25 Easy Rock Folk Songs on Guitar (With Tabs + Videos

Rock Folk Guitar Songs

Learning to play a musical instrument is one of the sweetest pleasures of life—especially if it’s a guitar!

It provides a sense of accomplishment while simultaneously allowing you to express yourself beautifully. 

Sadly, though, playing the guitar isn’t that easy and can even be overwhelming if you don’t start off right.

So, to make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of 25 easy rock/folk songs on guitar that you can learn quickly.

What are you waiting for? Bring your guitar, and let’s get to jamming!

“Blackbird” by The Beatles

In case you haven’t heard of them, the Beatles were once one of the most famous bands—worldwide.

Their style was unique, and they had a “soulful” sound that still resonates with people today.

The Beatles released their song “Blackbird” in 1968, and it reached stardom almost immediately due to the extraordinary guitar work of Paul McCartney. 

Paul expressed how he was affected by music, Bach’s Bourée’s to be precise, and the struggle that people of color go through.

It’s a beautiful song to learn, but you’ll need to be a little more than a freshman with the guitar, as there are some tricky parts.

Genre Folk
Difficulty Intermediate
Type of GuitarAcoustic 
TabsBlackbird Tabs

“Hotel California” by Eagles

Easily one of the most recognizable songs of all time, Hotel California is the lead single of an eponymous album for the Eagles.

One of the reasons this song is so well known is the slow guitar intro at the beginning and the solo near the end. Both melodies are very distinctive, making them a great learning adventure.

The song accumulated so much success at the time that it won a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1977.

Luckily for you, most guitar players will tell you that Hotel California is actually relatively easy to play.

However, the solo at the end is where it gets tricky. This is why Hotel California lands in the intermediate category instead of the beginner.

Genre Rock
Difficulty Intermediate
Type of GuitarAcoustic
TabsHotel California Tabs

“Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin

“No Stairway, Denied!”

As odd as it may sound, you’ll probably hear this sentence if you try to play Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin in a guitar store. 

Why, you might wonder? Well, allow us to share some guitar lore with you!

In November 1971, Led Zeppelin released their masterpiece, Stairway to Heaven, to the world. The song was so successful that people could recognize it with just the first few strings!

What’s more, it was super easy to play, that beginners everywhere would rush to guitar stores and try it out there.

This led to many jokes, such as the “No Stairway, Denied!” in the comedy Wayne’s World. After that, the riff in Stairway to Heaven was dubbed the forbidden riff. 

Genre Folk rock/Hard rock/Progressive rock
Difficulty Beginner
Type of GuitarAcoustic/Electric
TabsStairway to Heaven Tabs

“Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

The harmony between the guitar and the heavy emotions in Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers sets this song apart from many others.

The lead vocalist, Anthony Kiedis, wrote these lyrics while going through a rather challenging period. At that time, he was suffering from loneliness and struggling to stay clean from drugs. 

The song felt a bit personal or raw to the vocalist, and he almost didn’t share it with his band. Thankfully for us, though, he did, and they released it in 1992.

Their guitarist, John Frusciante, drew inspiration for the intro from Jimi Hendrix’s Little Wing, which gave the song a soft, dreamy feel.

Genre Alternative rock/Indie rock
Difficulty Beginner
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsUnder the Bridge Tabs

“Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd

When there’s a discussion about rock, Pink Floyd is one of the first mentioned band names. After all, they were the masterminds behind psychedelic rock and progressive rock.

Their songs always had a story and a meaning behind them that often came with a political bite. One of those songs is “Wish You Were Here.”

It starts with a radio switching between channels and finally settles on the song that begins grainy and then gets thrown into sharp relief.

Wish You Were Here subtly deals with a heavy theme—mental instability and addiction—and lets the simple guitar notes do the talking.

Genre Progressive rock
Difficulty Beginner
Type of GuitarDreadnought acoustic
TabsWish You Were Here Tabs

“Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Öyster Cult

For almost 20 weeks, Don’t Fear the Reaper claimed great spots on the Billboard Hot 100. As the title suggested, the band tells its listeners not to fear the (death) reaper. 

Love is beautiful and eternal, but eventually, the reaper claims all. 

To get this message across, the Blue Öyster Cult graced our ears with a brutal riff and a sharp solo at the end that ensured the song stood the test of time.

As a result, Don’t Fear the Reaper is strictly for experienced players. 

Genre Soft rock/Psychedelic rock/Hard rock
Difficulty Advanced
Type of GuitarElectric/ Jazz electric
TabsDon’t Fear the Reaper Tabs

“Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton

Slow and easy, that’s how a fresh guitarist would describe Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton. 

But the few challenging chord changes require nimble fingers that not many rookies have yet acquired.

Also, the slow tempo and emotional lyrics can make it hard to maintain the right rhythm and produce the right tone. There’s a big chance this is why it got Eric several Grammy Awards!

He wrote this song for his son, who died in an accident at the tender age of three. So, naturally, this makes each note and passage more critical to perfect.

Genre Soft rock
Difficulty Intermediate
Type of GuitarClassical
TabsTears in Heaven Tabs

“More Than Words” by Extreme

Extreme called this song their own “blessing and curse.” 

You see, the band deviated from its usual funky metal style and ventured into new territories with More Than Words.” 

To say their risk paid off would be an understatement. The song was a great success and, to their annoyance, they had to play it at every show! 

The song is essentially a ballad, describing a man’s need to hear more than the words “I love you” to feel love. 

As for the guitar, Nuno Bettencourt did a great job of keeping the tune light while still making it engaging. That’s why this song is a bit tough on rookies.

