25 Best Guitar Songs of All Time (With Tabs + Videos)

Best Guitar Songs of All Time

In the search for the best guitar songs of all time, one has to ask what makes a guitar song great. Is it the tune, the solo, the core riffs, or a combination of everything?

While people may disagree with one another about this matter, some guitar songs have gathered more positive opinions than others.

Whether you’re a beginner wanting to learn a new guitar song or a professional looking for a challenge, the following list is for you. This article discusses 25 of the best guitar songs ever and how difficult some of them can be to play on a guitar. So, take a look.

1. “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin

This song may be one of the best guitar songs of all time. Playing it, you can showcase your ability to go from a slow-tempo low acoustic tune to the up-tempo hard rock part.

Although the introduction and the final power chord riffs are somewhat easy to perform, some parts in the middle can be a little challenging. Yet, with a bit of singing and tons of enthusiasm, you can get through the solo part one way or another.

Genre Progressive Rock, Folk Rock, Hard Rock
Difficulty Beginner, Advanced Beginner
ChordsAm, Eaug/G#, C/G, D/F#, F, G/B, C, D, G, Dsus4
Type of GuitarElectric & Acoustic
TabsStairway to Heaven Tabs

2. “Hotel California” by Eagles

The haunting acoustics at the beginning of this song make one of the most iconic guitar intros. Though it needs a bit of practice to master the finger-picking technique, this specific song intro usually appeals to most beginners.

As for the dual guitar solo at the end of the song, music fans rate it as one of the greatest song conclusions anybody gets to hear. So, they’re best left for the more intermediate players to explore.

Genre Pop Rock, Country Rock, Soft Rock
Difficulty Beginner, Advanced Beginner
ChordsAm, E, G, D, F, C, Dm
Type of GuitarElectric & Acoustic
TabsHotel California Tabs

3. “Layla” by Derek and the Dominos

Not only is the song “Layla” great for its strong lyrics, but it also contains captivating guitar riffs. Clapton fans fell in love with this song when he played it alongside the band just as equally as when he played it alone later on.

No matter what version you’re listening to, both electric and acoustic riffs sound amazing.

As for the slide guitar solo performed by Duane Allman, it reached an advanced ranking in many lists stating the greatest guitar solo of all time.

Genre Rock, Rock Blues
Difficulty Advanced Beginner, Intermediate
ChordsG#m7, D#m, G, A, B, C#m, F#, E
Type of GuitarElectric (Original Version)
TabsLayla Tabs

4. “Blackbird” by the Beatles

Blackbird is one of the favorite songs for beginners to learn due to its charming fingerpicking patterns. Some parts take time and practice to master more than others, but in the end, it’s an enjoyable piece to play.

As great as the songwriting skill of the Beatles was, it somehow overshadowed their extraordinary musical skills. However, this song is a tremendous example of Paul McCartney’s amazing talent playing the acoustic guitar.

No doubt “Blackbird” is one of the most covered guitar songs out there. In fact, it was covered by many musicians, including Jesse McCartney, Elliott Smith, and Eddie Vedder.

Genre Folk
Difficulty Advanced Beginner, Intermediate
ChordsA, C, D, F, G, Dm, Em, Am
Type of GuitarAcoustic
TabsBlackbird Tabs

5. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

Bohemian Rhapsody has all the elements that make a song great. Yet, it’s the guitar solo that matters the most to music enthusiasts.

Allegedly, the solo played by Brian May in this song is the best guitar solo in music history. Even after 40 years, the song remains as legendary as ever.

Although most of the song isn’t hard to master, the rock section can be challenging for some.

Genre Progressive Rock, Hard Rock, Progressive Pop, Art Rock
Difficulty Intermediate
ChordsA, Adim, G#, G#dim, G#m, B, A#, A#6, A#7, A#11, A#, Baug, A#m, Bm, C7, C7b9, C, Cm, Cm7, C#dim, D, C#, E, D#, D#o, F, F7, Fm, Fm7, F#dim, G, G7, F#, F#7, Gm, Gm7
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsBohemian Rhapsody Tabs

6. “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix

In this song, Jimi Hendrix perfected the guitar solo and presented some distinctive riffs as well. Some music fans even claim that “Purple Haze” is Hendirx’s best guitar track utilizing his signature Hendrix chord.

The song can be a bit of a challenge to perform on the electric guitar. That’s because of how quickly the song’s melody changes and how intricate keeping up with it might be. Yet, aside from some tricky chords, the song is actually quite fun to play.

Genre Psychedelic Rock, Hard Rock
Difficulty Advanced Beginner
ChordsBb, E7#9, G, A, E, B
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsPurple Haze Tabs

7. “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry

When you think of Chuck Berry, you can’t help but hear the distinctive guitar intro of his song “Johnny B. Goode” inside your head. 

Many people don’t realize this song was originally copied from Louis Jordan’s song “Ain’t That Just Like a Woman” released in 1946.

However, Johnny B. Goode was the song that opened the way for the evolution of modern rock and roll. That’s especially with the remarkable added touches of Chuck Berry.

