If you are interested in learning Spanish with music and looking for some fun and modern Spanish songs, this is for you!
But first off, we all want to know: can you learn Spanish just by listening to Spanish music?
BUT, can you greatly improve your Spanish language level by listening to music?
Think about how babies learn. They listen and then they mimic. Music can offer the same learning environment for adults!
If you listen and mimic, you subconsciously train your brain to recognize not only pronunciation, but also sentence structure, various grammatical patterns, slang, the natural melody of the language, and more. This all leads to you sounding more fluent when you speak!
As we are adults, however, and not babies, its generally best to pair a more passive ‘mimicry’ type of learning (such as singing along to songs) with a more active type of learning.
How can you actively study with music?
One easy way to actively study Spanish with these songs is to translate the song into your native language. This is a very fun way to pay closer attention to the lyrics (and therefore the grammar, vocab, etc) and to really understand the song.
Another way would be to pay attention to the songs grammar and look up forms, particles, structures, verb tenses, etc., that you don’t recognize or fully understand yet.
Or perhaps one song is sung by a Spanish speaker from Argentina and you would like to compare it to a cover from a Mexican singer. Do you hear any differences in pronunciation?
Even more ways include making flashcards, playing memory games, researching cultural meanings behind songs, recording yourself to check on pronunciation, etc.
All of these 15 songs below are great to pair with any of these active study methods!
Note: The songs below are roughly organized by level, with song number 15 being the easiest for beginners and 1 being the most challenging on this list.
This is because the first few songs are slower, very clear in pronunciation, and have more simple grammar and vocab.
The later songs have more slang, looser pronunciation (or heavier accents), more challenging grammar, and/or are sung much quicker!
P.S – If you are learning Spanish, be sure to check out these helpful posts on the site here:
- Spanish Resource Master Post
- Spanish Reflexive Verbs Guide
- Language YouTube Channels
- Great Books to Learn With
- How to Use TV for Learning
- Pronunciation Tips
- Unique Resources
- Top 5 Sites for Language Learning (+ guides to Busuu, Memrise, and italki!)
- 15 Amazing Language Learning Apps
15.) Beso – Jósean Log (Indie)
This is a slow, romantic song with few lyrics that is great for beginners!
Due to the few and repeating lyrics, you don’t need to have an advanced level to understand too much. The nouns are quite simple (and common!) and the verb tenses are generally not very complicated either.
This song is particularly great to learn and practice some comparisons (e.g “tan simple como un beso” – as simple as a kiss), imperatives (AKA commands, like “besáme” – kiss me), reflexive verbs (e.g “amarse” – to love one another) and indirect and direct object pronouns (like te, los, me etc.), among other things.
These are all very important features of Spanish and should be learned early on, if possible!
14.) Tu – Maye (Pop)
If you are looking for another slower, romantic song only this time with a tropical and dreamy feel, here it is!
This song is very sweet and sung slowly, so it is easy to hear each word. Therefore, it is one of the better songs for beginners interested in Spanish music!
It is also sung mostly in present tense and doesn’t have many complicated verb tenses or nouns, so this gives this Spanish song even more reasons to be on any beginners playlist.
You can hear and master “tu” conjugations, in particular, with this song, as well as present tense conjugations of many verbs.
13.) Buen Viaje – Anni B Sweet (Indie)
This song is a fairly short and simple one that is sung mostly in the past tense.
Buen viaje also often uses the present perfect tense (e.g “me has convencido” – you convinced me), as well as the past perfect tense (e.g “me hubiera gustado…” – I would have liked…).
Using this song and some resources found on my master post of Spanish resources (here), you can certainly study master the past tense and the present perfect and past perfect tenses!
All of these tenses are very common and are highly recommended to master early in your Spanish studies.
12.) La Magia – Little Jesus (Alternative)
This is a clearly sung song that has quite a bit of future tense!
It contains two very important and very common ways to talk about the future.
The near future tense (ir + a + infinitive -> Ese trabajo te va a matar – This job is going to kill you) and the simple future tense (ser -> ¿Y qué más da, lo que será? – What does it matter what will happen?).
These two tenses are incredibly useful to learn ASAP in your studies! And this song has many examples of both of these tenses – more than enough to dip your toes into this tense and get you used to it!
