When we think of some of the best acoustic songs, it’s usually the men that come to mind first. But there are plenty of great female artists out there with some incredible acoustic tracks too. From love songs to anthems of social injustice, women have always had a lot to say through their music.
In this blog post, we’ll be taking a look at 15 of the best acoustic songs sung by female artists. Learn this collection of songs and you’ll have a great repertoire to pull from the next time you’re performing around a campfire or at an open mic night.
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Best Acoustic Guitar Songs By Female Singers
1. Dog Days Are Over by Florence + the Machine
Guitar Lesson | Guitar Chords | Album: Lungs | Released: 2008 | Genre: Indie Pop, Alternative Rock
Florence + the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over” is an upbeat, anthemic song that is perfect for belting out at the top of your lungs. The song is in the key of G, and the chords you’ll need to know are G, Am, and Em.
On the lyrical content, the song is about leaving behind the negative aspects of your life and embracing happiness. It’s a perfect song for someone who is going through a tough time and needs a pick-me-up.
So next time you’re feeling down, put on “Dog Days are Over” and let Florence + the machine help you put that frown upside down.
2. Love Me Like a Man by Bonnie Raitt
Guitar Lesson | Guitar Chords | Album: Give It Up | Released: 1972 | Genre: R&B/Soul, Pop, Country
Bonnie Lynn Raitt is a legendary American blues singer and guitar player. Raitt has won 10 Grammy Awards throughout her career and this year, she also won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
The song is played in the key of G that uses the chords E, A, and B7. Bonnie Raitt incorporated great lead licks, 12-bar blues progression, and rhythm with some delta blues technique in this song.
If you’re not familiar with that technique, this might not be the best song for you to start with. But if you’re up for the challenge, it’s a great way to learn how to play blues-folk.
Related Post: If you are fond of the blues genre you probably will like our other list of 30 Easy Blues Guitar Songs for Beginners.
3. Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
Guitar Tutorial | Guitar Chords | Album: Rumours | Released: 1977 | Genre: Soft Rock, Country
“Dreams” is a classic Fleetwood Mac song that has been covered by many artists over the years. The original version was written by Stevie Nicks and is one of the band’s most iconic tracks, which quickly became a radio staple.
The song is written in the key of C major and uses mainly F and G chords with few uses of Am. It’s a repeating chord progression that is often used in blues and rock music. Also, you can add variations of F and G chords like Fmaj7, and G6 to add a little more flavor to the song but you can use a capo to avoid barre chords.
Also Read: 70s Acoustic Songs
4. Chantaje by Shakira feat. Maluma
Guitar Tutorial | Guitar Chords | Album: El Dorado | Released: 2016 | Genre: Pop, Reggaeton
Shakira’s “Chantaje” is a catchy, upbeat song that is sure to get stuck in your head. The lyrics are about a relationship where one person is trying to dominate the other. The song is sung in Spanish, but even if you don’t understand the language, you can still sing along to the catchy chorus.
“Chantaje” is played in the key of A minor and has a moderate tempo of 104 beats per minute. Am and Em are only two chords that you’ll need to know, also need to place a capo on the 4th fret to sound good.
Whether you’re a fan of Shakira or not, “Chantaje” is a great song to add to your acoustic repertoire.
5. Always Be My Baby by Mariah Carey
Guitar Chords | Album: Daydream | Released: 1996 | Genre: Pop, R&B/Soul
The song Always Be My Baby is a ballad sung by Mariah Carey. It converses about a relationship that has been over, but the singer is still hopeful that the couple will reunite. The lyrics express a deep level of love and commitment, and the singer vows to always love the other person, no matter what happens.
If you’re looking for a beautiful acoustic guitar song to add to your repertoire, “Always Be My Baby” is a great choice. The melody is simple but beautiful, and the lyrics are sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in love.
Carey’s one of the most successful songs is written in the key of G and you have to tackle some complex harmony, but the melody is actually quite easy to play on the guitar. The chords you need to know are G, Em, C9, Am, and D.
6. Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis
Guitar Lesson | Guitar Chords | Album: Spirit | Released: 2007 | Genre: Adult Contemporary
“Bleeding Love” is a pop ballad sung by British singer Leona Lewis and it is about the struggles of being deeply in love. The song is written in the key of F and features chord progression of F-Dm-Bb-C.
Musically, it is a relatively simple song. However, it is the emotion in Lewis’s voice that really sells the song. She perfectly conveys the feeling of being in love and her performance is really heartbreaking.
If you’re looking for a beautiful emotional love song to play on acoustic guitar, “Bleeding Love” is a great choice. The lyrics are relatable and the melody is captivating, making it a perfect song to sing along to.
7. Sweet Bird by Joni Mitchell
Guitar Tutorial | Guitar Chords | Album: The Hissing of Summer Lawns | Released: 1975 | Genre: Alternative/Indie, Folk
Joni Mitchell is a Canadian singer-songwriter and one of the most popular and influential female artists of all time. Joni has written some absolute classics throughout her long career in the music industry.
This particular song is in the key of Em and uses a lot of diminished chords which might be a new concept for some beginner guitarists. If you’re looking for easy guitar songs by Joni Mitchell, this may not be the best one to start with. However, it’s definitely worth learning once you have more experience under your belt.
