33 Famous & Easy Electric Guitar Beginners Riffs With Tabs


There are many different guitar riffs you can play but a lot of them are too difficult for beginners. Here are thirty of the top guitar riffs you can learn if you’re a beginner player. Most of these riffs don’t take a whole lot of effort and you should master them with ease.

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Smoke On the Water – Deep Purple

Deep Purple released the album Machine head in 1972. Smoke on the Water is a famous song from that recording. It’s one of the most iconic riffs of all time.

Use your fingers to play the song and not a pick as many do.  You can use a pick if you want but try the fingers. It’s often played with power chords but the song uses double-stops as shown above.

The riff is simple but powerful and it drives the entire song. This is often one of the first songs guitar players learn.

e|-----------------|---------------|----------------|------------------|
B|-----------------|---------------|----------------|------------------|
G|--0---3---5----0-|---3---6-5-----|-0---3---5----3-|---0----(0)-------|(x5)
D|--0---3---5----0-|---3---6-5-----|-0---3---5----3-|---0----(0)-------|
A|-----------------|---------------|----------------|------------------|
E|-----------------|---------------|----------------|------------------|

e|----------------|---------------|----------------|--------------------|
B|----------------|---------------|----------------|--------------------|
G|-0---3---5----0-|---3---6-5-----|-0---3---5----3-|---0----(0)---------|
D|-0---3---5----0-|---3---6-5-----|-0---3---5----3-|---0----(0)--(5)\---|
A|----------------|---------------|----------------|-------------(5)\---|
E|----------------|---------------|----------------|--------------------|

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Sweet Home Alabama makes ample use of single notes with a couple of open position chords. You’ll find this song on the 1974 album Second Helping.

The open D and G notes establish the tone of the song. The band wrote this song as a response to the Neil Young songs Alabama and Southern Man. Gary Rossington created the riff as he waited for a band rehearsal.

This song is the band’s signature song. Most players will find the riff simple to play.

e|-------------------------------|-------------------------------|
B|--------3---------------3------|-------------------------------|
G|----------2---------------0----|--------0--0----------------2p0|
D|--0--0------0---------------0--|-------------------0-2p0-------|
A|--------------3(0)3------------|--------------0h2--------2-----|
E|-------------------------------|-3(0)3-------------------------|

e|-------------------------------|-------------------------------|
B|--------3---------------3------|-------------------------------|
G|----------2---------------0----|--------0--0--2p0-0-4p0-----5b-|
D|--0--0------0---------------0--|-------------------------0-----|
A|--------------3(0)3------------|-------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------|-3x3---------------------------|

Sweet Child O Mine – Guns N Roses

Sweet Child of Mine starts out with a riff that sticks with you the moment you hear it.

The riff is one of the most recognizable riffs from the heavy metal era of the 1980s. It’s a little tricky to play but even beginners will grasp it after a few tries. It came out on the 1987 album Appetite for Destruction.

Slash used this riff to practice a lot. It started out as a simple string skipping exercise that turned into one of the world’s most famous guitar riffs.

eb|--------------15----14-----|--------------15----14-----|
Bb|-----15--------------------|-----15--------------------|
Gb|--------14-12----14----14--|--------14-12----14----14--|
Db|--12-----------------------|--12-----------------------|
Ab|---------------------------|---------------------------|
Eb|---------------------------|---------------------------|

eb|--------------15----14-----|--------------15----14-----|
Bb|-----15--------------------|-----15--------------------|
Gb|--------14-12----------14--|--------14-12----------14--|
Db|--14-----------------------|--14-----------------------|
Ab|---------------------------|---------------------------|
Eb|---------------------------|---------------------------|
Related Post
if you liking this list so far make sure to check my other list 15 Famous Easy Guitar Songs With 3 Chords For Beginners chords included as usual

Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin

Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin is an E power chord with a two not phrase at the beginning. The use of the E chord and the open E string makes this song heavy. 

