50 Easy Electric Guitar Songs for Beginners (with Tabs and Lesson Videos)

Aspiring rock stars and live band performers should always consider two things whenever starting on their journey. The first is to get a good electric guitar that they can get familiar and comfortable playing. The second is to choose the right songs to help you learn the fundamentals of playing an electric guitar.

You’ll master hammers-on, bends, slides, and a variety of fingerstyles. You will also need to strengthen your sense of rhythm, as well as a few other basics of electric guitar playing.

Slash Playing an Easy Electric Guitar Song for Beginners

You can play almost any song on an electric guitar. However, if you’re a beginner, you’d be better off starting with easier songs and slowly work your way up to more advanced songs. This will give you the confidence you need to tackle more complicated guitar playing techniques that other songs demand.

Here is a list of some fun to play and easy electric guitar songs for beginners. Even if you won’t land on the world stage, these songs can surely be an instant hit with your family and friends.

Here is a List of Easy Electric Guitar Songs

1. Back in Black By AC/DC

Release Date July 25, 1980
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Back in Black Tabs Here

Song Overview: AC/DC wrote this song as a tribute to Bon Scott, the band’s former lead vocalist. The song is best known for its phenomenal guitar riff right in the intro. Many hailed the song as having one of the greatest guitar riffs of all time. The song fuses the elements of metal and rock to produce a song that appeals to anyone and everyone.

The main chords that make up the guitar riffs are A, D, and E. This is a song that is perfect for beginning electric guitarists. The guitar riff climbs towards the chorus. It may take some time to master all these riffs but this song will be incredibly fun to learn and play and have you feeling like a rock star with how great you sound.

2. Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin

Release Date November 7, 1969
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Whole Lotta Love Tabs Here

Song Overview: A personal favorite, this song is easily one of the best songs that any beginner electric guitarist can learn. The riff is both catchy and timeless. What is more astonishing is the fact that the guitar riff provides the strong hook of the masterpiece. I doubt that you can master Jimmy’s phenomenal lead guitar playing skills after only a few practice sessions. However, it is very possible to master the song’s opening riff in a matter of minutes. And once you get the hang of it, learning the rest of the song should be easy.

This song is one of Led Zeppelin’s greatest pieces. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song at number 75 in the platform’s 500 all-time greatest. BBC Radio 2 recognized the guitar riff of the song as the greatest in the history of music. That’s more than enough reason to include this song in your guitar playing repertoire.

3. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door by Guns N’ Roses

Release Date 1987
Tuning Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb
Tabs View Knockin On Heavens Door Tabs Here

Song Overview: An incredible piece to start learning how to play the electric guitar and one of the many songs that defined Bob Dylan’s legendary musical career. First released in 1973, the song has been covered by so many artists, providing the piece their own magical interpretation. It is also proof of the remarkable popularity of Dylan’s song. One of the best covers I have ever seen about the song is the one by Guns n’ Roses, which the band released in 1990.

Learning to play this song is crucial to aspiring guitarists. It has one of the most popular riffs on the planet. It also teaches you several of the basic techniques that you will use in your electric guitar playing. There’s a combination of strumming and fingerpicking. The fretting movements are not very complicated. And the sound it produces, even if you start slow, will still be so beautiful.

4. Californication By Red Hot Chili Peppers

Release Date June 8, 1999
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Californication Tabs Here

Song Overview: It is almost impossible to think about Red Hot Chili Peppers without their 1999 hit song Californication. Sure, the band has many other remarkable songs. However, it is Californication that captured the fancy of many people at the turn of the new millennia. Personally, I love the tune and its relaxed vibe.

The song starts by picking both the Am and the F chords for a full 12 measures. You can then move on to an easy pattern of C-G-Dm-Am before you go back to the original Am-F chord for 8 full measures. There is a strumming pattern for the pre-chorus, too. This goes on for about 12 measures. Once you get these basics, you should be able to play the song’s guitar solo that spans a whopping 16 measures. These should help you build on your skills as an electric guitarist.

5. Creep by Radiohead

Release Date September 6, 1992
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Creep Tabs Here

Song Overview: Another choice for easy electric guitar songs is this 1992 piece from Radiohead. It wasn’t a commercial success at first. However, the band re-released the song a year later and that’s when people started getting the good vibes from the song.

Creep has a very easy-to-follow rhythm. You will never find yourself coercing your fingers to move on the fretboard at a frenzied pace. This is one of those musical pieces that are not only great for beginning electric guitarists. It is also a good piece for learning and mastering basic rhythm. One essential technique here is the fingerpick. It produces a subtler sound than using a pick. The chords are as elementary as a birthday song. Try to learn a few variations to help improve the overall melody of the song. You should be ready to rock your house in a few days.

6. Cherub Rock by Smashing Pumpkins

Release Date July 13, 1993
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Cherub Rock Tabs Here

Song Overview: You’ll appreciate Billy Corgan’s uncanny ability for combining pop hooks and amazing hard rock riffs in this masterpiece by the Smashing Pumpkins. Released in 1993, Cherub Rock earned a Grammy nomination for the best performance in hard rock. Corgan performed the song using standard tuning. However, he played the E octave at the 7th fret. This song is a great introduction to aspiring guitarists who want to introduce classic arena rock and shoegazing in their future creations.

