Every season there are a few talent shows on TV. If you’re contemplating about going out on a stage with nothing but a guitar and your own voice, you also may wonder what song to choose to play.
In my opinion, the crucial thing is to balance a good sing-a-long song that has its guitar parts. The key is to have your guitar not just as an accompaniment to your voice, but to show both guitar playing and your voice in the spotlight.
With that in mind, I chose 15 great songs that emphasize these two factors. In my opinion, these are great openers for a talent show.
Let’s go through each of these.
1. Tears In Heaven by Eric Clapton
Tears in heaven is one of the perfect songs to sing along with your guitar on a talent show. It’s emotional, catchy, so the audience can sing along, and the most important – it has it’s iconic opening riff.
Not only that, but throughout the whole song you can improvise with chords at the same time when you’re singing.
Try it for yourself. Imagine you’re standing in front of the jury and the audience and play it and sing along. Sounds good and powerful, doesn’t it?
2. More Than Words by Extreme
The whole arrangement of this song consists of nothing more than a guitar and two voices.
This song is perfect for a duet on a talent show. It has a recognizable intro, and also it’s great for a two-vocal harmony.
The fact that this song consists only of the voice and the acoustic guitar emphasizes the guitar alone. Therefore, the balance is here. Guitar + vocal harmonies = success on a talent show!
3. Love Yourself by Justin Bieber
This song is great for a talent show for a few basic reasons.
First, the youngsters, that make the big part of the audience, know this song word by word. So, you can expect singing along – and that’s what you’re looking for!
Second, it has a recognizable guitar riff. If played properly, it will show your playing skill. Add to that a singing voice, and you’ll certainly made audience and jury go crazy!
4. While My Guitar Gently Weeps by The Beatles
You can’t miss with The Beatles. Everyone knows this classic, both young and old people watching talent show.
One reason why this song is perfect for a talent show is the fact the song is very introspective. Just listen to the lyrics. Therefore, by playing it and singing along, you’re showing the audience your inner self.
And both the jury and the audience are looking for an authentic artist to come out at the stage. That’s why this song is a way to go, when it comes to talent shows!
5. Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles
Again, you can’t miss an opportunity with The Beatles!
Here comes the sun is very catchy, light hearted and positive. The audience loves positive vibrations, and you’ll certainly bring it with this song.
Here comes the sun also has its iconic acoustic riff at the beginning, and also interesting guitar parts after the chorus. So, to conclude, this song is both catchy and it brings out your guitar playing skills.
That’s the perfect balance we talked about at the beginning.
6. Why Worry by Dire Straits
If you’re introverted type of guy (or a girl), but at the same time you want to show your true soul to the audience, this song is perfect.
Why worry is a perfect, positive and catchy song. It also demands a certain skill level at guitar playing. After all, we’re talking about legendary Mark Knopfler here!
Anyway, this is another example of the perfect balance between singing and playing. You can bet the jury and the audience will like it a lot!
7. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp by Led Zeppelin
If you have a wild side in yourself that desperately wants to go out and make a show, this is a perfect song for you.
It’s wild, upbeat and it requires a high vocal skills to sing it properly.
Also, it has a specific guitar melodies, and strumming techniques in itself. In other words, when you sing and play this song properly in front of the jury and the audience, you can bet it will show you as a both great guitarist and a great vocalist.
8. I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons
Although the original arrangement of this song includes various instruments, such as banjo, it still is a great song to play and sing on a talent show.
Also, with this song you’re appealing to the younger crowd, because this is a modern pop-folk acoustic hit.
Besides that, to play it properly, one has to employ advanced strumming technique to his playing.
9. The River by Bruce Springsteen
This one’s perfect if you’d like to use a harmonica along with a guitar. It’s typical singer-songwriter classic.
It’s an emotional, melodic song that’s great not only for gentle playing but also for vocal improvisations.
10. If Tomorrow Never Comes by Garth Brooks
Pop country ballad is always a good choice for a talent show performance. Especially with a guitar. This one’s a classic.
If you’re really confident with your voice, this one’s for you. Add a guitar to the equation and you’ll quickly won over the audience hearts.
11. God’s Gonna Cut You Down by Johnny Cash
Everyone loves Johnny Cash. Not only he was a great singer and songwriter, but his interpretations were also a part of his image.
This one includes an ominous guitar intro with dark and deep lyric lines that cut through the heart of every listener.
Again, this is not for anyone. If you’re feeling confident enough with your voice interpretation and your guitar playing, you can’t miss with this one!
12. Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver
Good thing about this classic song is that everyone, young and old, knows this song word by word.
There comes your ability for making a show, bringing the atmosphere and appeal to the audience. That’s why this song is a great test of your ability as a live performer, in general.
13. Heart Of Gold by Neil Diamond
Just like The River, this song starts with its iconic harmonica part, accompanied with a guitar playing.
It takes a lot of courage and confidence to bring out the best of yourself with this song. That’s what makes it a great choice for a talent show performance.
14. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
Great thing about this rock classic is that it leaves room for guitar improvisations.
You can improvise your playing however you want when playing this one, especially the iconic intro this song has.
Also, its lyrics are very emotional and melodic, so it’s a test for your vocal abilities, too.
15. Patience by Guns ‘n’ Roses
Glam rock acoustic ballads are perfect for every occasion, and especially for a talent show performance.
Especially if you like to cultivate an image of yourself as a gentle soul rocker. You can bet the feedback from the audience will be a positive one, if you play and sing this song.
Going out on a stage of a talent show in front of the audience and the jury takes a lot of courage.
Once you’re determined to make that step, choosing an opening song is crucial for your success.
Opening song should represent you who you are truly, and therefore, you’ll have to think wisely about which song you choose.
I hope this article provided you some good ideas for this purpose. If it helped you in deciding, I’m more than happy about it!
Don’t forget to check out some other interesting articles from this site about various guitar topics and issues!
Cheers, and rock on!