Easiest guitar riffs for beginners


Here’s a list of the easiest guitar riffs to learn for beginners. Included will be the time where the section appears in the song, and any additional information. There are a few things you need to know before you try and learn these songs:

  1. The first thing you need to know is the way you need learn the song. The first and easiest way to learn these songs is to go to YouTube and type “Guitar Lesson” and include the song and maybe the artist if you are having trouble. - Ex. Deep Purple Smoke On The Water Guitar Lesson
  2. The second way, and a way you’re eventually going to have to learn, is to first learn to read tabs, and then find the tabs for the song. If you are unsure what tabs are click here to check out my article on tablature. Tabs are NOT musical notation, and if you are a beginner, then I do NOT recommend that you learn to read musical notation first, as stated in the article above. 


Deep Purple - Smoke On The Water 0:00-0:51

The first song is this classic rock n’ roll song by Deep Purple. This is the intro riff and it is considered to be one of the easiest riffs in rock n’ roll. Don’t be fooled though, just because it’s easy doesn’t take away from how catchy this riff is. Once you learn it, you’ll find yourself coming back to this riff in between other riffs and licks that you will learn in the future

Black Sabbath - Iron Man 0:41-0:54 and 0.28-0:41

The second section is also a very common rock classic by Black Sabbath. If you noticed in the caption it says to start with 0:41-54 and THEN go to 0:28-41. Why did I put it this way? Well because the first section has what’s known as “power chords,” and these power chords can be a little bit tricky for beginners. The second riff is pretty much just the skeleton of the main riff and will help lay the foundation to learn the main riff.

Alice In Chains - Angry Chair? 0:05-0:36

The third section is by 90’s grunge band, Alice In Chains. This probably has to be one of the easiest riffs in hard rock. The only thing that might be a little bit tricky would be going from the second to the third note, but if you can get that down, the riff is no problem and it’s pretty cool, fun, and easy riff.

Metallica - For Whom The Bell Tolls 0:07-0:57, 1:13-1:49

The next few sections comes from 80’s Heavy Metal band, Metallica. This song is a very slow, but heavy song. And even though it is heavy, there are MANY easy to play riffs and sections in this song. Just remember I’m only pointing out the rhythm guitar section, not the bass section or lead guitar parts! Some of those sections are a little advance and can be difficult for a beginner to play, but can be a great goal for you to strive for in the future!

The next few songs will need less explanation. All you need to do is either look on google for the tabs of that song, you can either find a website for the image of the tabs for most of these songs. Or you will have to look up the “guitar lesson for beginners” version on YouTube. The songs should be much easier to learn than the ones previously mentioned:

Amazing Grace


Oh When The Saints Go Marching In

Happy Birthday

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Jingle Bells

Of course if you are a beginner looking to learn guitar, the best option is to get a guitar teacher who will guide you through learning to play guitar and get through any frustrations you may have when first learning to play.