20 Easy Metal Songs on Guitar

Metal is not the easiest genre to play on guitar, but there are plenty of songs that may be considered entry-level and simple to learn for a beginner on guitar.

Metal music is defined by its complex structure as well as sometimes having a very fast tempo. It may be tough for someone to believe that there are simple metal guitar songs that even a beginner can learn.

Going forward, I’m going to share a list of 20 easy metal songs on guitar ranging from somewhat soft to more hardcore styles but, nevertheless, are suited and considered easy for a beginner to learn.

1. Metallica – One

Starting off the list with one of the pioneers of metal music – Metallica. Metallica’s song “One” was released in 1988. It was not their first single, but it was the song that made them stars without a doubt.

The song depicts the novel and movie “Johnny Got His Gun,” written by Dalton Trumbo. The lyrics were inspired by a letter that Trumbo wrote to the mother of a soldier who lost his sight, speech, and hearing in combat – basically all of his limbs.

The guitar in this song is considered entry-level and easy to play, which is why it’s a great song to start with (at least the first half of it!).

2. Avenged Sevenfold – This Means War

Avenged Sevenfold’s song “This Means War” was released as part of the album Hail To The King. The song “This Means War” is a slow-paced metal song with a beginner-level guitar which makes this song ideal to pick up and learn when starting.

Despite the controversy it caused, with some people claiming that it was nearly identical to Metallica’s “Sad but True,” the song makes it on the list because it is easy and understandable to play on guitar.

3. Motörhead – Ace Of Spades

Coming in at #3 on the list is “Ace Of Spades” by Motörhead. Motörhead is a heavy metal band that formed in London, England in 1975. The album released in 1980, Ace of Spades is one of their most famous albums.

The song “Ace Of Spades” was written by the lead singer and bassist Lemmy Kilmister. You might remember this song because it plays during the end credits for Metalocalypse, but it is also just a great song to play for anyone interested in learning.

Make sure you listen closely while playing so that you can pick apart the notes and riffs Lemmy uses in his playing.

4. Judas Priest – You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’

Judas Priest’s song “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” was released in 1982, and it would go on to become the band’s highest-charting single. It also found a place in many metalheads’ hearts as one of their favorite songs from Priest.

The guitar is pretty easy to master, the intro riff basically consists of two parts. First, the “intro” part which is chord-based, then the actual main riff which is all on one string – just play around, and surely you will master it in no time.

5. Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love

“Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin was released in November 1969 as part of the band’s second album Led Zeppelin II.

This song, written by guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant for an album that was to be recorded with producer/keyboard player Rick Wakeman of Yes, evolved into one of Led Zeppelin’s most enduring anthems.

Another entry-level guitar riff that any beginner can take up with ease and will surely be glad to add to their arsenal.

6. System Of A Down – Aerials

It’s tough to make a metal list without mentioning System Of A Down. Their song “Aerials” was released on their album Toxicity in 2001 and was co-written by Daron Malakian, Shavo Odadjian, and Serj Tankian.

Lyrically, it is a criticism of society not using its own resources to help the poor. Furthermore, the song has been used as an anti-war anthem.

An incredibly fun song to learn and is likely to be a fan favorite for many on the guitar.

7. Black Sabbath – Iron Man

Black Sabbath’s song “Iron Man” is an all-time classic. The song was released on Paranoid, the biggest-selling album of the band, in 1970.

The lyrics to Iron Man are credited to bassist Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi. The song is used by almost every guitar teacher out there as a starting point for novice guitarists. The simple guitar riff of this song is even one of the first songs I learned on the guitar.

8. Alice In Chains – Rooster

Alice In Chains is a name that is well-known throughout the world. Their song “Rooster” was released as a single in 1992 on their second album Dirt and was used as the theme song for the movie “Singles”.

The song’s title is a reference to the nickname of Jerry Cantrell’s father.

The song on guitar is simple but is popular with beginner guitarists. Any beginner can pick up the tab and work on it until they get it down.

9. Metallica – For Whom The Bell Tolls

Metallica makes the list again, this time with their song “For Whom The Bell Tolls”. The song was released in 1984 on the album “Ride The Lightning” and has been a staple of their live performances since.

The story is from Ernest Hemingway’s novel of the same name, which also inspired a film adaptation starring Ingrid Bergman.

The guitar is quite interesting to learn and master, with the main riff composed of sixteenth notes. The song is fairly easy to pick up on guitar, but difficult to master. You can play it in standard tuning or use drop D tuning- either one works fine!

10. TOOL – Sober

Halfway through the list is TOOL. Their song “Sober” was released in 1993 as part of their debut album Undertow. The song is known for its unique bass line, however, the guitar features an awesome riff as well.

It’s an incredibly easy song to master on the guitar. “Sober” is a fan favorite and proved that TOOL was not just another grunge band, but one of the most creative bands out there, with their progressive rock-influenced music.

