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Best Songs By Buddy Holly
On The Acoustic

best songs by buddy holly

Welcome back to my best songs by Buddy Holly page! In this section, I'm excited to bring you lessons for more of Buddy Holly's beloved hits, including "Peggy Sue," "Tell Me How," and "True Love Ways."

My video demos, chord sheets, and rhythm tips are designed to help you play these songs with confidence and style. Whether you're looking to impress your friends or just enjoy playing these classics, my resources will guide you every step of the way. For those seeking a comprehensive learning experience, I also offer detailed lesson tutorials for a small purchase fee. Let’s continue our musical journey with Buddy Holly!

Overview Video Of Buddy Holly Songs

--->Best Of Buddy Holly Songs (9 more)

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Best Songs By Buddy Holly
Chords, Lyrics, Demos, Tutorials

1. Oh Boy

oh boy buddy holly

Oh Boy was recorded by Buddy Holly and the Crickets in 1957. Written by Sonny West, Bill Tilghman, and Norman Petty, it showcases Holly's vocals and the Crickets' rock and roll style.

Recorded in Clovis, New Mexico, during the same session as "Not Fade Away," the track features Holly on vocals and guitar, along with the Crickets. Released as a single in 1958, it reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the UK Singles Chart.

The lyrics express excitement about being with a lover, with a catchy melody and upbeat tempo that made it a hit. "Oh Boy" is a classic example of Buddy Holly's early rock and roll sound, loved by fans of the genre.

I play this one in Drop D Tuning and a capo 2nd fret with a steady down up stop up down up stop up rhythm pattern. A little picking required with the chords G, C, D and C7.

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2. Peggy Sue

buddy holly peggy sue

Peggy Sue is a classic rock and roll song recorded by Buddy Holly and his band, the Crickets, in 1957. Written by Holly, Jerry Allison, and Norman Petty, it was named after Allison's girlfriend.

Inspired by Eddie Cochran's song "Cindy Lou," Holly and Allison decided to write their own version about Peggy Sue. Recorded in Clovis, New Mexico, the song only took two takes to complete.

Released on September 20, 1957, it quickly became a hit, reaching number three on the Billboard Top 100 chart. Known for its catchy melody and simple lyrics, "Peggy Sue" helped establish Buddy Holly as a major figure in early rock and roll.

Holly later wrote a sequel called "Peggy Sue Got Married," featured in the 1986 film of the same name.

This one has a steady down up down up down up all the way through the song in standard tuning with a few rhythm chops. The chords are A, D, E and an F.

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3. Rave On

rave on buddy holly

Rave On also hails from the "Buddy Holly" album of 1958 and the song was released as a single, peaking at #12 in Canada,  #37 in the US and #5 in the UK. The title for the song came from a Carl Perkins song Dixie Fried which used the lyrics Rave On.

Sonny West, the writer of the song, also recorded a version a few months before Buddy recorded it. On the 2004 best 500 songs of all time from Rolling Stone, the song ranked #154.

Artists who have covered this song through the years include, Joe Meek, John Mellencamp, The Real Kids, Half Japanese, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band,  Steeleye Span, M. Ward, Denny Laine, Julian Casablancas and Cliff Richard.

Play this in standard tuning with the chords G, G7, C and D with a down up down up and repeat rhythm pattern with a few chops in the chorus. A bit of picking blended into the rhythm in this one.

Chords & Lyrics


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4. Reminiscing

songs from buddy holly

Reminiscing is a song written by King Curtis and recorded by Buddy Holly in 1958, but it wasn't released until 1963, five years after Holly's death. It appeared on the posthumous album "Reminiscing," a collection of previously unreleased recordings and demos.

Recorded at Decca Records studios in New York City, the song features Holly on vocals and guitar, with backing vocals by The Picks and additional instrumentation by studio musicians. The lyrics are nostalgic and romantic, expressing longing for past times.

Despite its delayed release, "Reminiscing" has become a beloved song among Holly's fans and has been covered by artists like The Everly Brothers and Linda Ronstadt. It reached #17 in the UK, making it a great starting point for learning to strum Buddy Holly's music.

I play this in Drop D Tuning and a capo 2nd if the original key but capos are always optional. You can play all down strokes or use a down up down up and repeat rhythm pattern. A, D and G with some lead will get you through this lesson.

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5. Rockin Around With Ollie Vee

buddy holly and waylon jennings

Rockin' Around With Ollie Vee was written and recorded by Buddy Holly in 1956 and released as a single in 1957 from his album "That'll Be The Day." Produced by Norman Petty, the song features Holly on vocals and guitar, backed by the Crickets.

