Easy Campfire Songs And A Guitar For Perfect Camping

by frugalrvers

With or without a guitar, easy campfire songs are always a hit around the fire in your camp. But guitars make them even better, if you're willing to learn a few chords!

Traditional campfire songs, the same ones, are as popular today as they were a few generations ago. Not only do families sing them, they are also popular with scouts on camping trips.

Many people are content singing easy camp fire tunes without an instrument, but today you can actually teach yourself a few chords on the guitar and play along with them.

Sitting around a fire singing and playing guitar is not new. Even the old cowboys used to belt out a tune over the crackling flames. So for perfect campfires, consider grabbing a book of simple camp singalong songs, a guitar...oh, and some marshmallows, too!

Playing Guitar And Singing Songs Around A Campfire...The Perfect Setting

Teach Yourself A Few Chords And Join Us!

Living the fulltime RV lifestyle the way we do, and being musicians (called One Less Karen) with acoustic guitars as a bonus, we've done our share of singing around the campfire. Whether it's with family and friends on a moonlit night in Montana under the big starry sky, or singing along with the cicadas and frogs at our current site, music and campfires seem to go together.

It's probably one of those primal human activities that's deeply buried in our racial memories - telling stories and making music around a fire in a collective, communal way is very ancient. Even images of cowboys sleeping under the stars, playing guitar around the open fire with coyotes as backup singers in the distance aren't hard to imagine.

There are a couple of ways our guitars and campfires can come together. Sometimes we join other people who happen to be playing guitars and singing at an RV park or campsite. If it seems like the right time and place, we go get our own guitars and we all take turns singing songs. All the people standing or sitting around are free to sing along if they know the song, but sometimes it's more of a round robin deal, where each singer picks a song to do and everyone enjoys it, then it passes to the next player.

Sometimes a more structured campfire singalong is needed, like at a scout meeting or a retreat. At this type of gathering, the choice of songs is important, because you want to get as many attendees participating as you can. This means that you want those common American songbook songs that almost everybody knows, the ones that people can join in on even if they don't know all the words.


Our Duo "One Less Karen" - We Were So Much YOUNGER Then!

We Still Play Together, 15 Years After This Photo Was Taken
One Less Karen, Jim And Robin
One Less Karen, Jim And Robin

Great Easy Campfire Songs In Minutes

Campfire Songs For Kids And Adults To Sing Along

It's important, when planning to strum on the guitar and sing around the campfire, to have all of the hits that will please any age. But they also need to have the chords, not just the lyrics. This is a great, inexpensive compilation of music that is easy to play and sing!

What You Need To Know To Have The Perfect Campfire Experience

To pull this off successfully, you're going to need a few things. Obviously, you need a campfire (marshmallows and cute roasting forks optional, but highly recommended). While a big roaring fire is great at the right time, it makes a lot of noise and smoke that make singing difficult. So you might want to let the fire simmer down to a smaller one before starting.

You will need an accompanying instrument, which could be an acoustic guitar, a banjo, or a mandolin - something that everyone can hear without having to plug it in is the main requirement. And you need songs that are easy to play, easy to sing, and easy to modify as needed. Some of the best campfire song books come in different tablatures for a variety of instruments, and include all the lyrics to the songs.

However it happens, whether it's a loosely organized, easy going session, or a more controlled singalong, the sound of human voices in the great outdoors is always a treat. The sounds echo from the hills, touch the soul and carry us back to a simpler time before technology took over the process of entertainment. We humans used to do this kind of thing all the time, in bygone eras when the world was quiet and green, and the night was still. We'd gather around the safe, warm fire and tell each other stories and sing the songs that we knew - and life was good.

Oh...don't forget marshmallow roasting sticks for Smores! However, sticky fingers can make guitar playing difficult...so maybe have one after your singing is through...

Happy Trails!

Teach Yourself Guitar, Be Ready For The Next Camping Trip

Fender Starcaster Natural Acoustic Guitar Kit (091-6000-0...

Teach Yourself Harmonica, Too!

First Act M2LPH1 Learn & Play Harmonica

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Updated: 05/20/2018, frugalrvers
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sheilamarie on 08/19/2012

This is my kind of activity. I love to sing around a campfire. Actually, my community has a tradition of meeting once a month around a piano (alas, it's inside) and singing in someone's living room. About 30 people show up for a potluck and a following singalong. We go around in a circle and each person chooses a song from one of our songbooks and we all chime in. Some of these people I only know from singing with them, but as it turns out, that's a lot. There's something elemental about sharing music with someone. It's even better, as you say, under the open sky. But even for people for whom the campfire just isn't possible, the sharing music part can still be done.

frugalrvers on 08/19/2012

Hahaha -
You've never played a marshmallow, chef? It's perfect for those who aren't musically inclined...just give them a stick and tell them to hit it on the beat - everyone should feel included, shouldn't they? :)

chefkeem on 08/19/2012

I didn't know you need marshmallows to play the dulcimer. Probably for a softer, sweeter sound. Learned something. :)

frugalrvers on 08/19/2012

Thank you, Mira!

Mira on 08/19/2012

Nice, feel-good article! I used to sing by the campfire quite a lot growing up ;-)
Nice photo, too! :-)

frugalrvers on 08/18/2012

Absolutely! We'll take care of the marshmallows! ;)

Ragtimelil on 08/18/2012

Can I bring my dulcimer?

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