11.) Helado de Mango – Naïa Valdez (pop)
A super fun, cheeky little song that is sung a bit faster and less clear than all of the others so far!
A great option, then, to get more used to a quicker melody of speaking (or singing!) Spanish. Try to attempt to pick up on all of the words sung! This is not so easy the first time you hear it, if you are not reading along!
On top of this, this song has quite a lot of reflexive verbs and indirect and direct pronouns, just like “Beso” by Jósean Log above! Only “Helado de Mango” is quicker paced and has much more variety.
It also has lots of variety in the nouns and adjectives – in how Naïa describes this person who tastes like mango ice cream on a hot summers day! 😉
10.) Internacionales – Bomba Estéreo (Urbano)
This song is a very fun, but quick one! Even quicker than the last one!
Therefore, its great to train your ear for quicker speaking (which we all know is the reality of Spanish speakers!), but its also great for nouns!
In this song, you can also learn the words for multiple nationalities and nouns surrounding this topic! This is a fairly basic topic in language learning, but due to the music and fast tempo, its not so easy to catch if you listen to the song without reading the lyrics!
Give it a try below and test yourself to see how much you can correctly hear!
9.) Ay Dios mio – Karol G (Urbano)
This song is an amazing song to get used to the melody of how many modern Spanish speakers (mostly younger speakers) speak – with a lot of swallowing the ends of words (AKA debuccalization).
Give this song a listen and you will quickly see that the ‘s‘ is almost dropped if its at the end of the word and most words either trail off or are led straight into the next word, with no pause.
This is incredibly common in Spanish, particularly in music, and learning this (and using it properly in real life – though perhaps not quite as much as urbano singers! Haha) is very important to sounding more fluent when you speak.
Karol G also uses quite a lot of short form (e.g “ven pa’ca” -> ven para aca – come over here) and some modern language and slang (e.g perreíto -> perreo – twerking).
On top of all of this, you can find tons of different verb tenses, indirect and direct pronouns, and more grammar goodies!
8.) Cuenta Pendiente – Paty Cantú ft Alejandro Sanz (Urbano)
Another song that has quite a bit of debuccalization and harder to understand text! This makes it a great song to train your ear to understand Spanish in more difficult or unclear circumstances and to expand your pronunciation a bit.
On top of this, you can find light vulgarities and colloquialisms (e.g “malditos” – damn) and several verb forms, including the subjunctive verb form (e.g “no te quejes” – don’t complain).
Quejarse is also a reflexive verb – among which this song also has several other examples!
7.) Tu Geografía – Indios (Alternative)
Looking for a unique dialect to listen to? Look no further than this band from Argentina: Indios!
Did you know that Argentine Spanish is very different to other Latin Spanish? Here is a great article from Listen & Learn USA that explains why “Argentine Spanish is Like Speaking a Different Language“.
Therefore, this is a great song to widen your pronunciation horizons and to train your ear to Argentine Spanish music!
Not only this, but this song uses a wide array of verb tenses and nouns, so its great for vocab and grammar too.
6.) Ojala – Maria Becerra (Urbano)
Another Argentine singer! Only her accent is not quite as noticeable as Indios above. However, can you still tell just by listening where she is from?
Side note: that is quite a fun test, to listen to Spanish music and try to guess what country the singer hails from. Certain countries (i.e Argentina!) are definitely easier to identify than others!
This song has plenty of debuccalization, quite a bit of slang and colloquialisms (e.g gatas – bad girls / babes), several different verb tenses, and examples of the Spanish word “ya” (already, now, whether, etc. – a very important and diverse word to know and to use if you wish to sound fluent!).
As well, the title is a common and important Spanish word to learn! Ojalá – hopefully, I wish, if only, etc. You will hear this word on lots of Spanish movies and shows, podcasts, in Spanish music, etc, and you will read it in lots of Spanish books!
5.) Malamente – Rosalía (New Flamenco)
Rosalía is a signer from Spain who is well-known for being a bit hard to understand in her music. Her gorgeous voice is quite clear though, so if you are reading along, this can be great practice for training your ear!
This song is “Chapter 1: Augurio” (omen) in her album “El Mal Querer”. The album as a whole tells the story of a woman in an abusive relationship, as she attempts to break free (inspired by the novel “Flamenca“. Chapter 1 is this woman committing to this man, despite bad omens and warnings.
