The 1970s was a great decade for music, but it was particularly impressive for acoustic music. This was when artists began experimenting with different acoustic guitar methods, resulting in some truly iconic tunes. In addition, this decade saw the rise of acoustic rock and the beginning of new acoustic guitar styles like fingerpicking and flat-picking.
The glorious history of the guitar in the 20th century
The acoustic guitar has always been a go-to instrument for singer-songwriters and folk musicians. When acoustic guitar accompanies a song, it can initiate a mellow and nostalgic experience for the listener. It is always fascinating to listen to or even play acoustic songs from the 1970s, as these tunes often evoke nostalgia and provide a longing for simpler times.
Guitar songs from this era often have a warm and inviting sound, making them ideal for unwinding after a long day or spending time with loved ones.
There are so many great acoustic guitar songs from the 1970s that it’s difficult to narrow them down to just a few. I’ve tried to incorporate only one song from a particular artist/band to combine as much variety as possible, so I left some great songs off the table.
To ease your learning approach and to encourage you to play these beautiful acoustic songs on your guitar, acoustic or otherwise, we’ve also included links to the original songs, guitar chords/tab, and an instructional video for each song. Some songs are perfect for beginners, and some are a little more challenging, but all are worth discovering.
These tunes are sure to get you snagged on acoustic guitar for life. Whatever your skill level, if you’re a fan of acoustic sounds, our compilation of the 50 best acoustic songs that were popular during the 70s is still worth learning.
So without further ado, check out these songs that I think should be on your playing list, which include a perfect mix of 70s music for any mood.
List of 70s Acoustic Guitar Songs
- Eagles – Hotel California (1977) | Chords | Guitar TAB | Video Lesson
- The Rolling Stones – Angie (1973) | Official Video | Chords/TAB | Tutorial Video
- John Lennon – Imagine (1971) | Music Video | Chords | Guitar Lesson
- Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975) | Music Video | Guitar TAB | Video Lesson
- John Denver – Take Me Home Country Road (1971) | Chords | TAB | Lesson
- Fleetwood Mac – Landslide (1975) | Official Video | Chords | Lesson
- Dolly Parton – Jolene (1974) | Live Version | Chords | TAB | Video Lesson
- The Beatles – Let It Be (1970) | Official Video | Chords | Video Lesson
- Led Zeppelin – Going To California (1971) | Chords/TAB | Guitar Tutorial
- Cat Stevens – Father And Son (1970) | Music Video | Chords | Lesson
- Don Mclean – American Pie (1971) | Guitar TAB | Chords | Video Lesson
- James Taylor – Fire And Rain (1970) | Chords | Guitar TAB | Lesson
- Neil Young – Old Man (1972) | Live Video | Chords | Video Lesson
- The Kinks – Lola (1970) | Official Audio | Chords | Video Lesson
- Bob Dylan – Knockin’ On Heavens Door (1973) | Chords | Guitar TAB | Lesson
- George Harrison – My Sweet Lord (1970) | Music Video | Chords | Tutorial
- The Rolling Stones – Wild Horses (1971) | Chords | Guitar TAB | Guitar Tutorial
- Janis Joplin – Me And Bobby McGee (1971) | YT Video | Chords | Lesson
- Carly Simon – You’re So Vain (1972) | Music Video | Chords | Lesson
- Steve Miller Band – The Joker (1973) | Music Video | Guitar Chords | Video Lesson
- Creedence Clearwater Revival – Have You Ever Seen The Rain? (1971) | Chords | Lesson
- Jim Croce – Time In A Bottle (1973) | Music Video | Chords/TAB | Guitar Lesson
- Kansas – Dust In The Wind (1978) | Chords/TAB | Guitar Lesson
- KISS – Beth (1976) | Music Video | Chords/TAB | Video Lesson
- Gordon Lightfoot – The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald (1976) | Chords | Video Lesson
- Nick Drake – Pink Moon (1972) | Music Video | Chords/TAB | Video Tutorial
- Peter Gabriel – Solsbury Hill (1977) | Music Video | Chords/TAB | Video Lesson
- Roger Hodgson (Supertramp) – Give A Little Bit (1977) | Chords | Lesson
