50+ Fun Songs to Play on Guitar with video lessons and tabs!

Playing the guitar can be a lot of things from challenging to enlightening, but the main thing it should always be is fun!

Whether you’re looking for some songs for your next campfire singalong, or you just want to find some fun new songs to learn to help you with chord changes, we’ve made what we think is the definitive list of fun songs to play on guitar.

From rock to blues to country, we’ve got something here for everyone!

Enjoy!

Contents

Day Tripper by The Beatles

Day Tripper Guitar Lesson | The Beatles

Here is a tab for learning the song on your own!

Daytripper by the Beatles, off of their Album “Yesterday and Today,” contains one of the most iconic classic guitar riffs of all time. The song, written primarily by John Lennon, peaked at number 5 on the Billboard charts, was written in a rush to hit the Christmas market during the band’s Rubber Soul sessions. 

This fun and dancy classic rock tune is based almost entirely around one catch earworm of a riff. This makes it great for beginners who might be struggling with chords but can play one note at a time just fine. It also makes it easy to repeat and practice over and over again. Its repeatability and how catchy the riff itself makes it a fun one to learn! 


Purple Rain by Prince

how to play "Purple Rain" on guitar by Prince | electric guitar lesson tutorial

You can also check out a tab for Purple Rain here.

The beautiful, atmospheric riff at the beginning of Prince’s Purple Rain is so iconic for good reason.  Peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 on release, and reaching number one upon Prince’s death, something about the reverb-laden chords and beautiful melodies in this song resonated with people all around the world. 

As far as playing the song is concerned, it’s a great choice for beginner guitarists and more seasoned guitar players alike. Not only can it be a good exercise in practicing chords (both strumming them and plucking through them), but it’s also a good lesson in and of itself in how to use chords and effects creatively. 


Blackbird by Beatles

The Beatles Blackbird Acoustic Guitar Lesson + Tutorial

Check out this tab for Blackbird by The Beatles on Songsterr!

The famous guitar arrangement in Blackbird, explained by Paul Mccartney to be inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach, is a sweet and melancholy guitar line riddled with beautiful melodies and harmonies.

 A bit non-standard as far as most classic rock bands go (which is familiar coming from The Beatles), it is accompanied by a beautiful, albeit difficult to sing vocal melody, which propelled it into the high profile song it remains to this day. 

As far as playing the song goes, it is rather difficult, so I wouldn’t recommend it for those just starting out on the instrument. That being said, it is a great way to practice finger picking, as well as playing more than one melody (a bass melody and the main melody) at the same time. This can be challenging, but if done right it becomes an invaluable skill. 


Johnny B Goode By Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry - Johnny B. Goode - How to Play on Guitar - Guitar Lesson + Tutorial

Click here for a tab to help you learn Johnny B. Goode. 

Johnny B Goode is among the first rock and roll songs to become a major success, thanks to its rockin’ riff, fast beat, and danceable choruses. Instantly recognizable from the first seconds of the track, Chuck Berry’s guitar playing laid the foundation for all of the rock music that came after him, and it can be heard in this riff alone.

Its sharp, bright tone makes it an easy and fun listen, and the notes themselves make for an iconic riff. 

The riff and the song after it are not too difficult to play. I’d say it’s of intermediate difficulty, as you should at least know your barre chords, as well as how to slide on the guitar. This song can be a great introduction to both of these skills, however, and is a great learning tool for those who are trying to play more high-energy rock music. 


Champagne Supernova by Oasis

Champagne Supernova Guitar Lesson | Oasis

This tab will help you learn Champagne Supernova with ease!

The kings of the acoustic ballad, Oasis knows how to write a great song with just a guitar, a few chords, and a voice. Of course, there are other guitars (and other instruments) accompanying the main part, but it’s the bones of this song that make it so recognizable.

The strumming of acoustic guitar chords accompanied by lax instrumentation (until later in the song), is a great song for those looking to sing along with their guitar playing. 

This is a fantastic song for beginners but can be good for intermediate guitar players as well. Those just starting out can learn the chords and practice them, while more experienced guitarists can move on to later on in the song and learn the guitar solo and the electric guitar riffs.

This is also a fantastic song to sing and play to, as the easy chords lend themselves well to learning this skill. 


Stand By Me by Ben E. King

Stand By Me Easy Guitar Lesson | Ben E. King

Here is a tab to go along with the video.

Although a tad bit dated, this song is exceptionally fun to play on the guitar.

It is quite laid back, and this little lick is so catchy you just can’t help but practice it until your fingers hurt. This song was quite popular in its own right when it was performed in 1961, but it gained a new surge in popularity twenty-five years later, when featured in the 1986 film “Stand by Me.”  

Playing the song is rather simple, which makes it great to learn for beginners. There are only a few notes to play on the guitar and no chords. This makes it a great song to be one of the first things you learn to play on the instrument.

