As a seasoned guitarist playing the circuit for a few decades, coming up with a list of the 15 best acoustic cover songs to play in a bar should be a cinch.
Unfortunately, many songs can serve as fantastic background music to accompany several rounds of beer, good food, and great company.
After checking out with bar friends and fellow guitarists, here are excellent acoustic cover songs you will want to play in a bar.
Hotel California by The Eagles
Having one of the most captivating guitar solos of all time makes ‘Hotel California’ a quintessential favorite of many live bands, budding artists, and seasoned ax players.
The opening riff is enough to get the crowd tapping their feet, preparing them for the first verse that invokes images of a desolate desert landscape.
There is no other acoustic song you will want to play to get the pub come to life than this Eagles masterpiece.
Come Together by The Beatles
This 1969 Beatles classic song summed up the feeling of friends and colleagues coming together for a round of beer at the bar.
The heart-thumping beat will have everyone swaying their heads in between sips of ice-cold beer or vodka at the bar.
The song’s bass lines are also worth playing, even though you only have an acoustic guitar.
Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
Not everyone entering the pub wants to celebrate, but to drown some of their frustrations with beer and some good music.
Wish You Were Here is an excellent acoustic song to play as it has emotional weight woven through the verses and choruses.
While the lyrical message is open to interpretation, your pub audience will love how the chords and riffs stir their souls to remember.
Africa by Toto
The original song has a brassy opening riff, making it perfect for showcasing your bass tricks on your acoustic guitar.
While the vocals are mellow, the opening verse will have the whole pub humming along to the beat of your guitar.
Toto’s masterpiece is a perfect acoustic song for pub-goers, especially those with a fondness for Africa.
Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton
It is easy to include Eric Clapton’s 1977 soft rock ballad in this list; after all, there is no mistaking its hypnotic guitar riff.
Even without your bandmates accompanying your fingerpicking, the sounds coming from your guitar will still captivate your bar fans.
It is a heartfelt song made more emotional by the smoothness of its rhythm, especially when played well.
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right by Bob Dylan
A pub favorite, this 1983 Bob Dylan masterpiece is perfect for people who doubt themselves or feel in the dumps.
The chords are easy enough to execute that a newbie acoustic guitarist will never have issues playing the song like the pros; provided, he does not have stage fright.
‘Don’t Think Twice’ is a fitting song to anyone who goes in the pub feeling forlorn, a suitable companion for an ice-cold beer.
More than Words by Extreme
With its fancy fingerstyle, ‘More than Words’ is always a joy to play in a pub full of love-struck people.
This song has one of the best interplays between punchy bass lines and soul-stirring trebles on the acoustic guitar, complete with palm muting for a profound sound effect.
The lyrics are not bad, either, serenading someone with a melody that goes straight to the heart.
A Hard Day’s Night by The Beatles
No other theme is more apt to play in a pub than this Beatles classic.
With its upbeat rhythm, funky sounds, and captivating lyrics, the crowd is sure to be on their feet at the opening riff.
You can master the strumming and few fingerstyles to get the pub-going public involved.
Also Read: 10 Greatest Beatles Songs, Ranked
Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
The slow start to this song makes for an enticing piece to get the crowd all pumped up for a glorious evening.
‘Sweet Caroline’ is one of those songs that never fails to get people singing and dancing to the tune.
Raise your glasses to Caroline as everyone taps their feet and slams beer bottles on the table.
Heart of Gold by Neil Young
Another quintessential acoustic guitar song for the pub scene, ‘Heart of Gold’ has an easy rhythm that swings heads.
While the chords are straightforward, masters of the string can display their dancing fingers on the fretboard.
It is the song you will want to play when entertaining grown-up men.
Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison
Forget the Julia Roberts-Richard Gere film, and play this song to focus everyone’s attention on that gorgeous lady at the bar.
Roy Orbison’s masterpiece has a distinct rhythm and bassline, sufficient to get everyone humming along.
This song is as exciting as any other acoustic piece you can play in a pub.
Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
Love-struck Millennials out for a great time at the pub will adore you for playing this 2013 R&B ballad.
It is the perfect song to play to make a couple’s evening more worthwhile or helping men think about their successful marriage.
Play it like a pro, and you will have the whole pub singing along.
Bad Liar by Imagine Dragons
Here is a song everyone today can sing along to, complete with a rhythm and beat worth dancing to.
‘Bad Liar’ is the favorite background music of many YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok short videos.
It should not surprise you if the whole pub turns into an internet sensation with your guitar-playing providing the framework.
Despacito by Luis Fonsi
This Latin sensation is a popular piece in 2017, and it remains a favorite song for live audience performances.
Playing ‘Despacito’ not only showcases your mastery of the guitar, but also an appreciation of a lively beat.
Downing a bottle of beer will be worth every drop for every fingerpick you execute.
Let Her Go by Passenger
‘Let Her Go’ is a fantastic acoustic guitar piece to play in a pub full of disappointed and depressed folks.
Anyone can sing along, including the bartender and the tough guys by the entrance.
To be honest, sound is such an integral part of the bar experience that it’s difficult to recommend just one song.
That being said, we hope these songs give you a good starting point for building your playlist and help make your next night out even better.
Which are your favorite acoustic songs?
Let us know in the comments below!