10 Strum-Along Songs Every Guitarist Should Know

Posted by Michael Mueller on May 12, 2016 at 2:48 PM

Whether you're playing for just family and friends or occasionally sitting in with the band at weddings and parties, there are some incredibly popular yet basic strumming songs that every guitarist should know how to play. Here are 10 such tunes, in either lead sheet or chords/lyrics format, so you can pick up your acoustic guitar and lead the sing-along at the next neighborhood barbecue!


"Maggie May" by Rod Stewart
This nostalgic track is heard as frequently on college campuses as it is at 25-year high school reunions.

"Wonderwall" by Oasis
The ubiquitous Oasis hit divides the masses like few others, but the lovers far outnumber the haters, so make sure today is gonna be the day you master this tune.

"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day
It's not often that a punk band strikes such a universal chord, but with this elegantly simple strummer, Green Day created what will surely be a timeless hit for generations.

"Patience" by Guns N' Roses
Cool thing about this GN'R ballad is that you can whistle Slash's awesome acoustic lead lines while bangin' out the chords.

"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" by The Beatles
No "must-know" song list would be complete without an entry from Lennon and McCartney, but how do you choose just one? With the spirit of this list being one of good times with family, friends, and crazy strangers you just met, we couldn't resist this fun ditty.

"Space Oddity" by David Bowie
Since Bowie's death earlier this year, this tune has become one of our most popular songs and lessons and has been covered in tribute by countless touring rock and pop artists.

"Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd
For that time of the night when the party is winding down and everyone's starting to mellow ... Kudos if you learn the acoustic solos, too, but it's most important to learn how to strum the entire song, not just that ultra-cool opening riff.

"Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett
This ode to the beach life is so easy you probably can nibble on sponge cake while strummin' your six-string. But beware of the frozen concoction—too many of those and you'll be searchin' for lost chords and lyrics while trying to play this tune.

"Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty
This strummer is the perfect tune to play for the bonfire-on-the-beach sing-along. Trust us ... been there, done that.

"Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison
From high school dances and college parties to weddings and suburban backyard barbecues, everyone loves and knows this Van Morrison anthem, so be sure you can play it when asked to sit in with the band.

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