Playing the guitar is so much fun, especially when it comes to playing rock songs. If you are a fan of rock music, it is only understandable to have the urge to play the guitar, and channel your inner Hendrix or May.
The guitar is an instrument that is fairly easy to play when you have a basic understanding. However, you do need to be prepared for painful fingertips at first. Once you’ve got over this, and you have a basic understanding of the basic chords you’re good to go!
Whether you decide to play the guitar by teaching yourself tab or learning the chords, this is entirely up to you. Rock music would be nothing without some killer guitar chords and solos.
In this article, we will be chatting you through the 20 easiest rock songs that beginners can play on the guitar. We have covered a wide variety of different bands and genres within rock to appeal to as many tastes as possible.
All the songs included are easy to play when you have a basic understanding of the chords, and there are a few songs thrown in that are more of a challenge for more seasoned beginners. These songs are in no particular order.
Which song will you learn first?
Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
Seven Nation Army is an absolute classic when it comes to rock songs. Any rock lover will be very familiar with the famous riff that runs through the song. While it may sound complicated to a beginner’s ears, it is surprisingly easy to master.
The chords are simple to master. While you will need to move your hand up and down the neck of the guitar a lot, the movements are not too difficult to get the hang of. You will also need to focus on the 1st and 5th strings a lot.
While Seven Nation Army is simple when you get the hang of the riff, it can take a short while to learn. Start playing the notes slowly until you can do this correctly, and then build up the speed over time.
House Of The Rising Sun – The Animals
It is likely that you are looking at this song suggestion and thinking surely House of the Rising Sun cannot be played by a beginner. While it may seem complicated, it is actually quite easy to play!
While the notes themselves can be a little tough to get to grips with at first, there is a lot of repetition in this song. As a result, once you get the hang of how to play the main riff, the rest of the song is easy to play.
What is great about this song is that it can help with your finger picking skills, and learning to play one string at a time, rather than strumming all the chords. This is a good skill to learn and practice from the beginning.
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Lynyrd Skynyrd wrote an absolute classic with Sweet Home Alabama. As far as rock goes, it is certainly on the lighter side. However, it is a great song to play when you are still getting to grips with the basics.
There is a lot of repetition in the song, and the guitar is played fairly slowly. It is not too taxing, and let’s face it… it is a classic! If you are looking for a song to play to your friends that is guaranteed to make them get up on their feet, it is this one!
This is one of the rock songs that features only three chords, making it easy to get to grips with.
Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles
When it comes to the songs The Beatles have released, they have a very impressive back catalog. There are so many fantastic songs to play on the guitar, but some are definitely more difficult to play than others.
Eleanor Rigby is a great song for beginners because it is not overly complicated. The guitar is not the main focus within this song given the violin and other string instruments featuring in the background.
As a result, there is not too much emphasis put on the guitar, making it easier to pick up. The chords are fairly repetitive and easy to pick up.
I Love Rock N’ Roll – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
I Love Rock N’ Roll is a classic rock song that gets people up out of their seats and up rocking. It is a great song to teach yourself, and it is a catchy one too.
What is great about this song is that it is quite simple to learn. The riff is very repetitive, which makes it far easier to learn. Once you get to grips with the small handful of notes, you can speed up how quickly you play them.
The notes then repeat throughout the majority of the song, give or take a few smaller sections. These smaller sections also feature repetition and are easy to pick up.
This is a great option to consider if you are looking for your first rock song to perfect given how easy it is to learn.
You Really Got Me – The Kinks
You Really Got Me is a great song, and while it is not a heavy rock song, it’s a classic. This is an easy song to play, again due to the repetition. When you are looking for easier rock songs to play, you will notice that many have a riff that repeats throughout the song.
These songs are easier to pick, and encourage beginners to play for longer periods. They are a great way of practicing and perfecting your skills.
What is great about You Really Got Me is that there are small sections of guitar solos that will challenge beginners as they grow in confidence.
The Joker – The Steve Miller Band
The Joker is a surprisingly easy song to play that is not too overcomplicated. While it is not the most well known song featured, it is still a classic, and a great option to learn.
While this is a great song to play on the guitar, it is also a fun and easy song to play on bass guitar if you are looking to learn this instrument too.
Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) – Green Day
Green Day are such a fantastic band. They have been kicking around since the 90s and still continue to impress with their music. Green Day have an impressive back catalog of songs, some which are more well-known than others.
An absolute classic is Good Riddance (Time of your Life). Not only is it a catchy song, but it is fairly easy to play on the guitar too. The incredible thing about this song is that it can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.
To begin with, you can strum the handful of chords used. As you gain confidence, you can then pick the individual chords to give it that quintessential Green Day sound.
Come As You Are – Nirvana
Nirvana were a fantastic band that took the rock world by storm. Come As You Are features one of the most iconic riffs, and it is fairly easy to play!
This is a great song for repetition, and once you get the hang of the chords and the finger picking, it is an easy choice to play. Finger picking is not the easiest to learn, especially if you are used to using a pick, so this is a great way to practise your skills.
Boulevard Of Broken Dreams – Green Day
We had to include another Green Day song in our list because it is a classic, and also one that is not too difficult to play as a beginner. Boulevard has an unforgettable opening riff that carries on throughout the song.