It’s easy to play for most beginners. You’ll find the song on the second led Zeppelin album. The band got the idea for the song from You Need Love by Willie Dixon a blues artist.

This song is number 75 on the 500 Greatest Songs of all Time.

e|------------------------|---------------------------------|
B|------------------------|---------------------------------|
G|------------------------|---------------------------------|
D|---------------0)----0)-|-9-------9-------9-------9-------|
A|---------------5-----5--|-7-------7-------7-------7-------|
E|------------7-----7-----|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-|

Cocaine – Eric Clapton

Cocaine by Eric Clapton is easy to play as it uses only the E and D power chords. There are several fills thrown in for variety but the main chords are simple. They establish the groove of the song and carry the tune from start to finish.

You’ll find this song on the 1977 album Slowhand. It’s a cover of the 1976 song of the same name by J.J. Cale one of Clapton’s influences. the song is one of Clapton’s top hits.

The simple riff establishes this song as a classic rock song.

e|------------|----------|------|---------------||----------------*|--------------|
B|-9-9-7-9--7-|----------|------|---------------||--9-9-7-9--x-7--*|--------------|
G|-9-9-7-9--7-|----------|------|---------------||--9-9-7-9--x-7--*|--------------|
D|-9-9-7-9--7-|--------0-|-0p2--|-0-----0-------||--9-9-5-9--x-7--*|--------------|
A|-7-7-5-7--5-|-0h2p0--0-|------|---0h2---0-----||--7-7-7-7--x-5--*|--7/9--7/9-7--|
E|------------|----------|------|-----------3-0-||----------------*|-------------|

Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix

The main riff of Purple Haze uses the jazz style E7#9 chord and this establishes the tone of the song. The E7#9 chord combines with the G and A chords to round out the chordal riff.

Tune your guitar down to Eb. Jimi Hendrix used that tuning for most of his song recordings or you can play it in regular tuning if you wish.

The band recorded the song in 1967 and released it on their debut album in the USA.  the E7#9 chord is often called the “Jimi Hendrix” chord she helped popularize these chords with Purple Haze.

   E7#9                                                G                     A
E|--------------------------------------------------|--------------------------------------------
B|---------8---8---------8---8---------8------------|-3------3----3---------5-----5---5---7p5---5
G|---------7---7---------7---7---------7------------|-4------4----4---------6-----6---6---6-----6
D|---------6---6---------6---6---------6------------|-5------5----5---------7-----7---7---7-----7
A|---------7---7---------7---7---------7------------|--------------------------------------------
E|--0-----------------------------------------------|-3------3----3----3----5-----5-------5-----5
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Rock You Like a Hurricane – Scorpions

Rock You Like a Hurricane is a simple riff but it stands out and helps power the entire song. The power chords make the song heavy and help ingrain the riff in your mind.

It’s easy to hum and sing this riff. It’s a good example of how simple power chords can make for some memorable riffs. Beginners will find this riff quite easy and will nail it without much difficulty at all.

This song is from the 1984 album Love at First Sting.

e|------------------|------------------|
B|o-----------------|-----------------o|
G|--9-9-9-----------|-------5---7-7----|
D|--9-9-9-----5-5---|-7-7---5---7-7----|
A|o-7-7-7-----5-5---|-7-7---3---5-5---o|
E|------------3-3---|-5-5--------------|

Enter Sandman – Metallica

Metallica is the kings of the early heavy metal and the song Enter Sandman is one of their signature songs.

It features a crushing riff in E. It starts with an E chord. It then uses a half step to establish the heaviness of the riff. It then finishes the riff with the G and F# power chords along with the open E string.

The last part of the riff uses the same half step feel which further enhances the metal tone of this classic riff.