The song is a bit fast and hard to play at first, but once you pick up the pace, it shouldn’t be difficult to master.

Genre Rock and Roll
Difficulty Advanced Beginner, Intermediate
ChordsA, Asus4, D, E, E7, 
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsJohnny B. Goode Tabs

8. “Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix

Being recognized as Jimi Hendrix’s most soulful guitar song, “Little Wing” is quite special. In fact, no better song can demonstrate Hendrix’s guitar skills than this one. The melodies are dreamy, with mesmerizing guitar riffs that take you to another dimension.

As easy flowing as the music may seem, this song can be hard to master. Not only because of the finger-strumming acts but also due to the intricate techniques and quick chord changes.

Genre Rock, Psychedelic Soul
Difficulty Intermediate, Advanced
ChordsEm, G, Am, C, F, D, Bm
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsLittle Wing Tabs

9. “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd

The playability and memorability of this song’s guitar riffs have contributed to its popularity among guitar players. The intro is fantastic, and the whole song is incredibly fun to perform for your friends.

Despite being a bit tricky towards the beginning because of its rhythm, many advanced beginners tend to learn it. So, if you’re a beginner, it may be easier for you to start by practicing the chorus part.

Genre Progressive Rock, Pop
Difficulty Advanced Beginner, Intermediate
ChordsC, D, Am, G, Em, A
Type of GuitarElectric & Acoustic
TabsWish You Were Here Tabs

10. “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Not only is this song an amazing guitar track, but it’s also an incredible song that made a huge success for the band. Probably, the most iconic part of this song is the guitar lick that became the most popular riff after releasing the song.

That said, it can be challenging to master the smoothness of the song while playing it on the guitar. That’s because of some fast-paced sections and complicated chords that can be hard even for experienced musicians.

Genre Alternative Rock, Rock
Difficulty Advanced
ChordsE/B, B, C#m, G#m, A, E7M, F#m, B, Am, G, F
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsUnder the Bridge Tabs

11. “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits

The most distinguishable thing about the song “Sultans of Swing” at the time of its release was the guitar riffs.

Aside from the powerful lyrics telling the band’s story, the guitar solos in the middle catch everyone’s attention. Although the guitar riffs aren’t that hard to master, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to play the song as amazingly as Mark Knopfler does.

He has a unique playing style that may take an advanced guitar player quite some time to imitate.

Genre Pub Rock, Roots Rock‎, Blues Rock
Difficulty Advanced
ChordsDm, C, A#, A, F
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsSultans of Swing Tabs

12. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses

As one of Guns N’ Roses most popular songs, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” combines vulnerable love lyrics with incredible rock music. The song was a massive hit back in 1988 and still is a favorite to play by many guitarists.

Aside from some tricky parts, the song isn’t that challenging to play. After all, the more effort and technique you put into the performance, the closer to the original song you get.

Genre Hard Rock, Rock, Glam Metal
Difficulty Advanced Beginner
ChordsD, Cadd9, G, A, C
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsSweet Child O’ Mine Tabs

13. “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd

In this song, you can feel how emotionally expressive the guitar is. It starts with a slow tempo at the beginning focusing on the sedated theme. Then, the energy builds up, adding more high notes with multiple solo climaxes.

Nailing this particular song on the guitar mainly depends on how good your timing is. Thus, “Comfortably Numb” isn’t the easiest option for beginners to play.

Genre Progressive Rock, Pop
Difficulty Intermediate
ChordsBm, A, G, D, C, Em, Asus4
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsComfortably Numb Tabs

14. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” by Jimi Hendrix

This is another Jimi Hendrix song that played a huge part in the change of rock music. Jimi improvised this track on the spot as another take on the original song “Voodoo Chile,” and it’s taken the rock world by storm.

This song may not be as easy to play for beginners as other tracks. On the other hand, for intermediate guitarists used to playing blues solos, “Voodoo Child” shouldn’t pose much of a challenge.

Genre Psychedelic Rock, Blues Rock, Hard Rock
Difficulty Intermediate
ChordsBm/D, Aadd4/C#, E, G, A, C7, D7
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsVoodoo Child (Slight Return) Tabs

15. “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin

Though the song itself has nothing to do with its given title, it’s one of the greatest guitar songs. “Black Dog” contains some unpredictable rhythms making it quite hard to play for some guitarists.

Rumor has it that the band deliberately made the song complicated so that no other band is able to play a cover of it.

Genre Hard Rock, Blues Rock
Difficulty Intermediate, Advanced
ChordsA5, C5, A/G, G/E, D, D7, Dsus4, A
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsBlack Dog Tabs

16. “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

The original iconic guitar solo played by Allen Collins in “Free Bird” is something else. With the evolving band lineup, it transformed into a fantastic dual solo ending with the help of Steve Gaines.

Starting with a few mellow guitar riffs, “Free Bird” shouldn’t be challenging to play. Even when the song progresses near the end, the only major concern is how long the guitar solo is.