It helps that it’s such a short and catchy tune, as you can play along to the whole thing in just a couple of minutes, and really get some good practice in. 


Creep by Radiohead

Creep - Radiohead - Guitar Lesson - How to Play on Guitar - Tutorial

Learn more by yourself with this tab!

Creep, the first single ever released by the now-famous band Radiohead (off of their debut album, Pablo Honey), is one of the most popular songs for new guitar players to learn, and for good reason. It was not incredibly popular upon its first release, but after seeing some play overseas and on alternative radio stations, it was reissued in 1993 to major commercial success. 

Playing the song is quite simple, as it is mostly just selectively strumming through chords. Avoiding the strings you’re supposed to avoid can be tough for beginners, but that makes it a great practice tool, as plucking through chords is one of the most common techniques that guitar players use to write songs, especially ballads and similar slower songs. 


Freeway Jam by Jeff beck

How to play Freeway Jam by Jeff Beck - Karel Edward Taska - ALL ABOUT SIX STRINGS

Here’s a tab to supplement the video and help learn the song even better!

Freeway jam is not a studio track, but a live track recorded and placed onto Beck’s album “Blow by Blow.” This is why it sounds so improvisational in nature, as much of it was written on the spot. The high-octane electric guitar rips through the bass, piano, and drum instrumental beneath it as Beck shreds from the beginning of the song to the very end. 

Playing this one can be tough, if only because Beck’s technical skill is quite high. Certain parts of it, such as the hook riff he hangs on for a bit in the beginning and revisits later in the song can be easy to pick up, but many of the big bends and shredding licks can be difficult for new guitar players.

 I’d recommend this song to experienced guitar players for honing their skills even further. 


Sunshine Of Your Love by Cream

How to play Sunshine Of Your Love by Cream, Eric Clapton (Guitar Lesson SB-306)

Check out this Sunshine of Your Love tab as well. 

Sunshine of Your Love, by the British band Cream mixes together classic rock, psychedelic rock, pop, and blues to create an iconic classic guitar riff that takes the lead on an all-time-great rock song. Released in November of 1967 on Cream’s sophomore album “Disraeli Gears,” Sunshine of Your Love became Cream’s highest charting American single of all time. 

The song consists of one main riff, which shifts up on the guitar at times, but is mostly the same. The chorus is just a few simple chords with rests in between. THis makes it great for beginners, but good for intermediate guitar players as well. Sometimes, playing two notes at the same time in the main riff can be difficult, but it is a skill worth learning. 


Get Back by The Beatles

Beatles Get Back Guitar Lesson + Tutorial (Rhythm)

Learning Get Back by The Beatles can also be done with this great tab.

Written by Paul McCartney (although credited to the McCartney-Lennon songwriting duo), Get Back was released as a single in April of 1969. A roaring success, it hit number 1 in the UK, the US, New Zealand, Australia, France, Belgium, Mexico, and many other countries as well. The catchy guitar work and the sing-along chorus in this song made it a smashing hit. 

The song is great for intermediate players to continue honing their guitar skills. Its lick isn’t too easy, but it’s not extremely difficult either. The chords in the song should be easily doable for anyone who knows their barre chords and their open chords as well. The solo, although it might sound difficult at first, is easy to pick up after you run through it a few times. 


I’ll Be There for You by Bon Jovi

How to Play Bon Jovi - I'll Be There For You - Chords, Rhythm Easy Guitar Songs

Here is a tab to help you out with learning this song as well. 

Peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, I’ll Be There For You was a smashing success immediately upon release. No strangers to success, this was the fourth time Bon Jovi had hit number one, but the first time they’d done so with a ballad. This slower, more mature, and more anthemic sound would become more prevalent in the band’s later work. 

This iconic rock ballad is sprinkled with a ton of interesting guitar work. From the fuzzy riffs at the beginning of the song to the anthemic chords in the chorus, this is a great song for intermediate guitar players to work on transitioning between riffs and licks to chords. 


Girl from Ipanema By Antonio Carlos Jobim

GIRL FROM IPANEMA Guitar Lesson Chord Melody + TAB

Check out this tab to learn the song yourself. 

One of the only Brazilian songs to see massive mainstream success in the United States and Europe, Girl from Ipanema was a major hit due to its catchy guitar work, beautiful crooning vocals, and great background instrumentation.

This jazz and bossa nova song has seen a ton of use over the years, oftentimes in film or as elevator music. Further popularized by covers and collaborations, it has been sung by many famous musicians such as Amy Winehouse and Frank Sinatra. 

This is a great song for intermediate to experienced guitar players to learn. Although the notes themselves might seem easy, the bossa nova rhythm can be difficult for many who have never played bossa nova or jazz songs before. It is played usually on a nylon-stringed acoustic guitar, although for the sake of practice any guitar will do. 


The Needle And The Damage Done by Neil Young

Neil Young - The Needle and the Damage Done Guitar Lesson

A tab for Young’s The Needle and the Damage Done can be found here.

