10 Easiest Rock Songs to Play on Guitar

11 minutes read
10 easiest rock songs to play on the guitar

Are you on the lookout for the easiest rock songs to play on guitar, new songs tailored specifically for beginners? We’ve got just the list for you. Featuring iconic tracks with memorable riffs and straightforward chord progressions, these songs are the perfect starting point for anyone new to the guitar. They offer a seamless blend of learning and enjoyment, immersing you in the electric excitement of rock ‘n’ roll right from the start

Whether you’re aiming to build a solid foundation or just want the satisfaction of playing along with legendary tunes, our selection is designed to make your practice sessions both productive and thrilling. Embark on your guitar-playing journey with these beginner-friendly rock anthems and experience the joy of creating and making music.

10 Easiest Rock Songs to Play on Guitar

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones

Kick off your guitar journey with an iconic piece that has been inspiring fledgling guitarists since 1965. The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” features a catchy riff by Keith Richards that’s not only unforgettable but also a great exercise for fresh players. The simple power chords and rhythm are perfect for beginners just getting their fingers around the fretboard. Plus, who wouldn’t want to start their guitar journey with a bit of rock trivia – Richards actually conceived the song’s legendary riff in his sleep!

La Grange – ZZ Top

Next up is the 1973 classic, “La Grange” by ZZ Top. This song is a perfect mix of easy riffs and boogie rhythm, making it an excellent starting point for beginners looking to explore the bluesy side of rock. The song also features a straightforward solo that’s not too complex for beginners, adding a dash of adventure to your practice sessions.

Highway to Hell – AC/DC

AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” serves not only as a tribute to life on the road but also as a notable piece of rock history. It was the last album featuring Bon Scott, who passed away shortly after its release. The song’s straightforward chord progression and strumming make it an excellent practice piece for beginners, introducing them to the key element of power chords in rock guitar playing.

One Love – Bob Marley & The Wailers

“One Love” by Bob Marley & The Wailers is an ideal choice for beginners looking to explore the rich cultural background of reggae music. The song’s reggae strumming technique is a fantastic learning tool that can be applied to various music styles. The smooth chord transitions are manageable for beginners, making this song a must-add to your practice list.

The Middle – Jimmy Eat World

“The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World, released in 2001, is a symbol of perseverance and an excellent song for beginners to explore the genre of pop rock. Its energetic rhythm is engaging for new players, and the power chords paired with the bass and the upbeat tempo make it a great piece for timing practice.

Rumble – Link Wray

Starting your guitar journey with “Rumble,” the 1958 instrumental by Link Wray, is like taking a step into the history of rock music. The song, known for its influential role in sparking heavy metal and punk genres, is a minimalist masterpiece. It’s a great choice for beginners as it allows you to focus on tone and basic picking techniques without getting overwhelmed.

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

“Eye of the Tiger,” the anthem for determination penned for Rocky III in 1982, is not only motivating but also great for building your guitar stamina. The song’s repetitive strumming pattern improves your rhythm, and the easy-to-follow melody will have you strumming along in no time.

Back in Black – AC/DC

“Back in Black” by AC/DC is more than a rock classic, it’s a lesson in riff playing and clean power chords. The techniques you pick up here can shape your playing style across various rock subgenres.

Knockin on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan’s classic, “Knockin on Heaven’s Door,” is perfect for beginners with its slow pace and easy chord transitions. It’s a beautiful piece that allows you to focus on expressing dynamics.

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

Lastly, let’s dive into the ’90s with Nirvana’s huge hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Known as the grunge anthem, this song not only requires precise rhythmic strumming, but it also embodies the rebellious spirit of rock, which makes learning guitar all the more exciting.

Easiest Rock Songs to Play on Guitar: Honorable Mention

“Smoke on the Water” – Deep Purple

We’re starting our journey with a tune that has stood the test of time. “Smoke on the Water”, released by Deep Purple in 1972, is a classic rock anthem that has carved its space in the annals of rock history. But the cherry on top? Its four-note riff that’s as iconic as it is simple to master. 

If you’re a beginner, this song is the perfect launchpad for your rock guitar adventures. The riff, while simple, is instantly recognizable, giving you the satisfaction of playing something that even non-musicians can identify. And trust us, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of playing those four notes and having everyone around you nod in recognition.

“Tush” – ZZ Top

Moving on, we have “Tush”. This catchy blues-rock number by ZZ Top is your ticket to understanding the bluesy undercurrents in rock music. Clocking in at a neat two minutes and sixteen seconds, this song is as straightforward as it gets. 

What makes “Tush” ideal for beginners is its simplicity. It lets you focus on the rhythm and feel of the music, rather than getting lost in a maze of complex chords. So, pick up your guitar, tune into that southern rock groove, and let’s explore the world of ZZ Top.

“Bad Company” – Bad Company

Our next stop is the eponymous song from the band, Bad Company. Known for its uncomplicated structure and powerful chorus, this song is a beginner’s delight. 

“Bad Company” provides ample room for you to practice transitioning between chords smoothly – a vital skill for any budding guitar player. And let’s not forget, there’s something incredibly satisfying about strumming along and belting out that chorus. 

“Rock You Like a Hurricane” – Scorpions

If you’re looking for something a bit more energetic, “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by Scorpions is your song. Giving you a taste of the thrill of playing lead guitar, this song is both accessible and exciting for beginners.

The beauty of this track lies in its simplified rock solos. They’re not too intense, but they definitely add a dash of spice to the mix. Plus, they’re a fantastic way to dip your toes into the world of lead guitar techniques without feeling overwhelmed. Master this song, and you’ll be ready to take on more intricate solos.

