Easy love song for guitar
January 22, 2012 5:18 PM   Subscribe

Need a love song that's easy to sing and play on the guitar.

I want to surprise my wife by showing up in her classroom on February 14th and singing/playing a song for her. I'm very much a novice with the guitar and have a pretty awful voice, so I need to think of something that has only basic chords, not a lot of changes, and a simple tune. To make it more fun, I'd like to get her students involved (such a echoing a line or something), but their part would have to be very simple as I'll only have about five minutes to give them directions (e.g. "when you hear me sing 'I need you,' you repeat 'need you.'").

To give you a frame of reference, some of the songs I feel comfortable playing and singing are "You've Got to Hide your Love Away," "Tangled Up in Blue," "Pigs on the Wing," and "Heart of Gold," but none of those exactly fit the Valentine's day bill.

Any suggestions?
posted by robverb to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
"Love Me Tender" is very easy to play. I can't play at all, but it was an assignment in my beginner guitar class years ago.*

*Actually it was the folk song "Aura Lee," but the two are one and the same.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:21 PM on January 22, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the quick response. Unfortunately, my wife is not an Elvis fan, but I truly appreciate your response anyway. In general I'm looking for something more upbeat. "I need you" by the Beatles is close to what I'm thinking, but lyrically it's a little off.
posted by robverb at 5:24 PM on January 22, 2012

A Love Song - Loggins and Messina
posted by timsteil at 5:31 PM on January 22, 2012

The Foo Fighters Big Me might work for you. The "but it's you I fell into" hook is pretty cool.
posted by snsranch at 6:05 PM on January 22, 2012

The Moldy Peaches', Anyone Else But You. From Juno Soundtrack. If the kids are old enough to read you could print the lyrics and they could sing the female part. (I love this song and would ADORE my husband if he would seranade me....swoon.)
posted by JacksonandFinch at 6:07 PM on January 22, 2012

You could try Buckets of Rain and strum the (3) chords. You'll probably end up with a brighter rendition that loses some of its sweetness of the original, but it's still fun. Lyric-wise it seems ideal for the situation.
posted by klanawa at 6:22 PM on January 22, 2012

You Really Got Me by The Kinks. It's really easy to play - just a couple power chords that repeat through the whole song. Here's a tab.
posted by smokingmonkey at 6:30 PM on January 22, 2012

And I Love You So by Don McLean.
posted by Danf at 8:18 PM on January 22, 2012

I love how you love me, specifically Jeff Magnum's version.
posted by sauril at 9:22 PM on January 22, 2012

How about "Hey, Good Lookin'" by Hank Williams? Upbeat and kind of cute for the kids - they could join in on the choruses?
One of the very few songs I know all the way through, so it can't be all that difficult.
posted by zoinks at 10:15 PM on January 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

My Girl (YT of a random acoustic guitar version) might be a good one to sing. The students can echo the "my girl"s. The song is a classic and it has a sweet, simple melody.
posted by seriousmoonlight at 5:18 AM on January 23, 2012

You can do a pretty simple version of All You Need Is Love by The Beatles - the verses are a bit wordy, but the chorus is so sweet and singable, and would be great for a kid chorus!
posted by sabotagerabbit at 8:02 AM on January 23, 2012

You are my Sunshine. They'll already know the words.
posted by davismbagpiper at 10:51 AM on January 23, 2012

I Want You by Tom Waits.

Not upbeat, but it is fairly short.

Don't be intimidated by the fingerpicking; you can totally skip it. Choose any easy tab like this one:

The other good thing about this song if you're not super confident on the guitar is you can just learn to sing it first--it works great on it's own, and then just use the guitar to back you up.

cute. good luck!
posted by OlivesAndTurkishCoffee at 11:18 AM on January 23, 2012

A friend did "500 miles" for his unsuspecting wife at their wedding. He said before starting (while strumming) that he only barely mastered the chords and that he needed all the help he could get with the refrain. He got that help, and it was a beautiful success. It's a good song, because the chords are simple, but a lot of the character lies in the strumming pattern which is easier to get right.
posted by springload at 11:26 AM on January 23, 2012

I can't speak to the ease or difficulty, but I think Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros would be good. You could definitely get the kids involved, a la this video.
posted by hefeweizen at 5:22 PM on January 23, 2012

Response by poster: Wow - this has been phenomenal. I had never heard "Anyone Else But You," but it's perfect - easy to play, catchy tune, easy to sing. Actually, I'm going to have to change the lyrics a bit, since they don't quite fit, but I think I can make it work.

I fell in love with that video hafeweizen posted, but when I found the original of the song, I didn't care for it. I think I'll find the tabs and play it like the guy in the video.

I wish I had time to respond to each of you individually, you've really come through.
So many great ideas here, I may save them for next year and beyond.
posted by robverb at 7:53 PM on January 23, 2012

The Whole Wide World by Wreckless Eric. Two chords, even Will Ferrell can play it.
posted by mmoncur at 10:27 PM on January 24, 2012

Also Green Eyes by Coldplay is really easy to sing while playing, although there's a B minor chord in there.
posted by mmoncur at 10:28 PM on January 24, 2012

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