13 Best Songs to Practice Spanish

When learning a language, songs are a great resource for practicing and improving your grammar and vocabulary. For that reason, in this article, I’ve compiled a list of the 13 best songs to practice Spanish. 

All the songs in this list are full of common vocabulary and idiomatic expressions that you can implement in your conversations. Additionally, they also use important grammatical structures that can improve your Spanish. 

In order to help you make the most of this list, I’ll include a small description explaining the vocabulary and grammar that you can find in each song as well as the Spanish level that it requires. 

By the end of this, you’ll know the 13 best songs to learn Spanish as well as the things you can practice with them.

1. Antología – Shakira

Level: Upper-Beginner
Link to song
Link to lyrics

Even if you haven’t listened to music in Spanish, it’s very likely that you have heard about Shakira. This Colombian singer has a lot of songs that you use to practice your Spanish. Antología is a pop-ballad perfect for Spanish learners that are learning and reviewing the present and preterite tense. 

Since Antología has a slow rhythm, you can also use it as a way to train your listening and comprehension or practice your pronunciation. Another cool thing about this Spanish song is its basic and common vocabulary: all of these words are used by native speakers on a daily-basis.

Here are some grammar topics that you check in this song: 

  • Preterite tense
  • Past tense
  • Using determiners (definite and indefinite articles, demonstrative adjectives)
  • Pronouns: how to use and how to place them
  • Using the neutral article ‘lo’

And when it comes to vocabulary and structures that you can implement in your conversations, here are a few examples of the things you can learn:

  • Mentiras piadosas – White lie 
  • Aprender a – Learn to
  • Sobrar – Be left over/Be too much/Exceed
  • Sentir – To feel
  • Quitar – To remove/ To take off
  • Reemplazar – To replace
  • Equivocaciones – Mistakes

Take Note: Even though Antología is more appropriate for upper-beginner learners, students with a more advanced level can also find more complex topics such as using indirect pronouns, conditional clauses and intensifiers. 

2. Caminante no hay camino – Joan Manuel Serrat 

Level: Intermediate
Link to song
Link to lyrics

Joan Manuel Serrat is one of the most famous Spanish singers. As a result, he has a lot of songs that can be useful for your Spanish learning. Since Caminante no hay camino is a ballad Spanish learners that are struggling with listening and comprehension can use this as a way to improve these skills. 

Due to the grammar structures applied in this song as well as the vocabulary, Caminante no hay camino is a good song for Spanish intermediate learners. Something to notice is that the vocabulary in this song is slightly more formal. As a result, you may not want to learn all its nouns. 

Here is a quick review of the grammar topics that you can practice with this song:

  • Spanish negation and negative words (nunca, no, ni)
  • Impersonal ‘se’
  • Preterite tense
  • Use of Spanish infinitives 
  • Prepositions 
  • Use of pronouns (indirect, direct, reflexive)

Caminante no hay camino is based on a famous Spanish poem, as a result, some of the vocabulary is formal and more difficult to apply in daily-life situations. However, there’s still some verbs that you can include in your vocabulary. 

  • Pasar – To pass
  • Perseguir – To follow/To pursue
  • Sútil – Subtle 
  • Quebrar – To break
  • AndarTo walk/To be
  • Vista – Sight 
  • Volver aReturn/Again

3. Ojalá – Silvio Rodríguez

Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Link to song
Link to lyrics

For many students, the Subjunctive is one of the most difficult Spanish topics. Since this mood and conjugations are new for a lot of learners, it’s convenient that you find different examples of how to use the Spanish subjunctive. 

Ojalá by Silvio Rodríguez is one of the best Spanish songs to practice this topic since all of its sentences use the subjunctive. As you may have guessed from the name, all the sentences in this song use the word ‘ojalá’. So, these are the topics that you can review with the song: 

  • Expressing wishes and desires 
  • Building sentences with ojalá
  • Subjunctive in the present tense
  • Use of prepositions and pronouns

Since this is a song for intermediate or advanced students, you may be very familiar with the vocabulary presented in the song. However, there are still some words that you may want to check to increase your command of Spanish:

  • OjaláHopefully/If only/I wish
  • Disparo – Shot 
  • Cegador – Blinding
  • Difuntos – Deceased 
  • Convertir – To transform/To make into
  • Retener – To retain/To hold back

Take Note: If you want to take more active action, you should try to figure out the phrase structure used in Ojalá to build sentences in the Subjunctive mood. Here are other activities that you can do to learn Spanish from songs.

