While hanging around the GrooveVolt office during happy hour, we had a contentious argument concerning what the best acoustic songs of all time are. After much debate, we decided that these are THE best acoustic instrumentals of all time.
1) The Ocean - John Butler
Australian Musician, John Butler, came up with this improvisation whilst busking in Fremantle. Since no version of this song is the same, we chose the “Max Sessions” version because we believe it to be the most cohesive, and action packed. This is guaranteed to give you the chills.
2) Ritual Dance - Michael Hedges
Michael Hedges is one of the greatest innovators of acoustic finger style and tapping. This 1990 Bottom Line performance embodies how he was able to spiritually channel the music to express his emotion.
3) White Summer/Black Mountainside - Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page’s White Summer/Black Mountainside, for us at GrooveVolt, is one of the most defining acoustic songs of Led Zeppelin. Page took the inspiration for the main riff from Bert Jansch’s "Black Waterside," however he turned into an epic instrumental that has certainly stood the test of time.
4) Pictures at an Exhibition - (transcribed by) Kazuhito Yamashita
Pictures at an Exhibition is a ten movement suite composed by Modest Mussorgsky - of the Mighty Handful - in 1874. Kazuhito Yamashita transcribed this epic piece for guitar...somehow. Start at 7:05 for the meat of the piece.
5) Knock on Wood - Justin King
Tapping extraordinaire, Justin King, came out with this song a few years back. Even though we’ve heard it dozens of times over the years, it still displays a wonderful technical prowess for finger style guitar, while maintaining a lighthearted beauty which most acoustic songs lack.