If you’re looking for the best 60s acoustic guitar songs, this post is for you!
Let’s hop into our metaphorical time machine and discover why these tunes have stood firm through generations.
The experimentation with sound in this era laid the way for many unique melodies that are still considered classics today.
From Bob Dylan’s breathtaking storytelling skills wrapped around intricate harmonies to the Beatles’ ever-evolving songs – there was something for everyone!
For any ambitious guitarist looking for a pathway to kickstart their music journey, this era and its repertoire provide a great foundation.
Think of it as learning your ABCs, only with a groovier vibe.
Playing these epic tunes will upgrade your technical skills and provide a glimpse into an era where music was pushing boundaries like never before.
It isn’t just striking chords; it’s about catching hold of that essence and soul that made those songs eternal.
So ready to jump into this musical ride?
Let’s immerse ourselves in some of the best 60s acoustic guitar songs and see how they can transform your playing skills!
And if you are looking for a Spotify playlist of these songs, we’ve got it for you:
Best 60s Acoustic Guitar Songs for Beginners
1. “Blowin’ in the Wind” – Bob Dylan
This folk anthem is timeless.
Its simple chord progression makes it perfect for beginners to get their fingers used to switching chords smoothly.
2. “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away – The Beatles
This is an iconic Beatles song that combines fingerpicking and strumming.
Most can improve their technique by learning this tune.
3. “Yellow Submarine” – The Beatles
With its catchy melody and straightforward chords, this is a perfect song for fun while learning.
4. “Leaving on a Jet Plane” – John Denver
This one is known for its enchanting rhythm. It’s a beautiful piece for beginners to practice strumming patterns.
5. “Scarborough Fair” – Simon & Garfunkel
This traditional English ballad made famous by the duo is a fantastic song to get a feel for fingerstyle guitar playing.
6. “I’m a Believer” – The Monkees
This upbeat song features a catchy melody and straightforward chords making it ideal for beginner guitarists.
Its energetic rhythm will help improve your strumming speed.
7. “Sweet Caroline” – Neil Diamond
This perennial favorite is excellent for practicing chord transitions.
With its iconic chorus, you’ll have fun while learning.
8. “The Times They Are A-Changin'” – Bob Dylan
This powerful song’s simple structure and profound lyrics make it a classic to learn.
It’s an excellent tune to help you learn basic chord shapes and fingerpicking.
9. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” – Elvis Presley
This romantic song has a relatively slow tempo that allows beginners to learn without feeling rushed.
Plus, it’s an excellent tune for practicing your fingerpicking.
10. “Mrs. Robinson” – Simon & Garfunkel
This folk-rock classic offers a gentle introduction to syncopated rhythms, making it a valuable addition to a beginner’s repertoire.
11. “California Dreamin'” – The Mamas & the Papas
This folk-rock classic uses just a few chords, making it ideal for beginners.
And the repetitive strumming pattern is a great way to practice maintaining rhythm.
12. “Daydream Believer” – The Monkees
This is an excellent song to help beginners practice chord changes with its catchy, upbeat tune.
The sing-along lyrics also make the learning process a fun experience!
13. “The Sound of Silence” – Simon & Garfunkel
This iconic song’s fingerpicking pattern is an excellent introduction to this technique for beginners.
Plus, it’s perfect for learning how to play arpeggios.
14. “Happy Together” – The Turtles
This 60s pop anthem is fun and easy to play.
It’s an excellent choice for beginners to practice rhythm and strumming.
15. “Love Me Do” – The Beatles
This Beatles hit uses simple chords, making it ideal for beginners to practice their strumming and chord transitions.
16. “San Francisco” – Scott McKenzie
This song is excellent for practicing chord progression, and its gentle pace allows for relaxed play (provided you practice)!
17. “Turn Turn! Turn!” – The Byrds
This folk-rock classic is an excellent tune for beginners to learn strumming consistency.
It has a simple, repetitive chord pattern.
18. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
This Motown hit is a great way to practice barre chords and enjoy an uplifting rhythm.
19. “Both Sides Now” – Joni Mitchell
This song introduces open tunings which became a lot more popular in the 60s. It’s a fantastic track for expanding your playing style.
