Whether you’re just starting to learn how to play the guitar or have a few years under your belt, learning a new rock song is always fun. What’s great about rock music is that a lot of the time, the guitar riffs aren’t all that hard to play however they sound great and are perfect for impressing your friends.
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There are literally hundreds of easy rock songs to choose from however I wanted to narrow this list down to what I personally believe are some of the best and easiest rock songs to learn and play. A lot of these songs use power chords. If you aren’t yet familiar with these types of chord shapes, I would recommend checking out our power chords article to learn more before you dive into the song list.
For each song, I’ve included a link to a video lesson on YouTube but if you prefer to learn a new song by tab, I’d highly recommend using Guitar Pro tabs.
This list is in no particular order so feel free to jump in wherever. Pick a song you like, and start learning how to play it with one of the options provided.
27 Best Easy Rock Guitar Songs
1. “Smoke On The Water” By Deep Purple
Smoke On The Water was released in 1972 and is one of Deep Purple’s most famous songs. The song is about a fire at the Montreux Casino, which was started by someone setting off a flare gun during a concert by Frank Zappa. The casino was destroyed in the fire, and the song pays tribute to the event. Smoke On The Water is widely considered to be one of the greatest rock songs of all time, and it has been covered by many other artists. The song has also been used in countless movies and TV shows, cementing its place in pop culture history.
2. “Start Me Up” By The Rolling Stones
“Start Me Up” is a song by the English rock band The Rolling Stones. It was released as the lead single from their 1981 album Tattoo You. The song was a commercial success, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States and number seven in the United Kingdom. In 2002, “Start Me Up” was ranked number four on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
3. “Seven Nation Army” By The White Stripes
Seven Nation Army is a song by American rock duo The White Stripes. It was released as the lead single from their fourth studio album, Elephant, in 2003. The song’s distinctive riff was created by accident when lead singer Jack White was fooling around with a new fuzz pedal and accidentally hit the wrong switch. Despite its unpolished origin, the song’s raw energy and simple yet catchy melody made it an instant classic.
4. “T.N.T” By AC/DC
One of the most iconic and enduring rock bands of all time, AC/DC has been thrilling audiences for over four decades with their high-energy live shows and hard-hitting songs. One of the band’s most popular tracks is “TNT,” a driving, adrenaline-fueled anthem that has become a staple of their live set.
5. “Iron Man” By Black Sabbath
Iron Man is a song by Black Sabbath, released on their 1968 album Paranoid. The song is about a man who is transformed into an iron-clad superhero after a nuclear bomb explodes. The lyrics were written by Geezer Butler, and the music was composed by Tony Iommi. Iron Man was one of Black Sabbath’s most popular songs, and it has been covered by many other artists. The song has been used in various media, including the Marvel Comics character of the same name.
6. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” By Nirvana
One of the most iconic songs of the 1990s, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” put Nirvana on the map and changed the face of rock music forever. Written by Kurt Cobain, the song was inspired by the teenage angst and rebellion of his generation. The song is a perfect storm of angsty lyrics, grungy guitars, and driving drums that come together to create a truly captivating listening experience. It’s no wonder that the song has gone on to become one of the most popular and well-loved songs of all time.
7. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” By The Rolling Stones
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” was released by the Rolling Stones in 1965. The song was an instant success, reaching the top of the charts in both the US and UK. With its catchy hooks and iconic opening riff, “Satisfaction” epitomized the sound of the Stones and helped to cement their status as one of the world’s greatest rock bands.
8. “Sunshine of Your Love” By Cream
If you’re looking for a song that perfectly encapsulates the sound and feel of the late 1960s, you need look no further than “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream. Released in 1967, the song features a simple, yet catchy guitar riff that sets the stage for the rest of the track. The lyrics, which were written by Pete Brown, are full of optimism and hope, providing a perfect counterpoint to the dark and turbulent times in which they were written. The song also features one of the most iconic bass lines of all time, courtesy of Jack Bruce. Overall, “Sunshine of Your Love” is a timeless classic that perfectly captures the spirit of the late 1960s.
9. “I Love Rock and Roll” By Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Few songs are as instantly recognizable as “I Love Rock and Roll.” The simple, catchy riff and Joan Jett’s powerhouse vocals have made it a staple of classic rock radio for decades. But what many people don’t know is that the song was actually written by a British artist named Alan Merrill. Merrill had previously had some success with his band, The Arrows, but he was struggling to make ends meet when he wrote “I Love Rock and Roll.”
