Playing your first guitar solo may seem far out of reach, especially if you are a beginner guitarist. However, while it is true that guitar solos typically require more advanced skills, there are definitely some guitar solos out there that are relatively easy to play, even for newbies.
In this article, I will list 21 of the best easy guitar solos for beginners. Each of these solos features basic techniques at slower tempos, enabling beginner guitarists to confidently enter the world of guitar solos.
So, let’s get straight to it so that you can start performing them right now!
1. “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King
“Stand by Me” is a classic and easy pop song initially released in 1961. While the solo was originally played by a violin, it has been covered many times using a guitar.
The guitar solo in “Stand by Me” uses lots of slides and string bends, making it a great piece for practicing these techniques. In general, this is a relatively easy guitar solo because it is slow and doesn’t have any overly complex parts.
Slides and bends can be difficult for beginners to learn because of the need to seamlessly transition between frets.
2. “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton
“Wonderful Tonight” is a beautiful love song by Eric Clapton with a pretty easy guitar solo.
The guitar solo in “Wonderful Tonight” has several common techniques, including string bends, hammer-ons, and pull-offs, creating an emotional-sounding bluesy guitar solo that is synonymous with Eric Clapton’s sound.
The most challenging aspect of this solo for beginners is nailing down the bends. Clapton performs full-step bends, which can be pretty hard to play, especially for beginners with undeveloped calluses.
Despite that, the solo is very slow, making it easy to play for most beginner or intermediate guitar players.
As with learning any guitar solo, I recommend playing along with the recording. Doing so not only allows you to cement the rhythm but also allows you to learn the techniques properly.
3. “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Guns N’ Roses
“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” is another classic rock song that has been covered several times over the years. Originally written by Bob Dylan in 1973, the Guns N’ Roses version from 1991 includes a face-melting solo from Slash.
The solo from “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” incorporates melodic single notes and emotive bends that lead to a memorable and passionate riff that is easy for beginner guitarists. Bends are used in the solo to change the pitch of a note by bending the string. This approach imparts a vocal-like tone to the instrument and enables more expressive playing.
This guitar solo is also a great place to add some improvisation and experiment with the melody. Since it is such a simple riff, there is plenty of room for embellishments. Overall, this is a legendary and easy guitar solo that is extremely fun to play!
4. “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix
You may be thinking, “How can a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo be easy”? Well, it turns out that not everything this iconic guitar played was complex.
One distinguishing feature of Hendrix’s playing is his ability to segue fluidly between solo riffs and the main chord progression. In “Hey Joe,” he begins the solo with a catchy and distinctive riff that immediately captures the listener’s attention.
Jimi Hendrix gives the solo a seamless and droning feel by incorporating slides and open notes.
Listen carefully to Hendrix’s original version of “Hey Joe” and analyze his phrasing, dynamics, and use of effects such as distortion and vibrato to truly capture the essence of his technique.
Remember that studying Hendrix’s solos isn’t about mimicking him note for note but rather about capturing the spirit and soul of his approach.
5. “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream
The guitar solo in “Sunshine of Your Love” is beyond legendary and demonstrates Eric Clapton’s ability to build a distinctive and bluesy riff. The main riff and melody throughout the song remain relatively simple. While the guitar solo is a bit more complex, it doesn’t use many complicated techniques and is relatively easy to learn.
Clapton’s solo emphasizes the usage of the pentatonic scale, which is common in blues and rock guitar performances. The solo riff is based on the E pentatonic minor scale and essentially stays on this simple scale throughout the solo.
Eric Clapton also enhances the solo using techniques including slides, bends, and occasional double stops.
6. “Day Tripper” by The Beatles
Due to its repetition and ease of playing, the guitar solo in “Day Tripper” by The Beatles is great for beginners looking for an easy guitar solo. The primary solo riff of the song is made up of simple notes played on the bass strings, which are less challenging to fret and finger.
The use of slides gives the solo a little extra flair without calling for any particularly difficult fingerwork or advanced techniques.