With a classic rockabilly feel, it has a driving beat and catchy guitar riff. The lyrics tell of the narrator enjoying time with his friend Ollie Vee.

Though it didn't chart on the Billboard Hot 100, it's loved by fans and showcases Holly's early rock and roll style. While Holly went on to record many more successful songs, "Rockin' Around With Ollie Vee" remains a key part of his legacy as a rockabilly pioneer. It's a great song to explore Buddy Holly's vintage guitar techniques.

Played in standard tuning with the chords A, A7, D, Cdim and an E will work here. Lead work in this one playing a steady down up down up rhythm pattern.

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6. Tell Me How


Tell Me How can be found on Buddy Holly's first studio album "The "Chirping" Crickets" which was released in 1957. The song was written by Buddy Holly and did not chart on the US Billboard Hot 100.

The song is a love ballad in which the singer asks his love interest to tell him how he can make her love him, and promises to do whatever it takes to make her happy.

There was no official music video created for this song.

This one has the four chords A, D, E and a Gb in standard tuning. The rhythm pattern is a down up down up and repeat with some down-strokes  and a few picking riffs blended in for good measure.

Chords & Lyrics


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7. That'll Be The Day ... here!

8. Think It Over


Think It Over is a song on Buddy Holly's second studio album "Buddy Holly" which was released in 1958.

The track was written by Buddy Holly and Norman Petty and reached number 27 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1958.

The song is about a man pleading with his lover to give their relationship a second chance after an argument, and assuring her that he still loves her.

There was no official music video created for this song but it's one of those rare Buddy Holly singles on guitar that has a walking bass component.

Use a down up down up with walking bass rhythm pattern here in standard tuning but no lead. The chords required are G, G7, C, or C7 and D7.

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9. True Love Ways

true love ways buddy holly

True Love Ways was written by Buddy Holly and his wife, Maria Elena Holly, in 1958 as a declaration of their deep love and commitment.

Recorded with the Dick Jacobs Orchestra four months before Holly's tragic death, it wasn't released as a single until May 1960 in the UK, reaching #25 there. It didn't chart in the US until its release a month later, and in 1988, it peaked at #65 in the UK. Holly recorded the song in his New York City apartment, capturing the raw essence of his talent and the moment's intimacy.

It's featured on the album "The Buddy Holly Story Vol 2." Peter & Gordon's 1965 version reached #2 in the UK and #14 in the US, while Cliff Richard's 1983 rendition also hit the top 10.

Country star Mickey Gilley had a #1 hit with it on the US country charts in 1980. Mrs. Holly revealed that Buddy wrote the song as a wedding gift for her. The melody is reminiscent of a gospel song called "I'll Be All Right," played at Holly's funeral. You can hear similarities between the two melodies on YouTube by searching "I'll Be All Right gospel song."

The rhythm pattern here is down down down up down down and repeat  with a capo 3rd fret and some lead required. The chords here are G, Bm, C, Em, D, Am7, Cm, Adim, D#, F, A# and D7.

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10. Words Of Love

words of love buddy holly

Words Of Love was written by Buddy Holly and released in 1957, but it didn't chart initially. It's featured on the album "Buddy Holly," where Holly sang harmony with himself.

In 1993, a compilation album also titled "Words Of Love" reached #1. The Diamonds did a doo-wop version, scoring a #13 hit in the summer of 1957. This marked Holly's first hit song as a writer.

The Beatles covered it too, with George Harrison and John Lennon singing it between 1958 and 1962, but their official recording had Lennon and McCartney on vocals, done in just two takes.

A live BBC radio album called "On Air Live At The BBC Vol 2" features The Beatles performing it. Paul McCartney covered it acoustically in 1985, and there are other covers by artists like Jessica Lee Mayfield, Pat DiNizio, and Patti Smith, showcasing its enduring popularity.

Three chords here and they are G, C and D with a capo on the 2nd fret using a root down up root up down up in a rake pattern for rhythm. There are a few riffs in here as well.

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I hope you’ve had a great time learning "Peggy Sue," "Tell Me How," "True Love Ways," and the other wonderful songs in this collection. Buddy Holly's music has a timeless charm, and we're thrilled to help you bring these tunes to life on your acoustic guitar.

Keep practising and exploring new songs to expand your repertoire. If you need more detailed instruction, my full lesson tutorials are just a click away. Thanks for being a part of our musical community, and keep playing with passion and joy!

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