53 Easy Rock Guitar Songs

If you're anything like me, you love learning new songs on guitar.

You get to play the epic riffs of your heroes, and rock out as you make an imaginary crowd go wild! It's so much fun.

It's also super important for your development as a player. You can learn all the techniques, theory and scales you want, but unless you're learning how people make music with it, it's useless. You gotta learn songs! Lots of 'em.

That's why we've put together this HUMONGOUS list of 53 epic rock songs you can learn right now. Featuring everyone from The Rolling Stones and T.Rex to Metallica, Van Halen, Kings of Leon and more, it's the ultimate resource for improving your playing - and having a load of fun doing it.

---------- "The Rolling Stones and T.Rex to Metallica, Van Halen and more..." ----------

As a beginner rock/metal guitar player it can be difficult to find easy songs. There's always a fast riff, fancy fill or complex chord to get in your way.

After all, lots of famous rock players - Eddie Van Halen, Uli Jon Roth and Ritchie Blackmore being a few - are virtuosos. They set out to show off their skill, not hide it! This makes it hard to find easy rock songs to play.

With this list, that problem is a problem no more. There are easy rock songs out there - and here are over fifty of them that you can learn today! They've all been chosen based on three criteria:
  1. Great sound - they've gotta be good songs. It's got to inspire you when you play it.
  2. Easy to learn - they've got to be simple and easy to learn, so that you can master them and be rocking out by this evening!
  3. Work on key skills - they've each gotta work on a particular "key skill" of guitar playing, so you can get good progress. This could be chord changes, barring, or picking technique, for example. There's a song for every skill!
There's something for everyone here, whether you're a classic rocker or a fan of more recent acts like Kings of Leon, Lenny Kravitz and Foo Fighters. Every song features a link to a high-quality tab, a link to the song, and tips on how to play and learn it more effectively.

Let's get started!

Note: We haven't included the solos in the "easy" difficulty rating of these songs. Have fun jamming to the rhythm guitar parts, and have a go at conquering the solos when you feel ready.

One More Thing...

So you've looked through the list and you’ve got your favourite song. The tab is in front of you, and you’re ready to learn.

You get started, but it’s harder than you thought. Much harder. What do you do?

Well, we’ve created a 100% free video course teaching you exactly how to master any song in record time.
It's got six super-easy lessons teaching you everything you need to know about learning new songs – no matter how “hard” they seem. It's all about using simple, easy methods to pinpoint your own unique weaknesses, and then drilling these until they're the easiest things in the world.

If you continuously struggle with the same skills, like barre chords,  picking technique and finger independence, this free mini-course will show you how to conquer these difficulties and get massive results.

It's perfect for learning the songs in this article. Soon you could be learning songs that are way more advanced than what you're learning now - and it'll all feel easy, fun, and simple.
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  • How any great guitar player learns and masters new songs
  • How to break down and conquer even the toughest challenges
  • How to learn any song, regardless of difficulty and regardless of your current level
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  • Six videos and a full PDF for easy reference when practicing
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The Songs

We've organised the songs by artist, so you can go straight to the song you want to learn. Just click on the artist to be taken to their songs:

Link Wray

Rumble
Song/Tab

This song was banned back in the late 50's for being too aggressive - and it's an instrumental! It's a killer rock 'n' roll track that influenced Jimmy Page on his journey to stardom. Focus on getting the picking right - each strum is played slightly differently from the last, which adds to the attitude of the song. Some are strummed quickly, and others are strummed slowly - and it's these subtle variations that make the track what it is.

The Kinks

You Really Got Me

Dave Davies created the aggressive guitar tone on this song by slicing into his speaker cone with a razor blade. The result influenced a generation of guitarists - many of which are also featured in this list! You don't have to break your amp to get this tone; just adding a bit of gain will do the trick.

The Animals

House of the Rising Sun

This is one of the most iconic guitar parts of all time. The tab might look a bit complex, but remember that all you have to do is hold down the open chord shapes - the picking hand does the rest. The rhythm of the picking is the most important part here, so make sure you listen closely and practice until it's spot on.

