I thought this list of 5 movie songs for guitar would be great fun to write.
There’s always a lot of nostalgia in movie music, that Forest Gump soundtrack had a bigger impact on my interests in music than I ever initially realised, to this day ‘Fortunate Son’ is still one of my favourite tracks, John Fogerty is such an underrated guitarist and songwriter. Then once the volleyball high fives are out the way, that ‘Top Gun’ guitar anthem just soloing throughout makes the electric guitar seem even more awesome and elusive!
There are of course a lot more great movie songs for the guitar than this little list of 5, but I’m sure I’ll write a few more yet (Lethal Weapon needs to get some recognition of course!)
But for now, enjoy these top movie guitar song choices!
1. Top Gun Anthem – Harold Faltermeyer & Steve Stevens
What would this list be without the Top Gun Anthem? When you think movie and guitar, most people born before the 2000s would think of this!
It’s all lead playing, so it’s great for your finger control, building up your strength and accuracy, but don’t forget, crank up that overdrive/gain, add some reverb and delay and solo away in your own 80’s guitar euphoria!
2. Rocky III – Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
Obviously not outright the Rocky theme tune, but what a track to feature on a blockbuster film, that first guitar stab just screams attitude and everyone knows what that song is from that first strike.
It’s the perfect movie song to learn and a great introduction to power chords, again though, don’t forget to crank your gain up and get that guitar tone roaring through!
3. Forrest Gump – Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival
That intense Vietnam warzone scene was so well done back in the day, but without Fortunate Son rolling in the background, would that scene of been as great and hard-hitting? I personally don’t think so, it’s a great track that fits so well over the movie.
The intro is really quite awkward to get, most new guitarists struggle with it, so take your time and just work on the timing before going any further.
Once the timing is good and you think it sounds like the song, then move on to the rhythm, this can be played with just power chords, but if you want more detail and to make it a bit more of a challenge, you can add in the barre chords to fill it out a bit more.
4. James Bond – Original James Bond Theme by Monty Norman
This still plays through my head whenever I’m sneaking around trying not to wake up the girlfriend or disturb the cat when craving a midnight snack.
The first thing to take note of is the guitar tone, I love the tone of the guitar in this.
The technique behind that ‘thin’ sound is to pick the strings closer to the bridge, you’ll get a really bright tinny tone from even the bass strings that way, the best pickup selection would be the ‘bridge’ pickup too, it’s quite a challenge on the right hand, so be sure to practice this a lot!
5. EASY RIDER – BORN TO BE WILD BY STEPPENWOLF
I have to admit, whenever I look up a song on youtube I always glaze through the comments, and one comment really stood out “this is not a song, it’s a way of life” what a great statement and for this song, I feel it’s absolutely true!
As soon as you hear it, you think Harley Davidsons along with the desert cruising.. a great scene and the perfect track!
I almost didn’t include this song onto this list though because of the difficulty, there’s quite a stretch for the left hand in this song, the first time I tried to play it I refused to believe the ‘tab book’ I had at the time was correct, and didn’t look at it again until a year or so later when I finally just got stuck in!
Like anything, it’ll seem impossible initially, but with hard work and determination, you will be playing this great track before you know it!