Air guitar: It’s one of the world’s greatest pastimes. It doesn’t really matter how you play. It doesn’t matter what you air guitar to. The only thing that matters is that when you air guitar, you rock hard.
That being said: If you’re going to break out the air guitar, these are the songs you should be strumming along to.
1. AC/DC, “You Shook Me All Night Long”
First on this list for alphabetical reasons. Would be top 5 even if it was a non-alphabetical ranking.
2. Arcade Fire, “Wake Up”
Goodness, that opening riff.
3. The Black Crowes, “She Talks To Angels”
Proof that acoustic songs can be great air guitar material, too.
4. The Black Keys, “10 A.M. Automatic”
Wait ‘till the solo comes, and go nuts.
5. Black Sabbath, “War Pigs”
Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
6. Bon Jovi, “Wanted Dead Or Alive”
Perfect for air guitaring while pretending like you’re holding a Richie Sambora double-necked guitar.
7. Boston, “More Than A Feeling”
As good an air guitar song as they come.
8. Bruce Springsteen, “Glory Days”
You air guitared to this song at your third grade sock hop, and it hasn’t gotten old since.
10. Cream, “Sunshine Of Your Love”
Nobody writes an air guitar-able riff like Clapton. Nobody.
11. The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”
12. Dire Straits, “Sultans of Swing”
That end solo: That’s your moment.
13. Dispatch, “The General”
You air guitared to this on the way to lacrosse practice, and you’re not ashamed to admit it.
14. Eagle-Eye Cherry, “Save Tonight”
You’re laughing, but pump this one right now and try to resist the rhythm guitar part.
16. Guns ‘n Roses, “Paradise City”
The end solo is about as fast as one can humanly air guitar.
17. Heart, “Crazy On You”
18. The Hives, “Hate To Say I Told You So”
Those Swedes know how to write an air guitar-friendly riff.
19. Jackson 5, “I Want You Back”
You’re skeptical, but turn this on and watch your hands. It’s a weirdly excellent song to air guitar to.
20. Jimi Hendrix, “Purple Haze”
It’s Jimi. Does anything more need to be said?
21. Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin’”
You are air guitaring. You are screaming out Steve Perry lyrics. For the first time in your life, you are alive.
22. Kenny Loggins, “Danger Zone”
If this song doesn’t make you want to strap on a flight suit and go air guitaring around your house, something might be wrong with you.
23. Led Zeppelin, “Kashmir”
Prepare your fingers for all those DAH NAH NAHs and DO DO DOs.
24. Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Free Bird”
Did you really think we weren’t going to include “Free Bird”?
25. The Meters, “Cissy Strut”
Funk works just fine on air guitar, too.
26. Michael Jackson, “Beat It”
Bonus points if you can do that Van Halen solo while moving your hips like Michael.
27. Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
28. Pearl Jam, “Alive”
Go and wail on those first few bars.
29. Pink Floyd, “Wish You Were Here”
The mellow air guitar song you played in your room while wooing that drunk Theta sophomore year.
30. Queen, “Fat Bottomed Girls”
When that first Brian May lick comes in, just start swinging your arms like a maniac.
31. Radiohead, “Paranoid Android”
Just make sure you wait until it hits that second level.
32. Rage Against The Machine, “Bulls on Parade”
Even on air guitar, this song somehow gets loud.
33. The Ramones, “Blitzkreig Bop”
The key here: Just strum as fast as your arms will go.
34. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
So many amazing Stones riffs to choose from, but there’s something especially perfect about this track.
35. Sonic Youth, “Teenage Riot”
When the song picks up about a minute in, just let the rhythm take over.
36. Spin Doctors, “Two Princes”
Another ’90s rhythm guitar part you literally cannot resist.
37. Stevie Ray Vaughan, “Pride and Joy”
Blues sounds perfect on your air Strat.
38. The Supremes, “You Keep Me Hanging On”
Get that rhythm air guitar going, and let Diana and the ladies take care of the rest.
39. Thin Lizzy, “The Boys Are Back In Town”
The solo. The other solo. The everything. Perfect, forever and always.