17 Best Nirvana Songs for Acoustic Guitar: Top 17 Nirvana Hits
ey music lovers and fellow DJs! Looking to serenade your audience with the raw energy of grunge?
Our curated list of “17 Best Nirvana Songs for Acoustic Guitar” is here to guide you.
From unplugged gems to adapted classics, Kurt Cobain’s haunting voice and melodies will resonate through your strings. Let’s rock!
Here are the best Nirvana songs for acoustic guitar that you can check out:
List Of Top Nirvana Tunes for Acoustic Guitar
Best Nirvana songs for acoustic guitar in a list format:
1. “About a Girl”
About a Girl is from their debut album Bleach which was released in 1989 under Sub Pop Records. Kurt Cobain, Nirvana’s primary songwriter, wrote this catchy, melodic song inspired by his then-girlfriend. It showcases Cobain’s ability to combine pop sensibilities with their gritty, punk-influenced sound. Its relatively simple chord progression and memorable melody make it a great song to play on an acoustic guitar.
Polly is off Nirvana’s groundbreaking album Nevermind, released in 1991 under DGC Records. Written by Kurt Cobain, this haunting acoustic song stands out for its chilling narrative and minimalist arrangement. Its simple, yet effective guitar part is perfect for acoustic play.
3. “Something in the Way”
Something in the Way, another gem from Nevermind, was written by Cobain about his experiences of homelessness. Its poignant lyrics, paired with a melancholic melody and simple chord structure, make it a fitting choice for an acoustic rendition.
4. “All Apologies”
All Apologies hails from the band’s final studio album In Utero (1993, DGC Records). Cobain wrote this as a lullaby for his wife and daughter. Its introspective lyrics and the memorable riff translate well to the acoustic guitar, offering a rich, emotional playing experience.
Plateau is a cover of a song by the Meat Puppets, included on Nirvana’s 1994 release MTV Unplugged in New York (DGC Records). The band’s acoustic rendition is a testament to their ability to take a song from a completely different genre and make it their own.
6. “Oh Me”
Another cover from the MTV Unplugged in New York album, Oh Me showcases Nirvana’s diversity and ability to deliver powerful performances even in an unplugged setting. It’s a great song for guitarists wanting to explore more complex chord progressions.
7. “Lake of Fire”
Lake of Fire, also from MTV Unplugged in New York, is another Meat Puppets cover. This song’s catchy melody and driving rhythm translate beautifully to acoustic guitar, making it a compelling choice for Nirvana fans.
Dumb is from In Utero. This poignant song provides a look into Cobain’s struggles with fame and personal issues. Its simplicity and depth make it a satisfying song to perform on acoustic guitar.
9. “Pennyroyal Tea”
Pennyroyal Tea is another standout track from In Utero. Its dynamic shifts from quiet verses to louder choruses make it a challenging but rewarding song to tackle on an acoustic guitar.
10. “The Man Who Sold the World”
The Man Who Sold the World is a David Bowie cover featured on MTV Unplugged in New York. Nirvana’s acoustic rendition is famous for its haunting atmosphere and the intricate guitar work.
11. “Come as You Are”
Come as You Are, a hit from Nevermind, is loved for its memorable guitar riff. Transposed to an acoustic setting, it’s an excellent song to practice fingerpicking techniques.
12. “On a Plain”
On a Plain from Nevermind is another great song for acoustic guitar. Its blend of pop hooks with the band’s signature grunge sound makes it a fun and satisfying song to play.
13. “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”
Where Did You Sleep Last Night, a traditional folk song popularized by Lead Belly and the closing track of MTV Unplugged in New York, showcases Cobain’s emotional intensity. It’s a raw and powerful song for acoustic guitar.
14. “Serve the Servants”
Serve the Servants, the opening track from In Utero, offers complex chord changes and a catchy, driving rhythm, making it a stimulating pick for acoustic guitar players.
Sliver, a single released in 1990 under Sub Pop, has a straightforward structure and energetic rhythm, ideal for those wishing to capture the raw essence of Nirvana’s sound on an acoustic guitar.
16. “Drain You”
From Nevermind, Drain You is one of Cobain’s personal favorites. Its unique chord progressions and memorable melody make it an interesting and rewarding song to learn on the acoustic guitar.
17. “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam”
Finally, Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam is a cover of The Vaselines song featured on MTV Unplugged in New York. Its gentle melody and relatively easy chord progression make it a great choice for beginners.
Fun Facts: Top Nirvana Tracks for Acoustic Guitar
About A Girl
- Inspiration Behind the Song: “About A Girl” was Kurt Cobain’s attempt at creating a pop song. He was inspired by his favorite band at the time, The Beatles. He was a bit hesitant about including it on ‘Bleach’ as it was more melodic than the rest of the album.
Come As You Are
- A Memorable Bass Line: “Come As You Are” is known for its instantly recognizable opening riff, played on a bass guitar. Interestingly, it bears a resemblance to the riff from Killing Joke’s “Eighties.” The similarity was purely coincidental, and there was never a formal complaint or lawsuit.
Something In The Way
- The Homelessness Myth: There’s a myth that “Something In The Way” was inspired by the time Kurt Cobain spent homeless, sleeping under a bridge. However, this has been debunked by friends and family, stating it’s more of a metaphor for his troubled state of mind.
- Dedication to Family: Cobain mentioned in an interview that “All Apologies” was dedicated to his wife Courtney Love and their daughter Frances Bean. The song became even more poignant after his passing.
- Medical References: “Pennyroyal Tea” references a herbal remedy that is often associated with ancient abortion practices. Cobain uses this as a metaphor for cleansing one’s soul and dealing with personal issues.
- Based on a True Story: The lyrics of “Polly” were inspired by a true event where a 14-year-old girl was abducted and tortured after a concert in Tacoma, Washington, in 1987. Cobain’s lyrics are written from the perspective of the assailant, capturing the dark side of humanity.
The Man Who Sold The World
- Bowie’s Reaction: David Bowie was reportedly pleased with Nirvana’s cover of “The Man Who Sold The World.” He considered it a sign that his music could cross generational boundaries.
As we hit the final note, embrace the grunge spirit! Nirvana’s legacy continues to inspire.
Grab your acoustic guitar and let Kurt Cobain’s soulful voice guide your strings.
Thanks for reading.