Though the 4/4 time is considered the perfect time signature, with numerous artists using it to compose some of the best pieces, there are also some notable popular songs in 3/4 time. The ¾ rhythm is quite popular, and any aspiring guitarist needs to learn how to play it.
Also referred to as the Waltz time, this rhythm pattern has three-quarter notes in every time measure. The first record of the rhythm to be used was in Waltz’s music in the romantic era.
It became more popular in the 1950 and 1960 when it was considered the modern era of music. I have compiled songs in the time signature from different generations and multiple genres, such as pop, and jazz, with all the songs carrying different messages.
|1||When The Party’s Over||Billie Eilish||Learn More|
|2||Tennessee Waltz||Patti Page||Learn More|
|3||Iris||Goo Goo Dolls||Learn More|
|4||Fallin’||Alicia Keys||Learn More|
|5||We Can Work it Out||The Beatles||Learn More|
|6||Bed Of Roses||Bon Jovi||Learn More|
|7||Everybody Hurts||R.E.M.||Learn More|
|8||The Times They Are A-Changin’||Bob Dylan||Learn More|
|9||Hallelujah||Leonard Cohen||Learn More|
|10||Kashmir||Led Zeppelin||Learn More|
|11||Lonely Day||System of a Down||Learn More|
|12||Breakaway||Kelly Clarkson||Learn More|
|13||Idontwannabeyouanymore||Billie Eilish||Learn More|
|14||Open Arms||Journey||Learn More|
|15||If I Ain’t Got You||Alicia Keys||Learn More|
|16||Que Sera Sera||Doris Day||Learn More|
|17||The Last Waltz||Engelbert Humperdinck||Learn More|
|18||The Christmas Waltz||Frank Sinatra||Learn More|
|19||Call Out My Name||The Weeknd||Learn More|
|20||I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry||Hank Williams||Learn More|
|21||Game of Thrones Theme||Ramin Djawadi||Learn More|
21 Most Popular Songs in 3/4 Time Signature
Below are some of my favorite tracks that I found fun to play and learn this interesting rhythmic pattern.
1. When The Party’s Over – Billie Eilish
The song was released in 2018 and is so far one of the most popular songs by Billie Eilish. The composition of this track was a collaboration between the artist and her brother Finneas O’Connell.
The song is based on a bare-bones piano ballad with the incorporation of electro and R&B beats. Billie’s vocal harmony and angelic hums made “When The Party’s Over” one of her most famous songs.
Recommended: 21 Songs to Celebrate About Being 17.
2. Tennessee Waltz – Patti Page
Tennessee Waltz is a classical hit from the 1950s with so many covers that it is impossible to count. Redd Stewart wrote the song after getting inspiration from the Kentucky Waltz of Bill Monroe.
The song went on to sell millions of copies and is considered the unofficial state song. The chords on this 3/4 time signature song are simple to master for a beginner and will be the perfect piece to train your guitar skills.
3. Iris – Goo Goo Dolls
Iris spent about a year in the Billboard charts, cementing the piece as one of the best tracks ever. It received a nomination as a Song of the Year at the 41st Grammy Awards; a critical few songs get to receive each year.
The Alternative rock band recorded this song as part of the City of Angels Soundtrack.
4. Fallin’ – Alicia Keys
I still remember the first time I heard the song on the radio. The artist’s setup and execution of the song made me love this timeless track. With over 273 million views on YouTube, it is one of the best songs in 3/4 time ever recorded.
Fallin’ is Alicia’s first single in her debut album, and this track set the foundation for her successful music career.
5. We Can Work it Out – The Beatles
The song was a writing collaboration between John Lennon and Paul Cartney, and upon its release, it charted number one in many countries.
The Beatles combined ¾ and 4/4 beats to create a great rhythm for the song that is a pure master class. Combining the two-time signatures in the track can help inspire you to compose music in multiple rhythms.
6. Bed Of Roses – Bon Jovi
This is a powerful ballad by Bon Jovi declaring his undying love for his wife. He uses metaphors in the songs to express his loneliness and depression as he has realized that he made his rock and roll lifestyle to become his mistress.
The song is the fifth single on his fifth album, “Keep The Faith,” released by Mercury Records in January 1992.
7. Everybody Hurts – R.E.M.
Everybody Hurts, composed by REM, to comfort those who battle depression. The powerful life-affirming message in the song, combined with the lyrics’ simplicity and honesty, made this track considered one of the best songs written.
Though the song follows the ¾ time signature, it contains a few tricky sections, such as the riff, that can challenge new guitarists.
8. The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Bob Dylan
The song will remain relevant despite being composed over half a century ago. Though Bob Dylan was trying to create an anthem, his song’s lyrics had a profound message to listeners.
It is among the few popular songs in 3/4 time signature from 1960 that enjoyed multiple song covers by popular artists. Some well-known renditions of the song were by artists such as Billy Joel, Tracy Chapman, and Nina Simone.