10. “Whole Lotta Love” By Led Zeppelin
“Whole Lotta Love” is a song by Led Zeppelin that appeared on their 1969 album Led Zeppelin II. “Whole Lotta Love” is one of Led Zeppelin’s most well-known and popular songs. The opening riff, which is played by guitarist Jimmy Page, is often cited as one of the greatest rock riffs of all time.
11. “Cocaine” By Eric Clapton
One of the most iconic songs of the late 20th century, “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton has been covered by a wide range of artists. The original version of the song was recorded in 1977, and it quickly became a hit. However, it was the live version of the song, which was recorded in 1981, that truly made it a classic. The live version features a more upbeat tempo and a catchy guitar riff that have helped to make it one of the most popular live performances ever.
12. “Beverly Hills” By Weezer
“Beverly Hills” is a song by the American rock band Weezer. The song was released as the second single from the band’s fifth studio album, Make Believe. The song was nominated for Best Rock Song at the 2006 Grammy Awards. “Beverly Hills” is a power-pop and pop-punk song with glam rock influences.
13. “Wild Thing” By The Troggs
Released in 1966, “Wild Thing” is a song that was written by Chip Taylor and popularized by the English rock band The Troggs. The song is known for its catchy hook and simple, yet effective lyrics. The Troggs didn’t intend for the song to be a hit, but it quickly rose to the top of the charts thanks to its infectious energy and reworked arrangement.
14. “Blitzkrieg Bop” By Ramones
“Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones is one of the most iconic punk songs of all time. With its fast, aggressive tempo and simple, catchy lyrics, the song perfectly embodies the DIY spirit of punk rock. The song became an instant classic when it was released in 1976, and it has been covered by countless other artists over the years. Despite its popularity, “Blitzkrieg Bop” is actually one of the Ramones’ simplest songs – something that only adds to its charm. Whether you’re a diehard punk fan or simply a lover of great music, “Blitzkrieg Bop” is a song that everyone can enjoy.
15. “Born In The U.S.A” By Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The U.S.A” is an iconic American song that celebrates the strength and resilience of the American people. The song was released in 1984, at a time when the United States was facing economic challenges and social unrest. Despite these difficulties, Springsteen’s optimistic lyrics portray America as a land of opportunity where anything is possible. The song quickly became a national anthem, and its message of hope and determination resonates with people to this day. “Born In The U.S.A” is a reminder that we are bound together by our shared values, and we will never give up on our dreams of a better tomorrow. Thanks, Bruce!
16. “Cherry Bomb” By John Mellencamp
“Cherry Bomb” is one of John Mellencamp’s most well-known and popular songs. The song was released in 1987, on Mellencamp’s album The Lonesome Jubilee. “Cherry Bomb” is a rocking tune with a catchy melody and clever lyrics. The song is about young love and reminiscing those times. “Cherry Bomb” is a fun, upbeat song that always gets people singing along. It’s no wonder that the song has become one of Mellencamp’s signature tunes.
17. “You Really Got Me” By The Kinks
The Kinks’ song “You Really Got Me” is a classic of the British Invasion era. With its driving beat and catchy riff, the song helped to define the sound of early rock and roll. The song was originally released in 1964, but it was re-recorded in 1968 and became a hit all over again. Despite its vintage sound, “You Really Got Me” still sounds fresh today. It’s been covered by numerous artists, including Van Halen, who took the song to new heights with their signature hard-rock style. Whether you’re a fan of the original or the cover, there’s no denying that “You Really Got Me” is a timeless rock anthem.
18. “Runnin’ Down a Dream” By Tom Petty
“Runnin’ Down a Dream” is a song by Tom Petty, released in 1989. The song is about Petty’s own dreams of success, and how he was able to achieve them despite the odds. The song is positive and uplifting, with a driving rock sound. It is a song about hope, about never giving up on your dreams. And that is why it resonates with so many people. It is a reminder that anything is possible if you just keep running after your dreams.
19. “All Along the Watchtower” By Jimi Hendrix
“All Along the Watchtower” is a song written by Bob Dylan and recorded by Jimi Hendrix. The song was originally released on Dylan’s 1967 album John Wesley Harding, and it has been covered by a number of artists since then. Hendrix’s version of the song, which was released as a single in 1968, is widely considered to be one of the best and most influential cover versions ever recorded. Featuring a distinctive guitar sound and unique arrangement, Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower” stands as one of his most iconic recordings.
