It goes without saying that rock is one of the most prominent genres in the music world and one of the favorite ones for guitar players. This is a genre that has given us countless hits, and today, we are going to talk about easy rock songs to play on the guitar.
The songs we are about to list are great tunes to start your guitar-playing journey, as they are not very complicated and can be easily learned by beginners. There are hundreds of well-known songs you can try; you just need to do research. We did that, so you will not have to, and in the sections below, you will find some easy tunes to start jamming if you lack inspiration. There is a lot to cover, so let us begin without any delay.
List of Easy Rock Songs to Play on the Guitar
1. Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water
This song has one of the most recognizable and iconic riffs in the history of the genre. Deep Purple wrote this song after a casino where Frank Zappa performed caught fire, so you can guess that the lyrics are as brilliant as the riff is.
It is a great song for beginners who are just starting to learn to play the guitar, and the great thing is that almost everyone knows this recognizable riff, so if you are not playing it right, you will instantly know it.
2. The Troggs – Wild Thing
Wild Thing is a song written by The Troggs back in 1966 and is one of the easiest guitar songs you can try playing since the chorus consists of only three chords that get played over and over again. The verse will also provide little challenge for a beginner, as you are required to strum one chord repeatedly.
It is a well-known hit from The Troggs that also has lyrics you will remember in no time. You can play this when you want to warm up the crowd and get some hyped-up reactions from it, as you are sure to see more than several people singing along.
3. Eric Clapton – Cocaine
Cocaine is a hit by Eric Clapton, written in 1977, and aside from being a highly popular song that almost everyone knows, it is very simple to play, which is a great piece of news for beginner guitarists. The whole verse is made up of three cords, making it easy to play, but despite that, the song is so catchy that it remains one of those evergreen hits.
Moreover, “Cocaine” is a hit that will get stuck in your head after the first listening, so when you start playing it, you will quickly figure out if you are doing something wrong. Once you get good enough at playing it, you can record the rhythm part and play some solos on top of it.
4. Rolling Stones – Start Me Up
The Rolling Stones made numerous hits throughout their career, but many fans argue that “Start Me Up” is one of their biggest and catchiest. The great thing about this tune is that it is also very easy to play for beginners with its straightforward and captivating riff.
It is a feel-good song with a rhythm and melody that will get stuck in your head for days. Repetitive and easy to memorize, “Start Me Up” is one of the best tunes to start playing your guitar and can be easily picked up by fans of the genre.
5. The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
Seven Nation Army is a song written by The White Stripes, and it is very easy to memorize. Repeating chord progression throughout the whole song has a lot to do with it, but it is one of the main reasons why beginner guitarists should definitely try playing it.
The song is comprised of a simple bass line you can pick up in a matter of minutes. When you get to the chorus, you start playing power chords in place of that bass line, and the entire song comes together. You will get addicted to both listening to and playing this fantastic hit.
6. AC/DC – TNT
TNT is a song by AC/DC that you can find on a TNT studio album, released back on December 1st, 1975. It is the second album by the band and is one of the most famous hits the band has ever released. Granted, there are many other popular tunes by them, but this one makes it to our list due to the fact it is super-easy to play.
It is a commanding classic that relies on percussive strumming, which makes it so recognizable. There are only three chords in the whole track, which is great news for beginner guitarists. Overall, it has a nice groove, and you will pick it up in no time.
7. The Animals – The House of the Rising Sun
This version of the famous hit “The House of the Rising Sun” is likely one of the most popular versions worldwide, despite the fact it has a history that lasts at least a century. It is one of the all-time hits, and you definitely heard it being performed by various artists.
The chords of this song are rather simple, but the nuance of the tune rests in the arpeggiated chord-playing, which will take some practice, but you will likely get the hang of it very fast. It is a perfect song to practice your fingerpicking and a great choice for beginners.
8. Radiohead – Creep
When you talk about some of the most iconic English bands, you absolutely cannot discuss it without mentioning Radiohead. Many people consider them one of the best rock groups ever in the history of the genre. They enjoyed critical acclaim throughout their career, and for a good reason at that.
This particular song is one of the best they have ever released. It is so easy to learn, and all you will have to do is to strum it with angst, and you will get a grasp of it relatively quickly. You will have to play G-B-C-Cm on repeat, and then repeat over and over, and you are sure to learn it.
9. Black Sabbath – Iron Man
Oldie-goldie “Iron Man” is an all-time classic written by rock ‘n’ roll giants Black Sabbath. It is considered one of the greatest tracks ever, not just inside the genre but generally, as it defined how heavier riffs should sound. Not only that, but it is also fairly simple to play, even by starters on the guitar.
This song established the foundation of modern heavy metal with its ultra-heavy C-standard arrangement, and it influenced countless musicians that came on the scene long after the track was made. It has a sluggish tempo, and aside from solo, it is easily among the more basic rock tunes out there, making it easy to learn.
10. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Nirvana is one of the bands that came to the scene and started the grunge “revolution” during the 1990s. They absolutely exploded on the scene, and one of the cornerstones of this breakthrough was their hit song “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
It is an aggressive, angst-filled tune with drums and lyrics pairing with the whole vibe perfectly. The whole atmosphere of this song helped it endure the test of time, and the fact that it is pretty straightforward to learn on the guitar makes it that much more special. If you learn the intro of this song, you basically learned it whole.
11. Buddy Holly – Not Fade Away
Not Fade Away is a fantastic hit by the legendary Buddy Holly. It has a pretty straightforward chord progression, and once you learn the rhythm, you are sure to pick everything up and master playing the song in no time.
