of the greatest band’s in rock history. They have been making music since 1976, and the legendary band’s musical journey is still evolving to this day.
They became huge during the ’80s, and their music became popular worldwide. The band received many awards over the years and has been nominated for famous and important musical awards since its earliest releases.
It is very important to add new songs to your repertoire. U2 has beautiful songs with various styles. The band’s legendary guitar player, The Edge, is known for his brilliant effect setups and amp tones.
He is very creative in guitar playing and a must-to-check for beginner guitarists. Before trying to play, I suggest to listen most of the songs on this list carefully and trying to follow what this brilliant guitar player is playing.
The Edge and his guitar skills can also be taught as a lesson for to-be guitarists. Especially his unique setups of effects and how he uses them are worth checking.
From post-punk to alternative rock or new wave to industrial rock, U2 has an amazing musical history. You can find so many songs to be inspired from this list. Good luck!
One is the most famous U2 song ever. The song was released in 1992 and appeared on the band’s legendary album Achtung Baby. This rock tune was recorded at Hans Ton Studios in Berlin.
One is written in the key of Am and consists of only 5 chords. The tune starts with the main guitar melody and the chord progression. The melody is very easy to play. An acoustic or an electric guitar with a bright, clean tone would sound great for this tune.
With Or Without You
Here is the second most listened-to tune by U2. With Or Without You was released in 1987 and featured on the band’s album The Joshua Tree. Bono writes the lyrics, and this tune is one of the greatest U2 songs.
The tune starts with a guitar melody that follows the bass progression. The electric guitar has multiple effects like delay, reverb, and tremolo. The song is played with a capo on the 7th fret, consisting of 4 chords.
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For was released in 1987 and appeared on the band’s album The Joshua Tree. I think this song especially has the greatest guitar compositions by The Edge.
This tune is played with a capo on the 1st fret, written in the key of C#. Again, the electric guitar partitions here require multiple effects. The guitar plays a melodic arpeggio throughout the song, and there is a chord progression in the background with only 5 chords.
Pride In The Name Of Love
Pride In The Name Of Love was released in 1984 and became a huge hit for the band. It appeared on their beautiful album, The Unforgettable Fire. It is one of the best songs by U2.
There is no need for a capo to play this one. There are various melodic guitar partitions and rhythmical chord progressions that The Edge is playing here. You can hear his brilliant effect setup here once again. It is a great song.
One of the band’s latest releases, Ordinary Love, was released in 2013 for the biographic Nelson Mandela movie. It featured on the album Mandela Long Walk to Freedom.
Ordinary Love is played with a capo on the 4th fret, written in the key of Abm. The song consists of only 4 chords: Am, Em, G, and D. This rather easy-to-play song by U2 has a piano basis, and the guitar follows the piano progression throughout the song.
Vertigo is an alternative rock song by the band. It was released in 2004 and featured. The tune became very successful even though it was considered a different genre than the usual U2.
This tune requires a distorted electric guitar. The tune’s main rhythm and progression is a power chord progression with an aggressive strumming pattern. There is also a fast and easy guitar solo.
Where The Streets Have No Name
Where The Streets Have No Name, with his amazing music video, is one of the band’s biggest hits. The tune was released in 1987 and appeared on the band’s brilliant album The Joshua Tree. The music video is worth checking.
Written in the key of D, this tune has great guitar compositions. The Edge shows how he can play his guitar and use his unique effects. The tune consists of only 5 chords, and the main chord progression goes throughout the song with a fast, energetic strumming pattern and dead notes.
Sweetest Thing was released in 1987 and featured on the band’s compilation album The Best of 1980-1990. It was first released as a single. The producer was Brian Eno here. The story behind the song: Bono wanted to apologize to his wife with this tune.
There is no need for a capo for this one. The song consists of only 4 chords, magical guitar arpeggios, and melodies following the main chord progression. The combination of the piano and the guitar is worth listening to.
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Sunday Bloody Sunday is one of the most beautiful songs by the legendary band. The tune was released in 1982 and featured on the band’s album War. The song, considered a post-punk tune, represents the band’s political positioning very well.
This tune is played in half-step down tuning. It consists of 5 chords. The song starts with an electric guitar melody and then goes into more aggressive rock guitar progressions and strumming patterns.
Walk On was released in 2001 and appeared on the band’s album All That You Can’t Leave Behind. The song was recorded in the HQ studios in Dublin. This tune was in the Grammy’s in 2002.
The tune has the classic U2 structure as the composition. There are bright electric guitars with great effects, a true post-punk-rock sound, and perfect and catchy chorus parts in Walk On. The song has great electric guitar melodies and rhythmic progressions throughout the tune. Don’t miss the beautiful guitar solo as well.
This funk rock, alternative dance song by U2 was released in 1991 and appeared on their great album Achtung Baby. Again Bono has written the lyrics of the tune. This song shows the brilliance of the legendary band.