The Needle and the Damage Done is a melancholy acoustic ballad about the dangers of drug use and how it affected Canadian-American singer-songwriter Neil Young’s friends and bandmates. The song has been further popularized by a ton of covers, including covers by the Dave Matthews Band, Jake Bugg, Ashley Cleveland, and Pearl Jam, among many others. 

This is a fine song for beginner to intermediate-level guitar players. It is mostly chords with very little switching to licks in between, which is one of the more difficult things for beginners to learn.

Still, young uses all the strings and switches between smaller chords a lot in this tune, as well as using a solid amount of the neck. This amount of movement might be difficult for beginners at first, but it will help with learning and writing more songs down the road. 


Blue by The Jayhawks

Guitar Lesson: How To Play Blue By The Jayhawks

Here is a guide to the chords and tabs for the riffs and licks in this song. 

The alternative country stylings of the Jayhawks never saw any gigantic mainstream success, but they are fairly well known for this song as well as a few others. Coming from the Twin Cities, the Jayhawks, led by Mark Olsen and Gary Louris, they have had a long and storied career, releasing 11 studio albums. 

Blue, one of, if not their most popular songs, is an acoustic, chord-driven song. It is great for intermediate guitar players and can be a solid challenge for beginners to try. The small riff right before each chord can be a challenge for some guitarists just starting to play the instrument.

The rest of the song is rather trivial, as it’s just a few chords being repeated. There are a few licks used as transition parts that can be difficult, so watch out for those as well.


Have You Ever Seen The Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival Have You Ever Seen The Rain Guitar Lesson + Tutorial

Check out this tab to help you out with learning this song. 

This classic jam, composed by John Fogerty for CCR’s 1971 record Pendulum, this protest song reached number 8 on charts in the US and number one in Canada. The largest single of their penultimate album, CCR would split up the next year after the release of Mardis Gras. 

The song itself is quite easy to play, driven mostly by the chords of an acoustic guitar. This makes it great for beginners who are learning chords and trying to find ways to apply them in songs. 


Despacito By Luis Fonsi Ft. Justin Bieber

Despacito - Luis Fonsi Daddy Yankee | Guitar Lesson (Tutorial) How to play Chords ft. Justin Bieber

If you want to learn Despacito, this tab is here to help you out. 

Despacito is a Puerto Rican pop song originally performed by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee (and later featuring Justin Bieber upon remix in order to make it appeal more to American and European audiences). 

Consisting of a mix of pop, Latin music, hip hop, and reggaeton, this songs fusion of styles makes for a Latin-style pop song that skyrocketed up the charts, and tied the record for longest number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 at 16 weeks.

This song is actually quite difficult to play and should be attempted by experienced or advanced guitar players. The lick at the very beginning of the track can be very difficult for beginner and intermediate guitar players to play. This is a great song to practice if you want to learn some alternative styles but still want to impress with a popular cover!


Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen

Queen - Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Guitar Lesson

Here is a great tab for this song!

This danceable and bouncy rock song became Queen’s first number-one single and kicked off a long and successful career for the British band. The song was written quite quickly by Freddie Mercury as a tribute to Elvis Presley, which definitely shines through when you listen to the song, as it certainly harkens back to those early days of rock music. 

There are two main guitar parts that can be learned for this song. The chords, written by Mercury, are quite easy, as he himself was not a very experienced guitar player. The electric guitar parts are a touch harder, but an intermediate guitar player shouldn’t have too hard a time with them, as they are mostly just little licks in between vocal lines to spice up the song a bit. 


Hurt by Johnny Cash

Hurt Guitar Tutorial - Johnny Cash Guitar Lesson 🎸 |Tabs + Easy Chords + Guitar Cover|

Check out this tab to help you out with learning Johnny Cash’s Hurt as well. 

Johnny Cash’s rendition of Hurt is actually a cover, as the original song was written and performed by Nine Inch Nails. It was released in 2002 to commercial and critical acclaim, and the music video released alongside it is one of the most popular and famous of all time, with 124 million views on YouTube.

This melancholy ballad was Cash’s last major success before his death after a long and legendary career. 

This song is great for intermediate guitar players, as the riff, which is a combination of notes and chords, can be quite difficult to play. However, other than this part, the song is mostly just repeating chords, so once you have it down it’s pretty easy to master. 


Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train Guitar Lesson Pt.1 - Main Riff & Verse

Click here for a tab of Crazy train.

Crazy Train is Ozzy Osbourne’s first major hit after leaving Black Sabbath and pursuing a solo career. Released as the single for the full-length record Blizzard of Ozz, Crazy Train saw immediate commercial success off the back of it’s iconic riff and its chugging beat.

The song won a number of accolades ending up on lists like VH1’s best hard rock songs of all time, and Guitar Player magazine’s greatest guitar solos as well. 

