Music Teachers 19 May, 2021

Top 10 Rockschool Acoustic Guitar Tracks

Ever wondered which Rockschool Acoustic Guitar tunes were most popular? Wonder no more!

Here we have the 10 most popular Rockschool Acoustic Guitar tunes as voted for by you, the musicians. Interestingly, there’s no room for Jeff Buckley or Tay-Tay, film soundtracks prove popular, and one band has two songs in the top 5 alone! Read on to discover who came out on top and don’t forget to grab your free Acoustic Advice pack while you’re at it to make the most of the RSL Learning Platform.

10. Shallow – Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
To kick off our list is the inimitable duo of Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, whose iconic duet ‘Shallow’ nestles nicely in our grade 2 syllabus. A slightly more challenging piece for beginners, ‘Shallow’ is still a great song to play as a more advanced guitarist. And if you have some pipes on you, why not sing along to Gaga’s soaring vocals? We know we will!

9. Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
As you might expect, there’s quite a few metalheads at Rockschool HQ, so there were huge celebrations when it was announced as an addition to our Acoustic syllabus. This ditty is sitting pretty at grade 4, placing it at an intermediate level in terms of difficulty. One of Metallica’s most popular songs, it became a mainstay of their live performances for many years. They even played it in the encore at their triumphant gig in Twickenham Stadium, just a stone’s throw away from our Head Office!

8. Shape of My Heart – Sting
Your eighth favourite Acoustic track is this stone-cold classic by Sting. Arranged for grade 6, this piece is a challenge but a really satisfying one to play if you can pull it off. Channel your inner Sting and work on moving around the fretboard to keep a legato feel and you’ll be up and running in no time!

7. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
This cheerful classic by happy-go-lucky scamp Jason Mraz was a breakout hit for the American singer-songwriter way back when in 2009. The song became an undisputed anthem, even earning Mraz a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year. Unfortunately he lost out to industry nice boys, Coldplay, but we’re sure he’ll be consoled by a place on our Debut syllabus.

6. Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
Unlike ‘I’m Yours’, Eric Clapton’s ‘Tears in Heaven’ did pick up the Best Song of the Year Grammys in 1993. The circumstances that brought about this song are beyond tragic, but the song remains one of the most beautiful acoustic guitar pieces from the last thirty years. You can find it in our grade 5 syllabus, and be sure to listen to the Unplugged version if you get a chance!

5. While My Guitar Gently Weeps – The Beatles
Part of our grade 8 book, our arrangement is no walk in the park, but it is a beautiful version of a classic – hats off to our Academic boffins for their work on this one! Perhaps George Harrison’s greatest song, this number lets you explore a whole range of mesmerising textures and colourful sounds from the comfort of your fretboard.

4. Everybody Hurts – R.E.M.
Musicians of a certain age may know this song from the 2010 charity single that raised funds to help the residents of Haiti in the wake of a devastating earthquake. Although that version featured a first class line up of stars including Mariah Carey, Michael Bublé, and Kylie Minogue, the arrangement on our grade 2 syllabus resembles R.E.M.’s original. The challenge in this tune is to get those arpeggiated lines sounding slick as you move between chords. Get those right and you’ll be on to a winner!

3. The Man Who Sold the World – David Bowie
Whether you know the Nirvana cover or Bowie’s original, ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ is a certified anthem. Complete with one of the rockiest riffs around, our grade 3 level arrangement of this classic focuses on getting your strumming technique sharp while giving you a chance to shine with an epic guitar solo. Watch out for the jump between time signatures too! There’s a reason Bowie’s music is revered as some of the best and most interesting pop, rock, and indeed roll music of the past hundred years!

2. Let It Go – Frozen
The second most popular track on our list is ‘Let It Go’ from the Disney smash hit ‘Frozen’. This one’s so good we arranged it twice! Well, not really…but our superstar guitarist, educator and all-round good guy, Giorgio Serci, has arranged ‘Let It Go’ as a duet that can be played by a teacher and their student. At grade 2, it’s not the most technically challenging piece on this list, but the relative technical simplicity allows you to really think about dynamics and how two instruments can work together to create a luscious acoustic soundscape.

1. Blackbird – The Beatles
Drum roll please! The iconic Beatles track ‘Blackbird’ is your favourite Rockschool guitar piece. This grade 5 piece continues to be as popular as ever among teachers, students, and musicians of all backgrounds. A fairly straightforward song, its chromatic movement make the song a favourite with jazz musicians and Rockschool aficionados. Congrats to Paul, George, John, and Ringo – topping this list is probably their biggest achievement to date. Check out this pretty wild cover by bass legend Jaco Pastorius and let us know what you think over on our social media!

You’ll find all of these pieces, along with multiple backing tracks, on the RSL Learning Platform!

    Digital Files

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    Every complete digital book (e.g. Electric Guitar Grade 1) includes:

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    Each complete digital book purchased includes:

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