The strumming pattern is an easy one for beginners. The fretting movements will require some finger and wrist flexibility. You may also want to introduce a slide in between the chords. The song also serves as a learning tool for practicing basic fingerstyles. And with its smashing melodies, this is one song worth playing during large gatherings. It’s one cool way to wow your guests. Overall, this is an easy electric guitar song that’s fun and easy to master.

7. Blitzkrieg Bop by Ramones

Release Date February 1976
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Blitzkrieg Bop Tabs Here

Song Overview: I love the very funky tune of this song by the Ramones. The punk rock band released this song in 1976 and I still cannot help tapping my foot to the beat every time I hear it getting played on the airwaves. It has a very simple structure, consisting only of three chords to make a single pattern. The song is very popular in many sporting and athletic events. The lively beat of the song makes it an excellent rallying cry for a team that is playing catch up.

The 3-chord pattern of the song also makes it a great piece for beginning guitarists. Master the A5, E5, and D5 chords and you are all set to rock this piece. The most fun part about playing this song is that you can employ powerful strumming blows. That’s what we call a high-energy, rock star performance.

8. Wild Thing by The Troggs

Release Date April 22, 1966
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Wild Thing Tabs Here

Song Overview: Wild Things is one of those songs that sounds great on an acoustic guitar. And if you wish to turn it into a performance piece, it will sound even more wonderful in an electric guitar. This 1966 song was written by Chip Taylor. The Troggs were not the original recorders of the song, however. It was the Wild Ones in 1965. Unfortunately, the original song did not chart. On the other hand, The Troggs version peaked the Hot 100 of Billboard. The song also happens to be on Rolling Stone’s list of the all-time greatest songs.

Like the Blitzkrieg Bop, Wild Thing only comes with a three-chord pattern. Newbies should never have any problems playing the song. There are also no fancy fingering techniques required. All you ever need is familiarity with the chords and the uninhibited desire to play the electric guitar.

9. I Can’t Get No Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones

Release Date June 5, 1965
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View I Cant Get No Satisfaction Tabs Here

Song Overview: Fans of Keith Richards love this song. It has one of Richards’ most iconic guitar riffs ever. I personally love the rock-meets-soul vibe of the song that further cemented the band’s place in the world of rock n’ roll. Hearing the song the first time gives you a buzzsaw impression. Give it a few more seconds and the song grow into you. It would be almost impossible to get that catchy guitar riff out of your head.

What is most amazing about this 1965 song is that it is the most fun and easiest beginner electric guitar song anyone can play. You only need to focus on a single string to play the iconic riff. You can play the song with gusto, hammering the strings as strong as you want. It is also possible to give it a few twists. For now, it would be best to focus on the rhythm.

10. Smoke on The Water by Deep Purple

Release Date May 1, 1973
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Smoke On The Water Tabs Here

Song Overview: Following in the footsteps of the legendary Rolling Stones is Deep Purple. This English hard rock band released Smoke on the Water in 1973. Total Guitar ranked this song as the 4th greatest guitar riffs of all time. The Rolling Stones magazine also included this Deep Purple song in its list of mankind’s 500 greatest songs.

Ritchie Blackmore wrote the riff in G minor, incorporating a blues scale melody that uses only 4 notes. Blackmore harmonized the notes in parallel fourths. What many of us don’t know is that Blackmore drew inspiration from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. He inverted the melodies of the classical piece to create a power chord riff that has become as timeless as Beethoven’s masterpiece. Beginner guitarists will find playing the chord progression relatively easy. Learning a single section is enough to play the entire song. It’s very fun, too.

11. Roxanne By the Police

Release Date April 7, 1978
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Roxanne Tabs Here

Song Overview: Sting wrote Roxanne in 1978 when he was still a member of The Police. The lyrical theme is very close to the 1990 Richard Gere-Julia Roberts film, Pretty Woman. This song is one of history’s greatest rock songs. This is a rock song with elements of reggae that will make you feel like taking to the dance floor.

The intro is very easy to play in the electric guitar. What is very important is to master the fingering technique of the song to achieve the characteristic electro sound of the song. It requires the lifting of the fretting fingers lightly to stop the strings from producing an extended note with each strum. The song also requires mastery of the guitar pick, although you can always employ a fingerpicking method. This is a fun song to play on any occasion.

12. Right Through You by Alanis Morissette

Release Date June 13, 1995
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Right Through You Tabs Here

Song Overview: This song is one of the tracks on the album that launched Alanis Morissette to international stardom in 1995. It showed influences of pop rock and post-grunge in both the song’s structure and harmonics. The song features different musical instruments that blend harmoniously like that of the instruments in an orchestra.

Like many Morissette songs, Right Through You comes with chords that aren’t that difficult to first-timers. The strumming pattern is also as straightforward as any other song. The key to playing this song on an electric guitar is to master the rhythm. It should never pose a problem since the rhythm is also predictable. What newbies will appreciate is that the song provides them with a good introductory piece for playing the electric guitar with abandon. You can be as carefree as you like when playing this song along with your friends.