20. “Surfin’ U.S.A.” – The Beach Boys
This upbeat song, with its simple chord structure and lively tempo, makes learning fun and engaging for beginners.
Best 60s Acoustic Guitar Songs: Intermediate Level
21. “House of the Rising Sun” – The Animals
This song offers a beautiful progression that can be played using arpeggios or strumming.
Its haunting melody is sure to improve your finger dexterity.
22. “Catch The Wind” – Bob Dylan
The song presents a melodic embodiment of the longing and pursuit of love, depicted through vivid imagery of nature.
Its earnest lyrics, combined with the simple yet soulful acoustic guitar arrangement, create a timeless classic.
The poetic lyrics and timeless melody make this one popular to learn.
23. “Paint It, Black” – The Rolling Stones
This song is excellent for intermediate guitarists featuring unique strumming and picking patterns.
Its iconic sitar riff adapted for guitar is a superb skill-builder.
24. “A Hard Day’s Night” – The Beatles
Known for its distinctive opening chord, this classic will help you improve your chord transitions.
It’s a fun song that every Beatles fan should know.
25. “Yesterday” – The Beatles
Another Beatles’ classic, “Yesterday,” is excellent for learning to incorporate melody into your strumming.
Its soothing tune and deep lyrics make it a guitarist’s favorite.
26. “Light My Fire” – The Doors
The Doors’ “Light My Fire” is known for its mesmerizing guitar solo.
27. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” – The Beatles
This classic, with its distinctive intro and chorus, is an exciting challenge for intermediate guitarists.
28. “Bad Moon Rising” – Creedence Clearwater Revival
This song offers a chance to practice fingerpicking while jamming to a rock classic.
29. “Stand by Me” – Ben E. King
With a bass line as iconic as the melody, this classic offers a great way to practice bass note strumming.
30. “Like a Rolling Stone” – Bob Dylan
Dylan’s iconic folk-rock masterpiece offers an excellent opportunity to practice strumming patterns and barre chords.
You’ll feel a real sense of achievement mastering this one.
31. “All Along the Watchtower” – Jimi Hendrix
While a challenging piece, this song is a beautiful introduction to Jimi Hendrix’s unique style and offers an excellent opportunity to practice blues scale improvization.
32. “Daydream” by The Lovin’ Spoonful
This tune is ideal for intermediate musicians because it has a variety of chords and a straightforward yet entrancing beat.
You’ll be entertained by the combination of strumming and fingerpicking skills.
33. “Good Vibrations” – The Beach Boys
This classic pop song offers an opportunity to experiment with chord variations and learn some unique strumming patterns.
34. “Space Oddity” – David Bowie
This is your chance to venture into the world of Bowie’s unique songwriting and chord structures.
It’s a rewarding challenge for intermediate players.
35. “Fortunate Son” – Creedence Clearwater Revival
This rock classic, with its driving rhythm and energetic strumming pattern, is an excellent piece to practice your timing.
36. “She’s Not There” – The Zombies
This tune offers an engaging introduction to 60s pop progressions.
It’s a great song to practice your strumming and chord changes.
37. “Pinball Wizard” – The Who
A must-learn for its iconic arpeggios and energetic strumming, this song is a timeless addition to any guitarist’s repertoire.
38. “Gimme Shelter” – The Rolling Stones
Known for its haunting intro and unforgettable rhythm part, this song will improve your picking and rhythm skills.
39. “Respect” – Aretha Franklin
This soul classic is perfect for learning chord progressions used in R&B and Soul music.
It’s also a fantastic song to jam along with.
40. “My Generation” – The Who
Known for its aggressive rhythm and powerful lyrics, this song provides an excellent opportunity to practice power chords and strumming techniques.
Best 60s Acoustic Guitar Songs: Advanced Level
41. “Stairway to Heaven” – Led Zeppelin
Often cited as one of the greatest rock songs, its intricate fingerpicking patterns and iconic guitar solo provide ample challenge for intermediate to advanced guitarists.
