20 Easy Rock Songs to Play on the Guitar [with Tutorial]

Easy To Play Guitar Rock Songs

Playing the guitar is a lot of fun and it’s not just some skill but can be a worthwhile journey. There are a lot of genres to choose from and as they say, you need to play the songs you love as you are practicing to learn the craft faster and better.

It’s no secret that rock is a major genre in the art of music and that it encompasses a wide variety of songs. Rock songs can sing about life, love, friendship, angst, tragedy, and joy without compromising musicality.

Top Rated & Easy Rock Guitar Songs For Beginners

Having said all of that, here are a few easy rock songs to learn on guitar to hone your skills with. Check out this easiest rock songs list and learn to play them quickly!

1. Blur – Song 2

Album: Blur (1997) | Official Video | Chords

If you’re familiar with BritPop then there’s no way that you’re haven’t heard of the band Blur. Dubbed as the primary competition of the band the Oasis back in their heyday, Blur’s powerful Song 2 is a smashing hit.

That and it’s got a smashing tone to come with the accolades. This song just goes to show that as a rock song, you won’t necessarily need complicated riffs or solos, all you got to have is swag and spunk.

Song 2 is only about 2 minutes long but packs a lot of punch with its chord progression is literally on repeat the entire song all you have to do is to switch your strumming intensity and step on your overdrive from time to time. A perfect rock guitar song to learn how to play for beginners.

2. The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army

Album: Elephant (2003) | Official Music Video | Chords

Speaking of repeating chord progression the entire song, Seven Nation Army by the iconic White Stripes takes minimalism to the next level. If you’re not familiar, White Stripes is only composed of 2 and yes, only 2 primary band members.

The former couple Jack and Meg White rocked the world with this song that’s only got literally one really easy but heart-pounding riff for its entirety. Learn that and you’ve learned a new song. You only have to learn to play its nice groove.

3. Radiohead – Creep

Album: Pablo Honey (1993) | Music Video | Chords

You can’t talk about iconic English rock bands without putting Radiohead in the middle of the discussion. Perhaps one of the best rock groups ever in the history of rock music in general. This best-selling band has enjoyed critical acclaim throughout their career.

And of course, Creep was one of their best tracks ever released. Creep is so easy to learn and all you got to do is strum it with angst, kidding, and you’ll get that sense of alienation that everyone can relate to. G-B-C-Cm, play on repeat and you got it.

4. The Troggs – Wild Thing

Album: From Nowhere (1966) | Music Video | Chords

Wild Thing by the Troggs is another track that proves that for a rock guitar song to be iconic all you need is an iconic riff. Now, that’s really indeed easier to say than to do but for what it’s worth, this song is really easy to play.

The original version is only about 2 minutes long has 2 different chord progressions and just go with the groove as you learn it and you’ll be all right. This song has been covered by famous artists for god knows how many times including the Jimi Hendrix Experience and utilized in pop media throughout the years due to its spunk.

5. Buddy Holly – Not Fade Away

Album: The “Chirping” Crickets (1957) | Original Song | Chords

Another old but gold hit is Not Fade Away by the legendary Buddy Holly. Really simple chord progressions within the songs, just learn its rhythm and you’re good to go.

Did you know though that this was the band’s take on the Bo Diddley hit? Yep, you hear that right. This song has been covered by not only Budd Holly but a lot of famous artists to date.

Buddy Holly made its mark in the 50s but unfortunately died in a tragic plane crash. Still, his music lives on.

6. The Animals – House of the Rising Sun

Album: The Animals (1964) | Music Video | Chords

It’s time to practice some string plucking and learn one of the most iconic slow rock songs ever. House of the Rising Sun from the self-titled debut album of The Animals is so easy and familiar to anyone that it’s often suggested as the go-to song to practice on for beginners.

It’s the perfect song in terms of tempo and chord variations to learn. Learn some of the most common chords in C-Am-D-F-E switch them around and you’ll soon be rocking this one in a jiffy.

7. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Have You Ever Seen the Rain

Album: Pendulum (1971) | Music Video | Chords

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Have You Ever Seen the Rain has one of the most familiar melodies in the history of rock and roll. It’s a heartwarming song from one of the most popular bands back in the day with the iconic vocals of John Fogerty.

Really easy chord progression, mid-tempo, and a great melody this one ain’t complicated at all. An emotional song that would surely get you to love the instrument even more.

8. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama

Album: Second Helping (1974) | Music Video | Chords

Another song that has been revised so many times and been a part of pop culture throughout the years is Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama. This song even inspired a smash movie of the same title starring Reese Witherspoon.

It’s got a somewhat easy guitar riff with basic chord progression so it’s still pretty much a song that beginners can practice on. But once you get used to it, you’ll also get used to syncopated rhythms that would then be very helpful and not just the usual 4/4 time signature.

A combination of plucking and strumming is employed in this all too familiar melody.

9. Bob Dylan / Guns ‘n Roses- Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

Album: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973) | Music Video | Chords

Speaking of multiple renditions, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door has been knocking on our hearts and radios for multiple decades now. Bob Dylan made it a hit and Guns ‘n roses cemented the song’s place in rock history.

It’s psychedelic, it’s rebellious, and it’s meaningful. This song is timeless and something anyone on the fringes of society can relate to. But, as rock and roll as this song is, you’ll be happy to know that it’s only composed of really easy chords. This is one of the easy guitar rock songs on our list to play on acoustic guitar.

10. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – I Won’t Back Down

Album: Full Moon Fever (1989) | Official Music Video | Chords

Now it’s time to learn some power chords. The song I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is armed with power chords and some strumming with very basic major and minor chords and a very nice melody.

This band was formed way back in the 70s and really is part of those waves of artists that shaped the era. They were consequently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2002 for their achievements.

11. The Beatles – Don’t Let Me Down

Album/Single: The Beatles with Billy Preston (1969) | Music Video | Chords

We live in a world where not knowing the Beatles is almost like blasphemy and so this list can’t be complete without a song from them. And for you, as a beginner guitarist to learn, we recommend Don’t Let Me Down.

This song has a nice tempo to it to help you practice switching from one chord to another better but nevertheless easy. It’s melodic, fun, and lively to play.

For the newer generation, you must remember Beatles as the band who was rather forgotten by the world in the movie Yesterday. That’s how significant they are in the history of not just music but the world that if they disappear there would surely be a void left.

12. The Rolling Stones – Satisfaction

Album: Out of Our Heads (1965) | Official Lyric Video

If you take a shot of whiskey (only if you’re of legal age, all right?) every time we mention the word iconic on this list then you’d already be drunk. But, that’s not any reason to stop now as we jump from another iconic band English band once again.

The Rolling Stones has had a lot of rock n roll hits backed by Mick Jagger’s vocals and Keith Richards’ electrifying iconic riffs they were THE rock band back then. Satisfaction has got a faster tempo but the riff is not that easy to do. Just learn it through tabs or learn it by ear and you’ll be rocking in no time.

13. The Raconteurs – Steady As She Goes

Album: Broken Boy Soldiers (2006) | Official Music Video

The Raconteurs is as alternative rock as it can get around here and their song Steady As She Goes is one powerful anthem. It’s simple, minimalistic in terms of vocals and guitar play but delivers the message outright.

Its simple guitar riff that you can learn in 5 minutes is just as memorable as the thumping bassline. Learn this song, play it with a band, and you’ll be rocking in no time for sure. This American band is one of the youngest bands on our list formed just way back in 2005.

14. The Steve Miller Band – The Joker

Album: The Joker (1973) | Official Video | Chords

From one song with an iconic bassline to another The Steve Miller Band’s The Joker is old but gold. Want a good old country song vibe? Then learn this guitar. It’s got simplistic guitar playing and really easy bassline for you to learn if you want to play bass.

Based in California, this band formed way back in the 60s was way ahead of its time and sounds really psychedelic at times. You’ll enjoy them a lot for sure.