13. Hotel California By Eagles

Release Date December 9, 1976
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Hotel California Tabs Here

Song Overview: Anyone who wants to learn to play the guitar should include this 1977 classic in his or her list. While an acoustic guitar is perfect for playing this song, doing the fingerstyle in an electric guitar is worth it. After all, the original recording of this song featured an extended section that saw Joe Walsh and Don Felder interplaying with their electric guitars. The song has also one of the longest codas in the world. This led to the guitar section being voted as one of music history’s best solos.

Hotel California teaches you a lot of things about playing the electric guitar. From the classic picking techniques to the precise fretting movements, you’ll have most of the basics covered. Some folks may find the fingering techniques to be complicated. All you ever really need is the patience to learn the basics before you can start notching it up a bit.

14. Rockin’ In The Free World by Neil Young

Release Date November 14, 1989
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Rockin In The Free World Tabs Here

Song Overview: There’s no doubt that this song is one of Neil Young’s best. It ranks in the middle of the pack of Rolling Stone’s 500 all-time greatest songs. Young released two versions of this song. If you’re into playing the acoustic guitar, then you should pick the version with an acoustic arrangement. Newbie electric guitarists will find the electric version of the song to be an excellent piece. The popularity of Young’s song has led to its extended use in the political arena in the US.

Beginner guitarists will never have problems with the song’s strumming patterns. It is a good exercise for developing your guitar playing skills. The song also has modest fingerstyle sections that are perfect for improving finger coordination and flexibility. Overall, I would say this is a great electric guitar song for beginners.

15. Iron Man by Black Sabbath

Release Date October 7, 1971
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Iron Man Tabs Here

Song Overview: This Black Sabbath masterpiece has a very iconic riff that is perfect for aspiring heavy metal guitarists. Ozzy Osbourne described the power guitar riff of the song as a big iron bloke. And true enough, this song has one of the ‘heaviest’ guitars works on the planet. Fans of Tony Stark’s Iron Man should be familiar with the song. Although the song was written and released in 1971, Iron Man did feature in the end credits of the first installment of the Iron Man trilogy. The Iron Man 2 trailer also featured this Black Sabbath song.

You’ll learn to love Tony Iommi’s guitar playing skills. The chords are a breeze to play. The song itself is fun to learn as it is very easy to pick up a few guitar tricks. You can use and incorporate these tricks in your own electric guitar playing.

16. Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndy Lauper

Release Date September 6, 1983
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Girls Just Want To Have Fun Tabs Here

Song Overview: I bet you didn’t know that this Cyndy Lauper song was recorded first by Robert Hazard in 1979. Hazard’s original version did not do well in the charts. It was in 1983 when Lauper decided to record it that the song became an instant hit. The song has a very fun and upbeat vibe. It also became the anthem of a growing feminist movement, leading to the song being covered by at least 30 different artists.

Learning to play this song on an electric guitar is not only easy. It is also very fun. However, the song does require your fingers to be as flexible as possible. This is especially true when playing the verse. There are certain sections of the song that offer some sort of respite for your fingers. It’s the hammers-on and bends that will keep you glued to your electric guitar.

17. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult

Release Date July 1976
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Don’t Fear The Reaper Tabs Here

Song Overview: I love the tune and melody of this 1976 song. I also like its message having to do with eternal love as well as the inevitability of our end. It is for this reason that the song has a very eerie, almost haunting vibe. Don’t let it spook you because this is one of the all-time greatest songs, according to Rolling Stone.

The song is perfect for learning a few fingerstyle techniques. This song is even better for those who already have a basic knowledge about arpeggios. You can always strengthen your arpeggio picking capabilities, while also harnessing your palm muting skills. The intro comes with a very lovely and easy strum. The chords are excellent for beginners and the tune is something that will have you sitting back, reflecting on life. This is a great learning song for a beginning electric guitarist.

Popular Related Article: Our 57 Favorite Easy Guitar Songs

18. Lonely Day by System Of A Down

Release Date April 17, 2006
Tuning Db Ab Db Gb Bb Eb
Tabs View Lonely Day Tabs Here

Song Overview: Some of us would like to envision ourselves as masters of harmonic distortions, emphatic beats, and extended guitar solos. If you’re one of these folks, then you should start your heavy metal journey with this song by System of a Down. Lonely Day is not as loud as the conventional metal music we know. It has a very soft and slow melody that makes it more like a slow rock or even a ballad.

For starters, the song lasts less than 3 minutes. You could easily practice the different sections of the song without getting bored. The chords are also easy, requiring only basic fretting and fingerstyle techniques. What is essential to learn in this song is its rhythm. The intro and verses are easy pickings. You’ll get a taste of being a rock star when you start playing the chorus. That should really be fun.

