Are you ready to start jamming and performing with your friends?
Then, a guitar duet is the perfect idea!
Here are 23 of the best guitar duet songs to learn from all genres, including metal, pop-rock, and more. Best of all, they’re also fun to practice!
23 Best Guitar Duet Songs
Now, get ready to jam together! Take your pick among our easy guitar duet songs below and practice them to perfection:
1. Van Morrison – “Brown Eyed Girl”
Known as “Van the Man,” Van Morrison is a legendary icon who composed this radio-classic in the ’60s. As his signature song, this is an easy piece for two guitarists due to the simple chord progressions. Specifically, there are mainly three chords – G major, C major, and D major. Later in the song, you would add in an E Minor chord in the chorus or at the first “My brown-eyed girl” line.
2. The Beatles – “It’s Only Love”
It’s no surprise that the most remarkable English rock band of all time hits our list. In fact, you can arrange most of The Beatles’ music for a guitar solo or duo. This particular song was written mostly by John Lennon and is relatively easy for two instruments because there’s only a need for one guitar with a capo and one without. Plus, there are no barre chords.
Try some more easy Beatles songs on guitar next.
3. America – “Horse With No Name”
Folk-rock band America released ‘Horse with no name’ in the 70s, which became their first and most successful single. The group comprises two guitarists, making the song already easy to arrange for a guitar duo performance. Also, there are only two primary chords and with fewer changes in position. Try more easy folk songs for guitar, too.
4. Wishbone Ash – “Everybody Needs a Friend”
Wishbone Ash is a British rock band that came into prominence in the 70s. They are best known for their heavy use of harmony twin lead guitars. So, most of their music is already a two-guitar ensemble. You and whoever else can quickly master one of their hits, ‘Everybody Needs a Friend,’ because it contains a formation with two lead guitars and is overall a very beginner friendly rock song. Plus, nobody gets left behind.
5. The Eagles – “Hotel California”
You’ve undoubtedly heard this 70s classic somewhere around since it’s one of the most well-known hits of all time by the American band, The Eagles. ‘Hotel California’ is relatively easy for multiple guitarists since the music contains two or three parts to it.
Unlike most rock music containing three of four chords, the first chord progression in this piece has seven chords before going back. Also, it is possible for players who can perform barre on the lower frets to play guitar to this song. The second part, the arpeggio, is applied throughout the verse sections and can be played with a pick or fingerstyle technique.
6. Bob Dylan – “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”
Bob Dylan is an oddly familiar name, isn’t it? Of course, he’s considered one of the greatest songwriters in human history and is a massive pop culture icon. So, there are numerous inspiring covers of his music using different instruments, including covers with two guitars. This particular hit single of his is easy because there are basically only three chords to follow. The chords also switch from C major to Am.
7. Metallica – “Nothing Else Matters”
Metallica is a critically acclaimed American heavy-metal band that rose to prominence during the 80s. They’re mainly known for their fast tempos, instrumentals, and rough musicianship. Many of their songs can be arranged for a guitar duet.
This particular piece requires a lot of energy and speed from both players. It is also easy for two beginner-guitarists because three different parts repeat. One of you can play with open chords while the other uses several high-fretted chords. The result is likely to be an excellent sound range.
8. Guns N’ Roses – “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
As a rock band from California, Guns N’ Roses has dozens of hit singles, one being ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine.’ Their band also consists of several members, with Slash as the lead guitarist and Izzy Stradlin as the rhythm guitarist.
Therefore, most of their music already has the split arrangement style for two amateur guitarists to replicate as their own cover. So, you or your partner can easily arrange to take over the song’s solo parts while the other person follows in with strong riffs like how Stradlin does it.
9. Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Simple Man”
Formed in Florida, rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd is known for numerous award-winning hits, one being ‘Simple Man.’ This particular song makes for a comfortable arrangement with multiple guitars due to its simple chord progressions and smooth strumming patterns.
Plus, it contains mostly soft melodies, so you can exchange acoustic parts with the other player as well. Also, there are slow riffs for one of you to take over, while the other soothes the crowd with the plucking parts.
10. Metallica – “One”
As mentioned before, Metallica conquers when it comes to finding guitar duet songs for any player level. Written by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, ‘One’ is relatively easy as it contains an intro made for two guitarists. The song starts off with a soulful plucking performance.
Then, depending on whether you or your friend are the more experienced guitar player, that person will then chime in with a slow solo that follows the intro. Towards the song’s later stages, the music becomes a headbanging, metal sound.
11. Pink Floyd – “Wish You Were Here”
Recognized as one of the early British psychedelic music groups, Pink Floyd is distinguished by their philosophical songs, dramatic live shows, sonic experimentation, and just merely as one of the greatest progressive rock bands.
Bandmate or guitarist David Gilmour has been critically acclaimed for his guitar style, which is simple with well-paced solos and rich chordal rhythms. So, like him, you and your friends can easily approach this particular wonder-hit piece because the intro riff is quite repetitive. Then, the other player takes over the further solos.
12. Aerosmith – “Dream On”
Originating from Boston, rock band Aerosmith consists of seven band members, with two being guitarists: Joe Perry and Brad Whitford. Both have greatly complemented one another during numerous live performances.
Most notably, their hit’ Dream On’ makes for an excellent guitar collaboration because the song contains a combination of plucking, guitar solo, and vocals. You’ll find this piece especially easy because the beginning of the song is purely plucking, and there is a simple guitar solo later on as well.
13. Megadeth – “Hangar 18”
Notorious American thrash metal band, Megadeth, released ‘Hangar 18’ from their album Rust in Peace. The band’s music is distinctive because the bass contains a different tuning from the two lead players in the band. Also, most of their music already consists of a guitar duet, so it’s no problem for you and another player to adapt to it. In this particular piece, the beginning is a simple D minor arpeggio that you must rapidly strum.
