Top 40 Famous&Easy One String Guitar Songs For Beginners – Tabs Included


As a beginner guitarist, you always want to play some iconic tunes that you love, but most of them are pretty complicated and challenging. Luckily, there are many tunes that you can play only on one string which are perfect for newbie guitarists. As one-string guitar riffs and melodies are super simple, you only have to focus on your fretting hand to play them correctly.

Another great aspect of these songs is that they can help you with musical training by developing your inner musical skills. As the musical ear is pretty important to compose and replicate what you hear, every good musician has to train their musical ear. This is the foundation to be a good musician, whichever instrument you play.

One-string guitar songs are ideal for this ear training as all you have to do is to navigate the frets on the same string to find the right note. As all of the notes will be on the same string, you will clearly feel and see which notes sound how much higher or lower compared to the rest of the notes, which will create an intuition for your general guitar playing. If you are new to guitar playing, learning and mastering these riffs and melodies will help you significantly on your journey while you enjoy playing some iconic tunes.

Shape Of You – Ed Sheeran

One of the most famous songs of recent years is Shape Of You by the English folk-pop singer Ed Sheeran. Released in 2017, the tune topped all the charts with its basic melody, effortless rhythm, and simple lyrics, all creating a fantastic balance together.

The primary main riff of the song is relatively easy and can be played on just one string. You can play the melody with triplets on the A string starting from the 4th fret.

e|-----------------------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------------------|
G|-----------------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------------|
A|-4–7–4-4–7–4-4–7–4-6-4-2----4–7–4-4–7–4-4–7–4-6-4-2--|
E|-----------------------------------------------------|
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Thunderstruck – AC/DC

Thunderstruck was released back in 1990 by the famous Australian heavy metal band AC/DC. The song started as a bit of a trick on the guitar played by Angus Lee, and later, the band built upon the melody to create one of their most famous songs ever.

Thunderstruck’s main riff, which is also played in the intro, is a fantastic one-string riff that uses pull-offs and hammers on without any picking. The song is a great practice to build power for your fretting hand and practice legato techniques. If it is too fast for you, you may start slow and get quicker step by step.

e|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|--4-0-7-0-4-0-7-0-4-0-7-0-4-0-7-0-----4-0-7-0-4-0-7-0-4-0-7-0-4-0-7-0--|
G|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|

Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor

Mainly known as the Rocky song, Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor is an amazing rock tune with its iconic riff, filled with adrenaline and inspiration. The song is known by almost everyone and is one of the most entertaining tunes to play on an electric guitar with some distortion.

The one-string riff consists of steady picking and mutes on the same note. The song is an excellent practice for picking hand stamina, as it gets challenging to keep up with the rhythm after a while. You may play the note on the E string instead of power chords to continue playing the song on the same string.

  P.M.----------------------------------|
e|--------------------------------------|----------------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------------|----------------------------------------------|
G|--------------------------------------|----------------------------------------------|
D|--------------------------------------|----------------------------------------------|
A|--------------------------------------|----------------------------------------------|
E|-8--8--8--8--8--8--8--8--8--8--8--8--8|-8---8---6---8------8---6---8------8---3--4---|
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Clocks – Coldplay

British rock band Coldplay’s famous tune Clocks is yet another excellent tune for beginners with its melody only on one string. The tune was released back in 2002 and became the first chart-topping single of the band, making them globally famous.

Although you can not play the whole song on the same string, you can play the iconic piano riff and have fun with it.

e|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|-8-3-3-8-3-3-8-3----6-3-3-6-3-3-6-3----6-3-3-6-3-3-6-3----5-1-1-5-1-1-5-1----|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Perfect – Ed Sheeran

Released in 2017, Perfect is a fantastic pop tune by the English singer Ed Sheeran. The tune was a great success topping the charts in 16 countries and reaching almost 3 billion views on Youtube.