 E5
e|------------------------|
B|------------------------|
G|------------------------| x3
D|------------------------|
A|--2-----2--/7-----------|
E|--0-----0------6--5-----|
 

   G5  E5  G5  E5 F#5  G5 F#5
       PM------------------|
e|-----------------------------|
B|-----------------------------|
G|-----------------------------|
D|-----------------------------|
A|-5-------4-------4---5---4---|
E|-3---0---2---0---2---3---2---|

Wanted Dead or Alive – Bon Jovi

The 1980s saw the birth of pop-metal and Bon Jovi hit the scene with songs such as Wanted Dead or Alive.

The song starts with a haunting open sting riff that moves up the neck and ends on some country-style bends. The riff looks complicated but it’s quite simple to play. Make sure you let all the notes ring out as you play them.

The song came out on the 1986 album Slippery When Wet. It sets a country tone for the song but then the song goes full-on rock later on.

e|------13---------12----|------10--------8---|-----5-------3---|-3\1-------------|
B|-----------------------|--------------------|-----------------|-----------------|
G|---14----14---12----12-|---10----10---9---9-|---5---5---4---4-|-4\2-------------|
D|-0----------0----------|-0----------0-------|-0-------0-------|---------------0-|
A|-----------------------|--------------------|-----------------|-----------------|
E|-----------------------|--------------------|-----------------|-----------------|

e|------13---------12----|------10--------8---|-----5-------3---|-3\1-------------|
B|-----------------------|--------------------|-----------------|-----------------|
G|---14----14---12----12-|---10----10---9---9-|---5---5---4---4-|-4\2-------------|
D|(0)---------0----------|-0----------0-------|-0-------0-------|-----------------|
A|-----------------------|--------------------|-----------------|-------------0-0-|
E|-----------------------|--------------------|-----------------|-----------------|

e|-------------------0-------------|     |----0-----2--------------|
B|-----------------------3-3-------|     |----1-----3--------------|
G|---------------------------2---2-|     |----2-----2--------------|
D|-----0---3b--0---------------0---| x3, |----3-----0--------------|
A|-3b------------------------------|     |-3--3-----0--------------|
E|---------------------------------|     |-------------------------|

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Rolling Stones

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones is an iconic song by the band. The riff is all on one so there is not much difficulty.

The song is often called Satisfaction. Without the added words. You will find the song on the 1965 album Out Of Our Heads.

The riff is only five notes but it powers the entire song. When you hear this riff it sticks in your head. In 2006, the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress added this song.

It’s number two on the top 500 songs chart of all time.

                                         E             A
E|-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|
G|-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|
D|-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|
A|--2--2-----2--4---5--5-5p4---4(p2)---|--2--2----2--4--5---5--5p4----4(p2)--|
E|-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|

Back In Black – AC/DC

Back in Black by AC/DC is a song that sticks with you. It only uses three chords and a small riff at the end but the song is all rock and roll.

AC/DC plays simple but powerful guitar riffs and this song is their signature riff.

It starts with a powerful open E chord. it then moves to three D chords followed by three A chords and finally an E riff at the end to round it out. You’ll find this song on the 1980 album Back in Black.

   E                D              A                                 R 
e|-------------------------------------|--------------3-0------------------|
B|------------------3-3-3--------------|--------------------3-0------------|
G|------------------2-2-2----------2-2-|2-----------------------2^(4)`2p0--|
D|-2----------------0-0-0----------2-2-|2----------------------------------|
A|-2-------------------------------0-0-|0----------------------------------|
E|-0-----------------------------------|-----------------------------------|

Iron Man – Black Sabbath

Iron Man is one of the most recognized heavy metal songs. It’s a crushing power chord riff that makes ample use of slides to create a wall of sound.

The song seems complicated but it’s easy to play. The power chords give the song its big sound and this riff sets the tone for the entire tune.

