Easy Guitar Riffs for Beginners

In this lesson you can get to grips with your very first set of guitar riffs. Although these iconic lead lines are simple to play, they all sound really impressive and will help you get used to moving more freely around the fretboard.

Check out the video below and scroll down for the full guitar tabs of each song!

The Rolling Stones - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

This song captured the attention of the world when it was released thanks to the awesome guitar tone used on this legendary riff. 

It's really simple to play because it only uses one string on the guitar. It starts off on the second fret and moves up to the fourth and fifth frets before walking back down from where it began.

This riff always sounds impressive - check out the full guitar tab for The Rolling Stones - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction here:

Satisfaction Tab

Ocean Colour Scene - The Riverboat Song

This is another straighforward riff, but it uses a funky rhythm that you may have to practice to get the hang of.

It uses both the E and A strings, so learning this riff and perfecting the timing will allow you to improve the fluidity of your guitar playing.

The rest of the song is based on a 12 bar blues pattern - so you can move the riff up to the 12th fret of the E string or down to the A string and play the second section too.

Watch the video above for a closer look at how the riff moves around the fretboard, and follow the below guitar tab to learn this classic.

Riverboat Tab

T-Rex - 20th Century Boy

This riff incorporates a chord as well as some different single notes, so it will help you to improve with switching between them as you play.

It's once again important to listen to the rhythm of this riff in order to make it sound right.

Follow the guitar tabs below to help you figure it out:

20th Century Boy Tab

Ready to move on? Hit Next to find out how some common beginner mistakes might be holding you back - and then work your way past them with our range of cool warm-ups and practice techniques!

If you're still working on your chords and riffs, go Back to see your Essential and Easy Chords.