It would be best if you had a capo on the 1st fret to play with barre chords. The song consists of 6 chords and has a funky wah-wah vibe from start to finish. The tune starts with a funky Hendrix-style guitar intro, and the other instruments follow this rhythm and create this beautiful song.
New Years Day
Here is another politically critical U2 song from the band’s album War. New Year’s Day was released in 1982. The song is considered a post-punk, new-wave tune.
New Year’s Day is written in the key of G#m and doesn’t require a capo. It consists of only 5 easy chords and has a beautiful rhythm and chord progression with easy strumming patterns throughout the song. The guitar sounds amazing with its great effects and perfect new-wave tone. There is a great guitar solo at the end!
This song is a great U2 song produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois and released in 1984. The tune featured on the band’s album, The Unforgettable Fire. Bad is one of the most emotional songs of the band.
Firstly, this tune has an amazing tone and instrumental composition. The band wrote it in the key of A. The brilliance can be seen in its every layer. There are 3 sus chords in this tune, that’s why the rhythmic arpeggio parts sound perfect, like a Police song.
Every Breaking Wave
Every Breaking Wave is one of the band’s latest releases from the year 2014. The tune appeared on the band’s album Songs of Innocence, and the music video of this song is a shorter version of a same-titled Irish short movie.
The song starts with a palm-muted strumming pattern and a beautiful rhythm. It consists of only 5 chords and doesn’t require a capo, and the guitars are like synths on this one and add a lot to the song. Every Breaking Wave is one of my favorites of U2’s latest releases.
All I Want Is You
Here is an acoustic rock song by U2. All I Want Is You was released in 1989 and appeared on the band’s album Rattle and Hum. The album version is 2 minutes longer than the single version. Its music video is worth checking.
This tune was written in the key of Ab and is played with a capo on the 1st fret. It consists of only 3 chords: G, Cadd9, and Em. The same chord progression goes through the entire song, only its feeling, and the strumming patterns change.
Desire is the legendary band’s rock and roll or rhythm and blues side. This tune was released in 1988 and featured on the band’s album Rattle and Hum. The song showed up in the Grammy’s in the same year.
This tune doesn’t require a capo. It consists of only 4 chords, and the rhythm and blues go throughout the song. Through this tune, we see that the rock and roll vibe also suits the band.
Stay Faraway So Close
Stay Faraway So Close was released in 1993 and appeared on their album named Zooropa. It is considered an alternative rock song. The tune has a beautiful music video shot in Berlin.
You need a capo on the 1st fret to play this song. There are simple chord progressions with easy strumming patterns throughout the tune. A clean, bright, jangly electric guitar tone would sound great.
Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of
This rock tune was released in 2001 and featured on the band’s album All That You Can’t Leave Behind. The producers behind the beautiful tune were Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno again.
Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of is a piano song, and the guitars follow the chord progressions with simple melodies and licks. It consists of only 5 chords if you want to play it as an acoustic cover.
Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own (Acoustic)
Here is an acoustic version of the beautiful U2 song Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own. The tune was originally released in 2005 and appeared on the band’s album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.
This song is played in standard tuning. A bright acoustic guitar follows straightforward chord progressions and strumming patterns the entire song, and Bono plays an easy little solo at the song’s end.
Gloria is a great post-punk song from the band’s early years. It was released in 1981 and featured on the band’s album October, and the tune was recorded at the Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin.
Tune your guitar to the half-down step to play Gloria. The guitar plays great melodies and true rock-style chord progressions here and there. The melodies consist of intermediate techniques and effect capability.
Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses is a rock tune released in 1992. The tune appeared on the band’s beautiful album Achtung Baby. It is one of the most beautiful songs of U2, in my opinion.
This tune consists of 6 chords, and the guitar follows the main chord progression throughout the song. It changes only for the bridge part. It is an easy U2 song to play for the beginners out there!
Angel Of Harlem
Here is a beautiful heartland rock soul song by U2. Angel Of Harlem was released in 1988 and appeared on their album Rattle and Hum. The tune was a tribute to Billie Holiday.
This song is played in standard tuning and consists of only 4 chords. The chord progression is pretty easy, and the only tricky thing is that they change the shapes of chords and the fingering positions here and there. Be careful!
Running To Stand Still
Here is a folk-rock, acoustic blues tune by U2. Running To Stand Still was released in 1987 and appeared on the band’s album The Joshua Tree. The producers were Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois here, as always.
Again, this tune is a piano song and doesn’t require a capo to play. The main chord progression consists of only 4 chords, and the guitar plays little melodies and licks here and there.
Red Hill Mining Town feat. The Arklow Silver Band
Red Hill Mining Town is a beautiful collaboration between U2 and The Arklow Silver Band. This folk-rock song was released in 1987 and appeared on the band’s album The Joshua Tree.