Genre Southern Rock, Hard Rock, Arena Rock
Difficulty Advanced Beginner
ChordsG, D, Em, F, C
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsFree Bird Tabs

17. “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple

Almost all musicians agree that no guitar riff in music history is more recognizable than the one featured in “Smoke on the Water.”

Many beginner guitarists practice and play this riff over and over for hours. Even those who don’t own a guitar must’ve air-guitared it at least once in their lives.

Despite becoming a huge cliche song to play on a guitar, “Smoke on the Water” is catchy, simple to learn, and super easy to play.

Genre Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Difficulty Beginner
ChordsE, G, A, F, G#, C, B
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsSmoke on the Water Tabs

18. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by the Beatles

As the title suggests, this song expresses how a guitar can reflect and convey someone’s emotions. Although George Harrison wrote this song, the memorable solo was played by his close friend Eric Clapton.

Originally, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” only contained acoustic guitars. However, after a few takes, the Beatles were able to create balance by incorporating some electric solos.

The song contains a lot of string bending, which is why it’s not a perfect track for beginners to try out.

Genre Hard Rock, Blues, Rock
Difficulty Advanced
ChordsAm, Am/G, Am/F#, F7M, E7sus4, E7, G, D, C#m, F#m, Bm, A
Type of GuitarElectric & Acoustic
TabsWhile My Guitar Gently Weeps Tabs

19. “Back in Black” by AC/DC

Another song sitting at the top of the most catchy guitar riffs list is AC/DC’s “Back in Black.” It’s an icon of what hard rock is supposed to sound like.

Most AC/DC songs are easy for beginners to play on the guitar. Yet, for “Back in Black,” the solo requires more experience to learn and master.

Genre Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Arena Rock
Difficulty Advanced Beginner, Intermediate
ChordsE, D, A, G#, A#, B, C, G
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsBack in Black Tabs

20. “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix (Originally by Bob Dylan)

There are only a few times in music history when the cover song bested the original version. Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower” is a representation of this case.

Listening to this song, you can definitely notice how Hendrix marvelously manipulated the rhythm. While the solo isn’t the most difficult to play, it requires some advanced techniques.

Genre Folk Rock, Classic Rock
Difficulty Intermediate, Advanced
ChordsCm, A#, G#
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsAll Along the Watchtower Tabs

21. “Pride and Joy” by Stevie Ray Vaughan

“Pride and Joy” is the perfect representation of Texas rock blues with an amazing guitar solo. It showcases how great of a guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan is. That’s why many people see it as Vaughan’s greatest track.

This song requires some time to master, as it contains some relatively hard muting techniques. However, it’s the best song for intermediate guitar players to sharpen their skills.

Genre Electric Blues, Blues Rock
Difficulty Intermediate, Advanced
ChordsE, E7, A, B7, A7
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsPride and Joy Tabs

22. “Eruption” by Van Halen

“Eruption” has inspired hundreds of people to learn how to play the guitar. This song is a mesmerizing display of Van Halen’s extraordinary technical guitar playing. That’s why it’s an aspiration for electric guitar players to master.

Consequently, “Eruption” isn’t an easy song for beginners to play. Containing some difficult fingerings and chords, it takes a bit of practice to master the song from start to finish.

Genre Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Difficulty Advanced
ChordsC#m, AM, F#dim, BM, EM, CM, Em7, DM, Am, A#dim, G#dim, Gm, Fm, Em, F#m7
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsEruption Tabs

23. “Cliffs of Dover” by Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson’s instrumental composition of “Cliffs of Dover” is extraordinary. For those who played Guitar Hero, this song should be quite familiar.

You might think that such a song took years to write, but it only took Eric Johnson a few minutes to write. It came to him like magic, or as he puts it, “a gift from the universe.”

Despite that, the song isn’t easy to play for beginners at all. In fact, it’s one of the most challenging guitar songs to learn, featuring complex guitar chords. That’s why this song is a test for guitarists’ advanced skills.

Genre Hard Rock, Instrumental Rock, Progressive Rock
Difficulty Advanced
ChordsG, C, D, Am, E7
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsCliffs of Dover Tabs

24. “More Than a Feeling” by Boston

Released in 1976, “More Than a Feeling” is one of the most memorable rock songs ever. Unlike the previous song, this one took years to write, and it’s a real masterpiece.

The good news is this song isn’t that difficult to play. It’s actually a great song to practice your strumming and picking techniques.

Genre Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Pop Rock
Difficulty Intermediate
ChordsDsus4, D, C, G, Em, D#, E, A, B, Bm, F#
Type of GuitarElectric & Acoustic
TabsMore Than a Feeling Tabs

25. “Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile)” by Carlos Santana

This instrumental song is one of Santana’s most memorable and recognizable compositions. Even though it contains no lyrics, “Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile)” is a mesmerizing track.

The song’s melody is catchy, which makes it a top choice for beginners. 

Genre Classic Rock, Instrumental Rock
Difficulty Beginner
ChordsBb7sus4, Bb7, Ebmaj7, A7b5, Abmaj7, G7sus4, G7, Cm7, Cmaj7, Fm7, Fm9/Bb
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsEuropa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile) Tabs

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