I wish my list of best acoustic guitar songs for male-female duets was 100% acoustic, but I’m sharing all the songs I could think of because the reality is that you can adapt any of these songs for guitar.
What is a good duet song?
What makes for a good duet song? I don’t know if I can put my finger on something specific, but I do know what I don’t like!
Every online list of male-female duets are mostly Boomer songs that aren’t appealing at all to me. They are just so bubblegum and corny. Check out this list from Billboard of the 40 Biggest Duets of All Time. I mean, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton?
As a Gen Xer only four of them would make my list:
#28 Don’t Go Draggin’ My Heart Around – Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks
#24 You’re the One That I Want – Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta (I mean, GREASE)
#12 Separate Lives – Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin
#10 Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart – Elton John and Kiki Dee (probably more popular now than when it came out thanks to Ella Enchanted and the 2019 Elton John movie)
Except maybe one other song that I’ve found on other duet songs lists that would definitely make mine – Fairytale of New York with Shane McGowan (The Pogues) and Christy McCall. But now I identify it so much with the Christmas season that I didn’t want to put it on my main bests list.
Best Acoustic Guitar Songs for Male-Female Duets
Short list of the best acoustic guitar songs for male-female duets. The performances shown may not be acoustic, but it's possible to translate them in to acoustic versions for talent shows, weddings, or campfire sing-alongs.
Louisa Wendorff Official YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV2ayIkWn-an2kj20CAOdCw
Louisa Wendorff and Devin Dawson created this mash-up which is actually the song that inspired this list. I guess there are a lot of Taylor Swift haters, but I like a good acoustic cover any day. Don't judge until you listen.
Stu Larsen Official YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCho87itAnvA8VH-B39AvHdw
Stu Larsen & Lydia Cole were introduced to me by a friend of mine in Australia who adored this video and shared it on social media. I've been a fan ever since. I'm equally enamored with their "The Black Tree" which pairs the duet together.
Rosi Golan Official YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChYnbz2TY2R7_rCnGFf-buA
Rosi Golan with William Fitzsimmons perform this song from Rosi Golan's "The Drifter and the Gypsy" (2008) album. I love the recorded version of Hazy better than this live version, but you get the idea.
Lifehouse Official YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJVhvnXSXF-raZDl6O2BlrQ
Lifehouse featuring Natasha Bedingfield. I first saw Lifehouse in the early 2000s when they opened for Better Than Ezra at House of Blue on Sunset. They are local to SoCal and we really liked them from the beginning. Not known for their duets, Between the Raindrops was a popular hit for them.
Jason Mraz Official YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8ey1FYCmgHPa9f5KxWb0mw
Jason Mraz probably comes to mind when I say the word "duets." But I bet you are surprised to see the pairing with Meghan Trainor! There are two versions of this video. The "dance" version and the "Jason Mraz" version. A sweet and relatable song.
Scars on 45 Official YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVVzbw3BNaAOxbCIIQqRj5w
I'm a huge fan of Scars on 45! We saw them live in Anaheim and now I listen to them weekly, if not daily. Scars on 45 has loads of duets! I'd also recommend "The Beautiful Days Attack." So search their YouTube channel for more options if this isn't your favorite.
Walk Off the Earth Official YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9PEibgWOqZ-1I1JdxRmr6g
The original version of this song is by Gotye, but this is the Walk off the Earth version. You might be sick of this song, but here's a pretty awesome way to do an acoustic version with one or more of your friends. Now go look up Walk Off the Earth and see all the other covers they've mastered!
zttrecords Official YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkMrrpoZqtclxIn49yACXOw
If you are Gen X, you know Sinèad O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2U" which is actually a Prince song. In this duet, she pairs up with Shane McGowan, the lead singer from The Pogues. His voice is so distinct! And somehow this song just works.
SubPop Official YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsgEkEWaXKQwrhlLHFbcQFw
My Gen Z son introduced me to The Postal Service and this duet. It's hard to figure out the timeline for The Postal Service in relation to Death Cab for Cutie, but you'll recognize Ben Gibbard in this live video.
Nettwork Music Official YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmVE1oDNf5IjExOGfdbL3SA
The Weepies started as a songwriter team and became a husband and wife team. This song is VERY short - only about 2 minutes long. But it's still catchy and good if you need to meet a short time limit on your talent show act.
Ben Folds TV Official YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNjEo_L1jMY7mMqb5G70JvA
Ben Folds song featuring Regina Spektor can be adapted to an acoustic guitar version.
Male/Female Duet Song Playlist
That was the video list. But I thought you might like them in a text list of male-female duet songs, too. Like I said above, these don’t necessarily fit a certain genre or time period but they are just the the ones I choose that fit my more Gen X aesthetic:
Blank Space/Style Mash-up – Louisa Wendorff and Devin Dawson
Swerve – Stu Larsen & Lydia Cole
Hazy – Rosi Golan with William Fitzsimmons
Between the Raindrops – Lifehouse with Natasha Bedington
Cold is the Night – The Oh Hellos
More Than Friends – Jason Mraz (featuring Meghan Trainor)
Crazy for You or The Beautiful Days Attack – Scars on 45
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
Lucky – Jason Mraz (featuring Colbie Caillat)
Falling Slowly – Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
Somebody That I Used to Know – Walk Off the Earth version
Sky – Joshua Radin (duet with Ingrid Michaelson)
Haunted – Sinèad O’Connor and Shane McGowan
Nothing Better – The Postal Service
Gold – Matt Hartke featuring Maggie Peake
Nobody Knows Me At All – The Weepies
You Don’t Me – Ben Folds featuring Regina Spektor
Unreconciled – Peter Bradley Adams and Susie Suh
I Thought I Lost You – Miley Cyrus and John Travolta (from BOLT Soundtrack)
Perfect – Ed Sheeran with Beyonce
So that’s it! My list. You can go over to Ultimate Guitar Tabs to find a version that fits your performance needs.