If you are an eager guitar player and want to learn easy rock songs on your way to stardom, the Rolling Stones are a great band to start with. They were the original rock and rollers of their time, pioneering a new sound that took over the blues and drove the music industry into a new and exciting era.
Known to many as the greatest rock and roll band in the entire world, the Rolling Stones have a superb catalog of tracks that have been at the top of the charts all over the world. At the heart of the band are Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, who teamed up to blend their recognizable style into true music gold.
We’ve hand-selected some of the best Rolling Stones songs that are suitable for beginner guitar players. You can enjoy playing these songs as well as build on your basic skill levels on the instrument. Let’s get started.
1. Wild Horses
Featured on the 1971 album titled Sticky Fingers, Wild Horses is a brilliant song to learn because it allows you to build up a story arc while you’re playing. There are four different sections to the song and each one comes with its own chord progression. Most of the chords used in the song are open which makes it easier for a beginner player.
Even though there are many open chords included in this track, there are also some barre chords thrown in as well. Barre chords are simple once you learn how to do them, it’s just mastering that technique, to begin with. They’re a fun but challenging aspect of learning the guitar.
2. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
The guitar licks featured in this Rolling Stones classic actually use R&B horn sounds. There are also some heavy influences from blues rhythm guitar which are all good genres for a beginner to broaden their skill set. The song is a brilliant example of how blues and rock and roll can cross over, and it’s something that the Stones did very often.
You can break this song down into easy strumming patterns for beginners to pick things up a bit quicker. Open chords can also be used, although we would suggest using the proper versions as this will make you a better all-around guitarist.
Once you’ve mastered the overall feeling of the song you can jump head first into mastering the epic riffs featured on the track. These parts will be for more experienced players so make sure you are at the right level before attempting them.
3. You Can’t Always Get What You Want
From the 1969 album called Let It Bleed, this epic tune demonstrates another mash-up from the Rolling Stones which works incredibly well. You Can’t Always Get What You Want fuses together gospel, blues, country and classic anthem rock and roll to make a great hit.
To make it easier for a beginner, you can play through the song using just basic chord progressions. Once you’ve played along with the track for a while like this, you can look deeper into the song to get a deeper understanding of the technical guitar playing. There are licks and rhythms you will want to master so that you can get the full feeling of the song when you play.
4. Gimme Shelter
Another song from the Let It Bleed album and the opening track from it is Gimme Shelter. This is considered to be one of the greatest songs of all time by rock critics. The piece was penned to represent the tension in those times and you will see that there is an urgent and frenetic feel to the overall sound. The track also features guest vocals by Merry Clayton, a gospel and soul singer which adds to the overall greatness of the song.
You will find that Gimme Shelter starts off with an iconic intro before it heads into hypnotic rock riffs for the verses. You’ll get a great solo in this track too which will be a good challenge for a guitarist with some experience in playing Stones songs.
5. Paint It Black
Paint It Black is probably one of the most well known songs from the band and it was featured on their 1966 album titled Aftermath. It was one of the first number one hits they managed to get in the United States. It was also one of the first outings for Jagger and Richards as a songwriting team who would become the driving force behind the band.
In the background, you will notice a thumping drum beat which adds to the overall tense atmosphere of the songs. There are various chord progressions throughout the track and a sitar even comes in at one point. The darker mood of the song is encapsulated by the fact that it was written in the E minor key. You can even try out the sitar part to get the full range of guitar sounds used within the song if you want to go all in.
It’s not only rock fans that can appreciate the work of the Rolling Stones. Their music spanned so many genres and has been heard by so many people that it’s become iconic around the world. We’ve tried to include the easy songs we think you’d enjoy most in this list but feel free to add in any we’ve left out in the comments below. As ever, take your learning at your own pace and learn the basics first. This gives you a good starting level to become a great guitarist.
What is the easiest Rolling Stones song to learn on guitar?
We’ve included all of the easiest Rolling Stones songs you can learn on your guitar in our list above. These are the ones that won’t cause too much of a challenge for beginners when they are played at the most basic level.
What are the most beautiful songs to play on guitar?
The Stones did have some really beautiful songs that can be played on the guitar. It all depends on what your outlook of beauty is. A great guitar riff played well can be just as beautiful as a slow symphony.