The Rolling Stones

Jumpin' Jack Flash

This is the first of four Rolling Stones songs featured in this list. They're great for practising your chords, and Keith Richards is famed for his use of the "caged" chords up the neck. This one features a really cool riff in the verse - have fun!

(I can't get no) Satisfaction

Featuring possibly the simplest riff in this whole list, "Satisfaction" is a killer-sounding and easy-to-play song. Keith Richards allegedly found the riff on a rough recording he'd done - the first few seconds were this riff, and the next two hours were the sound of him snoring!

The Last Time

Another really easy song here from The Rolling Stones. "The Last Time" is great for practising chords again - watch out for the quick change between the D and A chords in the verse. Notice how although all these songs are simple, they sound great - complex doesn't always equal better!

Brown Sugar

Listen to how the two guitar parts interlink in this song; it's a key part of the sound. The riff is really worth learning here, even if you don't want to learn the full song.

Cream

Sunshine of Your Love

Well, now we come to one of the most recognisable riffs of all time! If learning this doesn't excite you, I don't know what will. This song is a great example of how one easy riff can be expanded into a full tune; can you do the same with one of your own ideas, and turn a basic riff into a great song?

T.Rex

Bang a Gong (Get it On)

Marc Bolan was the main man in T.Rex, and he conquered the world of 70's rock with tunes like this. The riff has influenced many a guitarist, including Oasis - who's song "Cigarettes and Alcohol" bears more than a casual resemblance to this classic! Once you've learned the notes, concentrate on the feel of the song - listen closely, and try to replicate all the subtleties in dynamics and tone.

20th Century Boy

As soon as you hear that opening chord, you know exactly what it is! Produced by the legendary Tony Visconti, this song was a huge hit, reaching No.3 in the UK and No.1 in Ireland.

ZZ Top

Sharp Dressed Man

With their huge beards and blues-rock vibe, ZZ Top are true Texas icons. This song features a really cool riff and catchy lyrics. Have a go at the solo too, if you like - it's not super easy, but with a bit of practice you should be able to get it down.

La Grange

La Grange is a song where dynamics are everything. The riffs are really simple, but the build up from quiet to loud is what makes this song so good. Try to replicate this when you play along, by picking more softly in the quieter bits and picking harder in the louder parts of the song.

Led Zeppelin

Whole Lotta Love

There are tonnes of iconic riffs in this list. This takes the crown. The opening track on "Led Zeppelin II", it features a killer chorus and a spooky, jazz-like break in the middle. The moment when the song kicks back in is incredibly powerful, owing to John Bonham's legendary drumming.

Immigrant Song

The main challenge in this song is the picking - practice it slowly and perfectly, and gradually speed up as you improve. Relaxation of the hands is vital. Then, when you're done practising, have fun rocking out to this legendary Led Zep track!

Survivor

Eye of the Tiger

This song is great for practising tremolo picking - where you pick one note repeatedly up and down. Focus on keeping your hands relaxed and you shouldn't have a problem. The accents on the chords are what make this riff so catchy, so make sure that your timing is good.

Free

All Right Now

Some great guitar work here from the legendary Paul Kossoff! The riff is based around an A chord; barre across the 2nd fret with your index finger and then use your second, third and fourth fingers to play the other notes. This requires good finger independence, so if you're struggling then check out this lesson.

Wishing Well

The vocals are superb in this song, but that doesn't mean that the guitar work is to be overlooked. The riff is really cool, and it's a great example of how the simple pentatonic scale can be used to create catchy and exciting guitar parts.

Bad Company

Feel Like Making Love

Just like with "Eye of the Tiger", it's the accents that make the chorus riff of this song stand out. Use a clean tone (or better yet - an acoustic) for the verse and add a bit of gain for the chorus, but not too much - the tone is broken up but not distorted.