The song itself, however, is deceptively easy to play. It might sound impressive, but an intermediate guitarist can definitely play the main riff as well as the verses and choruses with a bit of practice. The riff is all within a minor scale, so if you’re practicing scales it shouldn’t be too difficult.

The chugging rhythm of the rest of the song might be hard at first, but after a few runs through you’ll start to get accustomed. The difficult part is the solo, which just takes a lot of time and a good ear. Still, there’s no technique in it that’s so difficult that only an advanced guitarist could pull it off. 


Beat It by Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson - Beat It Guitar Lesson - How to play on Guitar - Riff and Chords

A tab for this song can be found here.

Written for Jackon’s sixth Album Thriller, Beat It was written and performed by Michael Jackson, and he starred in its iconic music video as well. A pop song in every sense of the word, it’s bouncy, catchy hooks and melodies make for an excellent dance tune, giving way to a shredder of a guitar solo later in the song. 

Playing the song can be rather difficult, as the solo can be quite a challenge due to its speed and the precision required to make it sound right with a clean tone. I would recommend this song for intermediate or experienced guitar players. 


Leaving On a Jet Plane by John Denver

John Denver - Leaving on a Jet Plane - Full Guitar Tutorial w/ Tabs!

Here is a tab of Leaving on a Jet Plane. 

Written during a layover at a Los Angeles Airport, Denver’s acoustic ballad Leaving on a Jet Plane peaked at number one in the US and Canada and number two in Ireland and Britain, making it a smashing success in North America and Europe. 

The song can be difficult to play for beginners but is fine for intermediate guitar players. Mostly chords meant for singing over, it has a number of repeating licks in it on both the electric guitar part and acoustic as well.

Denver begins plucking through his chords rather than strumming them in the second verse, which can be a difficult technique for beginners as well but is certainly important to learn. 


The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens

How to Play Lion Sleeps Tonight - Bill Joel version (cover) - Easy 3 Chord Tune

Check out a tab of this song by clicking this link.

The Lion Sleeps Tonight, a song originally performed and recorded by Mbube, a South African artist, has been covered by many, perhaps most popularly by The Tokens. The Tokens version charted number one in the US and Canada and propelled the song into the mainstream consciousness. Although mostly thought of for its vocal performances, there is a fun little guitar track on this recording. 

The guitar part is great for beginners trying to learn different styles. The rhythm isn’t something that is often used in rock music, but the chords and melodies are rather simple. This makes it a great practice tool for those trying to get different rhythms down. 


Wonderwall by Oasis

Wonderwall Guitar Tutorial - Oasis Guitar Lesson 🎸 |Easy Chords + Guitar Cover|

Click here for a tab of Wonderwall! 

Easily one of the most recognizable songs on this list, Wonderwall charted in countries all over the world, peaking at number 8 in the US. It has persisted through time however not only because of its use in popular media, but its frequency as a guitar cover at open mics and college campuses all over the country. 

The song itself is quite easy, and great for beginners. Although it has some chords that might look strange to beginners, they aren’t too tough, and it’s mostly just chords all the way through, making it great for those just starting out. 


Don’t Fear The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult - Don't Fear The Reaper - Guitar Lesson - How to Play on Guitar, Cowbell riff

Check out a tab for Don’t fear the Reaper here!

Don’t Fear the Reaper, written for Blue Oyster Cult by Donald Roeser, peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the most popular single on Blue Oyster Cult’s 1976 record Agents of Fortune. It remained on the Billboard for 20 weeks and had some critical acclaim as well. It’s no wonder this song has stood the test of time. 

This song’s main riff can be a little tough to play, but with the right amount of practice (and perhaps a little reverb), it’s not too hard.

It’s really later in the song where the guitar playing gets difficult, as the guitar solo can be quite the challenge. It is sharp and precise, meaning it takes a lot of practice and quite dextrous fingers to perform. This song is best for experienced guitar players. 


My Best Friend’s Girl by The Cars

The Cars- My Best Friend's Girl Guitar Lesson

A tab for My Best Friend’s Girl can be found here.

A song off of the Car’s self-titled debut, My Best Friend’s Girl found radio play and commercial success even only as a demon in 1977. Officially released the next year, it peaked at number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The riff in the verses is quite easy and is probably suitable for beginners. However, the electric guitar in the choruses is a little bit more active, and the speed and precision it is played with are probably more suitable for intermediately skilled guitarists. 


Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses

Sweet Child O' Mine Guitar Lesson Pt.1 - Guns N' Roses - Intro - Slash

Click here for a tab of Sweet Child O’ Mine.

One of the lead singles on Guns N’ Roses debut Appetite for Destruction, Sweet Child O’ Mine saw immediate commercial success and is to this day the band’s only number-one single. It has persisted through the years in popularity, making lists like Rolling Stone’s greatest rock songs of all time, The Best Songs Written Since You Were Born, and VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs Of The 80s.

