To get to rock god status you have to be able to play a solo first. Here are 20 easy guitar solos to set you on your journey.
We all picked up a guitar for the first time dreaming of the day we could dazzle an audience with our unmatched skills as a guitar virtuoso. The flashiest way to do that is, of course, the guitar solo.
Each solo on this list has been picked because:
- they are almost all instantly recognizable
- can be learned by any level guitarist within a month (or sooner)+
The true key to making any guitar solo easy, or at least easier, is to develop a good guitar practice routine. Once you have that down, you can conquer anything on this list plus some!
20 Easy Guitar Solos
To try and give this list a little bit of organization, we sorted them into a few categories; Classic Guitar, Heavy Rock, 90's, and Alt Rock. We did not want to rank them because that would be too subjective.
Here's the list!
Easy Classic Rock Solos
Let's start out with some classic rock songs that are sure to impress.
Wonderful Tonight By Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton is one of the most iconic guitarists of the 60's. Whether he was playing for The Yardbirds, Derek and the Dominoes, Cream, or solo, he is recognized as one of the most influential and skilled ever. The solo/lead riff in Wonderful Tonight is fun to play and pretty simple.
Learn to play Wonderful Tonight By Eric Clapton
Listen to Wonderful Tonight By Eric Clapton
Something by The Beatles
The Beatles are the most influential rock band of all time. Lennon and McCartney get most of the attention, but George Harrison's guitar work was top notch and a HUGE part of their sound. The solo is Something is simple, yet moving and powerful.
Learn to play Something by The Beatles
Listen to Something by The Beatles
Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley
Going all the way back to the early days of rock n roll with Heartbreak Hotel. This solo is short, sweet, and really quick to pick up. You can probably learn this within a day.
Learn to play Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley
Listen to Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley
Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
This was my first "show off" song. David Gilmour is one of the reasons I picked up a guitar and I worked tirelessly as a beginning guitar player to emulate his sound. The lead intro and solo to this song is pretty easy to learn but oh so satisfying to play. Its still one of my favorites.
Learn to play Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
Listen to Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
Come Together by The Beatles
This is The Beatles second appearance on the list. Come Together is a completely different animal than Something. It still features that smooth George Harrison style of playing but has a totally different vibe.
Learn to play Come Together by The Beatles
Listen to Come Together by The Beatles
Easy Heavy Rock Solos
Heavy rock is usually associated with metal which is not really known for easy guitar solos. However, there are some other forms of heavy rock that still have some fun and simple riffs to play.
I Wanna Be Sedated by The Ramones
If there was ever a band that is friendly to the beginning guitarist it is The Ramones. Their songs were tight, fast, fun, and simple. Once you learned a handful of chords you could play right along with them. The solo in I Wanna Be Sedated is no different.
Learn to play I Wanna Be Sedated by The Ramones
Listen to I Wanna Be Sedated by The Ramones
Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns n' Roses
I know what you're thinking. Slash? Easy? I dont think so. Hear me out.
Maybe this is more of a mid song interlude than a full blown guitar solo. But the middle section of Sweet Child O Mine features 2 solo guitar breakout moments that are quite easy to learn and will make you feel like a rock star.
All you need is the top hat and cigarette (skip the cigarette. we do not condone smoking).
Learn to play Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns n' Roses
Listen to Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns n' Roses
Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
This was one of my other "show off" songs. This song is a blast to play and pretty quick to learn. If you sit down and focus (all night long), you can probably pick this song and solo up in an afternoon and master it within a week or so.
Learn to play Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
Listen to Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
Easy Alt Rock Solos
Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes
The duo of Jack and Meg White proved to the world that you can make some kick ass music with only a two person band. Seven Nation Army has such a drive to it it is infectious. The solo is so much fun to play, too.
Learn to play Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes
Listen to Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes
High and Dry by Radiohead
If you wanted to prove your alt rock cred in the 90s, you did it by playing Radiohead. High and Dry was also kind of a cheating way to do it since it was such an easy solo to play. Add this and Creep to your repertoire (and a time machine, I guess) and you'll be a 90s alt hero.
Learn to play High and Dry by Radiohead
Listen to High and Dry by Radiohead
Holiday by Green Day
Green Day has done for a new generation what The Ramones did for guitarists back in the day. Green Day essentially created the pop punk genre and inspired a whole generation of players to learn a couple chords to jam along.
Learn to play Holiday by Green Day
Listen to Holiday by Green Day
Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers
John Frusciante is a master of making a simple series of notes sound so good. The solo in Californication is not the least bit difficult but feels so good to play.
Learn to play Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Listen to Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
When Nirvana hit the scene it was right on the heels of 80s metal and all of the guitar shredding that went with it. Because of that, Kurt Cobain never quite gets his due for his skill as a guitarist. Nirvana, and Kurt, were fantastic at turning power chords and simple melodies into mega hits.
Learn to play Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
Listen to Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
Where Is My Mind by The Pixies
The Pixies are another one of those alt rock groups that were just slightly on the fringe of pop culture. Only the cool kids listened to them and learned how to play their songs. It turns out, they are pretty easy to play and fun too.
Learn to play Where Is My Mind by The Pixies
Listen to Where Is My Mind by The Pixies
Easy 90s Rock Solos
What I Got by Sublime
Unfortunately, we lost Bradley Nowell before Sublime got a chance to really blow up. If What I Got and Santeria are any indication of what else he would have written, then we missed out on a wealth of easy, hooky, fun guitar songs.
Learn to play What I Got by Sublime
Listen to What I Got by Sublime
Don't Speak by No Doubt
If it weren't for bassist Tony Kanal being a terrible, terrible boyfriend (at least in the 90s anyway) we may have never experienced the wonderful pop punk songs of No Doubt. The solo in Don't Speak plays with a bit of Spanish legato flair that is buttery smooth and feels great to play.
Learn to play Don't Speak by No Doubt
Listen to Don't Speak by No Doubt
My Own Worst Enemy by Lit
Lit does not get enough credit for the party anthem they created with My Own Worst Enemy. This song is essentially all power chords even the solo. We included this on the list because it is still really easy, but departs from your standard single string guitar solo and shows what you can do with some creative power chords and slides.
Learn to play My Own Worst Enemy by Lit
Listen to My Own Worst Enemy by Lit
Losing My Religion by REM
Rounding out the indie hipster groups on this list is REM. Losing My Religion is arguably their most popular song, at least as far as main stream music goes. The guitar solo in this song is simple, moody, and fits the tone of the song very well.
Learn to play Losing My Religion by REM
Listen to Losing My Religion by REM
Rock n' Roll Star by Oasis
There was a period of time when people fancied Oasis as the second coming of The Beatles (most of those people were actually in Oasis, but I digress). They may not quite ever rise to that level of influence, but they still are a pretty good band with solid songs. Anyway, here's Wonderw....I mean Rock n Roll Star.
Learn to play Rock n' Roll Star by Oasis
Listen to Rock n' Roll Star by Oasis
Zombie by The Cranberries
The Cranberries brought so much heart and passion to 90s rock radio. Zombie gave us all a glimpse into the violence that tore apart Ireland for so long. You can feel the emotion of this song when you play it. Do yourself a favor and add it to your line-up.
Learn to play Zombie by The Cranberries
Listen to Zombie by The Cranberries
This is just 20 of the easiest guitar solos out there. They each prove that you don't have to be difficult or overly complicated to make a magical solo. You just have to have some feeling and a good hook. You can do it too!
I'm sure we missed at least one some other easy guitar solos. What are some of your favorite solos that are easy to play? Let us know in the comments below.