The album Paranoid came out in 1970 and this song is one of the tracks on that album. Some think the song is about the Iron Man comic character but its not.

e|---------------------------------|--------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------|--------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------|--------------------------------------| 
D|---------7-------7--/9---9-------|-12\11-12\11-12-\-7---7--/9---9-------|
A|-9-------5-------5--/7---7-------|-10\9--10\9--10-\-5---5--/7---7-------|
E|-7-------------------------------|--------------------------------------|

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

The riff from Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana ushered in the grunge era of the 1990s. Te riff is simple to play but sounds quite heavy.

It makes ample use of string dampening along with the power chords to create the rhythm of the riff.

You’ll find this song on the 1991 album Nevermind and its Nirvana’s signature song and riff.

The song became the anthem of the generation X kids. Many consider it one of the greatest riffs ever written.

e|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|
B|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|
G|----------------3-3-0-|----------------6-6-6-|----------------3-3-0-|----------------6-6-6-|
D|-3--3-3-x-x-x-x-3-3-0-|-6--6-6-x-x-x-x-6-6-6-|-3--3-3-x-x-x-x-3-3-0-|-6--6-6-x-x-x-x-6-6-6-|
A|-3--3-3-x-x-x-x-1-1-0-|-6--6-6-x-x-x-x-4-4-4-|-3--3-3-x-x-x-x-1-1-0-|-6--6-6-x-x-x-x-4-4-4-|
E|-1--1-1-x-x-x-x-------|-4--4-4-x-x-x-x-------|-1--1-1-x-x-x-x-------|-4--4-4-x-x-x-x-------|

Walk This Way  – Aerosmith

Walk This Way by Aerosmith is a simple riff-based around the open A and E notes. The riff only uses single notes so it’s quite easy to play.  The ending A chord closes the riff and it starts all over again.

Many great riffs use simple blues-based combinations and Walk This Way is an example of that.

You’ll find this song on the 1975 Toys in the Attic album. The song helped the band become a mainstream rock band and remains one of the band’s most popular songs.

e|----------------------|----------------------------|
B|----------------------|----------------------------|
G|----------------------|----------------------------|
D|-------2-------2------|-------2-------2------2-----|
A|-0-1-2---0-1-2--------|-0-1-2---0-1-2--------------|
E|-----------------0--x-|------------------3p0-------|

e|----------------------|----------------------------|
B|----------------------|----------------------------|
G|----------------------|------------------2---------|
D|-------2-------2------|-------2-------2--2---------|
A|-0-1-2---0-1-2--------|-0-1-2---0-1-2----0---------|
E|-----------------0----|----------------------------|

House Of The Rising Sun – The Animals

One of the first songs many guitar players learn is House of the Rising Sun by The Animals.

The song makes ample use of arpeggios which are chords played as single notes one after each other. The song runs through a series of arpeggios to make up the main riff of the song.

It’s a good lesson for any guitar player and the picking is straightforward. This song came out on the 1964 album The Animals. It’s a staple song that many players learn.

   Am                   C                 D            F
e|----------0---------------0---------------2-----------------1-----------|
B|--------1---1-----------1---1-----------3----3------------1---1---------|
G|------2-------2-------0-------0-------2--------2--------2-------2-------|
D|----2---------------2-------------0-0--------------3-3------------------|
A|--0---------------3-----------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
 
    Am                   E                   Am              E
e|----------0-----------------0---------------0----------------0------------|
B|--------1---1-------------0---0-----------1---1------------0---0----------|
G|------2-------2---------1-------1-------2--------2-------1-------1--------|
D|----2-----------------2---------------2----------------2------------------|
A|--0---------------------------------0-------------------------------------|
E|------------------0----------------------------------0--------------------|

Highway To Hell – AC/DC

AC/DC are the kings when it comes to metal riff and Highway to hell is another example of their great riffs.

This song uses simple open position chords to establish the tone of this song. The half-step from the F# to G gives the song more power before it finishes up on the A chord.

You’ll find the song on the 1979 album Highway to Hell.  The song is one of their signature tunes. It’s another example of how a simple riff can stick with you.