19. Nothing Else Matters by Metallica

Release Date April 20, 1992
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Nothing Else Matters Tabs Here

Song Overview: A staple in many of Metallica’s live performances, this song is a great beginner piece for those who would like to embark on a journey playing the electric guitar. I love the intro of this song. The arpeggio in E minor is always a great start to any song. Whenever Metallica performs the song live, they often transpose it about half a step lower. The song starts with a low E on an open string. An open G follows before the high E gets strung.

Playing the intro alone is enough to get everyone vibing. It has this eerie feel to it that strikes the soul. And we’re not talking about bass here. The way the progression of the notes is enough to awaken the senses. And when you start playing the individual notes, you get a melody that sounds more like a lullaby than a heavy metal song.

20. The One I Love by R.E.M.

Release Date August 24, 1987
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View The One I Love Tabs Here

Song Overview: I cannot think of any other song with a very catchy tune than this R.E.M. masterpiece. It has that lovely rhythm that is enough to bob your head around. That is why many people fell in love with the song, especially its refrain. What many don’t realize is that this is not really a love song. And that the refrain does not necessarily mean an allusion to one’s beloved. In fact, the song has a darker and more manipulative undertone.

Regardless, this R.E.M. song is still great for budding electric guitarists. It teaches you about rhythm and how the perfect timing of the fingerpick can produce a beautiful sound. You’ll also love the interplay between the low registers and the high notes of the song. It creates an acoustic masterpiece that is a lot like the music created by multiple instruments.

21. I Saw Her Standing There by The Beatles

Release Date March 22, 1963
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View I Saw Her Standing There Tabs Here

Song Overview: There are many reasons why this Beatles song is Rolling Stone’s 139th greatest song in the history of man. Written by Paul McCartney, this song remains a must-learn for many aspiring musicians. There are many guitar tricks you can learn from this song. You also get to appreciate McCartney’s guitar chord selections. It is also a great tool for learning how John Lennon combines classic rock leads and a boogie style rhythm to create a masterpiece that still enjoys significant airtime in the 21st century.

It is a must that you already have a fair grasp of the basics of guitar playing before you take on this song. This Beatles classic is going to test the coordination of your fretting fingers. Your playing fingers will also have to be on-point when picking or strumming the correct strings. Master these techniques and you’re ready to play more complex songs.

22. Comedown by Bush

Release Date September 26, 1995
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Comedown Tabs Here

Song Overview: Gavin Rossdale drew inspiration from his recent breakup to write a song that shows both regret and celebration. The 1995 song has been a favorite of many people after a breakup. The song reached the top of the Alternative Songs of Billboard for that year. It also landed the number 2 spot on the mainstream rock tracks, while also breaching Hot 100 at the 30th spot.

The intro of this Bush song will test your fingerstyle. The harmonics are quite tricky. However, nothing is impossible if you find the determination to push through. The verses take on a slower groove. The alternating fast and slow rhythm of the song hallmarks the ups and downs of a relationship. There are power chords throughout the song. This is perfect for learning a few tricks and strengthening a beginner guitarist’s rhythm chops.

23. Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits

Release Date May 1978
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Sultans Of Swing Tabs Here

Song Overview: This is Dire Straits’ most impressive and most popular song. The guitar solo of this song virtually introduced the British rockers to the rest of the world. Even people who have never heard of Dire Straits before were instantly mesmerized by the band’s mastery of the guitar. And who would have thought that one can create a hit song in an open-tuned guitar.

The song’s chord progression is ideal for beginners as it is easy to follow. There are no significant differences in the chords between different verses and different choruses. This is also a great piece for mastering a triad of guitar riffs, focusing mainly on second inversions. Plus, the Andalucian cadence of the song gives it a very nice flamenco-like vibe. I wouldn’t blame you if you suddenly find yourself favoring jazz after learning to play this song.

24. Last Nite By the Strokes

Release Date October 23, 2001
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Last Nite Tabs Here

Song Overview: This song may not have the popularity of the other songs in this list. However, it has one of the simplest riffs you can ever play on an electric guitar. While its chart performance is average at best, Last Nite does enjoy being listed as one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 greatest songs in history. Last Nite landed at number 478.

The main riff of the song comes with classic downward strumming strokes. It would be best to have one of your friends to play another electric guitar to give that awesome two-guitar effect. It is more harmonious that way. Regardless, learning Last Nite should be easy-peasy for absolute beginners. The song introduces you to the technique of chord anticipation and prepares you to play other songs. It also strengthens your skills using the patterns of 16th note strumming, all while having fun playing it.

25. Europa by Carlos Santana

Release Date March 26, 1976
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Europa Tabs Here

Song Overview: I decided to include one of Carlos Santana’s greatest works because of the very nature of the song. Europa is an instrumental rock classic that topped the Spanish Singles chart in 1976. This instrumental music has many similarities to Joseph Kosma’s Autumn Leaves, a well-known jazz standard. What I find very interesting about this piece is the Picardy cadence that punctuates the end of each verse. It is a fabulous piece worth playing on an electric guitar.

The chord progression of the song is slick. It incorporates a descending pattern of suspensions. Based in the key of C minor, Europa is one of the beautiful guitar instrumentals you can ever play. It has a complex harmonic that can be tricky to master. You can still nail this piece with constant practice and focus on the unique fingerstyle techniques of the song.

