20 Of The Easiest Guitar Solos Of All Time
Every guitar player dreams of playing cool solos from the moment they pick up the guitar for the first time. But, most solos are quite difficult and feature complex techniques for beginners. Luckily, you can learn some easy yet cool guitar solos as a beginner to feel like a rock star.
One of the most important characteristics of rock and similar genres is the killer guitar solos. Either wailing and gentle or powerful and loud, guitar solos are the flashiest way to dazzle an audience. Moreover, they are excellent exercises for practicing your technique and improving your guitar skills.
So, here are 20 of the easiest guitar solos for beginners to start their lead guitar journey, have fun, and improve as a guitarist.
- 1. Come As You Are – Nirvana
- 2. Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day
- 3. Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers
- 4. Holiday – Green Day
- 5. Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
- 6. Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
- 7. High and Dry – Radiohead
- 8. The Unforgiven – Metallica
- 9. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Guns N’ Roses
- 10. Fix You – Coldplay
- 11. Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
- 12. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
- 13. Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
- 14. Paint It Black – The Rolling Stones
- 15. Champagne Supernova – Oasis
- 16. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
- 17. The Man Who Sold The World – Nirvana
- 18. Afraid to Shoot Strangers – Iron Maiden
- 19. We’re Not Gonna Take it – Twisted Sister
- 20. Love Her Madly – The Doors
1. Come As You Are – Nirvana
The grunge pioneer Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” is one of the most recognizable songs of the 90s rock scene. It features a short and simple yet highly melodic guitar solo with some cool techniques like slides, vibratos, and bends.
The solo is perfect for beginners as it has a moderate tempo, and all the notes are on the third string. The solo consists of only three notes that are played repetitively with different techniques. The hardest part of the solo is the tuning, as the song is played with a Drop D tuning. When you get that right, the rest is pretty straightforward.
2. Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day
The iconic song from the punk-rock band Green Day, “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” has a great solo for beginners. The solo is played on B and G strings with a straightforward repetitive pattern. The solo is quite short, with a 4-bar sequence played twice.
The solo starts with the 12th fret on the G string and goes back and forth between the G and B strings. On the last bar, you use double stops in the same position. All the notes are eighth notes, making the rhythmic aspect super easy.
3. Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers
The iconic “Californication” of the eccentric Red Hot Chili Peppers is another great choice for beginners to add a new solo to their repertoire. With its slow tempo, basic techniques, and melodic approach, it is a great solo to practice techniques like different positions and bends.
The only thing you must be careful of with this solo is getting the pitches of the bends right. Thanks to the slow tempo, you will have plenty of time for note transitions and finger positions. Just practice the bends to reach the right notes, and you will have no trouble.
4. Holiday – Green Day
Another simple yet melodic and cool guitar solo to learn is “Holiday” from Green Day. You can play the entire solo with single notes. The final of the solo goes to higher notes for a repetitive final, which is great for practicing changing positions and getting more comfortable on the fretboard.
The techniques you will need are slides and vibratos, which are quite easy. The solo has a moderate tempo, and there is enough time during transitions to think and find the next note.
5. Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
One of the most recognizable riffs of music history comes from The White Stripes: “The Seven Nation Army.” The tune’s solo is based on the iconic riff, so you will play the riff with single notes and some nice embellishments like bends, vibratos, and slides.
The solo mainly consists of riff repetitions, so it is quite easy to play. You start from the G string’s 9th fret before switching to high-pitched notes on the high E string. It is a super easy and fun solo to play, as all the sequences are on the same string and the rhythmic aspect is quite familiar.
6. Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
One of the prettiest and mellowest solos of rock history is featured on the romantic ballad of Eric Clapton, “Wonderful Tonight.” As the tempo is slow, the solo is short, and the techniques are easy, it is a perfect first solo for a beginner.
The solo is quite short and is repeated two times. It starts with a bend on the 10th fret on the B string and continues in the same position. The final part features a walk to the higher notes on the B string in a linear fashion, which is also pretty simple. For this solo, keep your attention on the bends and slides, as they are the heart of the whole sequence.
7. High and Dry – Radiohead
Radiohead is known for its melancholy tone and style, perfectly reflected in the song “High And Dry.” The solo is no different, with a basic repetitive pattern on the highest two strings. The solo is played in the same position with easy fingering patterns and a basic string skip.
The unique part of the solo is letting the open high E string ring while you play the melody on the B string. The melody is quite repetitive and easy to play and ends with a basic arpeggio in the same position.
8. The Unforgiven – Metallica
This great ballad of the thrash metal kings, “Metallica,” has a perfect intro solo for beginners, as it features a slow tempo, many fundamental techniques, easy finger positions, and a cool melodic approach. Hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, vibratos, and double-stops are the techniques you will use.
Rhythmically it is a very easy solo, and the whole solo is played on only 3 strings. Mostly, the melody is on the G string with occasional transitions to B and D strings.
9. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Guns N’ Roses
The “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” cover of Guns N’ Roses offers a great Slash-style solo for beginner guitarists. By Slash-style, I mean many bends, vibratos, and a highly melodic approach. The solo is quite easy to play, but you have to practice the bending technique to get it right.
