Playing the guitar can be pretty intimidating at first, but fortunately, there are some easy one string guitar songs that beginners can start with!
These songs are extremely simple, don’t require any complex chords or fingerings, and only use one string.
Here’s a list of classic hits that you can play on one string and learn in no time at all.
1. Iron Man by Black Sabbath
You’d think that playing a one string song would only be good in nurseries or simple folk songs, but, believe it or not, you can play some metal guitar all on one string.
Iron Man was written in 1968 by Black Sabbath and is often referred to as the first heavy metal song.
The song itself uses chords but you can easily switch them out to play the bass note on the low E string.
It’s a great one to start with because the notes change fairly quickly so you can improve your one string skills with this song.
Related: Click here for more simple guitar songs.
2. Thunderstruck by AC/DC
AC/DC plays one string better than anyone can and now you can test your guitar skills with this classic.
The song was written in 1990 and is a great one string guitar song for beginners.
The notes are played pretty fast so you’ll really have to have this song before trying to play it live.
Singing this song while playing shouldn’t take much since it’s so easy to play.
3. Smoke On the Water by Deep Purple
This is perhaps the most well-known one string guitar riff in history and almost anyone will recognize it once they hear it in a playlist.
Deep Purple made an easy hit when they released this in 1972.
The riff is so simple and easy to play that it’s a great one string guitar song for beginners who are just learning how to hold the instrument properly or even someone with more experience looking for something fun and new.
Deep Purple made this classic rock n roll hit in only four minutes, making it perfect if you’re looking for something short and sweet.
4. Sunshine of Your Love by Cream
Cream is a classic 60s band that wrote Sunshine of Your Love in 1967.
It’s one of the most famous one string guitar songs that are great for beginners to play.
The riff doesn’t change much throughout the entire song so you’ll be able to learn it quickly and easily.
This song isn’t just catchy but it will also win you some credibility with music aficionados so you an play this in front of pretty much any crowd.
5. Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
Queen was never short on hits and this classic has one of the best beats in music.
Another One Bites the Dust has raw energy that will come through when you play it on the acoustic even though the original has a ton of instrumentation.
Queen wrote this song in 1980 and it will go a long way to helping you feel confident on the acoustic guitar.
No matter who you play this song in front of you’re sure to find someone that knows it and starts singing along.
6. Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes
Even though this was more of a recent hit, it’s been known as one of the most well-recognized one string guitar songs in the world.
The song originally plays pretty simple guitar notes but then switches to chords as the song progresses.
So practice your skills with a single string until you can improve by playing chords and then you’ll really feel the excitement that the song gives.
This song was so popular that you could play it practically anywhere any people will recognize the riff and start singing along.
7. Running Down a Dream by Tom Petty
This classic rock n roll song by Tom Petty was released in 1989 and is a great one string guitar song for beginners.
The notes are really simple to play and you don’t have to switch chords either.
If you’re looking for something that’s still rock n roll but not as fast-paced then this could be your best option.
There’s a specific riff you’ll be able to learn on the guitar but for the rest of the song you’ll have to play the bass line to get through the lyrics.
8. Mission: Impossible Theme by Lalo Schifrin
When Mission Impossible was brought back to the big screen, the theme song was caught in the minds of people worldwide.
The melody is perfect and almost makes you feel like a double agent when you play it.
Even though the song has been done a million times it’s still fun to play when you’re on your own and want something to learn.
Try playing it normally at first and then slowly speeding it up to build some skills.
9. Perfect by Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran is the king of great vocals and sentimental songs.
Perfect is a great example because the guitar is simple and you’ll only need to play one string to hit the melody.
Sing this one in front of a younger audience because they’ll pick up on what you’re doing and might even try singing along.
Sheeran really shines in the vocals and this easy song will allow you to focus more on the lyrics rather than spending all day on the guitar.
10. Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day
When Boulevard of Broken Dreams was released it became an instant hit with the younger generation.
The riff is so fun to play on one string, making it perfect for beginners trying to learn something new and more experienced players who want a challenge.
It’s also great because everyone knows the song which means you’ll be able to get some of that extra attention when playing in front of a crowd.
The song really blossoms when you add in some chords so try and improve your skills to get the entire experience.
11. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones aren’t strangers to topping the charts and their single, Satisfaction, is one of their biggest hits.
They released this song in 1965 and it’s been popular ever since.
The riff doesn’t change too much throughout the entire piece so you can learn it quickly which makes for a really great party starter when your friends are over to play some music together.
Even if you’ve never played guitar before you’ll be able to learn this song and impress everyone around.
12. Roadhouse Blues by The Doors
This classic blues riff is an excellent one string song to learn because you can apply the technique to pretty much any blues song.
The main riff is based in E and only switches to a classic blues progression you can play on one string.
This is the perfect guitar riff to jam over with some buddies when you get together because it allows a lot of room to mess around.
Play this live and you’ll feel like an old blues player from Chicago.
13. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
Eye of the Tiger was written for the movie Rocky and since then it has been featured in countless movies, video games, TV shows, commercials, etc.
The song features an easy progression that you can easily follow along with while playing on guitar.
The original has a lot of instrumentation but the main driving force is a single string playing throughout the entire song that goes over all the verses.
This is a great one to play when you need to pump yourself up for a show.
14. Mamma Mia by ABBA
ABBA was one of the biggest bands to come out of the 70s and Mamma Mia is a song that was written in 1975.
It’s very simple to play because you can play the entire song only using one string.
The original uses the single notes but they are played on a different instrument than a guitar.
Luckily, you can still play a great version with your acoustic and ABBA has great melodies that get stuck in people’s heads.
Learning One String Guitar Songs
Guitar songs don’t have to involve a ton of chords and instruments to sound awesome.
You can learn a ton of different genres and still only have to use one string.
Of course, the only way you’ll really get better is when you start adding some chords to the mix.