You can play the melody of the tune on the G string with only 4 notes. Do not forget to add the vibrato on the last bar when you play the 3rd fret.

e|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|-5-3-1-5--5--5----5-3-1–5--5--5----5-3-1–6—5—1----1--3--5--5-6-5-3----|
D|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|----------------------------------------------------------------------|

Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day

The famous American punk-rock band Green Day’s most famous tune is the iconic Boulevard Of Broken Dreams from the year 2004. With its amazing one-string main riffs, it is a reasonably entertaining and inspirational tune to play.

The main two riffs can both be played on the B string. After playing the first part of the riff plays the second section 3 times to create the melody of the tune.

e|-----------------|
B|8-9--9/13-11--8-9|
G|-----------------|
D|-----------------|
A|-----------------|
E|-----------------|

e|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-6-6-8-9--9/13-11--8-9--9--6-6-8-9--9/13-11--8-9--9--13-13-13-13-13-13|
G|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
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Another One Bites The Dust – Queen

Another One Bites The Dust by the English rock band Queen is a fantastic song with 80’s disco sound and rock fused together. The fantastic main riff is played by the bass in the original recording; however, you can easily adjust it to the guitar.

With steady notes and comfortable fretting positions on the low E string, it is a reasonably easy one-string tune to learn and master.

e|---------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------------------------|
D|---------------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------|
E|-5-3-0--0--0----0-0-0-3-0-5-----0-0-0-0-0-0-3-0-5--|

We Will Rock You – Queen

The most famous tune of the English rock band Queen is undoubtedly We Will Rock You from 1977. As the tune was performed and covered by many famous bands, used in many sports events, commercials, chants, etc., it is one of the most famous tunes of rock history.

The song is based on a drum rhythm and does not feature many guitar sections, but the iconic “We Will Rock You” chorus can be played easily on the G string with downgrading notes.

e|---------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------|
G|-10–9–7–5–7-7----10–9–7–5–7-7----|
D|---------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------|

I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing – Aerosmith

The American rock band Aerosmith’s power ballad, I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing, is one of their most famous tunes. With its appearance in the movie Armageddon, the band received huge fame and attention back in the year.

The original song is quite challenging to play for beginner guitarists as it features many techniques and complex chords. But you can play the vocal lines of the chorus easily on the B string.

e|---------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-3–7-7-7-7-7–5-5----3-5-5-5-5-10–8–7–5----0-3–0-0-7-5-3–5~3----|
G|---------------------------------------------------------------|
D|---------------------------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------|
Related Post
If you want to learn and master more guitar songs without chords, you can take a look at my list Top 30 Easy Songs Without Chords For Beginners – Tabs Included

Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes

2003 garage rock tune by the White Stripes, Seven Nation Army is probably the first song that comes to mind when the topic is one-string guitar riffs. With its basic yet extraordinary melody, the song was covered by many bands, used in many sports events such as the FIFA World Cup, appeared in many movies, series, and video games.

The song’s one-string riff is played on the A string and uses only 5 notes over and over again. Quite an easy and fun-to-play tune.

e|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-7----7----10----7----5----3----2----7----7----10----7----5----3----2--|

Du Hast – Rammstein

German industrial metal giant Rammstein is one of the greatest metal bands on the music scene who are still active today. Released in 1997, Du Hast is one of their most popular tunes with its iconic, aggressive metal riff.

The one-string riff is pretty straightforward, with only three notes. In the original song, these notes are played as power chords, but you can also play them as single notes.

e|-------------------------------------------------|x3---------------------------|
B|-------------------------------------------------|x3---------------------------|
G|-------------------------------------------------|x3---------------------------|
D|-------------------------------------------------|x3---------------------------|
A|-5-3-0–0-0-0-0-0-0–5-3-0-0-0-0-0-0–0-0-0-0-------|x3--3-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-3-0-0--|
E|-------------------------------------------------|x3---------------------------|

Paint It Black – The Rolling Stones

Released in 1966, Paint It Black by the rock giants The Rolling Stones stands out for its exotic and dark sounds. The tune is one of the most popular by the band which stayed in number 1 in the charts for almost 3 months.

