There’s no instrument quite as iconic as the guitar, and we all dream of being able to shred like our favorite rockstars do with ease. However, it’s not as simple as just picking up the guitar and giving it a few strums, as the instrument is easy to pick up but notoriously difficult to master. It takes time, practice, and advice from those who are at the level which you wish to attain.
Once you have your basics of playing guitar down, then it might be time to tackle some legendary tunes. The following songs are considered to be approachable even to newcomers:
1.‘Seven Nation Army’ – The White Stripes
Heard in arenas around the world for well over the past decade, “Seven Nation Army” has a strong, but simple riff that’s instantly recognizable. Give it a few listens to internalize the flow of it, then prepare to strike some power chords, as they’ll come in handy throughout the instrumental chorus.
The solo sounds more intimidating than it actually is, and getting through it is just a matter of maintaining the rhythm. Once you have this down, you’ll be able to play one of the most iconic guitar riffs of all time just like Jack White himself.
Better yet, if you still find yourself struggling with the subtle intricacies of the song, take to Musician Authority, a site built with the sole purpose of helping beginner guitarists find their musical footing. Furthermore, the tool can likely help guitarists do just that with each of the remaining five songs found on this list, as well — keep the site close by, just in case.
2.‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ – The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones have been together for over fifty years, and in their time together released dozens of guitar-focused and acclaimed songs. Although they were tragically never able to quite get their satisfaction, you definitely will be able to play perhaps their most famous song with a little practice.
The rhythm repeats itself for the entire song aside from the chorus. So once you master those chords, you’ll already be able to play the majority of the classic tune.
Add in the one riff which appears in the intro and verses and you’ll be all set and well on your way to performing a satisfying cover of this classic song.
3.‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ – Blue Oyster Cult
Right out of the gate this song is recognizable for the hypnotic classic rock sound that seems to fold over itself and echo. Although the solo and bridges might be a bit much for beginners, most of the song only requires four chords. Clocking in at just over five minutes, it’s an ideal song to learn as practicing it builds up vital muscle memory and endurance in your fingers.
The iconic riff is deceptively quick, but there’s no reason for beginners to fear playing this tune. Once you have the basics of the pattern down, all that is left is to find a friend to play the cowbell for the song’s full effect.
4.‘Stuck In the Middle With You’ – Steelers Wheel
This infectiously upbeat tune doesn’t change much structurally in its three-and-a-half minutes’ runtime. This means it is a fantastic song for a new guitarist to learn and practice early on as it teaches and reinforces the concept of chord progression.
A chord progression is playing a series of chords in a deliberate sequence, and it’s something every musician will need to learn eventually. The strumming patterns necessary to learn this song are commonly found in other songs, so the skills are instantly transferable for future success.
5.‘Love Me Do’ – The Beatles
Within the Beatles’ incredibly deep discography everyone can find a song that will resonate with them, and there’s no better starting place for beginner guitarists than the simple and beautiful, “Love Me Do.”
The bulk of the song only requires two chords, G major and C major, and if you can become comfortable with D major as well, then you can learn and play the whole track faster than you might think. It’s a great song to practice strumming with its slow but deliberate pace, and always a crowd-pleaser that’s easy to sing along to in any setting.
6.‘Wonderful Tonight’ – Eric Clapton
Our final song is arguably the most difficult but can serve as a great test for a beginner guitarist’s progression. There’s a wide range of required chords but the swooning pace makes it more approachable than one might assume.
There are nuances to the song which make it difficult to play perfectly, but it’s a great learning experience for beginners attempting to tackle something a tad more complex. Eric Clapton’s song has calmed people down for decades, and with this one in your pocket, you’ll always have the perfect late-night song to play.
Let the Shreddin’ Begin!
If you are new to the guitar, don’t be discouraged if you fail to find instant success with your playing. No one has ever mastered the instrument overnight, but by beginning with some fun and doable songs, you can find some motivating success to spur you along on your musical journey.