D#|--------------|-------------|---------------------------------------|
A#|--2--2--2-----|-3--3--3-----|-3--3--3----3--3--3----------2--2------|
F#|--2--2--2-----|-2--2--0-----|-2--2--0----2--2--0-----2----2--2------| x5
C#|--2--2--2-----|-0--0--0-----|-0--0--0----0--0--0-----0----2--2------|
G#|--0--0--0-----|-------------|-----------------------------0--0------|
D#|--------------|(2)-2--3-----|-2--2--3----2--2--3-----2--------------|

Good Riddance Time Of Your Life – Green Day

The song Good Riddance Time of Your Life makes ample use of simple open position chords.

The riff uses the G, Cadd9, and D chords and uses a lot of open strings. The open G and D strings ring throughout the riff which plays throughout the song.

The song came out in 1997 on the Nimrod album.

While the band is considered to be punk, this acoustic song gave them more appeal. they increased their audience with Good Riddance

e|------------------------------|
B|------------------------------|
G|------0-------------------0---|
D|----0---0---------------0---0-|
A|------------------------------|
E|-3-------------------3--------|
                                 
e|--------------------------------------------------------|
B|------3-------------3-------------3-------------3-------|
G|----0---0---0-----0---0---0-----0---0---0-----2---2---2-|
D|----------0-------------0-------------2----0--------0---|
A|-----------------------------3--------------------------|
E|-3-------------3----------------------------------------| x2

Beat It –  Michael Jackson

Most people know Michael Jackson his dance songs but he also had some great guitar riffs.

Beat It is an example of a simple riff that stands out and is easy to play. The song makes use of the tuning of Eb which gives the tune a heavier edge to it. The song makes use of the open E note and a simple run to establish the feel of the song.

This main riff carries the entire Beat It song. The song came out on the 1982 album Thriller. The song remains one of the most popular Michael Jackson songs ever.

Guitar tuned 1/2 step down (Eb Ab Db Gb Bb eb)

eb|-----|-----------------|-----------------|
Bb|-----|-----------------|-----------------|
Gb|-----|-----------------|-----------------|
Db|-----|--------5-2----4-|---2-0---0-------|
Ab|-----|------2----------|-----------------|
Eb|---0-|(0)-3------------|---------------0-|

eb|-----------------|-------------|
Bb|-----------------|-------------|
Gb|-----------------|-------------|
Db|--------5-2----4-|---2-0-------|
Ab|------2----------|-------------|
Eb|(0)-3------------|-------------|

Communication Breakdown – Led Zeppelin

Communication Breakdown is a good example of how bands of the 60s and 70s took basic blues and sped it up.

This song starts with a simple E pedal and follows this with three simple chords. The E pedal and chords simple repeat throughout the riff. The E notes power the riff and gives the tune a heavy feel.

It uses palm muting on the E notes which give a percussive feel. The song comes from the 1969 debit album from Led Zeppelin.

e|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|
B|----------------|--7-----5---7---|----------------|--7-----5---7---|
G|----------------|--7-----6---7---|----------------|--7-----6---7---|
D|----------------|--7-----7---7---|----------------|--7-----7---7---|
A|----------------|--5-----7---5---|----------------|--5-----7---5---|
E|0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-|0-------5-------|0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-|0-------5-------|(x6)

Honky Tonk Woman – Rolling Stones

The main riff to Honky Tonk Woman by the Rolling Stone is a classic. The song is in G tuning so it’s not standard pitch. This gives the riff it’s signature country style groove.

Keith Richards wrote simple riffs but he is a master at creating amazing sounds with only a few notes. Play this riff with your fingers or pick and fingers to get a feel for it.

The song came out in 1969 as a single. It’s one of the signatures Rolling Stones songs played at their concerts and a fan favorite.