26. Zombie by The Cranberries

Release Date September 19, 1994
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Zombie Tabs Here

Song Overview: Very few people know the reason behind the writing of “Zombie”. Dolores O’Riordan wrote the song as a condemnation against the twin IRA bombings in 1993. The Cranberries song became a huge hit in the US, Australia, France, Germany, Denmark, and Belgium. And who doesn’t love its melody? Add the vocals and you have a great song to play with your buddies.

I have met a lot of very prolific electric guitarists who say that they started their careers learning the original 1994 “Zombie”. And it is easy to see why. This song has very simple chords that can be made more powerful by the different sound effects that one can produce only with an electric guitar. The song doesn’t require fancy fingerstyles. There are a few layering sounds that give the song multitonal characteristics. This makes the song a cinch to learn.

27. You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ By Judas Priest

Release Date August 6, 1982
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View You’ve Got Another Thing Comin Tabs Here

Song Overview: From the 1950s to the 1980s, it is never easy for non-US artists to break into the charts in the US. They’ve got to have a phenomenal song to appeal to the US masses. One such artist is Judas Priest. This is a West Midlands-based heavy metal band that is now recognized as one of the world’s all-time greatest metal bands. The band released this song in 1982 and hit the charts straightaway.

There is no escaping the almost hypnotic rhythm of this Judas Priest song. Listening to the song will have you beating to the rhythm. And if you’re in your car, be mindful of your gas as the beat of this song will make you want to step on it. This exhilarating feeling is something that you can also get when you learn to play this fantastic song.

28. All the Small Things by Blink 182

Release Date January 18, 2000
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View All The Small Things Tabs Here

Song Overview: This is one of the most fun electric guitar songs I have ever learned. The song is a great exercise of timing and coordination, not to mention the accuracy and precision of your fingerstyle. However, the melody that it produces is something that any fan of hard rock can appreciate. It is electrifying and satisfying at the same time. It would be almost impossible to prevent your friends from turning your home into a disco house once you’ve learned how to play this like a pro.

Tom DeLonge wrote and composed the song as a piece for his girlfriend. The intention was for the song to gain substantial radio airtime. It accomplished more than that. This song peaked at the number 6 spot of the Hot 100 of Billboard. It also fared well on the UK Singles Chart, reaching the 2nd top spot.

29. It Hurts Me Too by Elmore James

Release Date May 10, 1940
Tuning D A D F# A D
Tabs View It Hurts Me Too Tabs Here

Song Overview: This masterpiece by Elmore James is one of the world’s most interpreted songs. It gives it the distinction of being a blues standard. And why not? This song was first written and recorded by Tampa Red in 1940. The original eight-bar blues version had a mid-tempo and featured a slide guitar. One of the most popular artists who was able to give the song justice was Elmore James in 1957 by improving on the song’s slide guide techniques.

Many of the legendary blues artists and rock and roll legends of the second half of the 20th century drew their inspiration from the guitar works of this song. It is a great tool for learning the basics of the shuffle pattern. You’ll also learn the downstrum technique, a crucial element of many rock and roll and blues songs.

30. Master of Puppets by Metallica

Release Date March 3, 1986
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Master Of Puppets Tabs Here

Song Overview: A 6-time certified platinum song, Master of Puppets is a piece that is great for beginner heavy metal electric guitarists. Music experts claim that this song is key to the consolidation of the thrash metal scene in the US. It is one of history’s most influential songs in the heavy metal genre. It is so influential that the Library of Congress deemed it fitting to preserve the original recording. Only the best songs get stored in the national archives.

Playing the chords of the song is like playing one of AC/DC’s signature riffs. You will have to forgive Hetfield’s outrageous vocals. Just focus on the song’s rhythm and you’ll have one of the best beats for any electric guitar song. The song is also great for polishing one’s arpeggio picking and fingerstyle technique as well as a few other guitar basics. This is easily one of my favorite easy electric guitar songs for beginners.

31. My Best Friend’s Girl by The Cars

Release Date October 10, 1978
Tuning F A# D# G# C F
Tabs View My Best Friends Girl Tabs Here

Song Overview: If you listen to the lyrics of this 1978 song very well, I am pretty sure you may know of someone who may have had the same predicament as the song’s subject. While Ric Ocasek said that he did not experience getting dumped for his best friend, he knew that the experience is quite common. It is this ‘relevance’ that saw the song reached the top of the charts in the UK and barged into the Hot 100 of the US at number 35.

The song gets introduced with lower register guitar chords. The two-bar chord progression seamlessly moves in the key of F. The intro lasts a full 8 bars before the song’s electrifying lead guitar lick kicks in. You can start learning the intro before you move on to the rhythm and the fills. You can then start conquering the solo like a real pro.

