If you’re a guitarist looking to expand your musical horizons, you should think about learning some Hindi music. This classification of music is quite broad, but much of modern Hindi music is mostly pop-oriented.
You’ll find that there are many elements of Western pop music at play. The following Hindi songs are some of the best to learn on the guitar, particularly because of their effective simplicity.
“Shayad” by Arijit Singh
Are you looking for the perfect heartfelt ballad to play on the guitar? Consider giving Arijit Singh’s Shayad a try!
This track comes from the 2020 film, Love Aaj. However, the song works quite well on its own, even without the context of the film.
Lyrically, Shayad touches on themes of unrequited love, which is something that everyone can relate to. If you’re feeling like you can’t go on without someone in particular, maybe singing Shayad to them will help.
You can play this song on the guitar quite easily and you’ll only need to know 6 chord shapes. When playing this song, it might be best to put a capo on the 1st fret.
Zehnaseeb by Chinmayi Sripada
Are you a fan of the 2014 film, Hasee Toh Phasee? This romantic comedy won the hearts of many, featuring standout roles by Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra.
If you’re into Bollywood music, you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the song Zehnaseeb. The song actually won the award for Song Of The Year at the Mirchi Music Awards.
Along with that, this song gave Chinmayi Sripada a nomination for Female Vocalist Of The Year.
This track is incredibly simple to play, especially because the original recording features prominent acoustic guitar. There are only 6 basic chords to worry about here, with only 1 barre chord being used.
Due to the pop nature of this track, it’s in your best interest to have a metronome playing along. This will give you the snapping percussion that plays throughout the song.
Galliyan by Ankit Tiwari
Ankit Tiwari was all the rage in 2014 with the song Galliyan. This song comes from the 2014 film, Villain, which was noted for being shot on a small budget.
Despite this fact, Villain would gross profits more than 3 times what it cost to make. Of course, having a stellar soundtrack played a big part in the film’s success.
Galliyan is a full-on pop song that starts out slightly mysteriously before the song kicks out the jams. In a lyrical sense, Galliyan is kind of a lonely song, though just about anyone can relate to it.
Playing Galliyan on the guitar is pretty simple, consisting of just 5 different chords. You may want to tune the guitar down a half pitch to E flat standard to match the recording.
Ankit Tiwari would end up winning 7 different awards for his performance on Galliyan. It really was one of the most popular songs of 2014.
Baarish by Ash King
There’s nothing quite like the inventiveness of romantic Bollywood films. The 2017 film, Half Girlfriend, based on the novel by Chetan Bhagat, is a classic example of this.
In some ways, it’s a study of how nobody is exempt from the pains of love. No matter how much you feel for someone else, you aren’t entitled to their love.
For those of you wondering, the film takes its name from a character offering to be another’s half-girlfriend. Any logical person could see that that is a sort of scenario that wouldn’t feel too great to be in.
Ash King’s song, Baarish, comes from this film. The song itself uses the imagery of rain to accentuate its lyrics of longing.
Baarish ended up being quite popular throughout 2017 and earned Ash King several nominations for Best Male Playback Singer.
Anyone can play this song on the guitar. It consists of the chords C, F, G, A minor, and E minor.
Tera Yaar Hoon Main by Arijit Singh
Arijit Singh is truly a treasure when it comes to Hindi music. Many consider him one of the greatest of modern times, which is why you’ve seen his music featured here.
It’s not uncommon for Arijit Singh’s music to find its way into films. His music often plays a vital role in the overall success that a film achieves.
A classic example of this can be seen in the 2018 film, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. This film topped the box office in terms of overall profits upon its release.
As you might suspect, Arijit Singh’s music did have a role to play with the song Tera Yaar Hoon Main. The song did give Singh a nomination for Best Male Playback Singer in 2019.
Tera Yaar Hoon Main is a pop song by most standards, which incorporates chill vibes with interesting orchestration. At times, there almost seem to be musical passages that emulate pedal steel guitars heard in country music.
You can easily play Tera Yaar Hoon Main on the guitar if you’re okay with a stripped-down sound. The song does utilize 7 different chords, but these can all be played in standard, open positions.
To match the song as it is in the recording, you’ll want to place a capo on the 3rd fret.
Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai by Krishnakumar Kunnath (KK)
When it comes to Hindi artists, few have had the modern legacy that Krishnakumar Kunnath (known as KK) achieved. Many people regard KK as one of the best Hindi singers of the last 30 years.
Most of his work has been featured in films as KK is primarily a playback singer. One of his classic tracks is the song, Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai, from the film, Gangster: A Love Story.
The film was pretty noteworthy when it was released and gained pretty widespread acclaim. It is perhaps best known for being the on-screen debut of actress Kangana Ranaut, for which she won many awards.
KK was nominated several times for his work on Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai but unfortunately didn’t take anything home. Nevertheless, it still remains a great song to listen to at any time.
