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What Are Some Easy Rock Songs to Learn on Electric Guitar?

By Edited Jun 5, 2014 1 2

What are some easy rock songs to learn on guitar? You have probably asked this question if you’re new player to the instrument. There’s a whole host of easy songs out there that you can play with a minimum of effort. All you’ll need to know is your basic major and minor chords along with some simple power chords. Once you have these basics down you’ll be have a bunch of songs to add to your repertoire of music.

In this article we will discuss some easy rock songs you can play on guitar and you’ll get suggestions as to where to go with your playing . As you learn songs you’ll gain the confidence to begin writing your own songs. Use sites such as YouTube or take lessons from a guitar teacher to progress on your instrument. There are plenty of easy rock songs to play on guitar once you know a few chords. Here are a few of the easier songs to play.

Iron Man by Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath are considered the gods of heavy metal and it’s for good reason with killer songs such as Iron Man. This tune is very simple to play and you can even play the riff a few different ways.  Most beginner guitar students will learn this song along with paranoid which is another easy Sabbath song. Now all together now, I Am Iron Man!

Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple

Smoke on the Water is the most played riff of all time. This classic rock riff is a masterpiece and it’s so simple to play on guitar. While most beginners don’t learn the exact way that Ritchie Blackmore plays it at first. You can play this riff on one string if you like and you can teach it to an eight year old. Crank up the distortion and jam out of this easy to play beautiful riff.  Smoke on the water, fire in the sky!

Sunshine of Your Love by Cream

The 60s produced some of the greatest rock bands ever heard and Cream featuring Eric Clapton is no exception. They forged the blues with 60s psychedelic rock and created many masterpieces such as Sunshine of Your Love. The riff from this sing will teach you some basic single note riffs and it’s fun to play as well. This is one of the first tunes I learned on my Fender guitar.

Enter Sandman by Metallica

Metallica are masters of classic metal and this monster tune off of the black album is one any beginner guitar player can learn in a short time. Many Metallica songs are fast but the riffs are quite easy. Enter Sandman is a bit slower than most of their songs making this riff easy to pick up and play. Crank up the metal distortion and let it rock.

House of the Rising Sun by the Animals

House of the Rising Sun is perfect for learning some simple arpeggios and open position chords. This tune is easy but sounds more complicated then it really is. If you play acoustic this is one to learn right from the beginning. It sounds good on a clean electric too.

AC/DC Songs

AC/DC songs such as Back in Black or Highway to hell are very easy to play on guitar, minus the blazing solos by Angus Young. The riffs to these songs are simple to learn. Try the older songs too which are easy as well.

90s Grunge and Beyond

The grunge era produced songs such as Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. This song is easy as is most of their entire catalog of songs.  Other bands such as the punk influenced tunes of Green Day are also easy. Blink 182 and similar bands also have simple songs you can learn.

If You Have Trouble with Songs

If you’re having trouble learning songs try to learn it from YouTube which has most popular songs in video form. Look at how the player is performing the song and use that to improve your own playing. Often it’s just a case of the wrong fingering or you’re not playing the song in the proper time. If you continue to have problems you might consider getting a guitar teacher to help you learn songs. A teacher will help you with common problems and give you more easy songs to help you learn your instrument. Most bands like Metallica and others have transcription books available where you can get the song as it’s meant to be played, often in easy an easy to follow tablature format.

Becoming a Better Player

  • To progress on your instrument you'll need to start playing these simple songs with other people. You'll gain new knowledge and help each other learn. You'll also get used to keeping in time with others and actually making music and not noise. 
  • Always practice with a metronome which helps you keep in time. Use it when practicing scales. Many songs have the beat located at the top of the score so enter that into the metronome and play along in time with the music.
  • Record yourself playing and listen to it. This will help you hear where you can improve your playing.
  • Improvise material on a regular basis which makes you a better guitarist. Don't just play songs, try to make up your own material too.


There are plenty of easy rock songs to play on the guitar and these are just a few of your choices. Be sure to practice all the time to improve and try to come up with your own songs too. Be sure to practice at least 30 mins per day for the most benefit.  If you feel yourself getting frustrated with a song just slow down and take your time with it. Take the song and go bar by bar with it until you master it. Get yourself a speed trainer so you can slow down the recording to a comfortable level to learn it properly. Now pick up that guitar and get jamming on some of these easy rock songs you can learn on electric guitar.



Dec 13, 2011 10:24pm
Cool article. I like the songs you have put in here. Could you actually put a tutorial together of how to actually play the songs? Or at least a link on where to go? Just a thought. It would be a lot of work on your part though. Either way, great article.
Dec 13, 2011 10:58pm
These songs are all covered on YouTube.
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