32. This Means War by Avenged Sevenfold

Release Date August 23, 2013
Tuning D A D G B E
Tabs View This Means War Tabs Here

Song Overview: This is another good piece for aspiring heavy metal guitarists. It was released in 2014 and featured in the video game, WWE 2K15. There are a lot of controversies surrounding this song. There are several music publications that criticized the track because of its uncanny similarities to one of Metallica’s songs in the 1990s. The lead vocalist of Machine Head also called the song a ripoff. However, one cannot deny that the song has a lot of things to offer, especially to aspiring electric guitarists.

The song has a slow-paced guitar riff. Newbies will have an easy time picking up the rhythm and the fingerstyle of the piece. And if you use the right electric guitar, you could easily unleash all the power and the angst of a heavy metal musician. This is also a song that’s worth singing along to.

33. Low by Cracker

Release Date 1993
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Low Tabs Here

Song Overview: Most people think that Low is about drugs because of the “being stone” phrase in the lyrics. They often hear the phrase as “being stoned”, which has a darker meaning. This didn’t stop the 1993 song from hitting the charts. In 1994, Low reached Hot 100’s number 64 spot. It is also Billboard’s number 3 modern rock track in 1993.

The song focuses more on the downbeat than the upbeat, making it easier for newbies to play and master. And with only four chords to really focus on – D, C, E, and G – learning to play the intro of this Cracker song should be done with in as short as a few hours. The verses and the chorus will require a few different techniques. The bends and the hammers-on should help you get a feel for what a true electric guitarist does when on the stage.

34. Two Tickets to Paradise by Eddie Money

Release Date June 1978
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Two Tickets To Paradise Tabs Here

Song Overview: If you can envision yourself as a master of several guitar licks, then you should check out this 1977 song by Eddie Money. While the song is already a dinosaur by today’s standards, one can never argue that many rock musicians today owe some of their riffs, bends, and licks from Two Tickets. This is the signature song of Eddie Money himself. And it would be nice to learn a few tricks by listening to and learning from his song.

The song offers a great way to reinforce your rhythm skills. You can then start picking up the pace and the sound you create will still be awesome. The piece is also excellent for those who are aspiring to become lead guitarists. The riffs on the chorus are fun. They use open chords that are spectacular to play with aggressive, powerful strumming.

35. I Can’t Quit You Baby by Willie Dixon

Release Date 1956
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View I Can’t Quit You Baby Tabs Here

Song Overview: It is easy to see why many aspiring electric guitarists want to master performing guitar licks. This is a technique that embellishes the melody that the guitar plays. Most guitarists improvise their licks, instead of following the notations of a certain song. And if you also want to develop your guitar licking abilities, then you need Willie Dixon’s 1956 song to give you a few basics. With only G-C-D chords to play, the song is also one of the easiest to play.

I can count at least 5 different licks that you can learn from this 1950s song. There are several techniques that you will learn. First, there’s the arpeggio picking that is crucial to creating the wonderful sound associated with this piece. There are also the fretting techniques that will exercise your fingers as they move across the fretboard to press the correct strings.

It should be easy for any beginner to master the different basic techniques of playing the electric guitar using any of these songs. And if you find some of them to be tricky, worry not.

You’ll be able to master them with due diligence, patience, and perseverance.

36. Rock You Like a Hurricane by The Scorpions

Release Date 1984
Guitar Chords E5, G5, A5, C5, D5
Tabs View Rock You Like a Hurricane Tabs Here

Before this guitar-heavy tune hit the airwaves, Scorpions had already released eight studio albums. However, it was their ninth album with hits like “Still Loving You” and “Rock You Like a Hurricane” that proved to be the gamechanger for this German hard rock band.

Armed with cool riffs and a catchy sing-along chorus, “Rock You Like a Hurricane” became the band’s first single to crack the top 25 on Billboard Hot 100 charts. It is a great starting point for beginners, especially those who know the basics of power chords. Besides closed power chords, learning palm muting will help you play this song like a pro. Check out the tabs and the video lesson to get started.

37. Sunshine of Your Love by Cream

Release Date 1967
Guitar Chords D, C, G, F, A
Tabs View Sunshine of Your Love Tabs Here

You cannot have a beginner-friendly song list and not have this 1967 crowd-puller on it! “Sunshine of Your Love” by the British band Cream is their most recognizable tune, with a permanent spot in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

For those of you who don’t know about Cream – they were an iconic supergroup powered by the combined earth-shattering talent of three musical heavyweights – guitarist Eric Clapton, bassist John Bruce, and drummer Ginger Baker, who were each masters of their craft.

This popular classic showcases their experiments with psychedelic, pop, and blues instead of the usual rock. “Sunshine of Your Love” also packs one of the most loved bass riffs in music history. Beginners can play this timeless lick on their electric guitar with a bit of practice. It’s based on the D Blues scale. Check out the tutorial above to learn more!

38. Communication Breakdown by Led Zeppelin

Release Date 1969
Guitar Chords Am, C, F, Em
Tabs View Communication Breakdown Tabs Here

While “Whole Lotta Love” might be one of Led Zeppelin’s greatest works but this early staple from their eponymous debut album is arguably their easiest, guitar-wise. A B-side wonder, “Communication Breakdown” became an anthem for the young and restless and a frequent fixture at the band’s live gigs.