The original version of the song can be played by experienced guitarists as it features many complex techniques such as alternate picking, hammer-ons, open chords, pull-offs. But beginners can play the easier version on the E string; if you want a more bassy sound to try to play it on the low E string.

e|-------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------------------------------------|
G|-------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-1-3-4-6-4-3-1-1-0-1-1~3-1-0----1-3-4-6-4-3-1-1-0-1-1~3-1-0--|
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All the Small Things – Blink 182

All the Small Things by Blink 182 is an international hit that topped the charts, and also it is the band’s most successful composition to date. You can play the whole song with three power chords, muting, and distortion, but you can also start off with the vocal melody on a single string.

e|------------------------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------------|
G|-9-10---9-5----9-5--0-4-5----9-5--4-5----9-5--0-4-5---|
D|------------------------------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------------|

R U Mine – Arctic Monkeys

English indie rock giants Arctic Monkey’s R U Mine i. The song was released in 2012 and quickly became one of the most popular tunes of the band.

The tune’s main riff can be played on the A string with a good amount of distortion. The 2nd fret on the low E string equals the 7th fret on the A string. That way, all of the required notes can be played on the A string.

e|----------------------------------------|-----------------------------------------|
B|----------------------------------------|-----------------------------------------|
G|----------------------------------------|-----------------------------------------|
D|----------------------------------------|-----------------------------------------|
A|----------------------------------------|-----------------------------------------|
E|-2--2-2---7h9-7h9----10--10-10-9-7–7-7--|--2--2-2---7h9-7h9----10--10-10-9-7–7-7--|

Mamma Mia – ABBA

The famous ABBA tune from the 1970s, Mamma Mia, is a pretty easy and fun-to-play tune, and its chorus melody can be played on a single string.

The melody is played on the D string in the first position with 2nd, 4th, and 5th frets. It is a pretty simple melody, so you can add notes from other strings after you master it.

e|--------------------------------------------------|
B|-3--5-3-5-3----3-3-5-7-5-3--5-–3--8–8-8-8-7-3-----|
G|--------------------------------------------------|
D|--------------------------------------------------|
A|--------------------------------------------------|
E|--------------------------------------------------|
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Dust In The Wind – Kansas

The famous 1977 ballad of the rock band Kansas, Dust In The Wind, is one of the most popular acoustic tunes of all time. The sentimental lyrics accompanied by fast-paced fantastic arpeggios create a beautiful harmony.

You can play the main melody on the B string with only 3 chords in different orders—a beautiful basic melody to add to your repertoire.

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

Pirates Of The Caribbean Theme

One of the most famous movie themes of all time is undoubtedly Pirates Of The Caribbean from the year 2003. The iconic rhythmic melody can be challenging anywhere still today.

You can play the song on the B string. Focus on the rhythmic timings of the notes to play them correctly.

e|-------------------------------------|x2
B|-0-3-5–5–-5-7-8–8--8-10-7–7–-5-3-3-5-|x2
G|-------------------------------------|x2
D|-------------------------------------|x2
A|-------------------------------------|x2
E|-------------------------------------|x2



e|------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|--0-3-5–5–-5-8-10–10--10-12-13–13-–12-10-12–5--5-7-8–8-–10–12-5-5--8-7–7–8-5--|
G|------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones

The number 2 song of the Rolling Stones magazine’s 500  Greatest Songs Of All Time list is Satisfaction by the British legends The Rolling Stones. This is one of the most famous tunes of rock history with its iconic riff and lyrics.

With basic techniques such as pull-offs and vibratos, this is a great melody to learn for beginner guitarists. Do not forget to have plenty of distortion to your guitar tone if you are playing it on an electric guitar. 

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

Mission: Impossible Theme

One of the most famous movie soundtracks of all time, Mission Impossible Theme’s brilliant main riff is tailor-made for new guitarists. It is nearly impossible for anyone not to have heard of this iconic melody.