4. Maldito duende – Los Héroes del Silencio

Level: Upper-beginner 
Link to song
Link to lyrics

If you like rock music, Héroes del Silencio was a famous Spanish rock band. Even though they have a lot of songs that you can practice, Maldito duende was one of their most famous songs.

Due to its vocabulary and grammar structures, Maldito duende is a great song for upper-beginner students that want to practice their Spanish. This song contains a lot of sentences in the present perfect tense, so if you’re learning this topic, here you’ll find a lot of examples. 

Since this is a band from Spain, the grammar and pronunciation can be very helpful for those people who are interested in learning Castilian Spanish. Here are some of the grammar topics that you’ll find in Maldito Duende:

  • Present perfect tense
  • Verbs in present tense
  • Impersonal ‘se’
  • Use of articles
  • Tan vs tanto
  • Use of indirect pronouns
  • Sentences with subjunctive (for advanced students)

When it comes to the vocabulary, Maldito duende uses standard and basic words that you can use in different Spanish speaking countries. Here are some of the most important words and structures that you should be learning: 

  • Invitar a – To invite to 
  • Soñar – To dream
  • Pronto – Soon/Early/Quickly
  • Arrepentirse de – To regret 
  • Parar de – To stop doing something
  • Servir – To work/To be useful for/ To serve
  • Charla – Chat
  • Amanecer – Dawn

Keep in mind that this song has other useful words that you could be adding to your vocabulary. These are just a few suggestions 😉

5. El Muelle de San Blás – Maná 

Level: Beginner-Intermediate
Link to song
Link to lyrics

For many students, learning the difference between the preterite and imperfect tense is Spanish is very challenging. Since these tenses have different purposes, the best way to tell when to use one or the other, is to see them working together. 

El Muelle de San Blás by Maná is Mexican song that tells the story of a woman waiting for her loved one. As a result, it contains a lot of examples using these two past tenses. Maná is a very well-known Mexican band, so if you’re interested in Mexican Spanish, you should definitely check them out. 

Here is a quick list of the grammar topics that you’ll see in this song. In addition to the past tenses, you’ll see other useful and important subjects: 

  • Conjugations in the preterite tense
  • Use of sentences with conditional
  • Conjugations in the Imperfect tense
  • Conjugating reflexive verbs
  • Use of neutral article ‘le’ 
  • Building sentences with indirect or direct object pronouns

For the vocabulary, El Muelle de San Blás uses standard Spanish. Here are some of the words that will help you understand the songs and that you can also include in your vocabulary list: 

  • Enamorarse – To fall in love with
  • Nunca jamás – Never again/Never ever
  • Devolver – To give back/To return something
  • Llenar – To fill
  • Cangrejo – Crab 
  • Despedir – To say goodbye/ To fire
  • Partir – To leave/To depart
  • Equivocarse – To make a mistake/To confuse

6. La Guitarra – Los Auténticos Decadentes

Level: Intermediate
Link to song
Link to lyrics

In Latin America, Los Auténticos Decadentes is a very famous band from Argentina. From a learning perspective, one of the coolest things from this band is that they use daily-life vocabulary that can be applied in all Latin American Spanish speaking countries. 

La Guitarra is a funny and entertaining song that you can use to practice and improve your Spanish. One thing that I need to mention is that this song uses Rioplatense Spanish. This means that the pronunciation and some conjugations will have an Argentinian accent. So don’t be surprised if some verbs are not conjugated the way you know them to be. 

Despite this, La Guitarra is an excellent song with examples of the following grammar topics: 

  • Preterite vs imperfect
  • Building sentences with gerunds
  • Using the Subjunctive in the present tense
  • Rioplatense pronunciation
  • Using reflexive verbs 
  • Conjugating in the present tense

Due to its speed and the grammar structures used, La Guitarra is a cool song for intermediate students. However, other students can use it as a way to get familiar with the Rioplatense accent. 

