The world's most Googled guitar song chords and riffs prove Elvis has not left the building in South America and Ethiopia loves Blur

Jailhouse Rock, lobbycard, from left, Judy Tyler, Elvis Presley, 1957.
(Image credit: LMPC via Getty Images)

Elvis and Pink Floyd are dominating South America, Beyonce is huge in Africa but Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah takes the top spot when it comes to what countries are Googling the chords and riffs to learn songs around the world.  

Results from a recent survey by music site Wood And Fire Studio has broken down the top Googled songs from countries around the world so we can get a visual map of who is learning what with their guitars.  

(Image credit: Wood And Fire Studio)

The survey of 271 song chords & riffs in Google's search volume sought to discover the songs currently being played the most around the world.

The chords of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen were the most searched for with 163,453 people searching for them every month. anyone who has stumbled upon the auditions for any TV talent show in the last decade will not be surprised by this whatsoever. 

Indeed, St Vincent recently shared her dislike for the myriad renditions in a BBC Radio 2 interview. “Leonard Cohen‘s Hallelujah is one of the best songs ever written, period,” she said. “It’s an absolute masterpiece, it took them however many years to write. The song itself is about the complication that it is to be alive, and the agony and the ecstasy and all of the inherent conflict therein.

“You know how, for a period of time, it became a song that people would cover on American Idol? They’d sing it and just be like [adopts somewhat whiny singing voice], 'hallelujah, haleluuuujah,' it’s just the worst thing in the world.”

But don't let that put you off – especially in USA, Australia, France, and Sweden where it tops the most Googled chords. 

Ed Sheeran's Perfect is the second most Googled song for chords with 147,479 searches a month and David Gilmour & Co. prove class is permanent with a very respectable third-place showing for Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here with 135,979 searches a month).

Elvis's version of Can't Help Falling In Love with you keeps the romantic flag flying in the southern US states and through much of South American countries including Argentina, Columbia and Mexico, but the British favourite is a Beatles song. 

Let It Be by The Beatles tops the UK list with 21,877 Google searches per month – it's the favourite in Germany too with 24,026 and the fourth favourite worldwide, it takes the fourth spot with a total 131,336 searches per month.

(Image credit: Wood And Fire Studio)

The most Googled guitar riff in the world is a relatively modern classic;  Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes is followed by Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven and Nirvana's Come As You Are. 

Notable in all the lists is now few recent hits are appearing and artists including Radiohead (Creep), Oasis (Wonderwall) and Coldplay (Yellow) frequently appear alongside the likes of The Animals and The Eagles.  

Darius Rucker's Wagon Wheel (2013) and Sheeran's Photograph (2015) and Perfect (2017) are three of the two most recent mainstream hits to emerge as favourites when it comes to chord searches. 

Read more at Wood And Fire Studio

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.