Top 60 Fingerpicking Songs of ALL TIME

Top 60 Fingerpicking Songs of ALL TIME (Beginner – Advanced)

Here are my top 60 fingerpicking songs of all time. The list has a very varied mix of artists and ranges from beginner to advanced. I created this list to help fellow fingerpickers choose songs for their repertoires and so they can always come back here for ideas for which piece to learn next.

In the video, I give a quick demo of each of the 60 songs and each week on Thursday a new video lesson (with tab) is uploaded for one of the songs, gradually we're working through the list.

Each and every one of these songs has something unique about them, and you will learn a huge amount just from giving some of them a go. If you want to give yourself a big goal you could try to learn them all and, if you do, I assure you that you'll become a great fingerstyle player!

The best way to get good at fingerpicking is simply to learn a tonne of great songs. This list will turn you into a well-rounded and accomplished fingerstyle player because it covers so many essential techniques and so many nuances.

I picked these particular songs because I wanted them to be well known and familiar to most people, especially people that are just getting into fingerstyle guitar and want some instantly recognisable tunes to have a crack at. However, of course there are MANY other songs I could have picked across multiple genres and I'm sure that I have missed some real classics (please leave some of your favourite fingerpicking songs in the comment section below). Having said that I really do think this is a great list for people of all levels to refer back to for fresh songs to learn and as time goes I'll be making the list much bigger and more diverse.

I really hope that you enjoy all the songs and I'm sure that it'll give you plenty to work on!

Beginner Fingerpicking Songs: 

For people who are brand new to fingerstyle then these are my top ten fingerpicking songs to get you going. You must be patient when you first get going because trust me, it's going to be a little frustrating. Your fingers will get mixed up and you're going to pick the wrong strings, but it's all part of the fun and just remember that every time you make a mistake (which will be often) you're one step closer to getting it right.


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  1. Time of Your Life (Green Day)
  2. Everybody Hurts (R.E.M)
  3. Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)
  4. Ain't No Sunshine (Bill Withers)
  5. House of the Rising Sun (The Animals)
  6. Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
  7. Wherever You Will Go (The Calling)
  8. Fast Car (Tracy Chapman)
  9. Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
  10. Every Breath You Take (The Police)

Beginner - Intermediate Fingerpicking Songs:

Dust in the wind and Freight Train are two very well known fingerpicking songs and are certainly the gateway into intermediate playing. If you could only learn two from these five I would recommend those two. However if you have the energy, go ahead and give the other three a go, you won't regret it.

  1. Dust in the Wind (Kansas)
  2. Freight Train (Elizabeth Cotten)
  3. Dear Prudence (The Beatles)
  4. Is There Anybody Out There? (Pink Floyd)
  5. Naked As We Came (Iron & Wine)

Intermediate Fingerpicking Songs:

Things are really starting to heat up now and all these songs have their own challenges. These intermediate songs are where most of the really well known ones are and hopefully you recognise the majority of them. Again if I had to recommend just a few from the intermediate list I would say Road Tripping', Fire and Rain, Don't Think Twice It's Alright, Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Blackbird.

  1. Road Trippin' (Red hot Chilli Peppers)
  2. Guaranteed (Eddie Vedder)
  3. Yesterday (The Beatles)
  4. Tears in Heaven (Eric Clapton)
  5. Behind Blue Eyes (The Who)
  6. Fire and Rain (James Taylor)
  7. Shape of my Heart (Sting)
  8. Don't Think Twice It's Alright (Bob Dylan)
  9. Keep Your Head Up (Ben Howard)
  10. Stairway To Heaven (Led Zeppelin)
  11. Sound of Silence (Simon and Garfunkel)
  12. Don't Know Why (Norah Jones)

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  1. Old Pine (Ben Howard)
  2. Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Yip Harburg)
  3. The Boxer (Simon and Garfunkel)
  4. Why Georgia (John Mayer)
  5. Homeward Bound (Simon and Garfunkel)
  6. Oh Susannah (James Taylor)
  7. Blackbird (The Beatles)
  8. More Than Words (Extreme)
  9. Street Spirit (Radiohead)
  10. Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac)
  11. Toulumne (Eddie Vedder)
  12. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles)
  13. Julia (The Beatles)

Intermediate - Advanced Fingerpicking Songs:

If you can play these songs then you're really on the path to success. These tunes are really quite challenging and will certainly require some dedicated practice. Personal favourites: Stop This Train, Going to California and Hey Hey.

    1. Stop This Train (John Mayer)
    2. Going to California (Led Zeppelin)
    3. Nothing Else Matters (Metallica)
    4. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (Led Zeppelin)
    5. What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
    6. Angeles (Elliot Smith)
    7. Hey Hey (Eric Clapton)
    8. Signe (Eric Clapton)

Guitar Pro: the best tablature editor software

The software All guitarists should have.

All tabs are created with Guitar Pro, start your FREE TRIAL today and get transcribing all your favourite songs.


Advanced Fingerpicking Songs:

The advanced list contains songs from the true greats of the fingerpicking world and anything by Tommy Emmanuel or Chet Atkins is going to be difficult. I've also included Don't Fear The Reaper and God Only Knows which aren't fingerpicking songs per se but can be converted in to wonderful fingerstyle pieces, as many great song can be.

  1. Neon (John Mayer)
  2. God Only Knows ( The Beach Boys)
  3. Never Going Back Again (Fleetwood Mac)
  4. Don't Fear The Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult)
  5. Papa George (Tommy Emmanuel)
  6. Ruby's Eyes (Tommy Emmanuel)
  7. Classical Gas (Mason Williams)
  8. Mister Sandman (Chet Atkins)
  9. Big Love (Fleetwood Mac)
  10. One Day (Martin Taylor/Tommy Emmanuel)
  11. Embryonic Journey (Jefferson Aeroplane)
  12. Haba na Haba (Tommy Emmanuel)

Any song requests? Leave a comment below and I'll consider making a lesson on it sometime.

