20 Easy Guitar Tabs and Songs for Beginners

Updated August 22nd, 2023 . 

Published Categorized as Acoustic Guitar Songs, Basic Techniques, Songs

Are you looking to get the scoop on the 20 best easy guitar tabs around today? Have you searched far and wide and haven’t found a list of easy guitar tabs that are actually good and worthwhile?

Then you are in the right place, for we will be giving you our favorite 20 easy guitar tabs for you to work out for yourself!

Table of Contents

easy guitar tabs
Easy Guitar Tabs

1. ‘Seven Nation Army’ by the White Stripes

Guitar TAB doesn’t come much simpler than this tune. The sheer simplicity of this song has meant that it has achieved popularity unforeseen in world music, becoming a staple chant at sporting events where pundits will supplement the melody with lyrics of their own choosing.

The magic is in the simplicity – literally anyone could learn this song, and yet how could it not have come about in the manifold centuries since the invention of popular music? You be the judge and learn the tab.

2. ‘Zombie’ by the Cranberries

This is another great example of one of the more simple guitar tabs songs, though here the simplicity is put to a very different task. Here is my article on how to read guitar tabs.

Written at the height of the troubles in Northern Ireland, this song seeks to speak out against the terrorism and oppression that the citizens of certain parts of the country would have felt on a daily basis. They would indeed have been dodging explosives on the side of the IRA and bullets from the side of the so-called English protectors, and this song seeks to capture that terror in a simple package that anyone could understand.

3. ‘Sunday Morning’ by the Velvet Underground

Songs don’t come much more serene than this number from the 60s’ very own arch experimentalists the Velvet Underground. Here, though, they display their far more tender side, offering forth a sublime and nebulous ballad about waking up bleary-eyed and content on a Sunday morning, watching the world at work, and knowing that you don’t have to do all that much yourself.

We have all surely felt the pleasure of watching those at work while safe in the knowledge that we don’t have to – now you can revel in it for free!

4. ‘Satisfaction’ by the Rolling Stones

It’s hard to conceive of just how much of a fuss this song made back in the day. This is, after all, a time when Christianity still reigned supreme in many American households, so to hear a song like this which so openly dealt with themes of sexual frustration would have riled up the populous, even if it was thinly veiled in its own way.

So, why not take a trip back to a time when this was enough to rile up a nation, with this guitar tab? Better yet, try learning the acoustic guitar and the guitar solo.

5. ‘Under My Thumb’ by the Rolling Stones

Hey, who let these guys back in!? Well, it’s no wonder really, they were masters of the short and sweet and simple pop song in their heyday and this one is no exception, being perfectly evocative of its subject matter.

The chord progression, spiced up as it is with some tuned percussion in the background, is a testament to how effective such simple guitar techniques can be in conveying a message in the guitar world through a tab.

6. ‘Twist and Shout’ by the Beatles

And now we turn to the band who was set up as the main rivals of the Rolling Stones for a long time despite the fact that they have always made such different music. The early Beatles’ discography is a masterclass in how to write and produce simple and catchy pop songs, as evinced by this worldwide classic.

The universal appeal of this song is exhibited in the famous scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – when Ferris mimes to the song on a float careering through Chicago, the whole city loses its mind. Lose yours too, right here!

7. ‘Wonderful Land’ by the Shadows

Some of the finest guitar work in popular music comes from the surf music of the 1960s. Investigating a little deeper into it, though, you realize just how simple it is. Perhaps it is this simplicity and spaciousness that gives it such an appealing aspect.

Whatever the reason, why not venture into the suds of the surf as it laps at your ankles beckoning you forth? Follow the tab and encapsulate the feeling and you can hardly go wrong with these guitar techniques.

8. ‘Politicians in My Eyes’ by Death

The sheer simplicity of this music is also one of the things that makes it so appealing. Operating at a time when there was no such thing as punk, these three boys from Detroit were making punk without realizing just how futuristic and influential their sound would be.

Sadly, though, record companies at the time didn’t have as much faith in such a provocative band name as Death, and so they were dealt an ultimatum: either they change the name or they split up. Leader David Hackney saw the name as vital to their message, and the rest is history.

And now you can be a part of that history too, all through tab!

9. ‘All Apologies’ by Nirvana

For all their heavy rock posturing, Nirvana has conceived many a delightful ballad, even if these ballads don’t necessarily rear their heads in a traditional way. This tune in particular springs to mind as it was rendered incredibly during their MTV Unplugged concert. Here, Kurt and the gang utilize power chords to devastating effect, turning them into chords that have a great power to convey emotions.

Check out the performance and play along yourself with this tab.

10. ‘Iron Man’ by Black Sabbath

Far more than Deep Purple, Black Sabbath was one of the defining artists in the progression of so many other artists, many of whom would flock to this band to hear the gospel of where music would go and what it could be.

Theirs was a music replete with heaviness, both in sound and in theme. Here, they render the story of an iron man brought to life and loathing it in a fittingly dramatic and metallic way. Since becoming one of the most classic riffs for a beginner on their guitar learning journey, you can join the fold too with this tab right here!

11. ‘One’ by Metallica

What better way to eschew the norm than by learning a Metallica song with learning to read standard music notation? Sure, the solos toward the latter half of the song are a bit tricky, but the main riff should be easy enough for you to pick up.

You could certainly just learn ‘Enter Sandman’, but isn’t that what everyone else learns when they are starting out learning guitar? Don’t you want to stand out a little? Well, you can do so with the tab.

12. ‘James Bond Theme’

This is a classic for those learning guitar for the first time – a sure choice for those especially who are learning with an actual tutor. Such a tutor might invariably have a penchant for old James Bond spy movies and, thus, try to impress this upon you by having you learn the theme tune on guitar.

Why not, though? It is a classic surf track, indebted very much to artists like the Shadows and the Ventures, capitalizing very much on the popularity of these sounds in popular culture at the time. This gave the impression that James Bond was a swinging kind of guy, and now you can be too with tab!

13. ‘Mission Impossible’

Those with more of a penchant for American styles of espionage will no doubt be a little more familiar with James Bond’s counterpart across the Atlantic, Mission Impossible.

There is certainly merit in learning both songs, though. While James Bond has that surf rock edge typical of popular music in the early 1960s, the Mission Impossible theme is far more indebted to classical music. Learning both sides with the tab is a great way to develop a more well-rounded approach to music.

14. ‘Riders in the Sky’ by Dick Dale

Excluding all the tremolo techniques that Dick Dale was famed for using alongside the reverb-drenched tone, the melodies and progressions in his music are really rather simple.

There surely is no competing with this legend of surf music, though. While others were content merely to play the melody and bask in the spaciousness of the music, Dick Dale’s music was incredibly electrifying, not only because of the sheer speed at which he and his band the Del-Tones were known to play.

Even on record, the music he made still pulses with an energy that is yet to be surpassed, though by all means you are welcome to try. You are not going to get anywhere as a musician if you don’t take an L from time to time and fall down. The art is in picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and progressing further, stronger than you were before.

So, pick yourself up out of the dumps and wrap your head around this tab, for all of our sakes!

15. ‘Bullet in the Head’ by Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine has never been shy to declare their politics outwardly for all to see – in fact, this is precisely their MO, to ensure that all of us rage against the proverbial machine as righteously as we can.

This is nowhere better evinced than on the cover of their self-titled debut album which features a photograph of the self-immolation of Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk protesting the oppression of the president against the Buddhist religion.

Join the counter-culture with this tab right here!

16. ‘Redemption Song’ by Bob Marley and the Wailers

This incredibly powerful song is one of the most earnest tabs you could ever think to learn.

It is often noted that this song was, for Marley, a real coming to terms with his own mortality, having contemporaneously been diagnosed with cancer.

This loss is invariably felt by so many every year. Far from just being the weed guy, Bob Marley was and is still is for many people an emblem of what peace and harmony on planet earth can look like.

The song is made up of only a few chords, so try learning the Redemption Song chords and tab and playing along and nestling in the earnestness of this ballad.

17. ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor

This is an incredible song for those looking to get motivated – lord knows that we all have a friend who still uses this as their gym anthem.

Well, now you can record your own version of the song and send it to this friend as a gesture of goodwill, either to shock them out of listening to it together or to help them hear it anew after all this time.

There are couple of ways you can play this, the easiest of which involves just plodding along and chugging the root C note at the center of the song’s momentum. Alternatively, you can accompany this C with the sharp and rhythmic power chords littered throughout the song. Make it yours with tablature!

18. ‘Wicked Game’ by Chris Isaak

This somber and serious tune is marked by a cool atmosphere that borders on chilling, the icy guitars reverberating off into all the spare space around.

TV fans might better remember Chris Isaak from the Twin Peaks film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Indeed, he played the FBI agent Chet Desmond, the cool and collected operative with slicked-back hair that disappeared as soon as he was of no more importance.

What with director David Lynch’s fascination with tender Americana, it’s no wonder that he also had a similar interest in the music of Chris Isaak whose lone guitars and simple lyrical songs clearly owe a debt to the spacious surf music of the 1960s. You can also investigate this spacious musical era with tablature.

19. ‘Song 2’ by Blur

It’s something of a miracle that this song hasn’t yet been mentioned, though this list is of course in no particular order. Comprised of a simple circular chord sequence which then breaks out into a simple one-note pulse in the chorus, ‘Song 2’ is an example of a simple song that can have devastating consequences.

Indeed, it is precisely this simplicity that lends it such an impactful air that, much like ‘Seven Nation Army’ has been adopted by sporting events. In fact, there was once a military event that asked for permission to use the song, a request which was denied owing to the lead singer Damon Albarn’s staunch pacifism.

You can also join his stance with this tab!

20. ‘Coconut’ by Harry Nilsson

This incredibly simple song by Harry Nilsson is nonetheless incredibly beautiful and potent, circling round and round through the same C7 guitar chord arpeggio, building momentum as more instruments and vocals are added.

Nilsson is well known for his playful and mischievous approach to songwriting. In fact, he was so gifted that he could often outdo other songwriters without even trying.

It is this playfulness that was eventually the ruin of him. One day, he started a shouting match with John Lennon which eventually led Nilsson to lose his beautiful tenor voice, shouting so hard that there was no going back.

Final Tones

So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling at least somewhat inspired and full of excitement to start learning some easy guitar tabs for yourself.

FAQs Easy Guitar Tabs

Are tabs a good way to learn guitar?

This remains to be seen, for there is no one-size-fits-all philosophy with guitar. Rather, every prospective guitarist should seek out what works best for them individually.

What are the easiest guitar riffs to learn?

This will depend on your skill level, for there will likely be some songs that one guitarist finds easy that another doesn’t. You can’t really go wrong with some early surf music if you are looking for songs that are both easy but also harmonically and melodically compelling.

By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)

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