The entire song centers around a fast-paced downstroke opening riff and a hard-hitting solo by the mighty Jimmy Page. For now, let’s park the solo and work on perfecting the more doable power chord riff. Set your guitar to an overdrive setting before you get started. The tutorial above will help you nail the speed and a couple of other fundamental techniques to master the riff.

39. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor

Release Date 1982
Guitar Chords Am, G, F, Dm, C
Tabs View Eye of the Tiger Tabs Here

Even those who haven’t watched Rocky would have heard this song in the background of motivational videos. The memorable opening riff has made Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” as legendary as Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa. The title track of the third installment in the sports drama franchise is an adrenaline-pumping ride through and through. It catapulted Survivor to international fame, peaking at number 2 on the charts and selling over 9 million copies across the globe.

In playability, this song is well within reach of new guitarists with fairly straightforward power chords. You’ll just need to work on perfecting the alternate picking pattern. Here’s a little tip – if you aren’t yet comfortable with power chords, you can play a simplified version of the opening riff using just the thick E string. Go on, grab your guitar and get playing!

40. Seven Nation Army by White Stripes

Release Date 1986
Guitar Chords Em, G, C, B, A, Am, E
Tabs View Seven Nation Army Tabs Here

White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army’s” simple drum beats and energetic riffs have made it one of the most ubiquitous sounds heard in sports arenas. It’s a groovy ride with lyrics that you can’t help singing along to!

Musically, this song showcases the duo’s knack for making the best of their resources. It’s clever how without a bassist, they created a killer descending bass riff that powers the entire song.

The ultra-cool bassline was played by frontman Jack White on his hollow-body electric paired to a whammy pedal taken down an octave. Both riff and solo are perfect for beginners. You can emulate the riff on your electric without a whammy pedal. Check out the tabs and video above to learn a simplified version of this amazing rock anthem.

41. Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones

Release Date 1968
Guitar Chords E, A, D, B7
Tabs View Sympathy for the Devil Tabs Here

Rolling Stones have always loved flirting with controversy, haven’t they? And the eerie lyrics to “Sympathy for the Devil” is an excellent example of just how much. The song talks about the most gruesome of world-changing events from the point of view of Satan and how he had a hand in shaping them. The dark lyrics obviously didn’t go down well with many people who felt the band was touching upon occult and unsettling theme for no apparent reason.

If you isolate the eerie lyrics, everything else about the song is quite upbeat. It’s a rock samba driven by groovy beats, cymbals, blazing riffs – the works. Beginners will enjoy playing this famous Rolling Stones tune as it can be simplified without losing the essence of the original. You’ll need E, A, and D for the verses and a B chord in the chorus. If you cannot play the barre chord, use the easier B7 chord to get the job done.

42. Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana

Release Date 1991
Guitar Chords E, A, G, C
Tabs View Smells Like Teen Spirit Tabs Here

Though no one has quite cracked the meaning behind this cryptic song but “Smells Like Teen Spirit” remains to this date one of the most recognizable as well as overplayed songs ever! We won’t go so far as to say those who haven’t heard it might be living under a rock, but, yes, its ubiquity is unavoidable.

With catchy riffs and smashing vocals, this insanely popular grunge rocker has inspired a whole generation of guitarists. Not only did this song put the alt-rock giants Nirvana on the map, but it also introduced the world to grunge. Even decades after its release, this lead single from the band’s second album Nevermind continues to pop up in many “best of” “the greatest songs” lists.

If you want to learn Kurt Cobain’s pounding riffs, you don’t need to be an advanced-level player. There are plenty of tutorials that have simplified the song for beginners. You can play it with or without a capo with easy open chords. The tutorial above will show you how!

43. T.N.T by AC/DC

Release Date 1976
Guitar Chords E, G, A
Tabs View T.N.T Tabs Here

Explosive vocals, driving riffs, and quirky lyrics, TNT is AC/DC at their most musically adventurous selves. Released as the lead single off their second album, this is one of the more accessible tunes by the Australian hard rock band, centered around a mind-blowing three-chord riff unleashed by the famous Angus Young.

Angus, alongside his rhythm guitarist brother Malcolm, is hailed as the most iconic guitar duo, credited for producing some of the catchiest hooks, riffs, and expressive rhythms in rock. This song will allow you to explore both Angus’s riff and Malcolm’s rock’n’roll rhythm in a way that’s kind to beginners. You’ll also pick up the technique of palm muting along the way, that’ll come in handy when playing rock music.

44. The Trooper by Iron Maiden

Release Date 1983
Guitar Chords Em, D, C
Tabs View The Trooper Tabs Here

Surprise! Surprise! We’ve found an easy Iron Maiden song to add some heavy metal to your repertoire. Released by the famous English band in 1983, “The Trooper” chronicled the 1854 Crimean War, more specifically, the historic cavalry charge by the British troops. It was the second single off their fourth studio album, Piece of Mind, eventually becoming so popular that a line of premium beer “Trooper” was launched by the band.

