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Songs for acoustic guitarist and singer

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by belzebass, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. belzebass


    Feb 21, 2012
    Hi, fellow brothers (and sisters) in bass (or is it in bath, oh, nevermind)!

    First of all, put away your rotten tomatoes, please, I'm a bassist who sometimes plays guitar (and not the opposite).

    A singer from my former project (and a good friend, too) asked me to learn some songs on acoustic guitar and accompany him while he sings. Why not?!

    He is a huge Killers fan, and proposes mostly sentimental (read whiny) songs.
    I proposed "Faith" by George Michael and Bruno Mars' "Locked out of heaven", and short of ideas now :)

    I ask bassists because we are often more reasonable and audience-oriented in song choice than stuck-in-the-70s guitarists :bassist:

    I would like some modern tunes with immediately recognizable hooks to get (urban european twenty-someting) audience interested. Or well known classic tunes that are not too overused (so no "No woman no cry" or "Talking about revolution").

    Style doesn't matter really, it might as well be electronic or dance or rock or reggae or hipster-folk (though I don't have a beard :D )

    And please bear in mind that the guitarist is on the lower side of mediocre :rollno:

    Any ideas/propositions?

    Thanks a lot!
  2. Pick songs targeting the venue customers - in other words, go checkout the jukeboxes and whatnot at the places you intend to work at.
  3. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    If you can get the singer to buy into it, I'd start with classic 90s Eurodance and some early 2000s dance hits.
    "Be My Lover" - La Bouche
    "I'm Too Sexy" - Right Said Fred
    "No Limit" - 2 Unlimited
    "Get Busy", "Temperature" and "We Be Burning" - Sean Paul (if the singer can deal with the vocals)
    "Rapture" - Nadia Ali/Iio (also see the acoustic version, and the Avicii remix)
    and maybe some Ace Of Base if the lyrics will work with a male singer

    More modern dance with folky elements that would make it easy to play:
    "Wake Me Up" - Avicii (for that matter you could probably do half the songs from the "True" album)
    "Timber" - Pitbull/Ke$ha (though Pitbull's vocals aren't much easier than Sean Paul's)

    Modern dance/pop that's not necessarily folky but you could do it easily with acoustic guitar:
    "Need U 100%" - Duke Dumont/A*M*E (look up the acoustic version A*M*E did)
    "The Fox" - Ylvis
    "F For You" - Disclosure (but probably not the version with Mary J. Blige since you have a male singer)
    "You Can't Stop The Beat" - Wally Lopez/Jamie Scott
    "S&M", "We Found Love" - Rihanna

    Rock/indie songs, though I'm sure you'll get better recommendations in these genres from other TBers:
    "Disparate Youth" - Santigold
    "Royals" - Lorde
    "You Know You Like It" - AlunaGeorge
    "Zombie" - Cranberries
    "Zombie" - the Pretty Reckless
    "I Follow Rivers" - Lykke Li (maybe change the lyrics a bit for a male singer, "I'm the rebel you're the daughter I'm waiting for you" and so on)

    Country Europeans like:
    "Wagon Wheel" - Old Crow Medicine Show
    "Homegrown Tomatoes" - Guy Clark
    "Fat Girls And Weed" - Renegade Rail
    "Una Mas Cerveza" - Tommy Alverson
    "Need You Now" - Lady Antebellum

    Bonus vocal trance and electro house stuff that would be very doable with guitar, though this is a lot more than you'll ever need:
    "Dare You" - Hardwell/Matthew Koma (the one thing on this list I haven't tried to play or transcribe but sounds like it should work)
    "Jar Of Hearts" - Dash Berlin/Christina Novelli (remake of the Christina Perri song)
    "Concrete Angel" - Christina Novelli/Gareth Emery
    "Waiting" - Dash Berlin/Emma Hewitt (acoustic version exists but is probably too sleepy, OTOH that might mean your singer will really really like it)
    "U" - Bo Bruce/Gareth Emery (the original song by Bo Bruce was called "Alive", look that version up too)
    "Spaceman" - Hardwell/Mitch Crown (also see the unplugged version with Colin McLoughlin on vocals, I think released as "Call Me A Spaceman")
    "Cannonball (Earthquake)" - Showtek/Justin Prime/Matthew Koma
    "I Am" - Sick Invididuals/Axwell/Taylr Renee

    And how's the singer at Spanish and Portuguese? Cause then you could do some Shakira, Michel Teló, Gusttavo Lima, Don Omar etc.
  4. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    P.S. Sia released a new single called "Chandelier" yesterday - just heard it, not the best lyrics for a male singer, but awesome.
  5. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    Something to Save - George Michael
    Wonderwall - Oasis
    All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow
    Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode
  6. sm49341


    May 12, 2013
    little lion man - mumford and sons
    home phillip phillips
    like jesus does - eric church
    anything zac brown - chicken fried, toes in the water
    dixieland delight by alabama-
    crazy game of poker
    wagon wheel
    giva a little bit
    shine all over the world - tyrone wells
    viva la vida
    hey there delilah
    come on get higher
    im your jason maraz
    hey soul sister
  7. strictlybass_ic

    strictlybass_ic Mediocrity is a journey Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Northern Indiana
    Ed sheeran had a couple successful lighter tracks recently
    Too close has an acoustic version
    People always seem to love creep
  8. belzebass


    Feb 21, 2012
    Lots of great suggestions right here. Thanks a lot!

    For now we're preparing Avincii's "Wake me up" and "Happy" by Pharell, if we can pull it of without drums.

    Charlie Winston's "Like a hobo" was quite popular couple of years ago, worth a try?
  9. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    "Happy" is also a great choice, here's an acoustic cover some of my friends did a while back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYb79xC__zE - it has drums and lots of other stuff, but the drums are pretty subtle. You can definitely do it with just guitar, though I hope the singer can clap.
  10. Raf Seibert

    Raf Seibert

    Dec 16, 2013
    Acoustic Clapton does well with acoustic guitar - Wonderful Tonight, Tears In Heaven.