Ever have kids around you when you have the you can play to make them happy? Don't fret. Here are the top 20 best for kids that you can play on the to make kids happy., and wondered what
So as some of you might have read already about my summer in an Austin Texas summer camp where I worked as a musical director and leader. I always loved being around kids, but now I also received the experience of how to use the —and sometimes the —to put a smile on children's faces, and I am happy to share it with anyone who's interested! Below are some of the fun songs that I used during that summer and I found out that kids enjoyed the most. Enjoy!
Click on the name of the Ultimate sheets page. to be linked to the
Top 20 – The Best Songs For Kids That You Can Play On Guitar
20 – Bill Haley – Rock Around The Clock (1956) (Click On The Name Of The Song For Chord Sheets)
Just be careful not to fumble your tongue with the quick , but kids it! Teach them the and challenge them to sing it fast enough like the original. It's also very fun to play on the and with the too.
19 – Bastille – Pompeii
Bastille's Pompeii is a to play with kids around. This has a catchy beat. You can also teach the kids the “Eh-eh-oh, eh-oh” part of the so they can sing along. In my experience, kids that part.
18 – Van Morrisson – Brown Eyed Girl (1967)
Kids just the “sha-la-la” part, and I just find the harmonic here very pleasurable, which is what probably makes this so likable besides the sweet . Especially liked by brown-eyed girls…
17 – Randy Newman – You've Got A Friend In Me (Toy Story) (1995)
This beautiful Disney song reminds people of Toy Story and immediately puts a smile on their faces… it! This is also an to learn so kids singing this.
Check out this beautiful cover here by OrtoPilot that will show you a great way you can play it on the .
Also, here's a gorgeous piano version played live by Randy Newman at a Jazz festival in Germany in 2006.
16 – Bobby McFerrin – Don't Worry Be Happy (1988)
If you know and love to whistle while playing a guitar song or accompany any song with a whistle, then you should definitely have to play Booby McFerrin's Don't Worry Be Happy song with the kids. This one is also a and a great example of fine whistling, so try to teach the kids to whistle this solo! If you have kids in the group that knows how to whistle, let them whistle while you play and sing the .
15 – Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama (1974)
No matter in which state you are in, people just to sing along to an just like Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama.
14 – American Authors – Best Day Of My Life (2013)
This is kinda silly and I can't say that this is my favorite on the list – but the kids will keep asking for this . So make sure to include this in your repertoire when you sing with the kids.
13 – Miley Cyrus – Party In The USA (2010)
This one I found to be a big favorite amongst early teens, like 9-13-year-olds. This is not an as is a bit tricky and involves a lot of muting so listen to the original to figure it out and practice, practice, practice. Once you get it under control, it is entertaining to play this !
12 – Ben E. King – Stand By Me (1960)
I play Ben King's Stand By Me, especially when everybody is in a super-friendly mood.
And check out this awesome Rolling Stone article: 20 Best Covers Of “Stand By Me”!
Apparently, among those who covered this hit are John Lennon, Muhammad Ali (yes!), Otis Redding, U2, and even the popular Disney icons: Timon & Pumba, and others.
11 – You Are My Sunshine
An American classic. When you start playing the ‘s , the kids usually yell “hey! My mom sings that to me every night when I go to bed”… And adults like it too just as much! I playing this with my . If you have both kids and adults in the group, I usually play this .
10 – Elton John – Can You Feel The Love Tonight (1997)
If you Disney songs, then a Lion King should be part of your playlist, especially with kids around. A close to my heart is Can You Feel The Tonight. This is good to the ears of both kids and even to the adults who have seen The Lion King in their younger years. It brings back happy memories indeed.
9 – Outkast – Hey Ya (2003)
Bring out your and let's play Hey Ya. Don't forget to clap at the beginning! (-:
8 – John Denver – Country Roads (1975)
I like to play it as a mix between the original version and this modern version by Hermes House Band. This is a . for your
7 – Anna Kendrick – The Cups Song (2012)
Kids go crazy with The Cups . Teach them how to actually play it with cups and the boys and girls will be happy and keep bragging about it for 2 weeks straight! Before you introduce this to the kids, spend some time practicing the ‘s clap and cup segment so the kids can participate. This can also be an instant bonding session with the group.
This is a superb cover of it by 4 very talented young people!
6 – Smashmouth – Allstar (2001)
I think this is a in my generation but kids it and can still jam with the beat. This is a great way to introduce not-so-modern to younger generations. Smashmouth's Allstar is one of the to learn and play with the . Trust me, you won't regret it if you know how to sing and play this .
5 – Bill Withers – Lean On Me (1972)
Another one for the friendly times! “Playing For Change” recently did a BEAUTIFUL cover of it that ranges over about 15 countries. If you don't know them and what they're about – check it out right here, and you're also welcome to check out: Top 7 “Playing For Change” Epic Street Covers From Around The World.
4 – Train – Hey Soul Sister (2010)
Hey Soul Sister is a to sing and dance along to! Voice-wise, it can be very challenging to sing like the original. When it's on the key of C, notice the capo on 4, and some of you may have to put it even higher. For my voice it somehow felt best with the capo on 8, so feel free to play around.
3 – Bob Marley – One Love, and all the rest of his more upbeat songs!
Are you a Bob Marley fan? Then you should not forget One in your repertoire. A lot of Bob Marley songs just seem like they were naturally written for kids when you come to think of it. So take advantage and make the children happy with his great repertoire! This is also a great way to introduce this to the young audience.
2 – Taylor Swift – Shake It Off (2014)
Speaking of a younger audience, you might want to include songs from modern artists in your repertoire. Here comes Taylor Swift to the rescue. It might feel a bit silly to play and sing, but give it a chance! I fell for it too and I am certainly not a Taylor Swift fan. AND can't argue with the fact that it's a smashing hit and will probably continue to be loved among youngsters.
Make sure to not show them the video which is not really appropriate for kids.
By the way – check out this bluesy and soulful cover of Shake It Off by an extremely talented player.
1 – Katy Perry – Firework, Roar (2010, 2013)
Another is from Katy Perry. Yes, you might not like Katy Perry, but she's probably the number one star among kids in America. If you want to create a real dynamite effect with children – mash up these two hits by her, they are both in the key of G so it sounds natural. The end of the chorus is a good mashup point. Be sure there is enough space for them in the room to dance and go crazy in…
This is one of my favorite classic songs. It's a , with , and a for kids and adults alike. This is also a fun and great way to teach to kids, especially those who are not musically inclined or are not familiar with Do-Re-Mi. This is also a perfect way to expose the kids to the treasures of classic .
Brave, by Sara Bareilles
I think Brave by Sara Bareilles is one of my favorite songs that the kids will . This is one of the with you can learn to play with your . Although I'm really not an avid Sara fan, I believe the kids will appreciate it if you add her songs to your repertoire.
Most of the time, any other current top 40 hits (which is kids-appropriate) can also be a great idea since the kids will mostly know these songs.
I really like how the list turned out to have songs from as early as 60 years ago. (Stand By Me) Kids can appreciate good songs too and not just MTV hits, so give them a try, and have fun! If you are willing, your or the is a very powerful tool that will let you spread and smiles, and bring happiness to other lives as well as yours.
Whatever teach them to play the guitar or the ukulele. you play with the kids, it's important to have fun and as much as possible include them in the singing. Teach them the for them to sing along, provide props like cups, let them clap or tap to the beat, or let them play their musical instruments with you. And if you have the time, you can also
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