14. The Police – “Every Breath You Take”
The list gets more and more surprising with classic hits you likely never thought could be arranged as guitar duets. The Police rose to prominence in the ’80s with this particular song as their signature piece. Playing ‘Every Breath You Take’ would really charm the crowd and bring down heavy nostalgia. It’s also a relatively easy piece for two guitarists to collaborate on because the chords are a simple progression (ACDD#EmFG). The capo will be on the first fret.
15. Allman Brothers – “Whipping Post”
The Allman Brothers were a beloved rock band that formed in Florida. Among their bandmates are Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, who both played lead guitar. As such, almost all their music is perfect for beginner guitarists and guitar duets. Their signature piece, ‘Whipping Post,’ is easy to arrange for two players because it is in the key of Am, one of the simplest chords.
16. Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Sweet Home Alabama”
Another smash hit by Skynyrd, this classic old rock country guitar song (and movie of the same title) can be easily mastered as a solo or a duo guitar performance. The song focuses on three simple, open chords – D, Cadd9, and G. As you get to the chorus, you will play these open chords as power chords with a blues shuffle sound. Later on, there is also an F and C major to watch out for.
17. The Fray – “How to Save a Life”
The Fray is an alternative rock band from Colorado, and their music likely brings up memories of prom night. They became a global success in the early 2000s, especially with their signature song, ‘How to save a life.’ With mainly simple chords – G, D, C, Em – two guitarists can take turns alternating between each song section and create a beautiful synchronization.
18. U2 – “One”
U2 is a rock band that formed in Dublin, Ireland, during the 70s. Having sold 14 albums and nearly 170 million records worldwide, ‘One’ is just their beginning. Not to mention, it makes for an easy guitar song because pretty much all you need to know are two chord progressions. First is Am-Dsus2-Fmaj7-G, which covers the first half of the verse. Then, the chords C-Am-Fmaj7-C follow. Also, the intro contains an acoustic opening line with simple chords.
19. Bastille – “Pompeii”
As an English pop-rock band, the band name ‘Bastille’ originates from France, referring to its national independence day (Bastille Day). The band has several songs to quickly arrange for guitar duets. ‘Pompeii’ is one of them, and it was their breakthrough single. The song contains mainly four chords and a simple music structure. The primary chords are C, G, Em, and D.
20. Taylor Swift – “Shake It Off”
American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift rose to prominence in the early 2000s and started in country-pop. Her music also has evolved over the years to include electropop and synth-pop, just to name a few. Therefore, ‘Shake It Off’ is the reflection of her transformation as an artist. It’s an easy guitar duet song because there are three simple chords – Am, C, and G. They’re mostly the same throughout the whole song, and the strumming pattern is easygoing as well.
21. Imagine Dragons – “Radioactive”
As an exciting stray from rock and metal songs in this list, Imagine Dragons is a pop-rock band from Nevada. With one of their most recognizable hits, ‘Radioactive,’ a guitar-duet cover can be made. It’s also relatively simple as the song’s chords are beginner-friendly, not too speedy, consistent all the way through, and the strumming patterns are relaxed. Also, you’ll also need your capo on the 2nd fret for this piece.
22. Ben Earl King – “Stand By Me”
Possibly one of the oldest musical legends on this list, King was an American soul and R&B artist best known for ‘Stand By Me.’ As also a popular wedding-song request, this classic can be arranged for a guitar duet. With just four chords – G, Em, C, and D – it makes practice easy, and only two fingers are needed. As you strum all six strings for this piece, you won’t have to worry about leaving any strings out.
23. Deep Blue Something – “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”
Last – but never the least (as there are so many songs made for guitar duets) – ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ is a 1995 hit single by the American rock band Deep Blue Something. For two guitarists, there are three easy chords to know here – D, A, and G. The duet cover is also easy to make because the song gives off an excellent strumming pattern and the opportunity to teach players how to develop a rhythm.
Things to Consider Before Learning Guitar Duet Songs
While performing duet guitar songs is the perfect way to show off the instrument’s potential, a harmonious balance and coordination take time to develop between each player.
Luckily though, the majority of songs out there can be arranged for a guitar duet. Every piece pretty much either needs two guitars or one guitar and a bass. Here are some basic things to consider before performing a duet:
Decide on Who Leads and Who Follows
When you arrange a song for two guitarists, it becomes a split-arrangement style that consists of two parts: rhythm (accompaniment) and lead (melody).
For the rhythm sections, you’ll encounter those like chords and lower-range riffs. If one of you enjoys playing rhythm more than lead while being better at keeping time and following a song’s structure, then he or she could consider playing rhythm.
The lead guitar parts of a duet song can include melodies, solo pieces, higher-range riffs, and more. The lead sections are meant more for those who enjoy playing lead while improvising on the spot.
Alternatively, it’s possible to have multiple members wanting the lead part. In that case, you can both consider alternating between who performs lead and who performs rhythm for when a new song section comes up.
Exchanging parts is also a better approach for chordal or rock pieces that are already easy to improvise. For instance, with Am-G-C-Dm chords, consider letting the rhythm guitarist play them. Meanwhile, the lead guitarist can take on melodies that contain Am pentatonic.
Use Alternate Rhythms and Chord Voicings
It’s further possible that you both find a chordal arpeggio song that works nicely as a solo piece yet contains no second-player part. If this is the case, consider attempting various chord voicings.
For instance, with Am-G-C-Dm chords that are all open, allow the second guitarist to play those chords as barre chords. Also, they should be between the fifth and twelfth frets.
Last Updated on April 13, 2021 by Liam F. Admin