Although many people are not aware of this fact, “Not Fade Away” is the band’s take on the Bo Diddley hit, and it has been covered by a lot of famous artists to this day, including, of course, Buddy Holly. They made their mark during the 1950s, but sadly, they died in a tragic plane crash. However, their music lives on, and this particular hit is a great way to keep that life going through new guitarists.
12. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Have You Ever Seen the Rain
Released on the album “Pendulum” back in 1971, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival is one of the most famous melodies in the history of the genre. This is a heartwarming song from one of the most popular rock bands, and the fact that it is easy to learn to play is just another bonus.
It sports a really easy chord progression, mid-tempo, and uncomplicated melody that will get stuck in your head for days. It is an emotional song that stood the test of time perfectly, and it is yet another song that, once you learn it, will make you enjoy playing the guitar that much more.
13. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama
Sweet Home Alabama is an all-time classic from the album “Second Helping” by famous performer Lynyrd Skynyrd. This is a song that has been part of pop culture for decades and is one of the easiest songs to play on the guitar. With that said, it does not come as a surprise that it was covered countless times by various musicians in different genres.
The original track got a somewhat easy guitar riff with a pretty basic chord progression, making it a great choice for playing by beginners. When you finally get the hang of it, you will start getting used to syncopated rhythms. It is a familiar melody, so you will always be aware of whether or not you are playing it the right way.
14. Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love
Whole Lotta Love is a track from the album The Led Zeppelin II, which is widely recognized as one of the best pieces of work by this cult band. This song is considered one of the grooviest tracks ever recorded, and it was a big game-changer in the rock genre, as was Led Zeppelin.
The band remained highly influential over the course of years, and the songs and albums they have released remain huge in the music industry to this day. Whole Lotta Love is certainly among them and is a great tune to motivate you to pick up the guitar and start playing.
15. The Beatles – Don’t Let Me Down
Not knowing about The Beatles nowadays is almost impossible due to the cultural impact they have had on generations and generations of musicians and music enthusiasts alike. If you are a fan of their music and want to start playing the guitar, we recommend this track as it is one of the easiest to get the hang of.
It has a nice tempo, and it will help you develop your playing by switching from one chord to another. This is a melodic and lively song that is very fun and straightforward to play. When you repeat it a couple of times, you will slowly but surely get a grasp of playing other basic melodies as well.
16. Weezer – Beverly Hills
Weezer’s “Beverly Hills” tune is an outstanding example of contemporary music crossing over into the party rock genre, with its smooth-sailing verses followed by almost recited lyrics. It is a song that is enjoyable to play, and slowly but surely, it became a classic.
Even though Weezer is not the first band to do this interesting musical experiment, they certainly made a significant mark in the culture of the genre. Catchy riffs, danceable melodies, and a fantastic vibe are all traits that shine in this song, which you will certainly have a lot of fun playing.
17. The Steve Miller Band – The Joker
The Joker is a track from The Steve Miller Band that dates back to 1973. It is a song with a fairly simple rhythm, and it is very easy to get a grasp on the guitar. The tempo is also pretty slow, so you will have a bigger window to make mistakes before completely mastering it.
An average guitar player can learn this song in about an hour, while beginners might need a bit more time for it, depending on the talent level and amount of practice. Overall it is an easy yet very catchy song, and you will certainly enjoy learning to play.
18. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication
Californication is a song by Red Hot Chili Peppers, who absolutely owned the 1990s with their amazing songwriting skills and popularity. It is a famous track that pretty much anyone who did not live under a rock knows about, and it is also not very difficult to learn to play on a guitar.
Although Californication is a song made by a group of highly talented musicians, when you translate it to an acoustic version, it plays really well, and it is easy to learn. If you already had a chance to master your first song on a guitar, this one might be the next one you should try getting under your fingers.
19. The Cranberries – Zombie
Zombie is one of the most popular alternative rock songs The Cranberries have released, and it is popular to this day. It is a track from the “No Need to Argue” album, released in the second half of September 1994. Music critics have long recognized “Zombie” as a masterpiece of alternative rock.
The song follows the same four-chord progression through its entirety, which makes it a reasonably uncomplicated track to learn, even for beginners. It has a forceful weight to it that comes from the heavy distortion in the way the guitarist strums the chords. Catchy, melodic, and heavy, this is definitely a song that will get stuck in your head and make you fall in love with the guitar even further.
20. The Raconteurs – Steady As She Goes
The Raconteurs is an alternative rock band that provided us with numerous hits, and “Steady As She Goes” is yet another masterpiece worthy of your time. It is a simple and minimalistic song in terms of vocals and guitar, but it is every bit as powerful as some of the other all-time hits.
The guitar riff is pretty straightforward, and you can learn it in about 5 to 10 minutes of repetition. This song is one of the youngest we have listed so far, as the band was formed back in 2005. However, it is a great song for guitar starters, and if you put enough repetitions into playing this track, you will master it fairly quickly.
This concludes our list of easy rock songs to play on guitar. It was rather difficult to form it, as there are so many hit songs in this popular genre that you would certainly be able to learn pretty fast. However, we picked some all-time classics, and we are sure you will have fun playing them as much as you would in listening to them.
Our team always strives to expand our content, so revisit us soon, as we will certainly add some more tunes to this list. In case you are in the market to find a guitar to play these songs on, check out our article about the best acoustic guitar brands, as we are sure you will find your favorite there.