“Malamente” literally means badly, but in this context it means more ‘bad’, as in the ‘bad’ feeling you have in the pit of your stomach about certain things or all of the ‘bad’ omens around you.
All of this detailed background and meaning behind the song, and the fact that this song has a massive amount of symbology in general (and even from Romani and Andalusian culture!), makes this a very fun song to get to know the culture and history of Spain a bit!
Listening to the song and translating the verses, while determining what you think the symbology is, is also very fun and amazing Spanish practice!
On top of all of this, you can even learn some Andalusian words, like “illo” which stems from “quillo/a”, which is derived from “chiquillo/a” (boy/girl). “Illo” is slang for dude, bro, man, etc.
4.) Todo de Ti – Rauw Alejandro (Reggaeton)
This fun song with an 80’s vibe is great for easing into some faster Spanish music!
Its got plenty slang and colloquialisms (e.g “me pones mal a mi” – you drive me crazy / (or in some regions) you make me horny) and the shortening of several words, which is extremely common in spoken Spanish!
For example, na’ instead of nada, pa’ instead of para, to’ instead of todo, etc.
This song is FILLED with these shortenings and its quite important to be able to recognize them, as its so common in modern language. Being able to easily and correctly identify what these small words are is the difference between being fluent enough to hang and joke around with natives comfortably or not!
3.) Ojitos Lindos – Bad Bunny ft. Bomba Estéreo (Urbano, Bachata)
Another song with Bomba Estéreo! Just as with the first song from her, this song is not too easy to understand. On top of this, Bad Bunny is also not always the easiest to understand and this song is quite a bit more challenging than most on this list due to the fast pace, rapping, and persistent debuccalization and swallowing of whole words from both singers!
This song is a gold mine for verb tenses! There’s simple present, past, and future, as well as present perfect, subjunctive, imperfect, near future, etc. – can you identify examples of all of them?
In addition, there is quite a bit of slang and colloquialisms (e.g “culo” – butt), reflexive verbs (e.g “equivocarse” – to make a mistake), a bunch of indirect and direct pronouns, and plenty of short forms (e.g “pa’ ” for para).
2.) Dile – Don Omar (Reggaeton)
This is a proper old school reggaeton song and will certainly test your ear for proper understanding!
Right off the bat, the title “dile” and the frequent “cuéntale” that can be heard are great examples of the imperative verb form! AKA a command. They both mean ‘tell him’.
On top of this, you can find various other verb tenses in the song and many, many sentences using ‘que‘ (e.g “dile que bailando te conocí” – tell him that I met you dancing).
Although ‘que’ (note: without the accent mark) is a fairly basic and easy thing to learn in Spanish, its importance cannot be undermined! It is such a common and important word in Spanish and will really up your fluency level, once mastered. Here is a great article talking about using it in different ways!
In addition, due to the frequent repetition of several sentences and words in this song, it is also a great choice to really learn these phrases (and their grammar) well!
1.) Dakiti – Bad Bunny x Jhay Cortez (Reggaeton)
This song is number 1 on this list for a few reasons!
First, it is reggaeton and it is sung and rapped at a fairly fast pace. If you listen without the lyrics in front of you, you will likely need a well trained ear that has been very exposed to Spanish music to understand what is being said.
Second, this song has the most short forms of words (e.g “cora” for ‘corazón’) and debuccalization on this whole list.
Lastly, this song also has the most light vulgarities (e.g “A mí sin cojone’…” – I dont care (or I dont give a s*) and slang / colloquialisms (even some specific to Puerto Rico) (e.g “juqueao” – hooked) of all of the songs on this list!
Add all this, and mix in various verb tenses and tons of imagery, and it makes for an amazing song for advanced learners who want to increase their fluency!
I hope you find some new songs to fall in love with here! And I hope that you learn lots from the songs, as well. Let me know in the comments below which is your favorite and let us all know what other songs you love and/or use to study!
If these songs aren’t hitting the spot for you, or if you just want more Spanish music to learn with, check out my Spotify playlist here.
I try to update it regularly with all the new songs I find during my Spanish studies 🙂
Don’t forget to check out my language learning printables to help with learning Spanish on Etsy here! 🙂
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