The song can be difficult to play between its catchy intro lick, multiple solos, and switching between chords and licks fairly constantly. Still, there is nothing that is too fast or with techniques too complicated for an intermediate guitar player to learn after a bit of practice. 


Let It Go by Def Leppard

Def Leppard - Let it Go - Guitar Lesson (Full Song)

Let it Go by Def Leppard’s tabs can be found with this link.

Let it Go is one of the singles off of Def Leppard’s extremely successful record High n’ Dry, reaching 34th on the Mainstream Rock charts. 

The song can be quite difficult to play at parts, with many chords shifting around the neck, as well as a pretty complex intro lick and a couple of pretty tough guitar solos.

It’s nothing groundbreaking, but the precise and well-performed guitar playing on this song makes it hard to repeat for beginner and intermediate guitarists. It can be a great challenge for intermediate guitar players looking to push their skills to the next level. 


Let Her Go by Passenger

Passenger - Let Her Go | Guitar Lesson (Fingerpicking Intro & Chords Strumming) Tutorial

Click here for a tab of Passenger’s Let Her Go. 

Let Her Go is the single of Passenger’s fourth studio record, All the Little Lights. This melancholy acoustic ballad with a sing-along chorus is a great cover for anyone looking to add a solid song to their repertoire. The song first spread through Europe before hitting North America, seeing commercial success in both markets. 

The song isn’t too hard to play, with some acoustic licks that can be fingerpicked, and some chords that can be strummed along with the lyrics. It’s a great song for beginners to either learn to sing and play simultaneously, or to fingerpick or pick through chords as well. 


Runnin Down A Dream by Tom Petty

Tom Petty - Runnin' Down a Dream - Guitar Lesson

Here is a tab for Runnin’ Down A Dream. 

The surfer rock riffs and classic rock stylings of this Tom Petty track immediately made for a great start to his solo career, becoming the lead single off of his debut solo record Full Moon Fever. It hit number on on the Billboard Top 100 for rock music, due to its infectious chorus and fuzzy, surfy guitar hook. 

The song itself isn’t too hard to play and is a great track for beginners who are looking to push themselves just a bit. The surf rock riff might sound difficult, but it’s not too hard to play if you can do pull-offs (and if you can’t, it’s a great way to practice them).

The rest of the song is just alternating chords between the acoustic guitar and the electric guitar. Learning both parts should be fairly trivial. 


Hotel California By Eagles

Hotel California The Eagles Easy Acoustic Guitar Lesson + Tutorial

Hotel California tabs can be found here.

Hotel California is the title track and lead single off of the Eagles’ album Hotel California. Easily their most well-known and most successful song, it won a Grammy for record of the year in 1978. It’s solo also one solo of the year in the same year and is to this day thought of as one of the greatest guitar solos of all time. 

The song is relatively easy to play for most of it. It is mostly chords with a few simple licks peppered in to keep things interesting. There is nothing that is beyond the scope of an intermediate guitar player.

The solo at the end, however, can be a bit challenging, as the bends are quite precise and the sharp, bright tone can be hard to nail for guitar players who aren’t used to crafting their sound yet. 


Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple

How To Play Deep Purple - Smoke On The Water

These tabs can also be a fantastic supplementary resource for learning the song. 

Smoke on the Water is the most famous Deep Purple song, written for their 1972 record Machine Head. Its chugging beat and repeatable riff made it an instant hit, and to this day it’s popularity has sustained itself, being ranked number 426 on the Rolling Stone top 500 Rock Songs of all Time. 

This song is exceptionally easy to play and is a perfect song for just starting out on guitar. It is very often the first song guitar players play, as there are only a few chords in it and they repeat over and over again in the same pattern. 


Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson

Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys - Guitar Lesson

A guide to the chords for the same song can be found with this link.

First recorded by Ed Bruce, this country classic was recorded and performed by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson popularized the song on their duo album, Waylon ; Willie, rocketing the track to number one on the Billboard charts that year. 

The song is pretty easy to play, with just a few repeating chords. There are a couple things that make it tricky though. Firstly, the electric guitar is played in slide style with slide. Secondly, it is in a 6/8 time signature, which can be hard to figure out for new musicians. I’d recommend this song for intermediate guitarists because of these two factors. 


We Are the Champions by Queen

We Are The Champions Guitar Lesson Pt.1 - Queen

Click here for a tab for We Are the Champions. 

We are the Champions is one of Queen’s most famous tracks. Released on their 1977 record News of the World, it peaked at number four in the US and number two in the UK, seeing smashing commercial success in both North America and Europe. 

The guitar playing on the track is impressive, but for most of it, it isn’t anything mind-blowing. FOr the vast majority of the song, the piano takes the lead, and the guitar just plays chords behind it.

However, there are a few little licks that need to be hit between chords, especially in the chorus. A few of the chords in the second verse are strummed through as well, so make sure that you are letting every individual note ring out. 