You can play the song on the high E string beginning from the 9th fret.

e|9-9-9-9-12-14--9-9-9-9-7-8--12-9-4--12-9-3---|
B|---------------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------------------|
D|---------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------|

e|---12-9-2-0-2--12-9-16--12-9-15--2-9-14-12-14|
B|---------------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------------------|
D|---------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------|

In The Shadows – The Rasmus

The 2003 hit of the Finnish alternative rock band the Rasmus, In The Shadows, achieved excellent chart success throughout Europe and Oceania. It is an excellent song with the iconic chorus and the music video clip.

The main riff of the tune that also appears in the intro can be played on the A string with basic techniques in between, such as hammer-ons. It is a great melody to learn and master for newbies as it is quite fun to play.

e|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-10--10--10--12/10-9-5---2--2--2--0h2--2---5-7–9–10–7h10-9-5---2--4--5--|

The Day That Never Comes – Metallica

The Day That Never Comes is one of the newer songs of heavy metal band Metallica. It was released as the lead single of their 2008 album, Death Magnetic. As a rock ballad, the tune offers great melodies and partitions to play for guitarists.

You can play an easier version of the main melody on the G string in the first position. Focus on the timings to play the tune correctly.

e|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|-2--5--4-2–0--0--0---5--4-2--1--5--4-0–2----2--5--4-2–0–0–0---5--4-2--1--5--4-0–2--|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Summer Lovin’ (Summer Nights) – Grease

Summer Lovin from the 1978 blockbuster musical Grease is the ideal tune for novice guitarists looking for an easy yet fun and amazing melody to get the crowd going. The bright, perky melody with its uplifting vibe is great to have fun with your instrument. The simplified version of this beautiful melody can be played on the low E string.

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

Roadhouse Blues – The Doors

Released in 1970, Roadhouse Blues by the legendary The Doors is truly a rock n roll classic with its smooth bluesy riffs and iconic vocals of Jim Morrison. The tune was covered by various artists in time, but the best version remained The Doors one for sure.

The main riff of the song can be played on one string, the low E string, which repeats itself many times throughout the song.

e|------------------------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------------|
G|------------------------------------------------------|
D|------------------------------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------------------|
E|-0--0--0--0--0--0--5h6h7--0--0--0--0--0--0---10h11h12-|

Bella Ciao – Manu Pilas

Although it got famous again with the popular TV Series Money Heist, Bella Ciao actually is the 19th-century protest folk song of the rice paddy field workers in North Italy against the deplorable working conditions. It is a great song with a catchy melody that can be played on the B string.

e|------------------------------------------|
B|-0-5-7-8-5--0-5-7-8-5--0-5-7-8-7-5-8-7-5--|
G|------------------------------------------|
D|------------------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------|

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

Iron Man – Black Sabbath

One of the first songs of the heavy metal genre is Iron Man by the mythical Black Sabbath. This 1970 piece features an iconic riff with accompanying vocal lines, which is a must-learn for rock and metal lovers.

As this is one of the easiest Black Sabbath songs, you only need one string and one finger to play its iconic riff. You can play it all on the A string.

e|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-2--5--5/7--7---10p9--10p9-10-5--5h7-7-----2--5--5/7--7---10p9--10p9-10-5--5h7-7---|
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

I Love Rock N Roll – Joan Jett

Joan Jett’s famous tune, I Love Rock ‘N Roll, is an excellent tune for beginner guitarists with its straightforward structure and riffs. Normally the song is played with power chords, but you can play the simplified version of the riff by picking only the first notes of the chords. Add plenty of distortion and enjoy playing this rocking riff.

e|------------|-------------|-------------|----------------|
B|------------|-------------|-------------|----------------|
G|------------|-------------|-------------|----------------|
D|-0-0–0-0-3--|--5-5–7-7-3--|--0-0–0-0-3--|--5-5–7-3-0-0---|
A|------------|-------------|-------------|----------------|
E|------------|-------------|-------------|----------------|

Smoke On the Water – Deep Purple

Another iconic riff comes from the ’70s; Smoke On The Water by the hard rock legends Deep Purple. The melody is probably known by every music fan on the planet as it is one of the mythical riffs of rock history.

