The Journey Begins: A Personal Story

When I first picked up a guitar, I thought it was going to be a lot easier than it was. My Guitar teacher, a seasoned guitarist with years of experience, smiled at my first lesson and asked me what I wanted to play.  But the songs I wanted to learn were just too difficult. Regardless, I dove in. He had some easy-to-learn songs as suggestions and slowly I gained the skills to play the hard songs I wanted to. Through the years I learned even more songs that can help a beginner that can help lay a great music foundation with quite a few techniques, picking and chords.

Here are my top 10 best songs to learn for beginner guitarists.

1. “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple

This iconic rock riff is a fantastic starting point for beginners. The riff is played on just one string at first and then advances to two strings using simple finger movements, making it easy to master quickly. Plus, it sounds great and is instantly recognizable.

2. “T.N.T” by AC/DC

With its driving power chords and straightforward rhythm, “T.N.T” is perfect for beginners looking to dive into rock guitar. The song primarily uses E, G, A, and D chords, which are essential for any guitarist.

3. “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” features a memorable riff that’s both simple and powerful. The song uses a single string, power chords and a basic rhythm, helping beginners develop their timing and finger strength.

4. “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes

This song’s iconic bass line is perfect for beginners. It uses just a few notes and can be played on the guitar’s lower strings. Single strings and power chords! The repetitive nature of the riff helps new players practice precision and timing.

5. “Hells Bells” by AC/DC

“Hells Bells” is another great song from AC/DC for beginners. The main riff is simple yet powerful, using basic open chords and a steady rhythm that’s easy to follow.

6. “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles

This Beatles classic is a great introduction to fingerpicking. The chord progression is simple (Em, C, Em, C, Em, C, Em) and allows beginners to practice playing individual notes within chords.

7. “Demons” by Imagine Dragons

“Demons” is perfect for beginners looking to play modern pop-rock. The song uses simple chords (C, G, Am, F) and a straightforward strumming pattern, making it easy to learn and play along with the recording. That said, I like to move this song to the Key of G (G, D, Em C) to make it even easier.

8. “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day

With its simple G, Cadd9, D, and Em chords, this acoustic ballad is perfect for beginners. The song’s iconic strumming pattern is also a great exercise for developing rhythm skills.

9. “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan

With its four simple chords (G, D, Am, C), this timeless classic is ideal for novice guitarists. The song’s slow tempo and repetitive chord progression make it easy to follow.

10. “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC

This rock anthem is perfect for beginners due to its straightforward chord progression (A, D, G) and rhythmic power chords. The song’s driving beat and simple structure make it an excellent choice for new guitarists.


Starting with these songs will not only help you build your skills but also keep you motivated. Each song introduces different techniques and chord progressions, offering a well-rounded foundation for any aspiring guitarist. Remember, practice is key, and enjoying the music you play will make the learning process much more rewarding.

Happy strumming!

With over 25 years of teaching experience, Noel Wentworth teaches Guitar Lessons at the Upbeat Music Academy Kelowna.

Beginner Guitar Lessons Kelowna, Guitar Lessons Kelowna, Upbeat Music Academy Kelowna

About the Author: noelwentworth

Noel Wentworth is a Guitar, Bass and Ukulele teacher for the Upbeat Music Academy Kelowna.
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