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By Rhys Lett

David Bowie – 10 Must Learn Songs on Guitar

David Bowie touched on every musical style and instrument in his 50 years making music. In wake of his recent passing, we look back at the Bowie songs that guitarists will love and should learn. Bowie recorded many guitar parts himself as well as hiring the best of the best. Guitarists such as Mick Ronson, Adrian Belew, Carlos Alomar, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Reeves Gabrels and Gerry Leonard added the guitar textures to Bowie’s innovative music.

Have a listen to the following David Bowie songs. I hope they inspire you to want to pick up a guitar and play along. Listed is the song title and the album you will find the song.

Space Oddity – David Bowie

As well as the amazing jazz based chord progression is the guitar solo to learn.

Jean Genie – Aladdin Sane

Taking a common rhythm guitar part Bowie brings the blues to glam rock.

Rebel Rebel – Diamond Dogs

The riff cracks the song open. The chords are simple. Its all in the attitude of how you play them.

Diamond Dogs – Diamond Dogs

Bowie played all the guitars on this track and the album it titles. The intro guitar bends are full of attitude. The Rolling Stones styled rhythm guitar parts interplay.


Pretty Things Are Going to Hell

Hours is my least favourite Bowie album. Without fail he would deliver at least one classic tune per album. This has a ripper guitar riff to get your fingers around.

Let’s Dance

Blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan lays great solo licks over the top of this 80s classic. Funk icon Nile Rodgers provides the rhythm guitar. The sound was often replicated by other artists through the 80s.

Hang On To Yourself

Bowie invents punk with guitarist Mick Ronson. Just a rib cracking exercise in how to play power chords in rock.

Fame – Young Americans

With many guitar lines to chose from. The funk picking that is different in the left and right speakers or the overdriven lead laying over the top. This song is co-written by John Lennon. They used the funky Carlos Alomar guitar riffs to propel the song.


Suffragette City – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust

Another hard charging power chord boogie from the Spiders From Mars band.