Recommended: Top 21 Songs About Insecurity That We Can All Relate To.
9. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
Hallelujah is perhaps the most popular song on this list, and my favorite as the song’s message is powerful, and the chords are simple. Leonard Cohen recorded the song in 1984, achieving less success.
The song found greater success after John Cale did a rendition of the song in 1991. It has been covered with some of the greatest names in the music business, proving how powerful and inspirational it is.
10. Kashmir – Led Zeppelin
With intense lyrical content and instrumental, Kashmir by Led Zeppelin is an absolute crowd-pleaser during live performances. The track has one of the most captivating string melodies and iconic riffs I have ever listened to and continues to inspire upcoming musicians.
Though the song is named after the region in the Indian subcontinent, it is unfortunate that none of the band members has ever visited the place considered a paradise on earth.
11. Lonely Day – System of a Down
“Lonely Day” is a powerful track with sad lyrics accompanied by some of the most complex guitar solos by the band. The lyrics are about loneliness that takes a toll on someone.
The lyric “It’s a day that I’m glad I survived” indicates that there is a traumatic event that the composer is trying to erase from his memory.
12. Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson
Originally co-written by Avril Lavinge, this ¾ timepiece was meant for Avril Lavigne’s debut studio album. It was about leaving her hometown to chase her dreams and music career in the big city.
However, the song was passed to Kelly Clarkson, whose vocals made it the iconic pop song we know. Disney released the song as part of the “Princess Diaries 2” soundtrack in 2004.
13. Idontwannabeyouanymore – Billie Eilish
This is another popular song in ¾ time by Billie Eilish that mixes several elements of different genres such as jazz, pop, and R&B. The neo-soul-influenced melodies and lyrics create a melancholic rhythm showing her depressive state.
The song’s lyrics are a cry by the artist, who is self-loathing about how she lacks the confidence to appreciate who she is.
14. Open Arms – Journey
This song is about partners willing to work on their relationship after a breakup or a fight. The song is quite compelling to watch its live performance and was written by Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain.
Steve Perry’s vocals poured every last drop of emotions the song’s lyrics carry and might help you rekindle the flames of a dying relationship if sent to a former lover.
15. If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys got the inspiration for this track after finding out about the sudden death of Aaliyah. That state of shock on losing a friend made her think of those she loved, and this is how this powerful ballad came to life.
It is about love and not caring about material things. Her expression of love in this song made it get nominated twice for a Grammy, and the Alicia confessed that it was one of her favorites.
Recommended: 21 Best Songs About Being Different and Unique.
16. Que Sera Sera – Doris Day
I recently discovered this track, and it is my go-to song to sing to put a smile on my face as it is purely wonderful. It is one of the easiest songs to play in the ¾ time signature.
The song was released in 1956 and became popular as it was part of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, “The Man Who Knew Too Much.”
17. The Last Waltz – Engelbert Humperdinck
With Waltz in the song’s title, it is the biggest giveaway that this track is one of the most popular songs in 3/4 time signature. On the song’s release in 1967, it was Humperdinck’s biggest hit, spending about five weeks in the UK singles charts at position one.
The song narrates a bittersweet story of the composer’s first dance with a lady he believed to be his soul mate and their eventual drifting apart.
18. The Christmas Waltz – Frank Sinatra
The Christmas Waltz is one of the best Christmas songs written in ¾ time signature. The song was a collaborative effort of Frank Sinatra, Jule Styne, and Sammy Cahn.
It is easy to learn and can be your go-to song to play this festive season. The song did not take much effort to become a holiday staple, inspiring numerous covers since its release in 1957.
19. Call Out My Name – The Weeknd
The Weeknd has a unique way of pouring his emotion into a song that only a few artists have mastered. In “Call Out My Name,” the artist describes his pain in his lost love.
The pain and heartbreak the composer is experiencing can be felt through his vocals. It has been rumored that the song is about Selena Gomez, as he released it after they broke up.
20. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Hank Williams
The track is considered one of the saddest songs ever written. The melancholic lyrics describe the artist’s problematic relationship and can make you shed a tear or two.
The song was released in the late 1940s, and its popularity was noted as it topped the music charts at the time.
21. Game of Thrones Theme – Ramin Djawadi
The last track on this playlist is the most popular theme song from a television show ever composed. This “Game of Thrones” theme song is the perfect example of a fast ¾ timepiece.
The song begins with strings dominating the track’s first half and then progresses into a full-blown orchestra. Ramin Djawadi’s musical genius contributed to the show is captivating from the first time you start watching it.
Artists use the ¾ time to create a different feeling from the standard 4/4 time. These popular songs in 3/4 time signature give a wider perspective on an artist’s progress with a musical instrument.
The Waltz time is the best stepping stone to familiarizing with odd time signatures and exploring new rhythms. Not only did I find that there are countless songs in this time signature, but also a lot of them are from the 60s era.