You can play an easier version of this iconic riff on the low E string with a good amount of distortion. Normally the tune is played with power chords but does not worry; in this case, single notes will get the job done.

e|----------------------------------------|--------------------------------------------|
B|----------------------------------------|--------------------------------------------|
G|----------------------------------------|--------------------------------------------|
D|----------------------------------------|--------------------------------------------|
A|----------------------------------------|--------------------------------------------|
E|-0--3--5----0--3--7-5----0--3--5--3--0--|--0--3--5----0--3--7-5----0--3--5--3--0-----|

Airbag – Radiohead

The 1997 Radiohead tune, Airbag, features an excellent one-string riff that starts away right in the intro. The song is one of the well-known tunes of the legendary OK Computer album.

The riff is played on the low E string with open notes in between. It is an excellent practice on the fretboard as it uses many different positions.

e|----------------|-----------|-------------------|------------------|
B|----------------|-----------|-------------------|------------------|
G|----------------|-----------|-------------------|------------------|
D|----------------|-----------|-------------------|------------------|
A|----------------|-----------|-------------------|------------------|
E|-0-1--8--7-9--5-|-0-1--8--7-|-5--9--12-13--8--7-|-9--5--0-1--8--7--|

Newborn – Muse

Newborn from the English rock band Muse features a tasty riff that starts right at the beginning of the song and repeatedly shows up in the piece. The fast-paced riff is normally played on the low D string but if you do not want to retune your guitar you can play the riff on the 4th string, the D string in the standard tuning. The melody features notes in different positions, which is again an ideal practice to get more comfortable on the fretboard.

e|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-2-2-2-2-5-2-5-6-|-7-7-7-7-10-7-10-11-|-12-0-0-12-0-0-3-4-|-5-5-5-5-9-9-9-9-----|
A|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Elevation – U2

The Irish rock band U2’s Elevation from the year 2001 is a great tune with a brilliant solo. This time the solo section is played on one string, making it suitable for absolute beginners. The solo is played on the low E string with steadily picked single notes.

e|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
A|7-7-10-10--7-7--10-10--7-7--10-10--7-7-7-7--7-7--10-10--7-7--10-10--7-7--10-10-7-7-7-7|
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival cover of the soul classic I Heard It Through The Grapevine features a fun riff that kicks off and repeats several times through the track. In order to play the melody, you will have to down tune your guitar to drop D tuning. After, you can easily play the riff on the low D string with a few notes. 

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

Running Down a Dream – Tom Petty

The intro riff of Running Down a Dream by Tom Petty offers utterly fun guitar parts for novice guitarists. The fast-paced riff can be played on the E string. You may want to take things slowly at first, as the quick tempo can be challenging for absolute beginners.

e|------------------------|
B|------------------------|
G|------------------------|
D|------------------------|
A|------------------------|
E|---0-7-0-6-0-5-0-b3-0---|

Sunshine of Your Love – Cream

The 1967 classic Sunshine Of Your Love by Cream is a great mix of hard rock and psychedelic rock with some bluesy guitar riffs and distinctive drum patterns. The tune is quite famous as it is covered by many artists and played in many live performances.

The beginner-friendly one-string version of the tune can be played on the D string. The quick tempo can give you a hard time, but if you start slowly and build up the speed later, you are gonna be ok.

e|---------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-12-12-10-12---7--6--5--0-3-0----12-12-10-12---7--6--5--0-3-0--|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------|

Star Wars The Imperial March

One of the best-known movie themes of cinema history is definitely, The Imperial March. It is widely known as Darth Vader’s song with its dark and sinister melody.

The melody can be played on the D string, beginning with the 4th fret. It is quite an easy tune to learn and master.

e|----------------------------------------------------------|
B|----------------------------------------------------------|
G|----------------------------------------------------------|
D|-4--4--4-4-0-7--4--0--7-4----11--11--11--12--7-4--0--7-4--|
A|----------------------------------------------------------|
E|----------------------------------------------------------|

Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground – The White Stripes

Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground by the rock duo The White Stripes is yet another superb-sounding melody perfect for novice players with its notes on the same string. Released in 2001, the song was a big hit getting on the charts globally.

