35 Easy Electric Guitar Songs for Beginners (with Video Lessons)

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.

Guitarist playing an easy electric guitar song for beginners
Photo by Tommy599

You can play almost any song on an electric guitar. However, if you’re a neophyte, you’d be better off with some of the world’s easiest songs to play with an electric guitar. This will give you the confidence you need to tackle more complicated guitar playing techniques that other songs demand.

Here is a list of 35 easy electric guitar songs for beginners. They’re also very fun to play. Even if you won’t land on the world stage, these songs can surely be an instant hit with your family, friends, and officemates.

Here is a List of Easy Electric Guitar Songs

1. Back in Black By AC/DC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Cindy Lauper

I bet you didn’t know that this Cindy 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

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.

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18. Lonely Day by System of a Down

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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