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  1. Robert Rogan left a comment on 2nd June 2018 at 7:12 am

    Sounds great

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 3rd June 2018 at 5:43 pm

      Thanks a Lot!

  2. Bronwyn left a comment on 2nd August 2018 at 11:32 pm

    Heya Chris 🙂 After you have done this awesome list of 60, I’d love you to consider ‘The Detectorists’ by Johnny Flynn. Its the theme tune to the quaint little series by Mackenzie Crook, and its all acoustic fingerpicking. Since watching it I have fallen in love with this little song 🙂 https://youtu.be/Q58Gm18-IMY
    Thanks again! 🙂

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 3rd August 2018 at 8:57 am

      Oh my God I absolutely love that show (and song). I’ve watched both series twice this year already! Sure I can put that on, they couldn’t have chosen a better song for that program.

      • Bronwyn left a comment on 25th September 2018 at 6:29 am

        Yes! Isnt it just lovely 🙂 Your reply makes me happy! There are no good lessons for this on the web and no one breaks songs down as well as you anyways. Thanks Chris 🙂

  3. SUSAN STOVALL left a comment on 27th September 2018 at 12:56 pm

    I forgot my password
    I want to get the tab for today’s song. By Metallica
    I would like to sign up for your courses too.
    Help please.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 27th September 2018 at 7:38 pm

      I have now set the link for Nothing Else Matters so you can click through to today’s lesson – I hope you enjoy it! What password have you forgotten? If you would like any help in signing up to a course let me know, otherwise you can sign up here.

  4. Joshua S left a comment on 22nd October 2018 at 4:55 pm

    I really love Jim Croce’s “I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song”. That would be great to have a lesson for.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 24th October 2018 at 7:58 pm

      Yeah that is a really lovely song. Worthy of being on this list!

  5. Craig left a comment on 11th November 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Hi if I buy the beginners course ( I’ve done a bit but I could do with improving) how will I get the lessons as I’ve only got a mobile phone

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 11th November 2018 at 10:26 pm

      Hi Craig, it depends whether you’re ok watching them on your phone or not. Ideally a laptop is better but you can still get buy on your phone.

  6. Richard left a comment on 3rd December 2018 at 4:22 am

    Intro to Crazy On You by Heart is a good one

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 3rd December 2018 at 11:01 am

      Great suggestion! Great band too.

  7. Anthony Batts left a comment on 17th December 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Keep up the good work! Your lessons are great!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 17th December 2018 at 10:41 pm

      Thanks Anthony, Really pleased you like them.

  8. micael left a comment on 24th January 2019 at 11:05 am

    So great lessons…why not do a new round of 60?

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 24th January 2019 at 12:10 pm

      Why not a round of 1000? 60’s just not long enough.

  9. micael left a comment on 24th January 2019 at 11:33 am

    An Elvis song would be great btw…”Suspicous Minds” or “In the Ghetto”.
    Or more Beach Boys like for example “Surfer Girl”.
    Started your master course now and hope it will let me improve..
    BTW ways to improve your site or rather develope it…Add function that would let me as a member upload vids of me learning stuff that you then could create a vid answering to with tip and stuff..
    Making the site interactive in a bigger way..
    best regards Micael

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 24th January 2019 at 12:12 pm

      I hope that the course really helps you improve too.

      That is a great idea, I will certainly at some point be adding a function like that. I really appreciate the feedback.

      • micael left a comment on 24th January 2019 at 5:48 pm

        Also as an idea you could give private lessons where you and student exchange videos perhaps 4 times per month once a week sort of on an approximate…learning songs and technique..
        There are sites like true fire that does that and its great in the sense that as a student one can do it in my own pace…and i can live anywhere (where as Skype lessons require somewhat same timezones)..
        best regards micael

  10. Everardo left a comment on 1st February 2019 at 2:38 am

    Can you start doing some songs from your list of Beatles #1 hits?? Thank you, I love your work!!!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 6th February 2019 at 10:51 am

      Eventually, I’d love to.

  11. Going to California by Led Zeppelin (Guitar Lesson) | NewbieGuitar.com left a comment on 7th February 2019 at 8:17 pm

    […] Top 60 Fingerpicking Songs of ALL TIME (Beginner – Advanced) […]

  12. […] Top 60 Fingerpicking Songs of ALL TIME (Beginner – Advanced) […]

  13. Ilya D left a comment on 10th February 2019 at 11:04 pm

    Thank you for all the amazing lessons, so helpful! You have made fingerpicking a reality for me, can’t thank you enough. I just learned “Time of your life” from your lesson and I am really enjoying it.

    Would you be able to do a lesson on “59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” by Simon & Garfunkel? Such a happy sounding song.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 13th February 2019 at 12:01 pm

      Really happy to hear you like the lessons!

      I’m sure at some point I can, thanks for the suggestion.

  14. Alexander Kaas Leth left a comment on 13th February 2019 at 5:09 pm

    A truly wonderful list of songs you’ve got here, and I think you capture the learning curve from beginner to advanced fingerstylist very well.

    If I may suggest you do a song that can develop from very simple to highly advanced over the course of many lesson. In my 30+ years as a guitar instructor, I have done this with fx. Fields of Gold, or Dust in the wind, but the concept offers many opportunities, and it’s a great way for a student to feel a tremendous sense of progress.

    Keep up the good work!

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