Shooting Star

The intro to this song is really similar to "Feel Like Making Love", so if you master one then the other shouldn't give you too much trouble. Again, we have an acoustic in the verse and an overdriven guitar for the chorus - this is an easy way to make the chorus stand out.

Deep Purple

Smoke on the Water

How could we have a list of easy rock songs and not include this classic? The solo can be a bit of a challenge, but the rest of the song is easy and fun to play. Most people only learn the riff, and leave it at that, but learning the whole song will give you a much better idea of how everything fits together.

Scorpions

Rock You Like a Hurricane

A classic. Use a guitar with humbuckers and turn up the gain for this one! Listen for how the different guitar parts interact - particularly in the intro. They both work together to build up the song ready for when everything else kicks in.

AC/DC

TNT

We've got four AC/DC songs for you, because they're easy, they're fun, and they sound great! It doesn't get much easier than "TNT", with it's super-simple riff and straightforward structure. Most people use too much gain for AC/DC songs. the tone is actually just breaking up, rather than fully over driven; it's the combination of guitar, bass and drums that makes it sound heavy.

Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap)

All of these AC/DC songs feature simple chords put together in simple ways to make cool riffs. You don't have to play something complex to get a great sound - simple is often better, because listeners can keep track of what you're playing more easily.

Rock 'n' Roll Train

Now we come to the Bryan Johnson era of AC/DC. Malcolm and Angus' guitars work together nicely to create a powerful bed of sound, over which the gritty vocals can shine.

Highway to Hell

Now we're back to Bon Scott territory! This is one of the most recognisable riffs in rock. Again, we've got basic chords put together in a simple way to make something that sounds exciting.

Accept

Balls to the Wall

We're staying with classic heavy metal here, with "Balls to the Wall". Just like with the AC/DC songs, it's made up of simple chords that sound good. The song makes heavy use of dynamic changes to make the chorus stand out and to keep the song interesting.

Black Sabbath

Iron Man

The very creators of heavy metal - Black Sabbath - are responsible for this killer riff and brooding, heavy beat. Everyone knows this song, making it a great introduction to the world of metal if you've never played any before.

War Pigs

"War Pigs" is one of the definitive Sabbath songs. The guitar parts are incredibly simple for the majority of the song, leaving room for the bass, drums and vocals to shine.

Never Say Die

This was one of Black Sabbath's more popular hits. It's not as dark and heavy as some of their other songs, with a soft breakdown section and a catchy, exciting chorus.

Paranoid

Just listen to that intro! The solo is the only difficult bit here; with a bit of practice the riffs should be easy enough. Have a go at the solo when you think you're ready, and take on just one small lick at a time.

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

This is my favourite Sabbath song because of its dark and heavy groove. The riff changes a couple of minutes into the song, giving a different feel and adding a nice sense of structure. Have fun rocking out to it!

Judas Priest

Breaking the Law

A classic and super-easy song for you to learn. Have fun with this one - it's not often you find a rock song by such an iconic group that's so easy to play!

Living After Midnight

The drums are responsible for a large portion of this song's attitude. Listen to how the vocals and guitar have very similar rhythm in the chorus and in certain parts of the verse - this ties everything together and makes the song sound heavier.

Quiet Riot

Bang Your Head (Metal Health)

This was Quiet Riot's second Top 40 hit, peaking at number 31. In the intro the guitar, bass and drums are almost acting like a single instrument because of how in sync they are. There's a change of tone for part of the verse, before going back to a distorted guitar tone for the chorus. The solo is quite advanced, but have a go at playing some of the lead fills - they really add to the song!

Van Halen

Runnin' With the Devil

This was the first Van Halen song I ever fully listened to, with it being the first track on their debut album. The two solos are quite challenging but the riff itself is easy, featuring some classic Keith Richards-style chords.

Metallica

Fade to Black

Metallica, in a list of easy songs? Yep - here are two! The tab for the verse in "Fade to Black" might look complex, but if you hold down the open chord shapes with your left hand then it isn't too difficult.