The tempo is moderately slow, giving you time to find the next note. You will use pull-offs and bends as well as vibratos excessively, which is great for improving your guitar skills. Add plenty of overdrive to your tone for this one to increase the sustain of the notes.
10. Fix You – Coldplay
One of the easiest guitar solos in music history is featured in the romantic song “Fix You” by Coldplay. The whole solo is played with straightforward downstrokes on double stops, and most of the solo is made of repetitions.
You play the 5th fret on the B string along with an open high E string before sliding to the 12th fret on the B string. After 3 repetitions, you go to the 4th fret instead of the 12th. Let the high E string ring in each stroke, and that’s it.
11. Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
Another Metallica classic, “Nothing Else Matters” is one of the mellower songs of the thrash metal giants and has a great solo for beginners. The solo is highly melodic and straightforward. Instead of Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield plays the solo, highlighting its simplicity.
With its moderate tempo and straightforward structure with single notes melodies, nice bends, and some double-stops, as well as plenty of distortion, it makes you feel like a rock god without challenging your playing skills to the limits.
12. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
The most famous Guns N’ Roses song, “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” is a beginner-favorite tune with its amazing intro melody, great interludes, and killer solo with a highly melodic design consisting of Slash-style bends and vibratos.
The solo may be a bit challenging for total beginners, as it uses different positions and techniques like bends, legatos, and vibratos. But, it is a straightforward solo with a medium tempo, basic rhythm, and single-note melodies. So, if you have a bit of experience with these techniques, you can play it pretty easily.
The romantic song from Chris Isaak, “Wicked Game,” starts with a short yet great clean guitar solo with slow-releasing bends and nice single-note melodies. The solo has a slow tempo, giving you time to adjust your fingers, and the whole solo is played in the same position, making it even easier.
The only thing to be aware of with the solo is the string skipping technique, as there are many transitions between notes on the B and G strings. So, it is also a great practice for the picking hand.
14. Paint It Black – The Rolling Stones
Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones is famous for his basic yet impressive guitar playing, which is perfectly reflected in the solo of the iconic song “Paint It Black.” The short solo uses only two strings, the B and high E strings, with single notes and great embellishments like slides and legatos.
It is quite easy to solo to play and is great practice for the fretting hand, thanks to the hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides. Plus, the whole solo is played in the same position, making it even more straightforward.
15. Champagne Supernova – Oasis
“Champagne Supernova” from the English rock band Oasis is another beginner-friendly song with a short yet great-sounding solo. The solo consists of a lick played three times and a bend, and a great walk with hammer-ons. The tempo is convenient, and the fingering positions are quite comfortable, making the solo pretty simple.
You will use only 3 strings and 3 fingers to play the solo, but with the bends and the pentatonic walk, you will be playing a rock-solid cool solo.
16. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
The psychedelic rock legends Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” offers a beautiful acoustic guitar solo for beginners. The solo comes in the intro and is quite short and melodic, with many fundamental techniques. You will use hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, and double stops at a slow tempo.
The solo is played in the first position and with a slow tempo, making it perfect for beginners. It is a great solo to play on an acoustic guitar, but you can also play it on an electric guitar, which is quite easier as the bends will be easier on an electric guitar.
17. The Man Who Sold The World – Nirvana
Nirvana’s David Bowie cover, “The Man Who Sold The World,” is one of the rare covers that are as good as or even better than the original version. The solo played by Kurt Cobain at the end of the song is super easy, as all the notes are on the G string.
You will use many slides and vibrato along with a rhythmic picking pattern. It is a highly fun solo to play and is great for getting more comfortable on the fretboard.
18. Afraid to Shoot Strangers – Iron Maiden
While the heavy metal giants Iron Maiden are known for their high-gain, high-speed, complex heavy metal solos, however, the intro solo of “Afraid To Shoot Strangers” is different. It is a clean solo with single-note melodies, a mid-low tempo, and a melodic approach with a basic structure.
You will need B, G, and D strings, many slides, and some hammer-ons and pull-offs to play the whole solo. All the notes are in the pentatonic minor scale and the same position, giving your fretting hand an easy time.
19. We’re Not Gonna Take it – Twisted Sister
“We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister has a very cool electric guitar solo, which mainly replicates the vocal lines with some great embellishments. The unique part of the solo is that the single-note melodies are quite easy to play, but you have the whammy bar actions, making the solo sound quite impressive.
It is a pretty easy solo with a moderate tempo, straightforward single-note melodies, and some whammy bar action added at the end of the phrases. First, try to learn the solo without the whammy bar actions. When you are comfortable, you can start making those cool sounds with the tremolo bar.
20. Love Her Madly – The Doors
Another super beginner-friendly solo is in the song “Love Her Madly” by the legendary blues rock band The Doors. It is a very smooth solo with basic phrasing. You will be string skipping between the high E and B strings in the same position and use some double stops to make things interesting.
You only need 3 fingers and 5 notes to play the solo. It is an absolutely easy one, which can be a perfect first solo for a beginner.
Playing some of the iconic solos not only gets you more motivated, making you feel like a rock god, but it also helps significantly improve your guitar technique. All the solos use some of the fundamental techniques like alternate picking, string skipping, bends, vibratos, slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs, which are great practices for your guitar journey.