“Sunshine of Your Love” – Cream

We’re rounding off our list with “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream. This song’s classic riff is a rhythmic and repetitive practice piece for rock rhythm. 

The charm of “Sunshine of Your Love” is its simplicity. The main riff repeats throughout the whole song itself, giving you ample time to practice and perfect it. Moreover, the slow tempo lets you concentrate on the notes and the rhythm, helping you fine-tune your skills.

Tips to Play Rock Songs for Beginners

An electric guitar practice session
A guitar practice session. Photo by anitazvonar

Mastering the Basic Chords: Your Rock n’ Roll Foundation

Let’s face it, every rock deity from Jimi Hendrix to Slash started at square one – mastering basic chords. This is the bedrock of your guitar journey, and it’s essential to get it right. The major and minor chords are your trusty sidekicks – simple, versatile, and they pack a punch. 

Consistency is Key: The Art of Regular Practice

the proof of consistent guitar practice
Proof of consistent guitar practice. Photo by thepressleygirls

Guitar mastery is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. Regular practice beats binge practice sessions. You don’t need to burn the midnight oil. Just 15 minutes a day, every day, can work wonders. Set a practice schedule and stick to it like your favorite band’s tour dates.

Mastering the Strum: Rock Your Rhythm 

No rock anthem is complete without a mind-blowing strumming technique. This is where the rhythm lives. A metronome can be a handy tool to keep your timing in check and experiment with different strumming patterns. It’s like adding hot sauce to your favorite taco – it just gives it that extra kick!

Rock’s Secret Weapon: The Mighty Power Chords

Power chords are the Zeus of rock guitar. These simple two-note chords pack a thunderous punch, making them rock’s secret weapon. They’re also perfect for beginners, acting as a springboard to play a wide range of rock songs. 

Navigating the Fretboard: The Magic of Guitar Tabs

Guitar tabs are like your GPS for the fretboard. They’re a beginner’s best friend, guiding you where to place your fingers. Remember, they’re just a guide. You’re the driver, and the real music comes from how you interpret and play those notes.

Tuning Your Ear: The Power of Listening

Music is a language, and the key to learning any language is listening. Immersing yourself in singing the song, understanding its structure, and playing along not only improves your playing but also sharpens your listening skills – a must-have for any aspiring guitarist.

Adding Flavor to Your Playing: The Spices of Palm Muting and Bending

Rock music is a meal, and techniques like palm muting and bending are the spices. They add depth, variety, and a whole lot of flavor to your playing. They might seem tricky at first, but like cooking, they get easier with practice.

Advanced Techniques: The Sweet Vibrato, Lightning-Fast Hammer-ons, and Pull-offs

While these techniques might sound like something out of a science fiction novel, they’re actually advanced guitar techniques that can add layers of complexity and nuance to your playing. Start practicing them early to elevate your rock playing to unimaginable heights.

The Most Important Tip: Embrace the Fun

Guitar playing isn’t about perfection; it’s about passion. It’s about enjoying the journey, making mistakes, and learning from them. So, keep your frets light and your spirit high, and most importantly, rock on!

Practicing the easiest rock songs to play on guitar chords
Learning the cords. Photo by jptheguitardude


Why do some rock songs seem easier to play on the guitar?

Ever scratched your head, wondering why a particular rock song felt like a breeze on your guitar while another had your fingers tied up in knots? The key is in the simplicity of the chord progressions and the repetition in strumming patterns. Rock songs that are easy to play typically steer clear of complex guitar techniques like intricate solos or elaborate riffs. As a beginner, these easy rock songs are your best friends, allowing you to hone your skills without the frustration.

What rock songs are beginner-friendly?

If you’re just dipping your toes into the rock guitar pool, I recommend starting with “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones. This song is legendary for its catchy and straightforward riff, making it a piece of cake for beginners. Another excellent choice is “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan. The chord progression in this song repeats itself, allowing you to get into the groove without feeling overwhelmed.

How to learn a new rock song quickly?

Here’s a three-step plan:

1. Start by listening to the song to understand its structure.
2. Practice the chords and main riff separately before playing along with the song.
3. Use guitar tabs and chord charts to help with finger placement.

And remember, practice makes perfect. Even the greatest rock legends had to start somewhere!

Can you play rock songs with just a few chords?

You bet! Many rock songs use only three to four chords. Take “Wild Thing” by The Troggs or “TNT” by AC/DC, for instance. So even if your chord repertoire is still growing, you can rock out on your guitar with these classics.

Can you play rock songs on an acoustic guitar?

Absolutely! Many rock songs sound amazing on an acoustic guitar. They can also be a great way to practice for beginners. So if you don’t have an electric guitar yet, don’t sweat it. You can still join the rock and roll party!


As you delve into the rock songs to play on guitar, remember that each chord and riff brings you closer to the heart of rock ‘n’ roll. These beginner-friendly tracks not only enhance your playing skills but also fuel your passion for music. Embrace the journey with enthusiasm, practice regularly, and celebrate every milestone. This approach ensures a rewarding and enjoyable learning experience, setting the stage for your growth as a guitarist. Keep rocking, and let the music lead the way!

Alon Cooper

Alon Cooper

Hey! I'm Cooper, and I hope I can be a helpful friend on your musical journeys. I'm a music artist based in Austin & Amsterdam, playing venues with a band / solo, and trying to learn with the most inspiring musicians wherever I go. In the last 8 years I've lived in Australia, northern Europe, the US and more.

Share this article:

Continue Reading:

The Guitar Campfire Songbook

I hope this list has given you some great ideas, and if you want to have another bunch of song ideas in a fancy PDF songbook form, then feel free to download the songbook in this link.

Recommended Posts: