Simple guitar riffs for beginners

Susan Fernandez February 02 2022

How can a beginner prepare for playing?

If you took a guitar for the second or third time, you probably wonder where to find the chords and easy riffs. You can't learn them by heart or download a program on your tablet, and it may seem like an insurmountable task. But not only is it possible; it's also quite simple.

Guitar for beginners – some practice tips

  • Chords of G-major

The first thing that any guitarist learns is chords, as they're used in almost all songs. The most basic chord of all is the one named "G" (this chord is called so because of its position on the guitar). It consists of three strings: on the third string we put our finger on the third fret and do exactly the same with our first finger on the first string, and on the second string we put our finger on the second fret and use our third finger. The result is a three-note chord.

  • "Giant steps"

If you're outside somewhere and feel like trying out a classic, we can begin with "Giant steps", which also happens to be one of the most difficult guitar riffs that exist. However, if you start slowly and without too much force, it will turn out just fine.

  • Easy guitar songs for beginners

We're going to start at a very basic level: chord progressions or "strumming" as it's sometimes called. The simplest song consists of three chords: G, C, and D (or G Major chord, C major chord, and D major chord). So, if we take those three chords as a basis and play them each time in succession the result is an easy guitar song! It doesn't matter how fast or how slow you do it; what matters is that you learn to use the chords and play them in succession.

  • Try to play more often

This is the main tip that we can offer, as it's what you need to do if you want to learn guitar: practice, practice, and...practice! However, it won't turn out well if you choose the wrong way of practicing; so make sure you ask for help whenever necessary.

If you follow these simple steps (and apply them diligently), playing this instrument will be a breeze. So don't forget to play every day and enjoy learning new songs!

What are some easy guitar riffs beginners should know?

When someone starts playing the guitar they want to know where all the notes are; which chords or scale is used in various music styles; what tabs or sheet music they should use etc., but there are also things like easy guitar songs for beginners and beginner guitar solos which you should probably know.

In this article, we will list some easy guitar riffs or licks that are suitable for beginners or people who want to take the next step after the absolute beginner level. These riffs are not necessarily easy in terms of difficulty, but they don't require any sort of advanced technology like alternate picking or sweep picking.

They are all playable on an acoustic guitar without any amplification or effects (although some tips on how to play them better might be necessary). We're talking about simple, one-string riffs here; nothing more complex than that (and these can even easily be played with just your index finger).

Beat It (Michael Jackson)

This riff is actually a very simple one. It's played on one string only and all you have to do is move back and forth between the first and fifth frets, hammering on with your index finger at the same time as the riff starts.

To begin with, you should play the 1st bar with G, B, G, E, F# notes and the 2nd bar with E, D, D, E notes. For the 3rd bar repeat those from the 1st one and for the 4th bar play notes E and D. Try to experiment and change some notes; it's a very simple riff, but you can make it sound better by using different notes on each chord.

Seven nation army (White Stripes)

This is one of the most popular simple riffs that exist. It's quite easy to learn and play if you know your open chords well already. All you have to do is just play E, A, and D chords with an emphasis on the last note - D in this case - which is played for two times: first quickly, then slowly followed by a slide up done with your ring finger (4th string 2nd fret). Next, repeat the same thing again but this time with an A chord. For the E chord move your finger quickly from 3rd string 1st fret to 4th string 2nd fret.

Day Tripper (The Beatles)

This song is based on E minor pentatonic scale and the riff is very short. You only have to play three notes: E, G#, and B (4th string 1st fret, 3rd string 2nd fret, and 4th string 5th fret). It's practically just one note repeated three times with a slight pause in between each time so it sounds like this:

E, G, G#, B, E, D and B, F#, B, D, E for the 1st and 2nd bars consequently.

When trying to play it in time, don't forget about your subtle pauses.

Redemption Song (Bob Marley)

For the beginner, it is a good idea to start with something easy - like this riff for example. It's based on E pentatonic scale and all you have to do is play three notes: E, G#, and B (4th string 1st fret, 3rd string 2nd fret, and 4th string 5th fret). The only thing tricky about it is the timing; make sure you hit those strings "in time" as if playing certain notes between your downstrokes.

So, for 1-4 bars the notes are as follows: G, A, B, G+C, E, D, B+G, A, B, D, B+C, B, A, G

When playing it for the first time, pay attention to the accents you should put on these notes: G, A, B - downstroke; G+, C, E - upstroke; D, B+G, A - upstroke; B, A , G- downstroke.

Breaking The Law (Judas Priest)

This riff is perfect for beginners because it's quite easy and it doesn't require any special techniques (alternate picking, sweep picking, etc.). It is based on E major pentatonic scale and all you have to do is hit these notes: A, B, C, A, B and C, A, B, C and F, G, A, F, G, and A, G, C, B. Though the riff consists merely of five notes when played at normal speed, it sounds more alive if you play them in groups of three.

Bars 1-2 consist of these three notes so repeat this group two times before playing the next one which is just two times repeated also. Be patient with your right hand; even if it feels uncomfortable now, the more often you practice this riff the better it will become. A little exercise can do miracles, you know!

Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Green Day)

As a beginner, you might find this riff a bit harder than the others in this list because it uses open strings. It is based on A major pentatonic scale and you should hit these notes: E, A, C#, D, A. If you are playing it for the first time try putting emphasis on every fourth note - that's how Green Day play it when they perform this song live. The only tricky part in this riff is the movement between strings; take your time to get used to it or better yet, use a capo if need be.

Eye of The Tiger (Survivor)

A famous Rocky track that is also known for its guitar riff. It's not something you will just learn in a couple of days but if you practice it enough it can become your trademark! The riff is played on E minor pentatonic scale and the only tricky part about it is the movement between strings; use your index finger for that, not any other finger because that movement goes beyond your first fret.

The power chords are C5, A#5, G5, G#5. Your fingers must be like hooks; that is very important. When playing the riff, play it as accurately as possible at normal speed and you will be amazed by how much it can boost your self-confidence!

How do people progress from easy guitar riffs for beginners to pro-level?

First of all, it's important to realize that learning guitar is an ongoing activity. Even if you know how to play your favorite songs by heart there will always be something new to learn. The most important thing for beginners is to find the right source of information; it can be anything - tabs, video lessons or just getting a teacher and learning everything by ear.

The most common difficulty for beginners is speed; you need some time to learn how fast you're actually able to move your hands and fingers which in turn results in holding back while playing complicated riffs. To get rid of this problem try practicing very often at faster speeds. And if something doesn't go as planned don't worry about it too because perfection comes with practice!

What exercises aside from can help you to improve?

It's a good idea to finger some scales over the fretboard at faster speeds. So, you can finger these notes: A-B-C-D-E using your index finger, B using the middle finger, etc. Don't forget about playing power chords because they are very important for beginners too!

Practice switching between different power chords and practice them in time with your metronome. In this case, you might want to use just three strings so that it will be easier for you to play each chord separately.

And finally, when you feel comfortable enough try playing these easy riffs from our list which have been divided into beginner-, intermediate- and advanced level riffs so that everyone can learn something new even if they've already had some guitar playing experience.

And remember, take it one step at a time and soon you will become the musician you've always wanted to be!

A tutorial for easy guitar riffs played on one string only!

Tips on how can you pick a good guitar

The guitars for beginners in our shops are the best electric guitars for beginners and most importantly, they're perfect for you and your level of knowledge and skill. Depending on what type of music you wish to play we offer models with various pickups, designs, and colors that will help you stand out in a crowd.

We've got instruments made by brands that tune their guitars to standard tunings like Fender, Ibanez, and Cort which means it is far easier to learn how to play them because there aren't many strings; this guitar is good for rock riffs or solos. If however, you wish to play metal music then it would be better if you chose a 7-string guitar because a low B string helps create heavy sounds while playing palm-muted riffs!

You have to consider such things as:

  • Material - this is very important because you don't want the guitar to break while playing it! Most of our guitars are made out of wood but there are other materials available like plexiglass, graphite, or even plastic which is used for beginners.
  • Pickups - this usually depends on what type of music you wish to play. If you're into heavy metal then choose a guitar with high output pickups and if your choice is more classical music then relatively low output pickups will work best for you.

How hard can it be?

It can be challenging at first but learning guitar shouldn't take too long! With the guidance of a skilled teacher or well-written instructions in tab form anyone can learn how to play their songs within weeks! The only thing you should remember is that learning guitar isn't easy, but it's totally worth all the hard work!


These easy riffs for beginners might be the thing you've been looking for just to have some fun with your guitar without too much practice! So relax, take it easy and learn how to play these first simple riffs today.