15. The Cream – Sunshine of Your Love

Album: Disraeli Gears (1967) | Music Video | Chords

Let’s ramp it up a little in terms of difficulty and would like to start with The Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love. Another British rock band, these guys took the 60s by storm too.

And we bet you know their guitarist! And yes, it’s Eric Clapton. The guitar virtuoso was a member of this band before going solo and Sunshine has got an iconic riff that you can handle rather easily.

16. Eric Clapton / J.J. Cale – Cocaine

Album: Troubadour (J.J. Cale) / Slowhand (Eric Clapton) (1977) | Music Video | Chords

Speaking of Clapton, his second entry on this list is a cover song originally written and performed by singer-songwriter J.J. Cale. If you listen to Sunshine and Cocaine you’d immediately hear the similarity of both the song’s riffs.

And yes, you can learn them easily. This groovy song is actually a top pick not just for beginner guitarists but also bands. It has helped solidified Eric Clapton’s career before he was even known as a slow rock artist. If you want to learn guitar then Clapton is a good place to start.

17. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication

Studio Album: Californication (1999) | Official Music Video | Chords

Red Hot Chili Peppers reigned supreme in the 90s to the early 2000s and Californication was a huge part of that success. This album marked the return of John Frusciante and together with Flea, Chad Smith, and Anthony Kiedis this has got to be the best reincarnation of the band.

Californication is iconic for its riff but you just have to pretty much play Am-F-Dm chord progressions throughout. This song is then wrapped up by a very memorable Frusciante solo in the middle.

18. Smashing Pumpkins – Cherub Rock

Album: Siamese Dream (1993) | Official Music Video

Well, there’s perhaps no greater alternative rock band from the US than Smashing Pumpkins. They are the embodiment of counter-culture, virtuoso, and style. With their unique songs, heart-pumping beats, and imaginative persona they start their smashing hit of an album with Cherub Rock.

Cherub Rock is heavy, not really for beginners but at least the rhythm section is manageable. Learn it and play it with a band.

19. Deep Purple – Smoke On the Water

Album: Machine Head (1972) | Music Video | Chords

What’s a more iconic intro riff than that of Smoke in the Water, one of the classic rock songs by Deep Purple? Only but a few can compare. But even beginners learn this one for a reason. It’s catchy, it’s not that hard, it’s so much fun to play, and it’s just flat-out awesome.

It may take you a few months of practice to perfect the solo unless you’re a genius but playing the rhythm section of this track won’t be as challenging.

20. ZZ Top – Tush

Album: Fandango! (1975) | Music Video | Chords

ZZ Top is the embodiment of rock and roll. They aren’t all just riffs and solos but also have an abundance of style. They’ve been started as a blues-rock band rocking since the 60s and have a country-like, rock and roll groove to them.

They don’t really use, conventional chord progressions but instead utilized riffs especially this song Tush. Learn the riff to learn speed and learn the solos if you want to. It may be challenging at first but this is a band all guitar players should emulate.

Few More Rock Songs To Learn

Here are a few more great songs and some of them are not quite easy rock songs to learn. These rock songs should be on top of your list to master if you want to be one great guitar player. If you’re into classic rock, folk-rock, rock n roll, or psychedelic rock music and want to challenge yourself early on in your guitar journey then try these legen-wait-for-it-DARY guitar songs from legendary bands.

Final Words

If you at least practice and perfect half of the easy rock songs for beginners on this list then you are on your way to mastering the craft of playing guitar. There are so many great things you could learn or improve like right-hand coordination, chord changes, barring, or picking technique when you go to learn a new song.

These are some of the most iconic and recognizable songs from some of the most iconic rock bands in the history of music. So, in hindsight, you didn’t only learn about new songs to practice but you also took some sort of musical journey with us. Remember, learning the history of music or guitar specifically is just as important as learning how to play the guitar as well.

So go ahead and start checking out these rock songs and bands and learn how to play simple songs that match your skill level before going to the more complicated ones. Enjoy the ride!

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