Wherever I May Roam

This song has a slow, brooding feel at the beginning which quickly speeds up to create a headbanging rhythm. The riff is pretty easy, apart from a couple of "trills" - where you are hammering on and pulling off the same note repeatedly. You can omit these if you like; the song will still sound good, but it'll be a bit easier to play.

Nirvana

Smells Like Teen Spirit

This song is a classic grunge anthem. The solo is pretty easy here, so it's a good one to learn if you're getting started with lead guitar. The solo actually plays the same melody as the vocals, making it fit the song well.

White Stripes/Jack White

Seven Nation Army

This was the first riff I ever learned on guitar - I used to play it all day! Like the Nirvana song above, the solo is pretty easy; it's one of the solos featured in my 47 Awesome and Easy Guitar Solos guide.

Fell in Love With a Girl

This is a quick, punk-y song full of attitude. It's perfect for working on your power chords, and learning to change between them accurately.

Freedom at 21

This is by Jack White as a solo artist, rather than with the White Stripes. The riff is super easy and it sounds really nice - check it out!

Blur

Song 2

Instantly recognisable, and incredibly catchy. Every guitar player has to learn this one! Focus on the rhythmic feel - it's even more important than the notes in this song.

The Eagles

Take it Easy

This song is quite different to the rest of the songs on the list - does it really fit the "rock" label? Maybe, maybe not, but one thing is for certain - it's a great song!

Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Californication

Great song, easy riff, and easy solo. It's even got the cheesiest music video known to man - what else could you ask for?

Franz Ferdinand

Take Me Out

There's a full minute of this song before the famous riff kicks in. When it does, though, you get the full impact! It's one of the most iconic rock songs of the noughties, so if 00's rock is your thing then get learning this!

Kaiser Chiefs

Ruby

"Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby...". With a catchy chorus and some killer guitar parts to boot, this is an epic song. There isn't anything that's particularly difficult, so take it on one part at a time and you'll have it down in no time.

The Killers

All These Things That I've Done

The riff in this song is a major arpeggio - which means it's the notes of a major chord played separately, rather than strummed all together. Have a go at playing this song pay close attention to the dynamics (which sections of the song are louder or quieter).
Can you create any of your own riffs using arpeggios?

Kings of Leon

Sex on Fire

One of the biggest rock hits of the past ten years, this song features a soaring chorus and catchy vocals. The guitars form a perfect bedrock for the lyrics - have a go at playing the lead guitar fills (with the bends) in the chorus.

Oasis

Cigarettes and Alcohol

This guitar part is very similar to T.Rex's "Get it On", so if you learn it you're killing two birds with one stone! It's full of Oasis' classic attitude and blues-rock vibe.

Foo Fighters

My Hero

Although it's the drums and vocals that really make this song special, the guitar is not to be overlooked. In the intro, the high E string is played open while the notes on the B string are varied, creating a nice effect.

Something from Nothing

This is a heavy song with an amazing build-up of dynamics throughout. It starts relatively quiet, but after a couple of minutes it really gets going! The solo is the only part that should give you any trouble, so feel free to play the rhythm parts for now instead.

Lenny Kravitz

Are You Gonna Go My Way

Just master that riff! Do that, and you've learned almost the whole song. The same riff is repeated in different octaves to mark out the different sections of the song - this is a super easy way to add structure and interest to an otherwise simple idea.

Ghost

Square Hammer

Ghost are a great modern rock band. The combination of pop-y vocals with heavy instrumentation sounds awesome! This is a really catchy riff and it isn't too difficult, either - have a go!

Final Thoughts

There we have it - fifty three epic rock songs you can learn right now! I hope you've enjoyed using this list as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Don't forget about the free video course on how to learn songs, either - it's packed to the brim with tips on how to learn songs more successfully. With song learning being such a vital part of guitar playing, it's super important that you learn to do it well!

Have fun, and keep rocking!
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