As for the vocabulary, here is a list of common words that you can study: 

  • Techo – Roof
  • Afeitarse – To shave
  • Sonar – To sound
  • Aguantar – To put up with
  • Reírse – To laugh
  • Rebelde – Rebellious 
  • Revelación – Revelation
  • Vocación – Calling/Vocation
  • Mi viejo – My dad/My old man

7. La Media Vuelta – Luis Miguel

Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Link to song
Link to lyrics

If you’re looking to start listening to music in Spanish, you should add Luis Miguel to your playlist. Luis Miguel is one of the most famous Mexican singers (my mom’s and most Mexican’s mom’s boyfriend -.-!). 

Jokes aside, Luis Miguel’s songs are perfect for working on your listening skills because he has very good and clear pronunciation and most of them are ballads. Although he has hundreds of songs that you can listen to, La Media Vuelta is a great resource for intermediate and advanced students that want to practice the subjunctive tense. 

Although the lyrics are very simple, you can easily see how the subjunctive tense is built, so if you’re struggling with it, you should totally check this song. 

These are some of the topics that you can check for in La Media Vuelta: 

  • Conjugating verbs in the subjunctive mood
  • Building sentences in the present subjunctive 
  • Using conditional sentences

All the vocabulary that Luis Miguel uses in his songs is very standard and very useful for real-life conversations. Here is an example of some of the basic words that you’ll learn with this song.

  • Comparar – To compare
  • Labios – Lips
  • Ir por el mundo – Go around the world  
  • Más que a nadie – More than anyone
  • Dar la media vuelta – Turn around 
  • DetenerStop
  • Dueño – Owner

Take Note: If you’re interested in learning Spanish with movies and tv shows, Luis Miguel is such a famous singer that he has his own Netflix show. If you decide to watch it, pay attention to the idioms and slang expressions. 

8. La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin 

Level: Basic
Link to song
Link to lyrics

As you may already know, Ricky Martin is another well-known Spanish singer. So if you like his music, you can check his older songs to practice your Spanish. In this case, the Spanish version of La Vida Loca is a cool and easy song for beginners. 

I do need to say that even though the grammar and vocabulary are very suitable for beginner learners, the speed of the song may be a little bit challenging. So, make sure you use the lyrics as a supporting tool. 

These are some of the grammar topics that you can find in this song:

  • Spanish negation
  • Conjugating verbs in the future tense
  • Using verbs in the present tense
  • Building sentences with simple conditional
  • Sentences with present perfect and preterite tense

Just as the English version, La Vida Loca is not a very deep song. As a result, you won’t find tons of vocabulary to learn as you do with other songs. But, here are some words that you may want to add to your vocabulary. 

  • Reina – Queen
  • Salvar – To save
  • Besar – To kiss
  • Tocar – To touch
  • Robar – To steal
  • Doler – To hurt

9. Chilanga Banda – Café Tacuba

Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Link to song
Link to lyrics

When learning Spanish in Mexico, most students struggle to understand and keep up with the conversation with Mexican native speakers. This is because we use a lot of slang expressions and words that are not taught in school. But the song Chilanga Banda can give you a nice boost with your informal vocabulary. 

Unlike other songs from this list, Chilanga Banda won’t help you review grammar structures. But it does have a crazy amount of popular slang vocabulary that’s used in Mexico. Due to its speed and the type of words (words that contain the sound ‘ch’), Chilanga Banda can also be used as a tongue twister to work on your pronunciation. 

