14 Easy Rock Songs to Learn on Guitar

Rock music is very popular, but not everyone has the time or patience to learn all of those complicated chords. That’s why this blog post shows you some easy rock songs on guitar that are perfect for beginners. These can be learned quickly and played in front of your friends without any shame!

Ready to take over the world one rock song at a time? This list of easy rock songs on guitar will help you get started.

1. Wild Thing by The Troggs 

Wild Thing was written in 1966 by The Troggs and is a perfect easy guitar song because the entire chorus is only three chords played over and over again.

The verse is even easier because all you need to do is strum one chord over and over again.

The lyrics are easy to remember and everyone knows this song so you’ll have a couple of fans singing along as you play.

Play this song when you want to hype up the crowd and get people into the show rather than just listening to you play songs.

2. Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones

One of the greatest bands of all time, the Rolling Stones have so many great songs that are easy to play on the guitar.

One of their best is Satisfaction because all you need is a handful of chords and the hook is irresistible.

The entire song has a simple rhythm made up of two notes per chord. This gives your strumming hand a break because it only needs to move up and down.

It’s a great one for beginners too because there are some rock riffs you can pick up on to try your luck at playing individual strings instead of full chords.

3. Cocaine by Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton scored a hit with Cocaine in 1977 and it’s a great song for beginners because of its simplicity.

The entire verse is made up of only three chords, but despite this, they create a nice melody that gets stuck in your head after playing it just once.

This makes the song perfect to play when you don’t have any time to practice or simply need something quick.

Once you get good enough, you can record yourself playing rhythm guitar and then play some sick solos over top.

4. Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes

The White Stripes were one of the only true rock n roll bands during their time and they held down that stature with pride.

Jack White, ranked as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, created this tune with the help of his drummer but you don’t have to be considered great to play it.

All it takes is a simple bass line you can pick up on in minutes. Whenever you get to a chorus, just start playing power chords in place of the bass line and you have an entirely new song to play.

5. The Joker by The Steve Miller Band

The Steve Miller Band wrote the Joker in 1973 and it’s another one that will have people singing along with you the entire time.

The rhythm is simple enough to play for beginners and the tempo is pretty slow too, so you don’t have to be a pro to play it.

It takes an average guitar player about an hour to learn and is a great one for parties because everyone loves the song.

This song also features an acoustic guitar and you can even find some versions online that show people playing on the acoustic.

6. Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd created Sweet Home Alabama in 1974 and it’s one of their most popular songs to play.

It has a very simple rhythm that makes the song perfect for beginners but also features some tough riffs if you’re looking to add more guitar skills into your repertoire.

The words in the chorus of this song are known by a ton of people so don’t be surprised if you have people playing along as you bust this out live.

7. Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Red Hot Chili Peppers were one of the biggest bands in the 90s and Californication took over the airwaves in 1999.

Even though the song is played by a group of highly talented musicians, when you translate this to the acoustic it plays just as well.

It’s perfect for beginners, but also great if you want something that sounds like a more complex version of an average beginner tune.

If you’ve already mastered your first few songs on guitar, this would be a good one to try out next.

8. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan had a string of hits in the 60s that made him an icon across the globe but Knockin’ on Heavens Door wasn’t released till later in his career.

This song has a medium tempo that beginners will love because it’s easy to pick up and doesn’t require changing chords too fast.

This tune is a classic that can be played anytime and anywhere because everyone will love hearing it.

This is one of those songs where you can practice a lot of hammer-ons and pull-offs while playing the chords once you start getting better.

9. I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty wrote a number of songs in the 70s and 80s that made him a household name but I Won’t Back Down wasn’t released until 1989.

This song is similar to Knockin’ on Heavens Door because it features an easy tempo with chords that are adaptable for beginners.

It can be played at any time, especially if you’re looking to impress someone who likes classic rock.

Tom Petty has a number of hits you could learn because the instrumentation isn’t all that difficult so once you get this one down keep moving on.

10. Steady As She Goes by The Raconteurs

When the White Stripes ended Jack White wasn’t about to end his career so he started a number of other projects and The Raconteurs was one of them.

Steady As She Goes is a rock tune that mixes in some pop melodies. It’s the perfect medium-difficulty song for beginners that you’ll not only be able to play but you’ll also be able to learn some more skills.

You won’t find too many people who know this song as well as the others on this list so make sure when you play it you’re not counting on everyone singing along.

It does have a catchy hook in the chorus though, so even though it might not be familiar, people will easily catch on.

11. Don’t Let Me Down by The Beatles

Often regarded as the best band to ever play music, The Beatles created Let Me Down on their final album before they disbanded.

It’s a classic chord progression so you’ll be able to pick it up fairly easily, especially since most of the song just repeats the same riff over and over again.

The lyrics aren’t complicated either so you can probably pick this up in a day, even if you are just starting out.

Everyone is familiar with the Beatles and almost everyone loves them too so this one will be a crowd favorite the next time you play.

For more, check out our list of easy Beatles songs on guitar here.

12. Sunshine of Your Love by Cream

When you want to go beyond the classic chord structure and start playing some mean rock n roll riffs, this Sunshine of Your Love song is a great place to start.

This classic riff is recognized by any real music fans who appreciate 60s rock n roll.

Even though there is some incredible musicianship on this record it can still sound powerful with some great vocals and an acoustic guitar.

13. House of the Rising Sun by The Animals

This is a perfect beginner guitar song because it uses basic chords but plays them in a way that is challenging to a starter.

Instead of just strumming the chords like you normally would you want to actually pick the individual strings as well.

If you’re just starting out, you’ll want to go slow with the picking to make sure you’re hitting all the right notes.

14. Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival, or CCR, was led by John Fogerty who wrote a ton of hits for the band in the 60s and 70s.

What’s great about CCR is their songs are always chord-based and not too difficult to play. This song really exemplifies that sentiment because it’s the same chords played over and over again for most of the song.

Learning Rock Songs on the Guitar

Some rock songs can be extremely complicated and almost impossible to play live but if you stick with the songs above, you’ll be impressing critics in no time.

Just start slow with your learning and increase the tempo as you go.

Photo of author
Written by Dan Farrant
Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 10 years helping thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. Since then he's been working to make music theory easy for over 1 million students in over 80 countries around the world.