Mastering the main riff, which is played throughout the song on the low strings of the guitar, is the first step in learning to play the solo. The solo is then simply the same riff but played on a 5th-note harmony rather than on the root. Then after playing the riff twice, George Harrison improves a bluesy pentatonic riff for 6 bars.
Pay close attention to the tempo and rhythm to capture the song’s groove, and aim for clarity and precision with every note. Feel free to experiment with the last 6 bar section of this solo!
7. “No Rain” by Blind Melon
The electric guitar solo in Blind Melon’s “No Rain” is in A major and is much simpler to play than it may sound.
This solo emphasizing melodic phrasing and rhythmic patterns makes it a good choice for novice guitarists looking to hone their expressive skills. In addition, string bends are used to generate a vocal-like tone throughout the solo.
To play this guitar solo, you should first learn the 5th position on the A major pentatonic scale. To create a fluid and integrated sound, try sliding across notes within the same scale. Practice this solo with the recording to improve your musical ear and nail the rhythms down.
8. “Santeria” by Sublime
“Santeria” by Sublime is a classic song by one of the best punk bands from the 1990s. This easy guitar solo is perfect for beginners and has an energetic reggae style.
The solo in “Santeria” includes a melodic scale run in the key of G major (G-A-B-C-D-E-F#). The solo begins with a sequence of fluidly rising and descending notes to create movement and melody.
To begin playing the solo, it is very important to first master the G major scale, as this is the basis of the guitar solo. Then you can move on to the actual solo, which is comprised of runs up and down the scale with bends, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides.
The solo from “Santeria” is a great exercise to add to your practice regimen or warm-ups.
9. “Gold on the Ceiling” by The Black Keys
The guitar solo in “Gold on the Ceiling” by the Black Keys is a remarkable example of Dan Auerbach’s blues-inspired guitar playing. The solo is built on enticing riffs and bluesy licks that immediately capture the listener’s attention.
This solo’s riff-based structure makes it approachable and fun to perform, making it a good choice for beginners.
An essential part of the solo in “Gold on the Ceiling” is a riff that repeats itself several times. It uses bluesy licks and bends to create a deep and emotive tone. Mastering the groove and feel of the riff is essential to recreating the spirit of this solo.
When you’ve mastered the main riff, you can add your own flair by playing bluesy licks and bends. This guitar solo sounds awesome and is fairly simple to play!
10. “Scar Tissue” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Scar Tissue” is one of the top hits by Red Hot Chili Peppers from their 1999 album Californication. The solo of this song is based mainly on the E minor pentatonic scale (E, G, A, B, and D). Guitarist John Frusciante used a slide to play this guitar solo, which is what gives it its twangy sound.
This solo is a good choice for beginner guitarists looking for an easy guitar solo since it is slow and uses very few difficult techniques.
11. “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne
Fountains of Wayne guitar player Jody Porter’s guitar solo on “Stacy’s Mom” is a perfect example of a catchy and addictive lead line.
The A major pentatonic scale is used extensively in the “Stacy’s Mom” solo. The solo includes appealing lead lines that accentuate the song’s melodic quality.
The solo is short and sweet and follows a simple pentatonic riff. There are a few hammer-ons and bends that can be a bit cumbersome for absolute novices, but otherwise, this is a perfect easy guitar solo to learn.
When dealing with the hammer-ons on the “Stacy’s Mom” solo, use enough power with your fretting hand to produce a distinct and loud sound.
12. “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys
The Black Keys have some of the best adrenaline-pumping guitar riffs of the modern era. “Lonely Boy” is one of the most popular releases from the band, with the simple chugging rhythm parts and the driving riffs.
The solo in “Lonely Boy” is ideal for beginners since it is built on a catchy and repeated riff that acts as the song’s base. This riff is built on the E blues scale, which includes the notes E, G, A, Bb, B, and D. While this riff is technically just another variation of the main riff, it serves the same purpose in the song as a guitar solo.