What is perhaps even more unfortunate is that KK passed away in the spring of 2022.
You can choose to honor his memory by learning Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai on the guitar. The only chords you need to know are A minor, E minor, F, G, and D.
If you’ve never heard the song, you might notice KK changes the tonality in which he sings a few times. However, he always seems to return back to the chorus chant of “Oh’s” pervading throughout the song.
Jeena Jeena by Atif Aslam
Atif Aslam is a highly distinguished Pakistani singer who has had hits in both Pakistan and India. He’s even been recognized by the government of Pakistan for his artistic contributions to the musical world.
Since 2000, Aslam has been steadily producing music, though it wasn’t until 2011 that he began to contribute to films. He’s not only provided music but has gone on to have a starring acting role in many different movies.
When 2015 rolled around, the world was taken by storm by Atif Aslam’s song, Jeena Jeena. This song was featured in the film, Badlapur, which was received quite favorably by critics and film fans.
Due to the success of the film, Jeena Jeena became one of the most popular songs of that year. Aslam even received a nomination for Best Playback Singer for the song.
Jeena Jeena is a true love song through and through. The lyrics tell a tale of somebody who found themselves because of the love they have for someone else.
In some ways, Jeena Jeena is another song touching on the theme that love can complete somebody’s life. Many people can relate to these lyrics, as just about everybody wants this for their own life.
Jeena Jeena is an excellent song to learn on guitar, primarily because it is driven by vocals. Light acoustic guitar accompanies the vocals, providing a soft touch to the song’s gentle sound.
If you want to declare your love for somebody, consider learning this song. You will need to utilize some major and minor barre chords to play it properly.
Phir Mohabbat by Arijit Singh
Are you familiar with the popular Murder film series? If you saw the 2nd film, you’re probably familiar with the song, Phir Mohabbat.
This 2011 track is quite notable for a number of different reasons. The first reason is that this song is Arijit Singh’s debut in providing songs for Bollywood films.
Another is the fact that the song was musically composed by Mithoon, a well-known film score composer. The song features simplistic, downbeat stylings with tasteful arpeggiated runs.
In many ways, Phir Mohabbat allows for Arijit Singh’s voice to really shine in his full vocal range. The song’s mysterious sound is the perfect platform to sing about heartbreak.
Phir Mohabbat didn’t exactly have the success that Singh’s other work achieved. However, it did set the stage for a long and fortuitous career filled with accolades every step of the way.
If you’re okay with a more simplistic version of the song, Phir Mohabbat is great to learn on the guitar. Compared to other songs, this song is ideal for a stripped-down acoustic take, particularly because of its subtle sound.
In fact, Phir Mohabbat tends to be one of the most popular songs for musicians to do acoustic cover versions. It’s easy to see why this song is so highly regarded, especially considering how easy it is to play.
You’ll need a capo on the 1st fret. From here, you’ll be utilizing the open chord shapes of A minor, E minor, F, and G.
However, if you wanted to, you could easily play the song without a capo by utilizing barre chord shapes. Just remember where the capo would be and use it for the basis of your index finger positioning.
O Sanam by Lucky Ali
Most of the songs that have been featured on this list have all been somewhat recent releases. The singers who have been featured have undoubtedly been inspired by those who came before them.
One of the most influential Hindi singers of all time is Lucky Ali. He rose to prominence in the 1990s, despite having been contributing songs to films since the late 70s.
The 1996 album, Sunoh, put Lucky Ali on the map as an international superstar. This album remains one of the best Hindi albums of the 90s.
In fact, Lucky Ali managed to win the award for Best Male Vocalist after the album was released. This would only be the beginning of what would become a long and successful career for Lucky Ali.
He continues to be a presence in the industry as he regularly contributes music and occasionally has an acting role.
One of the best songs from Lucky Ali’s debut album is the track, O Sanam. This song has a gentleness that rivals many famous international pop hits of the late 80s and early 90s.
You’re definitely in luck if you want to learn this timeless Lucky Ali classic. The song does feature a prominent acoustic guitar that is lightly strummed throughout.
O Sanam’s chord progression utilizes chords that are all played in open positions. There are only 5 chords here, with one chord being a dominant 7 variation.
If you need to have a tapestry of subtle electronic percussion, consider utilizing a metronome or a simple drum machine.
With songs like this, it’s a safe bet that Lucky Ali inspired the Hindi singers that are so highly regarded and popular today.
Top Hindi Songs On Guitar, Final Thoughts
It just goes to show that pop music certainly knows no borders. Regardless of if they were recorded for films, or released independently, Hindi songs can become massive hits.
You might have been pleasantly surprised that Hindi music isn’t only comprised of sitar ragas as you might have thought. Learn a few of these today and become familiar with the melodies that exist deep within Hindi culture.
It might just provide the certain bit of spice you didn’t know your life needed.
Side note, do you want to learn to play guitar songs the easy way? Learn how here – results are guaranteed!