The best thing about this song is that the riff is not too complicated to get your head around. Once you gain confidence switching to different cords and hand positioning, this song is easy to pick up.
The chorus is slightly more challenging in comparison to the verses, but it is still easy enough to play overall.
Song 2 – Blur
Song 2 is an easy, go-to choice for beginners. It is not overly strenuous or complicated in any way, and it is a memorable song to learn. Everyone loves the infamous riff, and people will certainly be jealous of you if you are able to play it!
Out of all the songs featured in this article, Song 2 is one of the easiest songs to play. It is great because it allows you to practise your chords and strumming patterns. It features a good amount of repetition too, which makes it a quick option to learn.
Runnin’ With The Devil – Van Halen
Runnin’ With The Devil is such a fantastic Van Halen song. It is a quintessential rock song, and the guitar part is memorable. As you can tell from listening to the song, it is not an overly complicated riff to pick up.
Given this, it is a great song to begin with. There is a fair amount of repetition throughout the song, and there are some slightly more challenging parts for a beginner, without being too complicated.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication
Red Hot Chili Peppers are such a great band. Typically speaking, you would not necessarily put easy, and their songs in the same sentence. A lot of their songs are quite complex and difficult to play.
This is why the majority are better to try once you have a wider experience playing the guitar.
However, there are a few exceptions to this, Californication being one of these. This is such a fantastic song, and the guitar tabs are not too difficult to master overall.
Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple
When it comes to the best guitar riffs of all time, it does not get much better than Smoke on the Water. It is one that everyone who enjoys rock music loves and respects. It is a natural choice of songs to want to learn to play as a beginner.
Once you get to grips with the chords, the rest of the song is both simple and easy to play. There is a fair amount of repetition, which is helpful for a song for beginners.
Creep – Radiohead
Creep is another great rock song that is not too difficult to master as a beginner. If you are looking for a song to ease you into playing the guitar, this is one of the best options we have featured.
It is not too overcomplicated, and the chords are quite slow to play. The song builds up gradually, which makes it simpler to get to grips with.
Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor
Eye of the Tiger features another classic riff that the vast majority of people know and love. If you want to channel your inner Rocky, this is the song for you to learn!
The build up of the guitar is fun, and the repetition means that Eye of the Tiger is not overly complicated. It can be learned in a few hours, even by those who have not been playing the guitar for long.
Master Of Puppets – Metallica
Metallica are one of the best rock bands, and Master of Puppets is such a memorable song. It is one that is not too difficult to play, even though it may seem like a complicated song.
It has a riff that repeats for the majority of the song, meaning that when you master the riff, you have mastered the rest of the song. Master of Puppets is heavily reliant on the guitar, which is such an important part of the song.
Wild Thing – The Troggs
Wild Thing is a classic rock song that the majority of people love. The guitar in this song is very easy to pick up and learn. It should only take a few hours to master, and it is a great option to practice your strumming with.
There are no parts that are too overcomplicated to play, and there is plenty of repetition throughout.
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
(I can’t Get No) Satisfaction is arguably The Rolling Stones best songs. You cannot help but to sing along to this song, and it is so much fun to play on the guitar. It is not too fast or too slow to play, and it can be picked up easily in just a few hours.
The song is quite repetitive, and it is a good option to choose if you want to practise your strumming techniques. This is a great song to learn if you want to impress your friends or family!
Light My Fire – The Doors
Last, but certainly not least, we have Light My Fire, by The Doors. We would not write a list of the easiest rock songs to play without including this fantastic band. Light My Fire is such a classic song, and it is a good choice to learn as a first song.
The chords are not too difficult to pick up, and the guitar is not the full focus of the song, which is great if you want to build up your confidence playing the guitar slowly.
Other Beginner Rock Songs To Try
If you have learned all of these songs, and you are looking for some other options to consider, there is an endless list of easy rock songs that can be played on the guitar.
Here are some of our other favorites that are worth learning:
- TNT – AC/DC
- Losing My Religion – REM
- Anarchy In The UK – Sex Pistols
- Don’t Fear The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
- Zombie – The Cranberries
We hope you enjoyed this article. As you can see, there are many easy songs that beginners can learn to play on the guitar. You may even be surprised to learn how easy these songs are to play.
While these will still require some knowledge of chords and guitar playing, they are fairly easy to pick up.
Once you have perfected these songs, and find switching between the chords easy, you can then move onto some of the more difficult songs. If you are struggling with these songs, then do not be disheartened.
Playing the guitar takes time, skill and practice to perfect. You will get there!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The 3 Chords Of Rock?
When it comes to rock songs, there are many chords used, from simple chords, to power chords. However, there are three in particular that are useful to learn as a beginner. These three chords are C, F and G.
They heavily feature in a lot of rock songs, and some songs will only feature a mixture of these three chords, so they should be taught as soon as possible.
What’s The Easiest Chord To Play On A Guitar?
There are many chords that are easy to play on the guitar. However, the E Minor chord is the easiest to pick up. It is a basic chord, and features many songs. The person’s fingers sit comfortably on the frets, and it’s not too awkward to play.
What Guitar Chords Should A Beginner Learn First?
As a beginner, you will want to learn the easiest chords to play first. It is useful if these chords are ones that often feature in songs. We would recommend starting with E minor, C, D, and G.
This will help you to cover the bases for most rock songs as these are popular and common chords for rock songs to feature.
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