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

How to Play "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones on guitar - Guitar Lessons

Here is a tab of the same song to supplement the video. 

Released in 1965 as a single in the United States, this Rolling Stones classic was initially barred from mainstream radio due to its “sexually explicit” lyrics. At the time, it was quite controversial.

Still, it managed to do incredibly well even only being aired on pirate radio. It is considered one of the most popular songs of all time and has won many accolades including being 2nd on Rolling Stone’s 500 most popular songs of all-time list. 

This success is in no small part due to the iconic riff throughout this song. Although repetitive, it is also quite catchy and an earworm for all listening. In combination with some simple guitar chords for being sung over, the guitar for this song is, although easy, extremely fun to play. This is a great song for beginners to learn both riffs and chords!


House of the Rising Sun by The Animals

House Of The Rising Sun Guitar Lesson - The Animals - Easy Songs For Acoustic Guitar - Tutorial

A tab for the same song can be found here.

The House of the Rising Sun is not actually an original by The Animals. In fact, it is an American folk song that tells the tale of someone’s life in New Orleans. Sometimes called Rising Sun Blues, it has been covered by many artists of all sizes. It is said to have first been “collected” in the 1930s, and have its roots in English folk music. 

The Animals version is however the most popular version of the song by a significant margin. A lot of this is because of the excellent guitar work on the studio version of the track that they recorded.

The riff at the beginning and throughout is a fun play, even if it isn’t too difficult. It requires a bit of precision though, so I’d recommend it for intermediate players, or beginners who are looking to challenge themselves a bit.  


Africa By Toto

Africa Guitar Lesson (Full Acoustic Arrangement) - Toto

Learning Africa can be even easier if you check out these tabs!

Africa is the closing track of Toto’s fourth album, “Toto IV.” Given praise for the sharp performances on the track as well as the beautiful composition, it skyrocketed to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It also hit number one in Canada and charted quite well in a lot of Europe as well. 

The song is quite an easy play on guitar, as the instrument plays more of a supporting role on the track. Still, rhythm guitar is an important skill to learn. This song is fantastic for beginners looking to play chords and have a great cover that people know! 


Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana

Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit Guitar Lesson + Tutorial

Here is a tab for the same song!

Smells Like Teen Spirit is the first song and most popular single off of Nirvana’s sophomore album “Nevermind.” Released in 1991, this song not only put Nirvana on the map but the entire genre of Grunge as well.

 It has received many accolades over time, including being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “songs that shaped rock and roll” list, the RIAA’s “songs of the century” list, and Rolling Stone’s “Greatest Songs of All Time” list, where it ranked fifth. 

As far as playing the song on guitar, it is exceptionally fun, if only because it gives you an excuse to make your guitar sound a little extra mean. A distortion pedal is pretty much required to play this song how it sounds on the record.

Other than that, it’s some pretty simple chords, a great guitar solo, and a bit of other guitar work as well. I’d recommend this track for intermediate guitar players. 


Layla by Eric Clapton

Layla Guitar Lesson - Derek and the Dominos - Eric Clapton - Famous Riffs

Clapton’s Layla can also be learned via tab.

Layla is the 13th track of Derek and the Dominoes’ album “Layla and Other Love Songs.” There has been a number of versions of this song written and credited to different people, so it is hard to really talk about its chart success.

Still, it is most certainly known as one of the greatest rock songs, and more specifically, rock riffs, of all time. One listen will tell you why that is. 

The song is actually quite tough to play. Quick and precise fingers are needed to execute the riff, and putting the chords in between can be quite difficult for beginner players. As the song moves on, it gets a bit easier. However, there are still plenty of tough licks here and there. I’d recommend this song for experienced guitar players.


Highway To Hell by AC/DC

AC/DC - HIGHWAY TO HELL Guitar Lesson Tutorial

A tab can also be used to learn this classic rock tune. 

Highway to Hell, written by the members of AC/DC (although the iconic guitar riff is credited to Angus Young), was written about the extreme tour schedule that the band had been on to promote their music. It peaked at number one on the US Billboard for Mainstream Rock. 

The guitar riff itself is quite easy to play. Consisting of only a few chords that beginners are usually able to play, it is the simplicity of this riff that makes it so catchy and infectious. Still, it is quite an easy play and is perfect for beginners looking for a fun, rockin’ cover to show off with. 


Sweet Home Alabama By Lynyrd Skynyrd

How to play Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd

You can click this link for a tab of Sweet Home Alabama as well. 

Originally written and recorded for Lynyrd Skynyrd’s sophomore album “Second Helping,” Sweet Home Alabama went on become synonymous with the name of the band, and their most popular song. It peaked at number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song was actually written as a response to Neil Young’s song “Southern Man,” and its criticism of the south, and he is even name-dropped in the song. 

