Help me find new guitar/singer songs, please
August 24, 2009 5:45 AM   Subscribe

Help me expand my repertoire of vocal/acoustic guitar songs.

So I'm looking to pick up more songs that I can perform, just me and my acoustic. My vocal range is midway between a bass-baritone and a tenor.

I'm looking for really cool songs (of all genres) that feature (a) relatively simple strumming patterns (so I can focus my energy/attention on the vocals), (b) great lyrics, (c) great vocal melodies.

Some songs that are perfectly typical of what I'm looking for are "To the dogs or whoever" by Josh Ritter, "Eden was a Garden" by Roman Candle (which is right at the top of my vocal range, perhaps a hair high for me), "Take back the city" by Snow Patrol.

So, what are some more? Indie, alternative, classic country, 1950s AM pop, looking for a diverse mix of awesome stuff. Thanks!
posted by jbickers to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The Avett Brothers have some fun country songs, like "In The Curve" and "The Ballad of Love and Hate". The Mountain Goats have a ton of tabs online. I'm a fan of Uncle Tupelo songs, too.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 6:41 AM on August 24, 2009

I'm a big fan of Gravenhurst - most of the stuff on the Flashlight Seasons album could be a good fit for something compelling and simple but more contemplative than foot-tappingly jaunty.
posted by setanor at 7:38 AM on August 24, 2009

"In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" is apparently easy to play. It's also a great song.
posted by pxe2000 at 8:21 AM on August 24, 2009

can you do any finger picking? iron and wine songs are always easy to sing and gorgeous
posted by Think_Long at 8:36 AM on August 24, 2009

"Disarm" by Smashing Pumpkins, although it's been done to death. There are other good Pumpkins songs like this - "Tonight, Tonight" makes a fine acoustic song, "To Sheila," and"Obscured" come to mind.

Along with pxe2000's suggestion, "King of Carrot Flowers Pt. One" by Neutral Milk Hotel is nice and easy.

I've always been fond of Beck's "Nobody's Fault But My Own."
posted by sinfony at 8:53 AM on August 24, 2009

There is an Australian bloke called Pete Murray - picked up the guitar at 30 and is now pretty big back home. His songs are very simple, acoustic and voice range is about right - and songs are catchy and beautiful So Beautiful and Better days (lesson here) and Opportunity (lesson)

There is Jack Johnson - but he uses difficult chords. James Morrison?
posted by lamby at 8:54 AM on August 24, 2009

Regarding strumming, remember that you can nearly always simplify the strumming pattern if it's an issue -- few songs have strumming so idiosyncratic that changing it up will leave them unrecognizable.

Pretty much any Neutral Milk Hotel song has great lyrics and melody, although you may find a lot of them difficult to sing. "Communist Daughter" is one that has a simple melody in a lower range.

Other bands that you might look at for acoustic songs with good lyrics and a suitable vocal range are The Mountain Goats ("International Small Arms Traffic Blues," "Tallahassee," "You or Your Memory") and The Decemberists ("Grace Cathedral Hill," "Clementine," "Eli the Barrow Boy").
posted by ludwig_van at 9:06 AM on August 24, 2009

« Older I think I have ADHD   |   I need an image of a pilcrow/paragraph mark for a... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.