Since its vocabulary can be confusing for beginners, this song is an excellent resource for intermediate or advanced learners. Here are some of the most common vocabulary that you’ll find in this song, but don’t hesitate and check it to get more slang terms:  

  • Chilango – Nickname for a person from Mexico City.
  • Chango – Monkey 
  • Chale –  What a pity
  • Choncho – Fat
  • Chueco – Crooked
  • Guarura – Bodyguard 
  • Echarse – To lie down/To have
  • Chela – Beer
  • Chance – Chance/Opportunity
  • ChavaGirl
  • Chambear – To work
  • PachangaParty
  • Chupe – Drink (alcohol)
  • Talacha – Job/To work/To fix something
  • No manchesNo way/Holy cow/Come on
  • Rifar – To work hard/To do your best
  • Chipote – Lump/Bump

These words are very common in casual Mexican conversations, so if you want to add them to your vocabulary, I encourage you to look for more examples. That way, you’ll have a better understanding of how to apply them. 

Take Note: Café Tacuba is a Mexican band that uses a lot of casual vocabulary. So, if you’re interested in this, you should check them out. 

10. Y Nos Dieron las Diez – Joaquín Sabina

Level: All
Link to song
Link to lyrics

If you like romantic songs, Y nos dieron las diez by Joaquín Sabina may be a good option for you. This Spanish songwriter and poet is well known for having beautiful and deep songs. So, if on top of learning vocabulary and grammar you want to improve your listening and comprehension skills, Sabina will be perfect for you. 

Due to its common vocabulary and grammatical elements, Y nos dieron las diez is a song that can be used by Spanish learners from levels. Even though the song contains sentences in the present tense and useful words for newbies, you’ll make the most of this song if you know the preterite and imperfect tense. 

Here is a list of grammatical elements that you can find in this song: 

  • Conjugations of verbs in present tense
  • Preterite tense vs imperfect tense
  • Building sentences in the present subjunctive 
  • Reviewing how to tell the time in Spanish
  • Expressing wishes
  • Using conditional sentences
  • Building sentences with double negatives
  • Using prepositions of place
  • Placing indirect pronouns

Unlike many songs, Y nos dieron las diez tells a story. So, in addition to checking complex grammar structures, intermediate and advanced students should test their comprehension skills and figure out what the song is about. 

Due to its background, Joaquín Sabina’s songs are beautiful and poetic. However, they have tons of vocabulary that you can add to your conversations. Here is a brief list of some common words that we use on a daily basis and that will help you understand the song: 

  • Nos dieron – In the time context, it means the clock struck.  
  • Alegar – Allege
  • Sucursal – Branch
  • Gastar una broma – Play a joke on
  • Durar – Last/Go on
  • Volver a vernos – To see each other again
  • Marcharse – To leave
  • Azar – Fate/Chance
  • Hallar – To find

11. Mi Historia Entre tus Dedos – Gianluca Grignani

Level: Beginner 
Link to song
Link to lyrics

If you’re a Spanish beginner learner, it’s important that you immerse yourself in the language as soon as possible. An easy way to do that is start listening to music so you get familiar with the Spanish accent, speed and vocabulary. 

Mi historia entre tus dedos is a simple, but beautiful song that will provide you with examples of some of the topics that you’ll learn as a beginner student. In addition to this, the rhythm of the song is very slow, so it will be good to start training your listening skills. 

When listening to Mi historia entre tus dedos make sure to keep an eye on the following topic since they’ll help you review some grammar concepts: 

  • Creating simple sentences
  • Verbs in present tense
  • Using ‘hay’ in Spanish sentences
  • Building sentences with impersonal ‘se’
  • Indirect and direct object pronouns
  • Asking questions
  • Building negative sentences
  • Using gerund and present perfect

One thing that I like very much about this song (aside from being super romantic) is that the vocabulary is composed of words that we actually use in real life. Here are some important words that you should definitely learn, but don’t hesitate to add more to this list: 

  • Pensar – To think
  • Sonrisa – Smile
  • Prometer – To promise
  • Discutir – To argue
  • Quedarse – To stay
  • Ocupar – To take up/To occupy 
  • Seguir – To follow. When working with an infinitive verb means to keep doing something. 
  • Hacerse el duro/el fuerte – Acting tough
  • Fallar – To fail 
  • Perdonar – To forgive 
  • Buscar – To look for
  • Recordar – To remember 
  • Tratar – To try

Take Note: As a beginner, you may struggle to understand every word that you see in the song. Although building vocabulary is important, you should focus on getting a general idea of what song is about. Here are other activities that will help you improve your Spanish with songs

12. Jueves – La Oreja de Van Gogh  

Level: Upper-Beginner/ Intermediate
Link to song
Link to lyrics

As established before, many students struggle to understand how and when to use the subjunctive mood in Spanish. If you’re learning this topic or you want to reinforce it, the song Jueves will provide you with different examples and clear structures. 

