When I first started to learn the guitar, I had visions of myself rocking out to my favorite tunes on stage, complete with long, greasy hair to whip back and forth.
Now, tell me you didn’t have a rock-star dream when you started learning the guitar.
The fact is, nearly every guitar player has envisioned himself as a rock star at some point.
And whether or not we ever do become rock stars, we can certainly feel like rock stars when we’ve got some classic riffs under our belts.
So, which guitar riffs are perfect for beginners, and what’s the best way to learn them?
I’m about to show you 40 of my favorite guitar riffs that are great for beginners.
I’m also going to reveal a secret tool that helped me learn the majority of these in less than 60 days!
Everybody Wants To Be A Rock Star, And I Was No Different
Let me take you back in time almost 20 years to my college dorm room.
A buddy of mine had been an avid guitar player for years, and living with him in the dorm, I was quickly convinced to purchase my own guitar.
That’s when my rock star dreams began:
Images of myself on stage in front of a screaming crowd were among my first thoughts as I picked up the guitar for the first time. Slowly, very slowly, I tried to learn how to play. And as I did, my dreams also started to adapt and change.
I dreamed of being able to play fluidly, without pausing, without stumbling. I wanted to move past the frustration of not getting those riffs right, and actually get to a point where I could rock along with the best of them.
However, I wasn’t getting the instruction I needed.
My buddy wasn’t the best teacher, and I was quickly getting busier and busier.
My Rock Star Dreams Got Put On Hold, But I Never Lost That Desire
We all know what happens to our dreams once we leave college:
I was busy working.
I got married, had two daughters, and started my own business.
Caring for my growing family while managing my business took nearly all of the hours I had in a day.
The guitar got pushed to the side, but those rock star dreams never left me.
I didn’t dream of being on stage anymore, but I did think about being able to play the guitar.
Whenever I mentioned that I owned a guitar, and someone responded, ‘Oh, play something for us!’, I dreamed of being able to pick up my guitar and shock everyone with my skills.
And nearly 20 years after I purchased my guitar, that dream finally became a reality.
I Found An Easy Way To Learn The Majority Of These Classic Guitar Riffs In Just 60 Days!
It’s true, learning guitar riffs and really being able to rock is not something you can learn overnight.
Beginners normally shy away from these complicated songs, thinking that they are just meant for the experts.
However, I’ve recently learned that this way of thinking is not entirely true.
Yes, guitar riffs can be difficult:
But they’re not impossible for beginners.
In fact, I found a way to learn many of the guitar riffs that I’m about in show you in only 60 days!
Using this tool, I was able to handle the pressure when my moment to rock finally came.
When The Time Came, I Was Ready To Rock
The normal reaction when someone hears that you have a guitar or sees it in your house is, “Play something!”
These two words can be utterly terrifying. Or, they can be the door to showing off your guitar skills.
For years, I had always dreaded the moment when someone asked me to play guitar.
But finally, things had changed.
My wife and I had some friends over, and the typical scene played out. Someone saw my guitar and asked me to play.
And you know what?
I was finally able to pick up a guitar and play a song that people knew! I was playing the riffs to some of my favorite songs, and I was able to impress the whole room.
And it’s all because of one fantastic tool that took me from a beginner to a true rocker.
I’ll tell you more about that later. For now, I’d like to introduce you to some of the top songs with easy guitar riffs for beginners.
My Top 3 Easy Guitar Riffs For Beginners, And How To Play Them
- Sweet Home Alabama- Lynyrd Skynyrd
This instantly recognizable song is a classic of southern rock that nearly everyone knows, and every good rocker needs to learn at some point.
What’s great about this song is that almost the entire thing revolves are just three chords. When playing the riff, you can easily switch between these chords, making it easier to play.
The three chords you’ll need to remember for this riff are D5, Csus2, and an open G, with the A string muted.
Each part starts with the striking the root notes twice. But remember, you will be using a bit of palm muting on those root notes.
Check out some screenshots of video lessons which are available for this song, but keep reading because below I’m going to introduce you to an incredibly easy way to learn this riff!
- Smoke On The Water- Deep Purple
This is another iconic song that most guitar players have learned at some point in their lives.
Fortunately, the intro to Smoke on the Water once again features chords that are close to each other, making it easier for beginners to pick up.
