For school I need to choose a song from a musical (whether it be a movie or play) to perform. I however, don't watch musicals, and as such don't know where to look. I'd like to be able to find a song that I can arrange for acoustic guitar, incorporating the melody, bass and whatnot in a contemporary style (think andy mckee's cover of everybody wants to rule the world, and Mike Dawes cover of Somebody that I used to know). Do you guys know of any songs from any musical that I could arrange for this style, finding one has been hard as most musical numbers really don't lend themselves to acoustic guitar. And much to my disappointment, I am not allowed to play any of the songs from the South Park movie
I can't think of anything that fits that brief. If it were me I would probably attempt Mack the Knife from the Threepenny Opera. It's been well covered but an acoustic arrangement would be cool and it's a great song.
Quote by Sean0913



Nice song, but it has to be from a musical, the song can't just be a part of any soundtrack, if that were the case I would have plenty to choose from.
ALL musical numbers (tunes) can lend themselves to acoustic guitar...
Just look at the two shining examples you listed with McKee and Dawes.
It's only because they have been written that you now "know" that they lend themselves to acoustic arrangement... hind sight is always 20/20!

Why can't you use something like "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" by Elton John from The Lion King?, it's a song... and fairly straight forward if that. Perhaps it might not be the "song" itself you are looking for... but more that you might be apprehensive about having to transcribe to acoustic guitar? idk

Perhaps (whilst keeping a song you've selected in the forefront of your mind), watch a whole bunch of youtube clips of Mckee and Dawes (and who ever else you find) and check what they're doing in their arrangements, but more importantly look at "why" they came to use those particular arrangements.

I'm guessing, the scope of the guitar and it's limitations has basically "dictated" their arrangements as being the "best fit" for their styles, and it would likely be similar for most songs being transcribed to that style... and if anything, I would look at that, as being your biggest advantage!

Just make sure that once you've found your chosen song, and while still figuring things out, that you kind of rush through all the necessary changes and melodies fairly quickly, as a sort of draft copy, to discover the "best key fit" for all the relevant changes in the song, to fit the overall scope and limits the guitar has on offer.

...and don't be afraid to sharpen (or flatten) a string (or two??) if that makes it easier to complete all the parts of your chosen tune, and maybe play certain melody notes in a different octave, that couldn't otherwise be achieved because your hand won't stretch that far (it should still sound okay):

for example:
B|-------------------------3--<15>--|... or whatever?
*(normal tap using right hand)
<> Tapped harmonic (12 frets above lower note).

Silly example (and no stretch involved) I know, it was just to illustrate examples for what I was trying to say about using octaves (or whatever!) for when you can't stretch.

The choices are endless and the sky's the limit!

Good luck!

v edit: oops! perhaps I may have misunderstood the question also?? but I was using The Lion King as an example like South Park...
Last edited by tonibet72 at May 15, 2014,
Are Disney songs considered as musical songs?

They are essentially the same concept, except that it's drawed in comics.

Anyway, few years ago I arranged 2 songs from Alladin for acoustic guitar.

This one in particular was very fun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcTC7RkmHac

It lends itself extremely well to the "boom chick" playing like Tommy Emmanuel does it for acoustic guitar, and has nice seventh harmonies.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at May 16, 2014,
Is Moulin Rouge a musical? There's a lot of contemporary music in that movie.
Grease is also a good option.
A few that come to mind.

From "Jesus Christ Superstar": Pilates Dream, Everythings Alright, I dont know how to love him, The Last Supper (a big part of it atleast). That are songs that already feature acoustic guitars though.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

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Last edited by Sickz at May 16, 2014,
Some cool suggestions, as for Disney movies I might be able to, but I'm not quite sure, I'll have to find out.