20 Songs Every Beginner Guitarist Should Know

By: John McCarthy/
Jimmy Rutkowski

As a teacher one the most asked questions from I received from beginner students was “What are some easy songs that I can learn to play that won’t be over my abilities?” So me and the boys from Rock House put our thinking caps on and compiled a list of easy to learn songs that will challenge you but not make you want to throw your guitar in the fireplace as firewood with discouragement! Keep in mind this is just a starting point and there are thousands of easy songs that you can learn. These are just some recommendations that we have seen results from. Hope you enjoy!

1. Smoke On the Water: Deep Purple
2. Aint’ Talkin’ Bout’ Love: Van Halen
3. Basket Case: Green Day
4. Satin Doll: Duke Ellington
5. Come As You Are: Nirvana
6. Is This Love: Bob Marley
7. Santa Ria: Sublime
8. Tick Tick Boom: The Hives
9. Iron Man: Black Sabbath
10. All The Small Things: Blink 182
11. Wild Thing: The Troggs
12. Enter Sandman: Metallica
13. Margaritaville: Jimmy Buffet
14. Vampires: Godsmack
15. You Really Got Me: The Kinks
16. Nothing Else Matters: Metallica
17. Free Fallin’: Tom Petty
18. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life): Green Day
19. Uncle Johns Band: The Grateful Dead
20. Wish You Were Here: Pink Floyd

Some of the songs can be found in the tab section at Rock House Method, feel free to leave a comment on where your favorite site is to find guitar tabs in the comment section. The one I use the most is Chordie.com


ass.kicker32 said...

Cool. Now where are the chords or tab for these songs?

sarge1875 said...

Thanks ass.kicker I edited the post ;)

The Old Man said...

Another spot on post Sarge. You know I bookmarked this bad boy!

Extra Guitare said...

Inspiring!!!! Thanks a lot!

Kaptk said...

Great blog! I agree with your list of the top 20 guitar songs beginners should learn. Please check out the original guitar solo on my blog at http://denizandkennycollection.blogspot.com. The track is called "Lawrence Guitar Solo" from my band in 1988.

Nick Andrew said...

Nice blog! I was always searching for a blog like this so that i can get more information and entertainment as I got it from your blog. Thanks for sharing about the up coming records.
Good Day

Rob said...

Ha! It's great to see someone else doesn't put "Stairway to Heaven" on this list! lol

Kazaa said...

Its good..It inspired me a lot...Thanks for sharing..

Free Music

Alphonso Giamatti said...

It's awesome. :D I'm actually inspired to pick up the guitar again.

Sarge said...

The mix is good with a lot of different styles to learn.

John said...

nahh the best page to find every tab and chords of rock songs...is on "ultimate-guitar.com" you'll find everything on this page...n_n

Audio visual hire said...

Great list friend. I am really enjoying this post. Thank you very much making this song list available for us. Please keep up.

party equipment hire said...

Checking your list, I also need to know which songs are there in your list because I am also a guitarist. Really worth full...Thanks for informing us...

BigD said...

I'm sorry, I do not agree with most of these suggestions. A beginner guitarist is one who's starting out. WHile I agree with Smoke On The Water, how on earth is a beginner supposed to play the barre chords in You Really Got Me without changing key (so the student can play along)? Full barre chords start in Grade 4 of the RGT acoustic system, and Grade 3 electric, both recognised as intermediate standard. The same with Nothing Else Matters, where the picking is of at least Grade 3 classical standard. Basket Case? Can you imagine a beginner trying that song first? Absolutely no way. Now, I'm going to get flamed for not providing alternatives. Well, here you go: Bob Marley - Three Little Birds (A, E and D chords, and a beginner can strum along in the same key, and it'll sound like the song), Folsom Prison Blues (E, A and B7, and it acts as a great introduction into the trickier B7 chord before tackling the intimidating full barre chords), Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars (A, E, and D, and can also be used as an introduction in the Amaj7 chord and Dsus2 later on), America - Horse With No Name (Em, and D, and D/Fsharp can be used also, later on in their playing). I'm aware comments have to be approved by the author, hence the positive ones here, but when you read this, please remove some of the more difficult songs from your beginners repertoire, for your students sake.

Dave said...

Hey nice list. A good variety of tunes for beginners to start out with. These songs are actually fun to play and are encouraging for beginners. Thanks for posting.