 Tuning Open G:  D G D G B D

e|-----------------------------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------------------------|
G|--0------0---0---0------0---0---0--------------------------|
D|--0------0---0---0------0---0---0--------------------------|
G|-----------------------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------------|
 
e|---0-------0---0---0---0------0-----0---0----0---0---0---0-|
B|-----------------------------------------------------------|
G|---2(4)----2---0---2---0------2(4)--2---0--------0---2---0-|
D|---------------------------------------------2-------------|
G|-----------------------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------------|

Sunshine of Your Love – Cream

In 1967 Cream took the world by storm with the song Sunshine of Your Love.

Cream took their blues influences and merged them with early rock and psychedelic music The song Sunshine of Your Love starts with a simple riff but it’s powerful and sets the tone for the entire song. It appears on the Disraeli Gears album.

The song is easy to learn and most guitar players learn this song at some point.

e|----------------------|----------------------|
b|----------------------|----------------------|
g|----------------------|----------------------|
d|-12-12-10-12----------|----------------------|
a|--------------12---11-|-10--------8b---------|
e|----------------------|------10-------10-----|

Louie Louie – The Kingsmen

Louie Louie is an early rock and roll song by the Kingsmen. The song uses simple power chords or root/fifth chords to create the rhythm. The riff is iconic and one of the most recognized riffs ever created.

Richard Berry created this song in 1955. The Kingsmen version is the most recognized. Many different bands have covered this song in some form or another. it’s recognized worldwide for its contribution to the rock and roll genre.

e|---5-5-5----------------------------5-5-5---------------------------------|
B|---5-5-5----------------------------5-5-5---------------------------------|
G|---6-6-6----7-7----9-9-9----7-7-----6-6-6-----7-7-----9-9-9-----7-7-------|
D|---7-7-7----7-7----9-9-9----7-7-----7-7-7-----7-7-----9-9-9-----7-7-------|
A|---7-7-7----5-5----7-7-7----5-5-----7-7-7-----5-5-----7-7-7-----5-5-------|
E|---5-5-5----------------------------5-5-5---------------------------------|

O Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison

Another easy and iconic song is O Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison. Orbison and Bill Dees wrote the song and in August 1964 it came out as a single.

The riff of this song is easy to play as there are no hammer-ons, bends, or anything else to trip up your fingers. it only uses straight notes. You will hear this song and riff played at countless bars and clubs.

Many bands have covered the song including the hard rock version by Van Halen.

e|-----------------------------------------------------------|
b|-----------------------------------------------------------|
g|-----------------------------------------------------------|
d|------------0------------------0------------------0--4-2-0-|
a|---------2------------------2------------------2-----------|
e|--0-0-4-------------0-0-4---------------0-0-4--------------|

e|-----------------------------------------|
b|-----------------------------------------|
g|-----------------------------------------|
d|-----------0-4-2-0--------------0-4-2-0--|
a|--------2-------------------2------------|
e|-0-0-4---------------0-0-4---------------|

You Really Got Me -The Kinks

The song You Really Got Me by The Kinks is as easy as it gets on guitar.

This song uses two simple power chords for the main riff. It’s a simple song but easy to recognize. The Kinks got their inspiration from blues artists such as Big Bill Broonzy and Lead Belly.

Ray Davies wrote the song and it came out on Aug 4th, 1964. The song established the band as one of the top acts of the British Invasion and is their most iconic riff.

  F5 G5 F5 G5
e|-------------|-------------|-------------|-------------|
B|-------------|-------------|-------------|-------------|
G|-------------|-------------|-------------|-------------|
D|-3--5-5-3-5--|-3--5-5-3-5--|-3--5-5-3-5--|-3--5-5-3-5--|
A|-3--5-5-3-5--|-3--5-5-3-5--|-3--5-5-3-5--|-3--5-5-3-5--|
E|-1--3-3-1-3--|-1--3-3-1-3--|-1--3-3-1-3--|-1--3-3-1-3--|

Day Tripper – The Beatles

Day Tripper is a simple riff but one of the most recognizable by the Beatles.