42. “Blackbird” – The Beatles
This song showcases McCartney’s unique fingerstyle technique.
And although not too difficult to learn, it’s quite challenging to master making it an ideal song for improving your fingerpicking.
43. “White Room” – Cream
Known for its complex rhythm parts and classic guitar solos, this track offers a tough but rewarding challenge.
44. “Little Martha” – The Allman Brothers Band
This 1969 instrumental track showcases the band’s dual guitar technique with its subtle interaction between two acoustic guitar sections.
The ability to keep the syncopated rhythm, comprehend the open tuning, and convey the subtleties of Duane Allman’s and Dickey Betts’ sections call for considerable talent.
45. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – The Beatles
With an unforgettable guitar solo, it’s an excellent opportunity to learn slide guitar technique.
46. “Little Wing” – Jimi Hendrix
Combining Hendrix’s unique chord voicings and iconic guitar licks, this song will challenge even the advanced player.
47. “Purple Haze” – Jimi Hendrix
Known for its blistering solos and unconventional song structure, it’s a must-learn for any advanced guitarist.
48. “Hey Joe” – Jimi Hendrix
This song is a masterclass in blues-rock guitar, featuring some of Hendrix’s best-known guitar licks.
49. “Crossroads” – Cream
This blues classic offers plenty of opportunities to practice your lead guitar chops.
(And it sounds great on acoustic guitar!)
50. “Angie” – Bert Jansch
This is a timeless folk instrumental from the 1960s British scene.
With this work, Jansch, a virtuoso of intricate fingerstyle guitar, challenges even seasoned players.
You’ll need solid finger-picking abilities, syncopation skills, and knowledge of complex chord voicings to perform this tune.
51. “Sunshine of Your Love” – Cream
Famous for its catchy riff and intricate solos, this song offers an excellent opportunity to refine your bending technique.
52. “Guinnevere” – Crosby, Stills & Nash
“Guinnevere” has an intricate fingerpicking pattern that runs throughout the entire song.
The song uses a number of open and uncommon tunings, and David Crosby’s guitar part and singing demand a high level of musicality and expertise to interact with one another.
53. “Embryonic Journey” – Jefferson Airplane
Any proficient guitarist will find playing this 1967 Jorma Kaukonen instrumental acoustic masterpiece difficult.
Complex fingerpicking, harmonics, and rapidly varying time signatures combine to create an expressive composition that calls for technical proficiency and a keen ear for music.
54. “Anji” – Davey Graham
Davey Graham was a folk baroque-style innovator in the 1960s, and his instrumental “Anji” is a timeless piece that has been covered by countless musicians throughout the years.
The song’s complex fingerstyle approach requires high technical proficiency and adaptability levels.
55. “In My Life” – The Beatles
It’s a masterclass in songwriting, with a beautiful melody and chord changes that will keep you engaged.
56. “Classical Gas” – Mason Williams
This instrumental hit from 1968 is a great study of classical fingerstyle techniques in pop music.
The song’s frequent changes in key, tempo, time signature, and intricate fingerpicking patterns require advanced guitar skills.
57. “For What It’s Worth” – Buffalo Springfield
With its iconic opening riff and intricate picking patterns, this song provides a tremendous fingerpicking challenge.
58. “Break on Through (To the Other Side)” – The Doors
This one is known for its energetic rhythm and fast-paced solo. The track offers a chance to work on your speed and accuracy.
59. “Needle and the Damage Done” – Neil Young
Released in 1972, this song combines a haunting melody with complex fingerpicking and alternate tuning.
Neil Young’s intricate acoustic work requires an advanced player to capture the song’s subtlety and depth truly.
60. “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” – Led Zeppelin
“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” is a classic rock ballad by Led Zeppelin, released in 1969.
The song showcases the band’s signature blend of powerful vocals, intricate guitar work, and dynamic shifts in tempo and emotion, taking listeners on a captivating journey of love and heartbreak.
Final Thoughts: Best 60s Acoustic Guitar Songs
I hope this article has helped you find resources to learn some of the most popular 60s guitar tunes on your guitar!
And if you think we missed a classic that needs to be added to this list, let us know in the comments!
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