Songs for acoustic guitar and beginner violinist?
December 15, 2008 12:05 PM   Subscribe

Songs for acoustic guitar and beginner violinist?

My wife has been taking violin lessons (mostly to help my son with his lessons) and I can strum a chord or thirty on guitar. We’d like to find some fun songs we can play together.

Although she’s a beginner violinist, she’s very musical and can find the right notes, find the key of the piece we’re playing and pick out a melody. She’s very rusty though, so she’s more comfortable doing simple improvising or playing melody lines rather than following along with a score or my chord charts.

We’re looking for songs that, though not necessarily guitar/violin songs, are particularly suited to this combination. What seems to work are songs that have a straight-ahead chord progression for me and a lead guitar she can imitate with the violin. So far we’ve had fun playing Melissa (Allman Bros.), Sultans of Swing, Norwegian Wood, and a couple other songs that generally fit into the classic rock genre. You know, those basic campfire/party songs that every guitarist knows. The Devil Went Down To Georgia is probably a little advanced for us.

I’m generally interested in rock-ish songs, mostly because it’s all I know. Feel free to open my mind a bit though, especially if you can link to reliable chord charts. I’d prefer specific song suggestions, rather than generic “Check out Allison Krauss” or “look into bluegrass songs.”
posted by bondcliff to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Get the Dylan album DESIRE - the violin on that album is awesome, and it's over simple chord progressions.

Also see Waterboys, Fisherman's Blues
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:23 PM on December 15, 2008

If old timey music is something you might be interested in, many of the chord progressions and melodies are relatively simple-- good stuff for beginners. Some of my favorites:
- Angeline the Baker
- Soldier's Joy
- Arkansas Traveller

There are thousands of others. A good place to get started is the Digital Tradition folksong database, also available as its own download, complete with sheet music to go along with the songs.
posted by The White Hat at 12:44 PM on December 15, 2008

Maybe some songs from The Lonesome Jubilee? (TABS)
posted by Sailormom at 12:57 PM on December 15, 2008

Comes a Time - Neil Young
Old Time Religion - Traditional
posted by rocket88 at 1:31 PM on December 15, 2008

Volcano - Damien Rice (if she's comfortable alternating between singing and violin)
posted by theDrizzle at 1:41 PM on December 15, 2008

Will The Circle Be Unbroken - by Johnny Cash and many others. Plus it's fun to sing.

Sailormom, thanks for that site!!
posted by SuperSquirrel at 2:04 PM on December 15, 2008

I don't have an answer, but I think it's really cute that your wife took up violin with your son!
posted by radioamy at 2:09 PM on December 15, 2008

When you said violin + guitar, I immediately thought of "Ashokan Farewell", the theme to Ken Burns's Civil War documentary series. It's achingly beautiful. Probably not hard to play. You may be able to find sheet music online.
posted by neuron at 9:34 PM on December 15, 2008

It's extremely not hard to play. i was playing it after three lessons.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:50 AM on December 16, 2008

You Are My Sunshine
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:02 AM on December 16, 2008

Just heard another one on the radio: Ring of Fire, also by Johnny Cash. It's got this neat horn riff that I bet could easily be adapted to violin.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:32 PM on December 16, 2008

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