First up - I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day. I'm still not convinced it wasn't created by an enterprising chocolate and flowers salesperson.
But it's great opportunity for you to show your affection for that special someone (whether that be your partner, family member or pet) without:
- Going shopping for jewellery
- Having chocolates melt in your car on the way home
- Getting in a nasty round of fisticuffs with your old neighbour whose flowers you casually nicked
and that is - play them a song!
Some of the typical 'love' songs are quite easy and fun to play.
In no particular order, here's my pick of 5 great ones to learn:
#1 The Girl from Ipanema (Jobim, de Moraes & Gimbel)
If you can sing this in Portuguese, you'll never need another love song again.
Even if you can't sing, this pretty little song isn't all that tricky to play, despite a few scary looking jazz chords.
The best part about this one is you can play it on any acoustic, fingerstyle, and it'll sound great - the pattern just alternates between your P (thumb) and I M A together (index, middle and ring fingers) - without needing a full band or an amp.
Added bonus - there are fully English lyrics available, and even a version called 'The Boy from Ipanema' if your significant other doesn't like all the girl references!
#2 Nothing Else Matters (Metallica)
Even metal bands have love songs!
Again, a nice slow acoustic ballad, this one sounds best played with fingers.
Even though the intro and main verse variations can be a little bit fiddly, it's entirely possible to play 90% of this song with the initial opening arpeggio (just a few open strings) and Em, D, C, G, A and B7 as open chords.
#3 Iris (Goo Goo Dolls)
I have to include this one as it's the only song that Kat's asked me to play for her, back when we first started going out (since then I'm more commonly told to put the guitar down).
This song is dead easy to play, with one catch - it's originally played in D Standard Tuning, which means you've got to drop every string by a tone (supposedly it was originally played in BDDDDD tuning, but let's not put our guitars through that pain).
Of course, you could always just play it in standard tuning, but it might make the song a little harder for your Valentine to recognise.
#4 I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (The Ramones)
For those who don't like traditional guitar ballads, this punk classic is good fun to play (and only requires a couple of power chords).
Again, this is an easy one to swap the gender for if you want to sing along.
As an added bonus, if you learn one Ramones song, you've pretty much learnt all of them - so you can easily get on a roll and play through their entire discography if you're having too much fun with this one!
#5 Thru The Eyes of Ruby (Smashing Pumpkins)
This last one is one of my all time favourite songs.
It's great because it moves between light and shade, takes you on a journey and is still quite pretty to listen to.
Great to play on an electric with pedals to get the atmospheric tone and then the crunchy distortion.
What songs are you going to play for your Valentine? Let us know in the comments!