Just like Seven Nation Army, this one is also played on the low E string with only 5 notes. It is quite an easy and entertaining tune to learn and add to the repertoire.

e|------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-5--5-5-0-3--3-3-0-2-2-0-1-1-0-5--5-5-5--5--5-5-0-3--3-3-0-2-2-0-1-1-0-5--3---|

Lapdance – N.E.R.D

The catchy and easy riff of Lapdance by N.E.R.D. is an amazing melody for beginner guitarists to add to their repertoire. The bassy riff is excellently easy using the first three frets and open strings. The melody is played on the low E string, and in order to make it sound twangy like the recording, you should pick the strings closer to the bridge.

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

Harry Potter Hedwig’s Theme

Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter is a great one-string melody, especially for the fans of the movie. It is a heartwarming instrumental song with celesta, violin, and brass, but you can easily adapt it to guitar. The melody is played on the B string.

e|-------------------|-------------|-----------------------|------------------|
B|-0-5—8-7-5—12-10—7-|-5—8-7-4—6-0-|-0-5—8-7-5—12-15–14-13-|-10-13—12-11-0—8-5|
G|-------------------|-------------|-----------------------|------------------|
D|-------------------|-------------|-----------------------|------------------|
A|-------------------|-------------|-----------------------|------------------|
E|-------------------|-------------|-----------------------|------------------|

Misirlou – Dick Dale

The famous song from the legendary movie Pulp Fiction, Misirlou by Dick Dale is actually originated from the Ottomans. It is a highly catchy oriental riff with eastern music characteristics.

The one-string riff is extremely straightforward, with all the notes on the low E string. You can start to play this melody, picking each note once, and later you can pick the notes multiple times to create the tremolo picking effect like the recording.

e|-----------------------------------------|----------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------|----------------------|
G|-----------------------------------------|----------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------|----------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------|----------------------|
E|-12\1-0-0-0-0-0-0-1-4-5-7-7/11-8-7-7-7\1-|-0-0-0-1-4-5-7-7/11-8-|

e|------------------------------------|---------------------------|
B|------------------------------------|---------------------------|
G|------------------------------------|---------------------------|
D|------------------------------------|---------------------------|
A|------------------------------------|---------------------------|
E|--7-7-7-8-7-8-7\5-7-5-7-5-4-1-4-4-4-|-7-5-7-5-4-5-4-5-4-1-0-0-0-|

New York City Cops – The Strokes

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New York City Cops by The Strokes is yet another great one-string melody to learn for beginners. The opening guitar riff has all the notes in the low E string within the 12th to the 5th, 3rd fret, and even to the string open. Focus on the timings to play the riff properly.

e|------------------------------------------------------------|-------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------------------|-------------------------|
G|------------------------------------------------------------|-------------------------|
D|------------------------------------------------------------|-------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------------------------|-------------------------|
E|12/5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-3--0-3--0-3--5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-3--0-3-0-3|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-3--0-3-0-3|

Peter Gunn Theme – Henry Mancini

Peter Gunn Theme, the 1959 rock and roll song, was composed by Henry Mancini for a TV show, and he won an Emmy and two Grammys with his composition. When it became the soundtrack of the Blues Brother movie in 1980, the song got more famous.

The melody is played on the low E string, starting with an open string note. It is a relatively easy and fun melody to learn and master.

e|---------------------------|
B|---------------------------|
G|---------------------------|
D|---------------------------|
A|---------------------------|
E|--0--0--2--0--3--0--5--4---|

Conclusion

Playing these famous one-string riffs and melodies will help you progress with your technique and motivate you as you play some of your favorite iconic songs. In the end, this is one of the biggest reasons people start playing the guitar; to play and feel like a rock star playing some of the mythical riffs of music history.

As mentioned before, one-string riffs are also great to train your music ear, get you more comfortable on the fretboard and help you develop a solid foundation for your guitar technique. So grab your guitar, take your pick and start playing these iconic tunes.

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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

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