For us, it’s the trademark galloping rhythm and harmonized riffs that make it fun to learn and play. You can play it solo or take a crack at harmonizing the main riff with a friend. Granted, some might find the original track challenging, but it is still one of the easiest songs to start your Iron Maiden journey. Remember to practice with a metronome to nail the tricky rhythm.

45. Runnin’ Down a Dream by Tom Petty

Release Date 1989
Guitar Chords E, D, A, G, C
Tabs View Runnin’ Down a Dream Tabs Here

Conquering hearts both as a frontman of a prominent band as well as a solo act speaks volumes about the indisputable musical genius of Tom Petty. The raging success of “Free Fallin’” and “Runnin’ Down a Dream” from his solo debut album Full Moon Fever, showed that the legend had it in him to make great rock even outside of the Heartbreakers’ band.

Before jumping on to learn the entire song, how about starting with the main riff? You can play it using just the 6th string and working on getting the tempo right. We’ve linked up a tutorial that teaches you a one-string version of the riff, but you can access lessons that break down the entire song for you in a beginner-friendly way.

46. Another One Bites the Dust by Queen

Release Date 1980
Guitar Chords Em, Am, C, G, B, F#m, A
Tabs View Another One Bites the Dust Tabs Here

Queen has been widely heralded as one of the best rock bands of all time, having produced one memorable masterpiece after another. Their 1980 best-selling single, “Another One Bites the Dust,” is a masterclass in hit songwriting, packed with all elements to get the crowd going.

This song was John Deacon’s contribution to the band’s enviable discography with his bass riff and anthemic lyrics playing a big part in the song’s success. Fun fact – this song was slated to be the title track for Rocky III before getting replaced by Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.”

“Another One Bites the Dust” might be a bass-driven affair, but you can play a simple rendition of the riff and the funky rhythm on your electric guitar. It might seem tricky at first but with a bit of practice, you should be able to get this one down.

47. Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Release Date 1974
Guitar Chords C, G, Am
Tabs View Simple Man Tabs Here

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man is one of those songs that leaves a lasting impression on the listeners. Propelled by evocative lyrics where the narrator recollects the pearls of wisdom shared by his mother on how to lead a kind, honest, and meaningful life. Together with “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird,” “Simple Man” made the Southern rock band a household name.

This song is as beautiful to hear as it is to play. You can strum these three chords – C, G, and Am, or play them in an arpeggio pattern by picking the notes individually. While the strumming pattern is super easy, mastering the arpeggios may take some practice. The video lesson here will show both styles to help you choose the one more in sync with your skills.

48. Last Resort by Papa Roach

Release Date 2000
Guitar Chords Em, D, C, G, Bm
Tabs View Last Resort Tabs Here

The debut single by the American nu metal band Papa Roach is also their biggest hit. Written by frontman Jacoby Shaddix, “Last Resort” lyrics lament how emotional and mental distress sometimes drives people to do the unthinkable – hurt themselves. Jacoby’s angsty vocals did perfect justice to the song’s intense lyrics. Meanwhile, lead guitarist Jerry Horton’s super catchy and energetic riffs inspired many to pick a guitar for the first time.

If the main riff reminds you of Iron Maiden’s Genghis Khan, then you aren’t alone. The band has clarified that resemblance to the Maiden track, if any, was purely unintentional. For the fans of rap metal and nu metal genre, we cannot recommend a better song to enhance your skills, such as playing power chords in drop D tuning. If you’re wondering how to tune your guitar down to D-A-D-G-B-E, then the tutorial above will help you.

49. Otherside by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Release Date 1999
Guitar Chords Am, F, C, G, A, Em
Tabs View Otherside Tabs Here

Want to add Red Hot Chili Peppers to your setlist without losing your sleep over tricks and embellishments? Then we’ve got just the song for you. “Otherside” was the band’s tribute to former band member Hillel Slovak who tragically passed away from a drug overdose. As a founding guitarist, Slovak had a huge influence on shaping the band’s signature funk-rock sound.

In terms of playability, we know emulating John Frusciante can get quite technical because of his love for pull-offs and hammer-ons. However, this is one of his simpler, nonetheless powerful performances. To play this song, you’ll work around Am, F, C, G, A, and Em chords. Watch the above chords to learn our favorite track from RHCP’s Californication.

50. Brain Stew by Green Day

Release Date 1996
Guitar Chords Ab5, Gb5, F5, E5, Eb5
Tabs View Brain Stew Tabs Here

Green Day’s “Brain Stew” had an interesting release as a joint single with “Jaded.” Written by Billy Joe Armstrong, the song’s mind-bending lyrics deal with the theme of insomnia and its effects on sanity and physical health. Musically, it’s a solid punk jam with easy power-chords fuelled riffs that you’ll enjoy playing.

The main riff has been a somewhat divisive topic in punk rock circles since the song’s release. Many argue that it bears an uncanny similarity to Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4,” while some feel it sounds a bit like “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You.” Whatever may be the case, it’s a super fun song to add a bit of punk to your arsenal. It’s in an alternate tuning, so before getting started, tune your guitar down a half step to bring it to an E flat tuning – Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb-Eb.

Leave a Comment