Here are my top 60 fingerpicking songs of all time. The list has a very varied mix of artists, and ranges from complete beginner to advanced level. Click on each song for the full guitar lesson.
I created this list to help fellow fingerstyle guitarists grow as players and to build their repertoires. Whatever level you're at, there's something for you here.
Each and every one of these songs has something unique about them, and you'll learn a huge amount from any you choose to have a go at. 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 many nuances.
I picked these particular songs because I wanted them to be familiar to most people. However, of course there are MANY other songs I could have picked across multiple genres and I'm sure that I've missed some real classics (please leave some of your favourite fingerpicking songs in the comments 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 by 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:
If you're brand new to fingerpicking, then these first ten songs are for you.
You must be patient when you first get going because it's going to be a little frustrating, trust me! Your fingers will get mixed up and you're going to pick the wrong strings, but it's all part of the fun.
Just remember that every time you make a mistake (which will be often) you're one step closer to getting it right.
- Time of Your Life (Green Day)
- Everybody Hurts (R.E.M)
- Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)
- Ain't No Sunshine (Bill Withers)
- House of the Rising Sun (The Animals)
- Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
- Wherever You Will Go (The Calling)
- Fast Car (Tracy Chapman)
- Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
- Every Breath You Take (The Police)
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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 only learn two from these five then I would recommend it's those two.
- Dust in the Wind (Kansas)
- Freight Train (Elizabeth Cotten)
- Dear Prudence (The Beatles)
- Is There Anybody Out There? (Pink Floyd)
- Naked As We Came (Iron & Wine)
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Intermediate Fingerpicking Songs:
These intermediate songs are where most of the really well known ones are and hopefully you recognise the majority of them.
If I had to recommend just a few from the intermediate list I would suggest Road Tripping', Fire and Rain, Don't Think Twice It's Alright, Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Blackbird.
- Road Trippin' (Red hot Chilli Peppers)
- Guaranteed (Eddie Vedder)
- Yesterday (The Beatles)
- Tears in Heaven (Eric Clapton)
- Behind Blue Eyes (The Who)
- Fire and Rain (James Taylor)
- Shape of my Heart (Sting)
- Don't Think Twice It's Alright (Bob Dylan)
- Keep Your Head Up (Ben Howard)
- Stairway To Heaven (Led Zeppelin)
- Sound of Silence (Simon and Garfunkel)
- Don't Know Why (Norah Jones)
- Old Pine (Ben Howard)
- Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Yip Harburg)
- The Boxer (Simon and Garfunkel)
- Why Georgia (John Mayer)
- Homeward Bound (Simon and Garfunkel)
- Oh Susannah (James Taylor)
- Blackbird (The Beatles)
- More Than Words (Extreme)
- Street Spirit (Radiohead)
- Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac)
- Toulumne (Eddie Vedder)
- While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles)
- Julia (The Beatles)
Intermediate - Advanced Fingerpicking Songs
If you can play these songs then you're really on the path to fingerpicking success.
These tunes are pretty challenging and will certainly require some dedicated practice. Personal favourites: Stop This Train, Going to California and Hey Hey.
Advanced Fingerpicking Songs
There's some really complicated stuff going on in all of these songs. Don't let that put you off though as they're all great fun to play.
You're doing really very well if you can play any of the tunes from this list, each one requires some serious practice.
- Neon (John Mayer)
- God Only Knows ( The Beach Boys)
- Never Going Back Again (Fleetwood Mac)
- Don't Fear The Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult)
- Papa George (Tommy Emmanuel)
- Ruby's Eyes (Tommy Emmanuel)
- Classical Gas (Mason Williams)
- Mister Sandman (Chet Atkins)
- Big Love (Fleetwood Mac)
- One Day (Martin Taylor/Tommy Emmanuel)
- Embryonic Journey (Jefferson Aeroplane)
- Haba Na Haba (Tommy Emmanuel)
Any song requests?
I really hope you've enjoyed this big list of fingerpicking songs. Remember, I'll be adding to it regularly so be sure to come back often to see what new songs have been added.
If you've got any son requests leave a comment below and I'll see what I can do.
Thanks a lot, keep up the practice!