If you want to know of some great open mic songs to play, this post is for you!
I’m not exactly an open mic expert, but I have played live in a few settings.
And I think the following songs are great to consider for your next open mic night!
1. Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty
This is an easy choice. It seems that most fans of all genres enjoy the song. What’s more, it’s not hard to get the audience going with Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’.
However, you shouldn’t underestimate the song either. It’s a bit more challenging than it seems. If you want to perform it properly, it takes some practice.
Also, John Mayer’s version is outstanding. In fact, I think it’s way more popular than the original.
And I’m almost certain it would be a hit for an open mic night!
2. Feel by Robbie Williams
Of course, Robbie Williams’ Feel is another classic. What’s really fun about the song is that you can play it on any instrument. Its chord progressions and vocal lines are pretty catchy. So whether you’re playing the guitar or another instrument, you’ll get the crowd singing in no time.
3. New Light by John Mayer
John Mayer made a quirky change of style in 2018 with New Light. Nonetheless, this single still retained some of his signature elements. And, above all, it’s a fun and catchy song.
I’d suggest this one if you like soft clean electric guitar stuff. It’s also a great choice both for solo performers and duos.
4. Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash
Now we’re going back to the classics. Released way back in the early 1960s, Ring of Fire is still a popular tune. Interestingly enough, the original version was recorded by Anita Carter as Love’s Ring of Fire. However, the song made a breakthrough after Johnny Cash released his rendition.
This is an easy pick. It’s a classic that many love. And, above all, it’s not that hard to perform. If you’re doing the open mic thing for the first time, Ring of Fire could do the trick.
5. Country Roads by John Denver
Country Roads is a song that many beginners learn. It’s a great way to get familiar with basic chords. But it takes a seasoned performer to make it sound good. Additionally, it’s also a great song for open mic nights.
However, John Denver and this tune are not for all audiences. If you’re good at performing this one, that’s fine. But don’t expect every open mic night to have a crowd that will genuinely like the song since it may cater to slightly older audiences.
6. Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival
This upbeat tune, released in 1969, sounds like a traditional song. But this is just proof of John Fogerty’s songwriting talents. Bad Moon Rising is a timeless classic.
But despite the song’s overall cheerful feel, the lyrics seem a bit dark. Nonetheless, it’s a song that gets the crowd going. After all, everyone needs some Creedence Clearwater Revival in their lives.
7. Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics
Yes, Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams is not a guitar song. However, a guitar-based arrangement can be pretty awesome. You can do a regular acoustic cover and sing over it. Or, even better, you can try and do it as an electric guitar cover. It can work both ways, you just need to come up with an arrangement that works.
If you need inspiration, here’s an interesting cover for an open mic night.
8. Mrs. Robinson by Simon & Garfunkel
Mrs. Robinson is another timeless classic that works for open mic nights. It’s not necessarily an upbeat song lyrically, but it’s still a pretty catchy one. I thought about mentioning Sound of Silence but that one is a bit too mellow. Mrs. Robinson is easier to play and it’s a real crowd-pleaser.
9. Snuff by Slipknot
Yes, Slipknot is one of the last names to expect on such a list. It’s not exactly one of the best bands to perform during an open mic night. However, they’re far more diverse than you might think.
This is what we can hear in their song Snuff from 2009’s All Hope Is Gone album. Sure, the song still retains the band’s overall dark feel. But it’s still a great way to surprise the crowd with an unexpected song. So if you want to get inspired, check out Slipknot’s Corey Taylor delivering an emotional live performance.
10. What I Got by Sublime
But if you want something cheerful and upbeat, then cover any of the Sublime songs. In particular, I’d recommend What I Got since this is one of their biggest tunes.
The song is a bit mellow, although it has some optimistic vibes. It also has a few lead parts. You can do an arrangement with or without them. For more inspiration, check out the great cover in the embedded video.
11. Counting Stars by OneRepublic
If you’re looking for a mainstream pop song, Counting Stars is a banger. This one is perfect for such audiences, mostly bars where college students hang out. Or, it’s also a great option for those who were in high school or college back in the first half of the 2010s.
The song, of course, is not a fully acoustic one. However, you can perform it solo as a singer and guitarist. Ukulele, electric guitar, and even keyboard versions also work.
Shawn Mendes did an awesome cover which you should check out.
12. California Dreamin’ by The Mammas & the Pappas
For this classic pop-rock tune, we go all the way back to 1966. However, what some people don’t know is that the original was originally recorded by Barry McGuire. Nonetheless, The Mammas & the Pappas made the song so popular.
This is easily one of the most covered songs. Although a pop-rock ’60s tune, fans of all genres love it. It’s a safe bet for almost any open mic night.
13. Rosanna by Toto
Sure, we all remember Toto for their legendary hit Africa. But aside from all the memes that came out of it, we should appreciate their other works as well. Rosanna is proof of their incredible songwriting, arranging, and performing skills.
In order to perform this song properly, you need a good sense of timing and rhythm. It’s also a great choice for any guitar player who likes to play with dynamics and percussive elements.
In order to get you inspired, I shared an interesting acoustic cover in a trio formation.
14. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye
Of course, there’s an abundance of songs that we could choose from Marvin Gaye. But Ain’t No Mountain High Enough is an obligatory mention here. So this is a pretty popular song to cover as it’s easy to do acoustic guitar arrangements.
The tune is really easy to learn. But it’s also a great choice for experienced players. So make sure to check out the embedded acoustic cover by Victory Boyd.
15. Soulshine by The Allman Brothers Band
Soulshine may not be that big of a song in terms of popularity. But it’s one of the most emotional pieces in blues-rock. Although guitarist and singer Warren Haynes wrote it, the song was officially recorded by The Allman Brothers Band.
To this day, Warren still performs it with Gov’t Mule. But Haynes also did some awesome acoustic performances as well.
Open Mic Songs: Conclusion
I hope this article has helped you think of some great songs for your next open mic night!
And if you think I’m missing the perfect open mic song, let me know in the comments and I may add it to this list!