Ten years ago, I’ve been at the exact same point where you might be right now. I just started out learning the electric guitar and sat there in my room, the amplifier on, and looked for easy guitar songs for beginners to play. To be honest: it was a pain in the ass!
Why is that, you ask? Well, when you’re a beginner, you basically look through the songs of bands you really like (in my case: Metallica) and hope for an easy one that you can learn at the start. The truth is: 99.9% of your favorite songs are not playable by a beginner. This is why you need to find the 0.1%, which takes a lot of time. To save you this time, I’ve put together some of the songs I played back then which are great guitar songs for beginners. These songs are:
- easy to play: a beginner should be able to play some of them with some training
- well-known: of course you want to play something from your favorite band
- well-documented: available as guitar tabs
It helped me quite a bit – I’m now a gigging musician with all the fame you could wish for (actually, I don’t)!
Best Guitar Songs for Beginners
Song #1: Nirvana – Come as you are
This was actually the very first song I learnt on guitar back in 2004. I just sat there and played the main riff (there’s not much more to this song anyway). Talking from my own experience: this is one of the best guitar songs for beginners. You simply have to play an easy riff on the lower e-string, interrupted by some notes on the a-string as well. Don’t be scared – after an evening you might be able to play this one and get your first idea of being a good guitarist!
Song #2: Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water
One of the most annoying songs for guitar players surely is “Smoke on the Water”. Although it’s a great track and all, it’s one of the most common guitar songs for beginners and by thus one of the most butchered riffs ever made. Please remember kids: while it’s fine to play this one at home, don’t play it at music stores. You’ll just annoy the hell out of all employees there. To play this song you just need your index finger and finger two strings (sounds more perverted than I meant it) at once. There you go – one of the easiest guitar songs for beginners, right?
Song #3: Metallica – Nothing Else Matters
This one might be one of the easiest guitar songs for beginners. At least the first part of the intro (we don’t want to get crazy here, aight?). The first part of the clean intro is just plucking the empty strings (E-G-B-E’) in a certain rhythm and you got it done! If you have this part nailed down, then you can try to continue with the intro…but expect to fail miserably at first. Save this part for later on in your career!
Song #4: Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama
Okay, this one’s a little bit more difficult than just playing the empty strings of “Nothing Else Matters”. You need to play your first arpeggiated chords without knowing it. Just work your way through each single part of the notes and don’t hurry yourself. This one might take a day or two to learn, but playing it slowly is still quite an accomplishment. Check out the guitar tab below and if you have any question…you can still ask me!
Song #5: AC/DC – Highway to Hell
Many AC/DC songs are not that hard to play, so they’re perfect guitar songs for beginners! As a start, I would recommend either TNT or Highway to Hell (presented here). You’ll start out playing chords with this one: a-major, g-major and d-major. Of course it’s harder to pull this one off compared to “Come as you are” but you can do it!