For the students that haven’t learned this topic yet, Jueves also contain other valuable grammatical elements. Another cool thing about this song is that it actually tells a story, so if you use it as a learning tool, you should try to listen carefully and identify what it’s talking about. 

Here are some of the grammar structures that you can find in Jueves:

  • Talking about unreal or hypothetical situations
  • Building sentences with imperfect subjunctive and conditional sentences
  • Verbs in present tense
  • Conjugating irregular verbs
  • Using prepositions of place
  • Indirect object pronouns

La Oreja de Van Gogh is a famous Spanish band that you can follow since they’re songs are rich in useful and basic vocabulary. To give you some context about the songs and to provide you a good vocabulary list, here are some important words that you should learn: 

  • Echar de menos – To miss 
  • Lista – Cleaver/Smart
  • Tener valor – To be brave/To have courage
  • Vagón –  Carriage 
  • Bostezo – Yawn
  • Llevar – To wear/To take
  • De pronto – Suddenly 
  • Tartamudear – To stutter
  • Ocurrir – To happen 
  • Suponer – To guess 
  • Acercar – To get closer/To move closer

Take Note: As an interesting fact, Jueves is based and inspired on the 2004 Spain train bombings. So, make sure you pay attention to the lyrics. 

13. Yo No Me Doy Por Vencido – Luis Fonsi

Level: All
Link to song
Link to lyrics

When learning Spanish, most students learn different tenses and conjugations individually. Although this is good for keeping things structured, in real-life conversations, people combine different tenses in order to transmit their message. As a result, you need to get familiar with these types of structures. 

Yo no me doy por vencido by Luis Fonsi is a song that provides you with different examples of how to combine tenses and moods in Spanish. For that reason, it’s a song that could be used by Spanish from different levels. 

Remember that in addition to reviewing your grammar, songs can also help you to train your listening and practice your pronunciation skills. Here are some of the grammar elements used in this song:  

  • Spanish negative sentences
  • Verb conjugation
  • Combining different tenses: present, past, future 
  • Using reflexive verbs 
  • Placing indirect pronouns
  • Expressing willpower 
  • Sentences in the present tense subjunctive 

As for the vocabulary, No me doy por vencido uses simple vocabulary that you can implement into your conversations. Here is a list that will give you some context about the song and that you add to your vocabulary:  

  • Enseñar – To teach
  • Jurar – To swear 
  • Aguantarse – To put up with/To bite your tongue
  • Tomar a alguien – To take someone for
  • Valer la pena – To be worth it 
  • Ganarse – To deserve/To earn
  • Darse por vencido – To give up
  • Rendirse – To give in/To surrender 
  • Pase lo que pase – Whatever happens 

Wrapping Up

When it comes to learning Spanish, you should have different resources and tools that you can use to improve your vocabulary and review your grammar. Since music is a fun and easy way to do this, in this article, I’ve compiled a list of the best songs to practice Spanish. 

Keep in mind that practicing or learning Spanish with songs is possible if you know what activities to do. For that reason, in this article, I’ll include some vocabulary and grammar structures that you can find in each song. 

Although the songs that I’ve compiled for you are great to start practicing your Spanish, I highly recommend that you listen to music in Spanish as much as possible. For now, you have a few songs to start with, I hope you enjoy them 😉  

Related Resource: 7 Super Easy Ways to Learn Spanish from Songs

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I’ve taught Spanish in Mexico to a wide array of foreigners. From students and tourists to doctors and soldiers who’ve moved and visited here over the years. During the day I’m a freelancer and marketer, while at night I’m here writing for students of the world wide web looking to learn Spanish. I hope you find what you’re looking here during your journey into Español 🙂 Read More About Me

Recent Posts