The famous riff sounds quite impressive but is actually a little easier than it looks. Still, the combination of notes in quick succession followed by chords can be difficult for some beginner guitarists, and the solos can be a little tough as well. I’d recommend this song for intermediate guitar players, or perhaps for beginners looking to push themselves. 


Blitzkrieg Bop by Ramones

EASY 3 Chord Punk Guitar Song - Blitzkrieg Bop Guitar Lesson - The Ramones

Click here for a tab of the same song. 

Blitzkrieg Bop was the first single ever released by The Ramones and led the band to fairly quick and smashing success. The song performed quite well and only aged better, being on many lists featuring the greatest rock songs of all time, including VH1 and Rolling Stone. 

The song is wonderfully simple, featuring an extremely common pattern of power chords known as the I, IV, V pattern. This is a great song for beginners to learn how to play, and I’d even recommend it as one of if not the first songs a new guitar player learns how to play. 


Dust in The Wind by Kansas

Dust in the Wind Kansas Guitar Lesson + Tutorial

A tab can help with this classic Kansas tune as well. Click here!

Dust in the Wind was released by Kansas in 1977. It was the band’s only top 10 single in their career, peaking at number six on the Billboard Hot 100. The RIAA certified the single gold shortly after its release as well. This ballad-like track with Kansas’ progressive rock twist was not only popular back on release, and remains quite recognizable today. 

The song can be pretty difficult to play for many. The beautiful acoustic guitar lick that is a constant throughout the song can be hard for those who don’t know how to fingerpick properly. I’d recommend this song for intermediate guitar players, and guitarists learning how to fingerpick. 


Wake Me Up by Avicii

Wake Me Up Guitar Tutorial - Avicii Guitar Lesson 🎸|100% Accurate Chords + Lead + No Capo + Cover|

Click here for a tab of this song. 

The lead single for his record “True,” Avicci released Wake Me Up in 2013 to instant smashing success. Ranked number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in twenty-two countries including the US. The infectious combination of dancey EDM with folk guitar was an instant hit with people all over the world. 

The guitar part of the song isn’t incredibly difficult to play, as it is mostly chords chugging along in a sort of gallop-like rhythm. I’d recommend this song for intermediate guitarists who are trying to learn new rhythmic techniques to change things up a bit. 


Up Around the Bend by Creedence Clearwater Revival

3 CHORDS and Simple SOLO - Learn UP AROUND THE BEND by Creedence Clearwater Revival (guitar lesson)

Learn Up Around the Bend with a tab as well. 

Written just days before the band left for tour, Up Around the Bend was released soon after as a single and shot up to number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and for good reason. Its tasty guitar riffs and groovy beat were perfect for the time. It was certified RIAA gold after selling one million copies quite soon after its release as well. 

The song is an extremely fun play on guitar, mostly due to the licks that require a lot of bending and sharp, precise tone and playing. The short and concise nature of the licks, as well as their prevalence throughout the song will keep your attention throughout. This is a phenomenal song for intermediate guitarists.


Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin Whole Lotta Love Guitar Lesson Guitar Lesson + Tutorial

Learning this riff and the rest of the song will also be easier with a tab.

The opening track to Led Zeppelin’s sophomore LP, Whole Lotta Love was a quick hit with US audiences for the English rock band. It was certified Gold in the US very quickly. However, its longevity is what’s truly impressive. Ranked 75th on Rolling Stone’s top 500 songs list as well as the third greatest rock song of all time by VH1, it has clearly stood the test of time. 

The riff certainly belongs on this list, as playing it is a total blast. Although not the most difficult riff, it’s one of those groovy, tasty riffs that just make you feel  like a better guitar player after you learn it. This is a great riff for intermediate players, but beginners who want to push themselves can take a crack at it as well. 


Free Fallin by Tom Petty

How to play Free Falling by Tom Petty Guitar Lesson Tutorial Acoustic Capo

Click here for a link to a great tab for Free Fallin’. 

The first track on Petty’s solo debut, Free Fallin’ was released for audiences in 1989. By January of the following year, it was peaking at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100. This was Petty’s highest-charting single and has stood the test of time, being featured on the all-time list in multiple publications, and even being performed at the 2008 Super Bowl halftime show. 

Playing the song, since it is just chords on an acoustic guitar, is quite easy. As long as you know the necessary chords, this can be played by pretty much any guitar player. This is a great song for learning some basic chords for beginners as well. As an added bonus, it’s a great track for learning to play and sing at the same time. 


Welcome To The Jungle by Guns N Roses

How To Play “Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns N' Roses (Full Electric Guitar Lesson)

Click here for a tab of the same 80s rock tune!

The second single for Guns N’ Roses debut LP “Appetite for Destruction,” Welcome to the Jungle was a huge hit. It peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been featured on countless lists as an all-time-great rock song.

The song was written by the band based on the guitar riff, and feature lyrics about both the difficulty and joy of living in the “jungle” of an American city. 