In December 1965, the band released this song along with We Can Work It Out as singles. The riff is a 12-bar Blues style in E. It’s one of the most popular Beatles songs of all time.

The riff is simple as there are no hammer-ons, pull off, or complicated fingerings. Most beginners won’t have any trouble learning this easy riff.

e|-----------------------------|
B|-----------------------------|
G|-----------------------------|
D|-------------2-0---4----0-2--|
A|----------2------2----2------|
E|--0--3-4---------------------| x5

Breaking The Law – Judas Priest

Breaking The Law by Judas Priest is a simple riff for beginners.

The riff starts on the open A string which establishes the rhythm of the riff.  The riff has two main themes, the A riff and then the E string riff which ends back on the A string.

The sing is single notes and it’s played quite slow so most players won’t have difficulty with it. The use of the open A string makes the riff sound heavy and powerful.

You’ll find the song on the 1980 album British Steel.

e|---------------------------|---------------------------|
B|---------------------------|---------------------------|
G|---------------------------|---------------------------|
D|---------------------------|---------------------------|  x2
A|--0--2--3--0-2--3--0-2--3--|--------0-------0----3--2--|
E|---------------------------|--1--3-----1-3-----3-------|

Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison starts off with a simple two-note riff that moves up and down the fretboard. The riff easy to play and it stands out due to its happy feel.

There are different ways to play the riff but this is the easier version. The doubling of notes adds a nice harmony to the riff.

You’ll find this song on the 1967 album Blowin Your Mind. it’s one of the signature songs of the 60s psychedelic era.

e|-7-8----10---8--7---|-12-13---15---13-12---|-7-8----10---8--7---|-5----------------|
B|-8-10---12---10-8---|-13-15---17---15-13---|-8-10---12---10-8---|-7-----7---8-10---|
G|--------------------|----------------------|--------------------|-7----------------|
D|--------------------|----------------------|--------------------|------------------|
A|--------------------|----------------------|--------------------|------------------|
E|--------------------|----------------------|--------------------|------------------|

Happy Birthday – Traditional

There are several ways to play Happy Birthday. This simple tune is one of the most well-known songs since we sing it during birthday parties.

It uses all single notes so there are no complex slides, pull-offs, or hammer-ons.

The Guinness Book of World Records indicates the song is the most recognized in the world. It’s easy to learn and fun to play at birthday parties.

e|----------------------------------------|
B|-------------1--0---------------3--1----|
G|-0--0--2--0--------0--0--2--0-----------|
D|----------------------------------------|
A|----------------------------------------|
E|----------------------------------------|

e|-------3--0-------------1--1--0-------------|
B|------------1--0------------------1--3--1---|
G|-0--0-------------2-------------------------|
D|--------------------------------------------|
A|--------------------------------------------|
E|--------------------------------------------|

Down On The Corner – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Down on the Corner by CCR uses two simple riffs to establish the beat of the song. Both riffs are about as simple as you can get. There are no complicated bends or rhythms you need to learn.

You can hum the notes and get them under your fingers in no time. You will find this song on the 1969 album Willy and the Poor Boys.

The song is about a fictional band that plays on street corners. Many other artists have covered this simple tune. This song is the perfect riff for those learning to play for the first time.

Riff 1
e|-------------------|--------------------|
B|-------------------|--------------------|
G|-------------------|--------------------|
D|-------------------|--------------------|
A|--3---------3--3---|-------2--3--3------|
E|-----5--3---------5|-3--3---------------|
 
Riff 2
e|-------------------|--------------------|
B|-------------------|--------------------|
G|-------------------|--------------------|
D|--3--------3--3----|-------2--5--5------|
A|-----5--3--------5-|-3--3---------------|
E|-------------------|--------------------|

I Can’t Explain – The Who

Another simple guitar riff is I Can’t Explain by The Who. This song moves through simple major chords in an easy riff but one that’s memorable.