This song is an intermediate song to play. The guitar starts with beautiful arpeggios, and the other instruments follow the progression. There is also a rhythm guitar that plays a distorted groovy thing. The tone of The Edge’s guitar is amazing on this one.
I Will Follow
I Will Follow one of the earliest hits by U2 from 1980. The tune was featured on the band’s album Boy. It has a great post-punk sound and attitude and presents the band’s roots.
The tune has an early 80’s post-punk style progression with sus chords. The chord progression is easy, and in addition to that, the electric guitar plays great melodies and riffs throughout the song.
Here is an alternative rock tune played in 12/8 time signature. Acrobat was released in 1991 and featured on the band’s album Achtung Baby. It was recorded at the Hansa Ton Studios in Berlin.
The Edge is playing effected and arpeggio riffs throughout the song. It is an intermediate tune, but with a great electric guitar setup, you can easily play the beautiful guitar partitions on this one.
Here is one of the best U2 songs from the year 2002. They appeared on the band’s The Best of 1990-2000. It was released as a single before that. The producer was William Orbit here.
The song has an acoustic guitar rhythm structure, and the electric guitar follows the main progression with beautiful melodies and licks throughout the song. A bridge part also shifts into a more aggressive rhythm guitar and an amazing guitar solo.
Here is an alternative, industrial, dance-rock tune by the legendary band. The tune was released in 1991 and appeared on the band’s album Achtung Baby. This song has a bit different style than the usual U2 songs, but it still sounds like them.
The Fly consists of easy chords and chord progressions, but they are played with intermediate techniques and strumming patterns. It can be hard to understand in the first place what The Edge is doing here. You’ll be all right if you listen to it carefully, though.
Bullet The Blue Sky
Bullet The Blue Sky is a great post-punk song from the band’s beautiful album, The Joshua Tree. The tune was released in 1987 and became a huge success. Here is a great live performance from Jimmy Fallon’ Tonight Show.
Here is a simple intermediate-playing version of the Bullet The Blue Sky. The chords and the progressions are very easy. Besides the progression, The Edge plays crazy solos and licks throughout the song.
Van Diemens Land
This song is an old Irish folk tune and has a long history in Irish history. On this one is singing The Edge. The song was released in 1988 and appeared on the band’s album Rattle And Hum.
U2’s version of Van Diemen’s Land sounds like a rock ballad and consists of chord progressions with 5 chords and arpeggios. The sound of the guitar here is worth checking. The vocals of The Edge here are also very good, I think.
A Man And A Woman
A Man and a Woman was released in 2004 and appeared on the band’s album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. This song is beautifully written and recorded and is one of my favorites. This tune also has an acoustic version that is worth checking.
There is an acoustic guitar progression as a basis throughout the song. The Edge also plays little licks and makes deep sounds while following the main progression. And for the chorus parts, he plays simple melodies with great effects.
11 O’clock Tick Tock
11 O’clock Tick Tock is one of the band’s earliest hits. The tune was released in 1980 and is considered a rock or post-punk song like the usual early releases of U2. It was recorded at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin.
The Edge has a great sound and amp tone on this song. It sounds very similar to Van Halen’s classic tone but has the new wave, post-punk touch. The Edge plays crazy riffs and melodies on this one. Besides what he does technically, the tune consists of only 4 chords.
A Sort Of Homecoming
A Sort Of Homecoming is a unique post-punk song by the band. The tune was released in 1984 and appeared on the band’s album The Unforgettable Fire. As you can hear and guess from its sound Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois were the producers on this one.
The song starts with arpeggio progressions and shifts into more aggressive and distorted strumming patterns. The Edge uses creative chords and fingering positions that are worth checking here.
Here is an alternative rock tune by U2. The song was released in 1993 and appeared on the band’s studio album Zooropa. You can see how the band’s musical style is evolving, especially on this album.
Babyface is played with a capo on the 1st with the standard tuning. The tune consists of 6 easy chords and 2 main chord progressions. And here and there, The Edge is playing crazy licks and riffs.
Here is another great post-punk tune by the band. The song was released in 1982 and featured on the band’s brilliant political album War. It was recorded at the Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin, where the band’s most post-punk, new wave tunes are recorded.
The sound of The Edge’s electric guitar is amazing on this one. The tune only consists of 2 chords, but the instruments sound so full and mesmerizing that it is very catchy and amazing. The instruments follow a main riff throughout the song, and in between, The Edge is doing crazy things.
I hope this list of 35 U2 songs to play on the guitar was an inspiration for you. There is so much to learn from different bands and guitar players, and U2 and The Edge are one of them!
Adding new styles and different approaches to your repertoire is very important. There are various tunes on this list for beginner, intermediate, and high-level guitar players out there!
All these U2 songs will teach you a lot on your guitar journey. From different arpeggio compositions to crazy melodies and solos, The Edge has much to show you along the way. Listening carefully to what he and his band are doing is a must to mention again.
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