Playing this one can be a bit challenging, but rewarding as well. It’s quite fun to run through, and changes a lot throughout. Between the main riff, the breakdown, the solos, and the intro, there is a lot to learn. Each of these parts has its own difficulty, especially the multiple solos that are featured throughout the song. I’d recommend this song for experienced guitar players. 


Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day

Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends - Guitar Lesson - How to Play - Acoustic Songs

Learn to play this song via tab by clicking here!

The fourth single of Green Day’s iconic “American Idiot” record, Wake Me Up When September Ends is the ballad of the album, showing a slow, somber side to the usually raucous punk band.

A song about the death of Billy Joe Armstrong’s father, it touched the hearts of millions upon released, and quickly became one of the most popular songs the band had released, and eventually one of the most popular songs of all time. 

Playing this song on guitar is quite an easy task, provided you know the chords that are in it. These chords are among the first most guitar players learn, so if you’ve been playing for a little while you should have them down.

Since it is such a simple acoustic ballad, it is a great song for learning how to play chords. It is also fantastic for learning how to play and sing at the same time. 


Back In Black by AC/DC

Back In Black Guitar Lesson | AC/DC

Back in Black can be learned with tabs too. Click here for a great one!

The title song off of their album of the same name, Back in Black is one of AC/DC’s most iconic guitar riffs today, and can be heard being played in guitar shops across America to test out the tones of new guitars and pedals.

Written as a tribute to Bon Scott after his death, the song peaked 37th on the Billboard Top 100, and saw major success and longevity in the years to come. 

The riff, and the rest of the song as well, can be a challenging play. It requires precise guitar playing and great tone, and the solos are quite challenging as well, and require great technique. This combination makes it a great song to push the skills of beginner and intermediate players, or simply be a fun playthrough for experienced and advanced players as well. 


La Grange by ZZ Top

How to play La Grange by ZZ Top (Guitar Lesson SB-303)

ZZ Top’s La Grange has a great tab on songsterr as well. Click here!

Released in 1973 on their record “Tres Hombres,” ZZ top saw some major success with this track. It saw major radio play and peaked at number 41 on the Billboard Top 100. Written about a brothel in the town of Le Grange, Texas, this groovy tune is hard to get out of your head. 

Playing this one is super fun, as it’s got a little bit of everything. The bluesy rhythm of the main riff is fun to chug along to, and some of the more rockin’ riffs and solos later in the song are great for the shredders out there to get some serious rocking guitar playing going.

Either way, it’s not too easy of a track, and I’d recommend it for intermediate level guitarists.


All My Life by Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters All My Life Guitar Lesson + Tutorial

Click here for a great tab for this Foo Fighters classic. 

The first single off of the Foo’s fourth record, “One by One,” the chugging guitar and rockin’ riffs in All My Life make it quite a fun play. It did not go unnoticed by critics either, getting itself a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance, and peaking at number three on the Hot Mainstream Rock Charts. 

The riffs in this song can be of moderate difficulty, and the opening chords and bridge are quite easy. This makes the song of medium difficulty, and good for beginners looking to push themselves to the next level, or intermediate guitarists trying to dabble in some alternative rock styles. 


My Generation by The Who

The Who - My Generation Guitar Lesson/ Tutorial - Easy Rock Songs On Guitar

Check out this tab to supplement the above video. 

Released in 1965, My Generation saw very quick success, being launched to number two on the charts in the UK upon its release as a single. Meanwhile, in the US, it reached number 74. This was enough to name their record after the song as well.

The song has been lauded over time as extremely important and influential in rock history, being talked about extensively in Rolling Stone and being inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame. 

Playing the song isn’t too difficult, although some of the riffs can be a little tricky for beginners. They are mostly just notes until the chords come in, however, and the two are mostly separate. Still, switching quickly between the two can be tough for those of us just starting out. 


You Really Got Me by The Kinks

The Kinks "You Really Got Me" Guitar Lesson (Power Chords)

Click here for a great tab for You Really Got Me by The Kinks!

Released in the UK in 1964, You Really Got Me reached number one in the country within the next month due to its exceptionally catchy guitar riff and choruses. It also saw smashing success across the pond, being released in the US a month later to critical and popular acclaim. 

The song is very easy to play, and in that simplicity it thrives. A couple of chords being switched between (and then shifted up slightly) make up the majority of the song’s guitar playing. Still, although easy, this song is quite a fun play, as you can jam along to the infectiously catchy verses and choruses.

This is a great song for beginners, and can even be a first song for many guitarists. 


Conclusion

We hope you’ve found something on there that piques your interest – let us know in the comments if there are any other fun songs for guitar that you think should be on this list!

Martin Holland

Growing up in rural Australia, there wasn't much to do but play guitar and stare at the red dirt. When things broke, the only person to fix them was fifty miles away, and eventually fixing gave way to building, giving me my career as a luthier. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Martin Holland has 92 posts and counting. See all posts by Martin Holland