20. “Simple Man” By Lynyrd Skynyrd
Released in 1973, “Simple Man” is a southern rock classic from the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd. The song struck a chord with many listeners, and its message of independence and self-reliance is as relevant today as it was over 40 years ago. The band’s straightforward delivery and down-to-earth lyrics have helped to make “Simple Man” one of the most enduring songs in their catalog. It is a timeless anthem for anyone who has ever dreamed of living a simple life.
21. “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” By The Clash
Though it was released over thirty years ago, The Clash’s song “Should I Stay or Should I Go” continues to resonate with listeners. The lyrics, which deal with the uncertainty of a relationship, speak to a universal feeling of doubt and indecision. The song’s catchy melody and simple guitar riff add to its appeal, making it one of the band’s most popular tracks. Though it is often seen as a break-up anthem, “Should I Stay or Should I Go” can just as easily be interpreted as a song about any major life decision.
22. “American Idiot” By Green Day
“American Idiot” is a song by the American punk rock band Green Day. It was released as the lead single from their seventh studio album of the same name on September 21, 2004. The song strongly criticizes the policies of the George W. Bush administration and the mainstream media. It quickly became a political anthem for the anti-war movement and rose to popularity after being featured in several high-profile news stories.
23. “Steady As She Goes” By The Raconteurs
“Steady As She Goes” is a song by The Raconteurs, released as the first single from their album Broken Boy Soldiers. The song was written by Jack White and Brendan Benson, and features a heavy blues rock sound. The song was praised for its catchy hook and energetic performance, and it became an instant classic. “Steady As She Goes” is a perfect example of The Raconteurs’ unique brand of rock and roll, and it remains one of their most popular songs.
24. “20th Century Boy” By T. Rex
“20th Century Boy” is a song by British rock band T. Rex, released as a single in 1973. The song was one of the band’s last hits before frontman Marc Bolan’s untimely death in 1977. It was also used in the 1996 film Velvet Goldmine, which helped to reintroduce Bolan’s music to a new generation. The song is an anthemic ode to the glam rockera lifestyle of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Bolan’s distinctive vocals and catchy guitar hooks helped make “20th Century Boy” a timeless classic.
25. “Hair Of The Dog” By Nazareth
“Hair of the Dog” is a song by the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth, released as the lead single from their 1975 album of the same name. The song was written by Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton and vocalist Dan McCafferty, and has become one of the band’s most popular and well-known songs. The song has been praised for its catchy riff and McCafferty’s powerful vocal performance. It has been included on several lists of the best easy rock guitar songs just like this one.
26. “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” By Judas Priest
Released in 1982, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” is a heavy metal classic by British band Judas Priest. The song opens with a simple, yet effective guitar riff that immediately grabs the listener’s attention. The riff is then joined by the rest of the instruments, creating a wall of sound that is both powerful and catchy. The lyrics, which deal with standing up to adversity, are delivered with passion and energy by frontman Rob Halford. Overall, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” is a quintessential metal song that remains popular to this day.
27. “Lick It Up” By Kiss
“Lick It Up” is a song by the American rock band Kiss, released as the lead single from their 1983 album of the same name. The song was written by Paul Stanley and Vinnie Vincent, and it reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Lick It Up” was the first Kiss single to feature new lead guitarist Vincent, who replaced Ace Frehley in 1982. “Lick It Up” remains one of Kiss’ most popular songs, and it continues to be performed live by the band today.
27 Easy Rock Guitar Songs [Infographic]
Hopefully, you enjoyed this list of easy rock songs and it has inspired you to learn a few of them. If you’ve felt that these songs are just a bit too easy for you, you might need to take it up a notch and learn some more challenging songs. In that case, I’d recommend checking out our list of Top 25 Hard Guitar Songs – A List for Aspiring Virtuosos or 10 Extremely Challenging Guitar Solos to Learn. Finding new songs to play can sometimes be challenging so whether you’re just practicing or looking for a few songs to play at your next open mic, this list should have you covered.
If you think I may have missed any great easy rock songs in the list above, don’t forget to leave a comment below. Let us know what your favorite easy rock song is!