11. Black Sabbath – Paranoid

Joining the list again is Black Sabbath, this time with their song “Paranoid”. Another entry-level guitar song learned by many, “Paranoid” was released in 1970 on their second album of the same name.

The heavy, crunchy guitar riff in this song is part of classic rock history. As is always the case with Sabbath songs, this one features a ton of distortion and is in E minor. Surely every beginner will have an easy time mastering this piece and a good classic to add to their arsenal.

12. TOOL – Lateralus

No surprise here, TOOL makes the list again. Their song “Lateralus” was released on their album of the same name in 2002. With its unique time signatures, the song became an instant classic.

The guitar in the song is tuned to Open G#, with the lower D string dropped down to a Db. The song features numerous guitar solos which are technically very impressive. The main riff is easy to master, but you also have to listen intently to grab each chord.

13. Dio – Holy Diver

“Holy Diver” by Dio is an incredibly recognizable song by almost anyone. The song was released in 1983 to a starving metal scene. The song is a mixture of very different sounds, from Dio’s vocals over Ronnie James Dio and Vivian Campbell’s guitar work to Vinnie Appice’s fast-paced drumming.

These sounds combined to make something extraordinary for that time. The simple guitar riff is what makes the song. It’s an incredibly simple riff but it is something that everyone can recognize.

An easy piece to master, every beginner will be glad to take up this song and add it to their growing repertoire.

14. AC/DC – Jailbreak

Surely this list won’t unfold without the legendary AC/DC. Their song “Jailbreak” was released in 1976 and once it came out it immediately became a big hit. It was written by Bon Scott and Angus Young when they were in their early 20s.

The main guitar riff in the song is easy to play. If you’re a newer player, you’ll have this song down in no time.

15. Pantera – Walk

No metal list would be complete without Pantera. Pantera’s song “Walk” was released under the album Vulgar Display of Power and was certified platinum by the RIAA. “Walk” is a song that explores dark emotions such as pain and anger, but also has a groove metal sound with powerful vocals.

The song’s slow tempo and the simple guitar riff are what make this a song that metalheads love. It’s really easy to learn to play this song on guitar, hence why it makes the list.

16. Skid Row – Monkey Business

A newcomer on this list, but not on the metal scene is Skid Row with their song “Monkey Business”. The song was released on their 1991 album “Slave to the Grind”, which was recorded in 1990.

The guitar riff is considered entry-level and fairly easy to play. Every beginner will find the riff easy to master as it’s pretty simplistic. One day of practice would be more than enough in this situation so have at it.

17. Megadeth – Symphony Of Destruction

Joining the legendary lineup on this list is none other than Megadeth. Their song “Symphony Of Destruction” was released in 1992 for the album titled Countdown To Extinction (which was released on 6th July 1992).

The song was written by Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson. With a moderate tempo and simple guitar riff, this song is suitable for any beginner guitar player. It also has a little bit of funk in it, making it one of the best Megadeth songs.

18. Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train

This time without the band, Ozzy Osbourne makes the list with his song “Crazy Train”.

The song was released in 1980 but wasn’t written by Ozzy, it was actually Bob Daisley and Randy Rhoads who wrote the song. The two recorded the song with Ozzy but were forced to leave Black Sabbath after receiving legal threats from Geezer Butler over writing credits.

Nevertheless, the guitar in this song is pretty easy and solidifies a spot as a great beginner song.

19. System Of A Down – Lonely Day

Two-time nominees on the list are System Of A Down. This time with their song “Lonely Day” which was released in 2006 as part of their album Hypnotize. The song failed to make it as big as their previous hit, “B.Y.O.B.”, but managed to score high on both Digital and Mainstream Rock charts in Australia after its release.

With a simple and slow tempo, with an extremely easy guitar riff, the song is a favorite among many metal fans and beginner guitarists.

20. Avenged Sevenfold – Unholy Confessions

Almost starting the list, now ending it is Avenged Sevenfold again. Their song “Unholy Confessions” was released in 2004, about the same time as their album “City Of Evil.” But it wasn’t until 2009 when they released their music video to this track.

The song has a slow tempo that is accompanied by a cool guitar riff that is easy to learn. Beginner guitarists will no doubt enjoy learning this song.

Summary

Metal music is a common genre of music that explores emotions such as anger and sadness. It was initially criticized by mainstream society, but with time has been accepted even in countries where it initially wasn’t.

This list of metal songs is suitable for entry-level guitar players. The songs are not only easy to play but are very catchy as well. The list of metal songs above features some of the greatest metal songs ever made which every beginner guitarist will enjoy learning.

Starting an instrument without helpful guidelines and lists can be very frustrating and discouraging so hopefully, this list helps you get started.

Milan Trajkovikj is a touring and recording bass guitarist who loves to share his passion for all things music.

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