The major chord riff is a good lesson in bar chords for beginners. You can use power chords if you can’t play bar chords yet a sit will sound the same.

This song came out as a single in 1964. The song is a staple of Who concerts even today.

|---------------|-5-------------|---------------|-5--------------|
|-9------7-7----|-5------9-9----|-9------7-7----|-5------9-9-----|
|-9------7-7----|-6------9-9----|-9------7-7----|-6------9-9-----|
|-9------7-7----|-7------9-9----|-9------7-7----|-7------9-9-----|
|-7------5-5----|-7------7-7----|-7------5-5----|-7------7-7-----|
|---------------|-5-------------|---------------|-5--------------|

Wonderwall – Oasis

  Em7             G                 Dsus4         A7sus4
E|-3---3---3-----3-3-3-3---3---3-3-|-3-3-3---3---3-3---3---3-3-3-3-3-|
B|-3---3---3-----3-3-3-3---3---3-3-|-3-3-3---3---3-3---3---3-3-3-3-3-|
G|-0---0---0-----0-0-0-0---0---0-0-|-2-2-2---2---0-2---2---2-2-2-0-0-|
D|-2---2---2-----0-0-0-0---0---0-0-|-0-0-0---0---0-2---2---2-2-2-0-0-|
A|-2---2---2-----2-2-2-2---2---2-2-|---------------0---0---0-0-0-0-0-|
E|-0---0---0-----0-3-3-3---3---3-3-|---------------------------------|

Wonderwall is a good example of a simple strumming pattern. It uses basic open position chords. You can play this on both acoustic or electric guitar it doesn’t matter.

It’s also a good lesson in altered sus chords and not straight major and minor chords. The strumming pattern isn’t complex and most beginners shouldn’t have a problem with it.

This song is from the album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? released in 1995.

Wild Thing – The Troggs

e|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|----------7-7------9-9------7-7---------------7-7------9-9------7-7-7-7-|
D|-7-7------7-7-xxxx-9-9-xxxx-7-7-xxxx-7-7------7-7-xxxx-9-9-xxxx-7-7-7-7-|X2
A|-7-7-xxxx-5-5-xxxx-7-7-xxxx-5-5-xxxx-7-7-xxxx-5-5-xxxx-7-7-xxxx-5-5-5-5-|
E|-5-5-xxxx----------------------------5-5-xxxx---------------------------|

Wild Thing by The Troggs is another example of early Rock N Roll and how just a few chords can make a great riff.

This riff uses the A, D, and E chords to create a riff that grooves through the entire song and establishes the rock feel. the song came out in 1966 on the From Nowhere album.

It’s one of the most well-known songs of all time and has been covered by artists such as Jimi Hendrix.

Taking Care of Business – Bachman Turner Overdrive

Taking care of business by Bachman Turner Overdrive starts with a driving riff-based in the 12-bar blues. It uses the “spread” style rhythm made famous by Chuck Berry.

It’s a good lesson in strengthening the hand and most beginners won’t have a problem with it.

The song comes from the 1973 album Bachman Turner Overdrive II. The song is a standard rock anthem and popular at bars and clubs

e|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|------------------------------8--10-12-10-10-------------------------------|
A|-8--10-12-10-10---6-8-10-8-8--8--8--8--8--8---8--10-12-10-10---------------|
E|-8--8--8--8--8----6-6-6--6-6------------------8--8--8--8--8----------------|

Conclusion

These are some of the top electric guitar riffs of all time. They are all quite easy for beginners to play. They sound great and will inspire you in your own guitar playing.

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Jacob

I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

2 thoughts on “33 Famous & Easy Electric Guitar Beginners Riffs With Tabs

  1. Awesome collection of music for a newbie to the guitar as I am. The tabs with the videos makes so easy to learn the riff.

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