These two-string barre chords (called inverted power chords) are fairly easy to play, and only range 4 frets (from the 3 rd to the 6 th frets).
To get a truly authentic sound, you’ll be plucking the strings with your middle and ring finger. That way, you’ll be able to achieve the same tone as the original song.
Once again, I’ll leave you with some lesson screenshots:
- You Really Got Me- Van Halen
Another classic, and another easy-to-play riff that you are going to love (riff starts at the 50 second mark).
This punk-rock tune has a ton of attitude, and is actually quite simple to play. You’ll only need two fingers on your left hand to play this intro riff, and you’ll hardly move them at all during the riff.
First, you’ll be using your middle finger to reach the 6th string, 3rd fret. With this finger, you’ll be doing a full bend on that note. Next, using your first finger, you’ll be barring the 4th and 3rd strings on the 2 nd fret.
And the end of this riff, there is a really great power slide that takes you all the way up the neck and back.
Here’s an image of the video lessons I've been using, but don’t forget to keep reading because I’m about to reveal the website I used to learn all these songs from.
37 Other Riffs To Rock The Neighborhood With
1. Pinball Wizard - The Who
2. Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival
3. House of the Rising Sun - Animals
4. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
5. Thing Called Love - Bonnie Raitt
6. Day Tripper - The Beatles
7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Beatles
8. Harlem Shuffle - Rolling Stones
9. Proud Mary - Creedence Clearwater Revival
10. You Can’t Always Get What You Want - Rolling Stones
11. Back in the USSR - The Beatles
12. Gimme Three Steps - Lynyrd Skynyrd
13. Beat It - Michael Jackson
14. Iron Man - Black Sabbath
15. Rock You Like a Huricane - Scorpians
16. Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes
17. Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
18. Wanted Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi
19. Enter Sandman - Metallica
20. American Idiot - Green Day
21. Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin
22. One - U2
23. Everlong - Foo Fighters
24. Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton
25. Sultans of Swing - Dire Straights
26. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
27. Back in Black - AC/DC
28. Say it Ain’t So - Weezer
29. Alive - Pearl Jam
30. Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry
31. Still Into You - Paramore
32. Kryptonite - 3 Doors Down
33. Paralyzer - Finger Eleven
34. Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked - Cage the Elephant
35. Are You Gonna Be My Girl? - Jet
36. Island in the Sun - Weezer
37. Beverly Hills - Weezer
I Learned Tons Of My Favorite Guitar Riffs In 60 Days, And So Can You!
I told you above that I was able to learn most of these songs using a secret tool.
Well, it’s time for the big reveal.
The tool I used to learn these classic guitar riff is online guitar lessons, specifically the program Guitar Tricks:
This program enabled me to learn quickly by guiding me through step-by- step how to play these songs.
And you’ll probably notice, some of these are relatively complicated for beginners.
But with Guitar Tricks, these harder songs were actually made easy!
You have a professional guitarist teaching you exactly how to play each song, from the beginning to the end. They also include pro tips on how to actually play a riff.
But Guitar Tricks isn’t just good for learning specific songs. There is so much more available to you than just that.
Go From Learning How To Hold A Guitar To Learning Complicated Guitar Riffs
The Guitar Tricks program can actually take a complete beginner and turn him or her into a rock star.
This is possible through structured, organized lessons that help you learn the guitar step by step.
With the fundamentals, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to hold the guitar, where
to put your hands, basic chords you should know, how to get rhythm and timing correct, and how to read music and tablature.
Beyond the fundamentals, you can choose what style of music you want to learn, and then get even more specific instruction for that particular style.
For example, if you select rock as your style, you’ll be able to learn all about the chords used in rock, how to use arpeggios, and even specific instruction on how to play riffs!
All of this and more is available on Guitar Tricks, and you can start learning for free!
Becoming A Rock Star Has Never Been So Easy: Start Your Free Trial Today!
If you’re ready to become a rock star and start nailing that list of songs we mentioned above, I highly recommend that you start with a free trial of Guitar Tricks.
Guitar Tricks is your ultimate companion in the world of guitar learning. It will be your guide to learning riffs and tunes that will make you feel like a true rock star.
Getting started is as easy as clicking the button below and signing up for your free trial of Guitar Tricks.
Believe me, this is a decision you won’t regret!