- The Marshall Tucker Band – Can’t You See (1973) | Chords | Video Lesson
- America – Ventura Highway (1972) | Chords | Video Lesson
- Bread – Make It With You (1970) | Music Video | Chords/TAB | Video Lesson
- Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi (1970) | Lyric Video | Chords/TAB | Video Lesson
- Harry Chapin – Cats In The Cradle (1974) | Chords | Video Lesson
- Crosby, Stills & Nash – Helplessly Hoping (1969) | Guitar TAB | Chords | Lesson
- Stealers Wheel – Stuck In The Middle With You (1972) | Guitar TAB | Chords | Lesson
- The Who – Pinball Wizard (1969) | Lyric Video | Guitar TAB | Video Lesson
- Elton John – Someone Saved My Life Tonight (1975) | Chords| Lesson
- Styx – Crystal Ball (1976) | Music Video | Chords | Video Lesson
- The Faces – Ooh La La (1973) | Music Video | Chords/TAB | Video Lesson
- Simon & Garfunkel – Cecilia (1970) | YT Video | Chords | Video Lesson
- Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Night Moves (1976) | Chords | Lesson
- Grateful Dead – Friend Of The Devil (1970) | Video | Chords | Lesson
- Allman Brothers – Midnight Rider (1970) | Music Video | Chords | Tutorial
- Rod Stewart – Mandolin Wind (1971) | Video | Chords | Video Lesson
- Stephen Stills – Love The One You’re With (1970) | Music Video | Video Lesson
- Bruce Cockburn – Going To The Country (1970) | Music Video | Video Lesson
- Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine (1971) | Official Audio | Chords/TAB | Lesson
- Leo Kottke – Pamela Brown (1974) | Live Video | Chords | Video Lesson
- Lynyrd Skynyrd – Simple Man (1973) | YT Video | Chord | Guitar Tutorial
- Santana – Black Magic Woman (1970) | Official Audio | Chords | Video Lesson
Need More Assistance?
If you need more help to learn how to play acoustic guitar songs from the 1970s or want to improve your guitar playing skills in general, check out these online guitar lessons or go through some helpful YouTube channels.
You can also check out the following chord/TAB books to understand and learn each song quickly:
Hotel California: The True-Life Adventures of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Mitchell, Taylor, Browne, Ronstadt, Geffen,…
Hoskyns, Barney (Author); English (Publication Language); 336 Pages – 05/01/2007 (Publication Date) – Wiley (Publisher)
Used Book in Good Condition; English (Publication Language); 128 Pages – 04/01/2012 (Publication Date) – Cherry Lane (Publisher)
Used Book in Good Condition; Lennon, John (Author); English (Publication Language); 108 Pages – 06/01/2013 (Publication Date) – Alfred Music (Publisher)
Pink Floyd – Guitar Anthology (Recorded Versions Guitar)
English (Publication Language); 224 Pages – 04/01/2019 (Publication Date) – Hal Leonard (Publisher)
Fleetwood Mac – Anthology (Piano/Vocal/Guitar Artist Songbook)
P/V/G; Pages: 144; Instrumentation: Piano/Vocal/Guitar; English (Publication Language); 144 Pages – 10/01/2004 (Publication Date) – Hal Leonard (Publisher)−$2.70
The Beatles Complete Chord Songbook
SpiralBound (Plastic Comb); SpiralBound (Plastic Comb) (Author); English (Publication Language)−$1.75
People mostly remember the era of the 1970s for the highest inflation rate, the Watergate scandal, and the Vietnam war. But musically, a great variety thrived in this era in the form of disco, punk rock, jazz fusion, soul, and new wave music.
Acoustic music was no different, with famous artists like Cat Stevens, Neil Young, James Taylor, and The Eagles had released some of their best work during that time.
Now, anyone can work on 70s acoustic songs that are perfect for guitar players of all levels. These popular songs can also teach you a lot about playing the guitar. Each piece is a classic in its own right; by learning them, you’ll develop your skills and knowledge of the instrument.
Whether you want to learn some new chords or just need to improve your strumming technique, these songs will help you do that. So what are you waiting for? Dust off your acoustic guitar and get ready to learn some great songs from the 70s.