13. “Patience” by Guns N’ Roses
“Patience” by Guns N’ Roses is an impressive guitar solo that demonstrates bending and double stops. This is a perfect chance for beginners to push the limits of their playing while still playing within their comfort zone. Overall, the chord progression of the song is simple, and the solo follows a relatively easy format with techniques such as double stops, bends, slides, pull-offs, and hammer-ons.
The G major scale is the harmonic backbone of the “Patience” solo, allowing you to build a lyrical and expressive mood as you get comfortable with the techniques.
14. “I Will Follow” by U2
The guitar solo in U2’s “I Will Follow” is mesmerizing; it combines arpeggios and single-note lines to give the song more depth and texture. The Edge is a phenomenal guitar player known for creating soundscapes with his playing.
This solo is not technical at all and is perfect for beginners, allowing you to experiment with different arpeggio patterns.
The solo in “I Will Follow” is based on the D major scale and centers on that key with arpeggios and the use of natural harmonics. The harmonics give the solo a distinctive aural personality, lending it a shimmering aspect.
15. “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd
“Wish You Were Here” was one of the first songs I ever learned on guitar. The main progression is very simple, and the solo is easy and satisfying to play. This is a perfect first guitar solo for beginners as it covers most of the basic lead guitar skills, such as slides, bends, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and double stops.
The intro riff and solo were originally played on an acoustic guitar, giving this song a unique sound compared to many of the loud distorted sounds of the other guitar solos on this list.
16. “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes
A ballad of early 2000s alternative music, “Seven Nation Army” is a rock song turned sports anthem.
The guitar solo in White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” is based on a sequence of bends, which give the solo a unique droning and distorted sound. The solo essentially elaborates on the main riff of the song by moving it up an octave and adding bends and other simple techniques.
The White Stripes are the epitome of garage rock, so their music falls into a simple groove, and all parts of the song, solo included, are relatively easy to play.
17. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” is the song that helped catapult Nirvana (unexpectedly to most) to the top of the charts in the early 1990s. This song is still so popular that I’ve taught it in guitar lessons to kids born years after it was released.
Kurt Cobain was an amazing songwriter, but he was never one to overcomplicate his guitar parts. The solo for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is grungy and distorted, simply following the melody of the verse. It is an easy guitar solo that many beginners should be able to nail down. In fact, in general, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is one of Nirvana’s easiest songs to play!
18. “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day
One of Green Day’s easiest guitar songs is “Wake Me Up When September Ends” which was an instant hit when it was released in 2004. The song shows the band’s versatility with a straightforward intro and verse riff and a slow, distorted, and droning guitar solo.
The solo of “Wake Me Up When September Ends” only uses a few easy notes with no difficult techniques. The most challenging part about the guitar solo is the rhythms, which you can simply learn by practicing along with the recording.
19. “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis
The guitar solo for “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis is a musical masterpiece that gives an ethereal aspect to the song without being too cluttered with technical playing. This guitar solo has a mix of single-note melody lines and string bends in a repetitive pattern.
The B major scale is predominantly the framework for the guitar solo. So as long as you are comfortable riffing on a basic scale pattern, you should be able to play this guitar solo.
20. “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry
“Johnny B. Goode” was released in 1958 and is credited as one of the original rock n roll songs. This fast-paced bluesy intro solo may sound complex, but it is actually relatively simple, making it one of the best easy guitar solos to learn.
The song follows a pentatonic scale and uses simple techniques such as bends, slides, and double stops. An intermediate guitarist who has had some practice with these techniques should be able to comfortably play “Johnny B. Goode”.
21. “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica
“Nothing Else Matters” is a legendary song by heavy metal band Metallica. The solo is played on a classical guitar, so it is unique to most heavy metal guitar solos as it has no distortion. This is also one of the few guitar solos written and recorded by lead singer and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield.
The solo is fairly simple, but there are a few tough arpeggios and pull-offs. That said, an intermediate guitarist should be able to learn this guitar solo without too much difficulty.
Looking for some more easy guitar songs for beginners? Check out my complete list of the best beginner electric guitar songs.