8. If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys
Guitar Lesson | Guitar Chords | Album: The Diary of Alicia Keys | Released: 2003 | Genre: R&B, Soul
Alicia Keys’ soulful and emotional ballad “If I Ain’t Got You” highlights her impressive vocal and guitar skills. The song from her second studio album reflects on what truly matters in life, and has resonated with listeners of all ages since its release in 2003.
With its simple but effective lyrics and Keys’ powerhouse performance, “If I Ain’t Got You” is a perfect example of the impact that a great female acoustic guitar song can have. The guitar accompaniment of the song is also remarkable, with its simple chords (for intermediate-level guitarists) providing the perfect backdrop for Keys’ singing.
9. Closer To Fine by Indigo Girls
Guitar Tutorial | Guitar Chords | Album: The Indigo Girls | Released: 1989 | Genre: Folk Rock, Indie
The Indigo Girls are an American folk-rock duo that became well known in the 1980s and 1990s for their hits like Closer to Fine.
“Closer to Fine” is a beautiful and moving song about the journey to find oneself. It is one of the most beloved songs of the Indigo Girls with introspective and thought-provoking lyrics written by Emily Sailers based on her real experiences.
The song is written in the key of A and uses a variety of chords including G, Cadd9, Dsus4, D, and C. The acoustic guitar strumming and chorus of the song are particularly catchy and will likely get stuck in your head after you play it a few times.
10. COPYCAT by Billie Eilish
Guitar Tutorial | Guitar Chords | Album: Don’t Smile at Me | Released: 2017 | Genre: Pop, Alternative/Indie, Electronica
American singer-songwriter Billie Eilish first came into the public eye when she was just 14 years old, and since then her career has skyrocketed. She’s now one of the most popular artists in the world and has won quite a few awards, including 7 Grammys.
“COPYCAT” is a hauntingly beautiful track of her debut studio EP, written and produced by her brother, Finneas O’Connell. As of now, this song has been viewed more than 159 million times on YouTube.
This song is performed on the acoustic guitar in the key of E minor and uses a fairly standard chord progression of Em-D-C-B-Am. If you’re a beginner guitarist, this is an excellent song to start with.
11. Freight Train by Elizabeth Cotten
Guitar Tutorial | Guitar Chords | Album: Folksongs and Instrumentals with Guitar | Released: 1958 | Genre: Folk
In the late 50s and 60s, there was a revival movement of folk music in the US. One of the most influential artists who came out of this period was Elizabeth Cotten. She was a left-handed guitarist and autodidactic musician who wrote one of the most iconic acoustic guitar songs of all time.
Elizabeth Cotten’s “Freight Train” is one of the best-known fingerpicking songs that sounds complex and therefore perfect for beginners to learn. This song is in the key of C and uses only five chords: C, G7, G, E, and F.
If you’re looking for a simple finger-picking song that will impress your friends, “Freight Train” is a perfect choice. Thanks to Elizabeth Cotten, we can all enjoy this timeless classic.
12. Cold Feet by Tracy Chapman
Guitar Chords | Album: New Beginning | Released: 1995 | Genre: Folk
Tracy Chapman is an American singer-songwriter and social activist. Cold Feet is the fourth track from her fourth studio album containing Chapman’s trademark playing acoustic guitar and folk-rock sound.
This particular track is in the key of G, features classic V-IV-I rock progression, and uses chords such as G, D, and C. All these are fairly simple chords that even beginner guitarists should be able to master with some practice.
13. Jolene by Dolly Parton
Guitar Tutorial | Guitar Chords | Album: Jolene | Released: 1974 | Genre: Country
“Jolene” is a song composed and performed by Dolly Parton, an American singer-songwriter and actress. This song is one of Dolly Parton’s most iconic songs, and it is also one of her most-covered ones. The song was ranked #217 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004.
It is in the key of Am and it uses the common country chord progression where the song includes the chords Am, C, G, and Em. The song is quite easy to play and a novice who wants to learn some classic country songs can easily play with a capo of the 4th fret.
Related Post: If you are fond of the country songs, you probably will like our other list of Easy Country Songs on Guitar.
14. Strong Enough by Sheryl Crow
Guitar Tutorial | Guitar Chords | Album: Tuesday Night Music Club | Released: 1993 | Genre: Folk-Pop
Grammy award-winning artist, Sheryl Crow has been quite successful over the years. But “Strong Enough” from her debut album was one of her first and most popular songs ever released.
The song has a moderately slow beat and a catchy melody, making it one of the best female acoustic guitar songs that are perfect for belting out at the top of the lungs.
Strong Enough is performed in the key of D major with a slow tempo of 79 beats per minute but in the peculiar 6/4 time signature and uses standard tuning.
15. Don’t Speak by No Doubt
Guitar Tutorial| Guitar Chords | Album: Tragic Kingdom | Released: 1995 | Genre: Alternative/Indie, Pop
Gwen Stefani began her career as a frontwoman for the band No Doubt. This song was a huge hit in the ’90s and one of the main reasons for the band’s advancement in mainstream music.
The song was written primarily as a love song by the lead singer of the band Gwen Stefani and her brother Eric Stefani. After her breakup, Gwen rewrites and modifies the song to turn it into a sad breakup song.
No Doubt has a unique sound that is a mix of pop, ska, and punk. The key is C minor and uses a few barre chords with the basic chords.