Genre Acoustic rock/Soft rock
Difficulty Intermediate
Type of GuitarAcoustic 
TabsMore Than Words Tabs

“Karma Police” by Radiohead

Have you ever sat with your friends and ended up creating an inside joke that lasted for years between you? 

If you have, then there’s one thing in common between you and Radiohead!

Karma Police was the result of an inside joke between the band members about calling the karma police when someone did something bad.

Later on, the joke snowballed into the famous song we know today, which discusses working for large companies. 

The slow acoustic tunes and the chord progression make it an easy song for beginners to learn.

Genre Alternative rock/Indie
Difficulty Beginner
Type of GuitarAcoustic
TabsKarma Police Tabs

“Layla” (Unplugged Version) by Eric Clapton

Again, Eric Clapton amazed the world when he played Layal in his MTV Unplugged performance in 1992. 

His performance in this concert was so good that when he released the unplugged album, it became one of the best-selling live albums!

As for the song, it’s actually more manageable in the acoustic version than the original one. Yet, somehow, it’s still not that easy to play, and you’ll need a bit of experience and knowledge before trying it.

Genre Rock
Difficulty Intermediate
Type of GuitarAcoustic
TabsLayla Tabs

“Classical Gas” by Mason Williams

With no words in his song, Mason Williams wanted to fuel his listeners with a melody so unique it didn’t need lyrics. Luckily for him, he managed to accomplish just that.

You see, Mason meant to inspire the masses and bring the classical guitar back to the forefront of music.

The song reached the top 10 on the US Easy Listening chart and almost hit number one if it weren’t for a piece by The Doors at the time.

Regardless, its beauty was unique, and various TV programs across the US used it as their opening theme.

Genre Baroque pop
Difficulty Advanced
Type of GuitarClassical
TabsClassical Gas Tabs

“The Wind Cries Mary” by Jimi Hendrix

The stories and accounts behind Jimi Hendrix’s The Wind Cries Mary vary and are often vague. One story says he wrote this song for his then-girlfriend, Kathy Mary Etchingham, after an argument.

According to Kathy, a line in the song alludes to a similar situation that happened between them, where she threw dishes in a fit of rage.

Another story claims that this “Mary” could be someone else, possibly Jimi’s ex, Mary Washington.

Nonetheless, if there’s one thing we can all agree on is that no matter who Mary is or was, The Wine Cries Mary is iconic.

The song isn’t hard to play, but it can be challenging if you’re just starting out.

Genre Classic rock
Difficulty Intermediate
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsThe Wind Cries Mary Tabs

“Drive” by Incubus

The winner of 2001’s Billboard Award for Modern Rock Song of the Year, Drive by Incubus is a great song to try out.

The song is basically about how fear acts as fuel for most of the people out there and how it “drives” us. Sadly, anxiety can sometimes rule over our other senses, and we abide by it.

So, Incubus decided to show us, in beautiful lyrics and powerful riffs, how life could be if that controlling fear weren’t there.

If you want to try a tough song, this is your go-to choice. It teeters the line between easy and challenging.

Genre Alternative rock/Classic rock
Difficulty Intermediate
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsDrive Tabs

“Everlong” (Acoustic Version) by Foo Fighters

The original Everlong song is widely regarded as one of the best songs by the Foo Fighters. 

The band released it in 1997, and more than 20 years later, people still enjoy it and give it high rankings.

Everlong also got a lot of attention in early 2022 because of the unfortunate death of one of the band members.

It’s not as famous as other songs on this list and only hit the billboard in 2022, but it’s an easy song to try out if you’re still new to the guitar world. 

Genre Hard rock/Alternative rock/ Post-grunge
Difficulty Beginner
Type of GuitarAcoustic/Electric
TabsEverlong Tabs

“Over the Hills and Far Away” by Led Zeppelin

Though not as iconic as their forbidden riff, Over the Hills and Far Away is still an incredible song.

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant co-wrote it during a stay in the middle of the Welsh countryside in a small cottage.

The song was initially titled Many, Many Times, but they changed it later on—the new name fits more with the place of origin if you ask us!

The song includes many dynamics and even transitions from acoustic to electric guitar! Again, though it’s not as famous as Stairway to Heaven, it’s unfair to call this song anything but exciting.  

Genre Rock
Difficulty Beginner 
Type of GuitarAcoustic/Electric
TabsOver the Hills and Far Away Tabs

“Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce

Back in 1973, Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle was released to the public, propelling his memory into fame. Jim wrote this song just after his wife, Ingrid, told him she was having their child.

This was in 1970. The song wasn’t released immediately and only appeared almost two years later. The harmony between his voice, hope, desperation, and guitar make this one of the most unique ones.

His wishes to save memories and bottle time genuinely shine through the tunes. After he died in 1973, the song got a lot of attention, and the radio played it frequently.

Because of what this song tries to express, a guitar rookie might have trouble playing. You’ll need to be decent with the guitar to try it.

Genre Acoustic rock/Psychedelic folk
Difficulty Intermediate
Type of GuitarAcoustic
TabsTime in a Bottle Tabs

“Samba Pa Ti” by Santana

If you’ve never heard Latin rock before, it’s time that you do—your ears will thank you! Samba Pa Ti is a purely instrumental song that depends on its tunes to capture the listener.

Carlos Santana first captures the spirit of the song after hearing a drunken jazz saxophonist playing just outside his apartment. 

He then presented it to the group, and it became one of their most popular songs. Many great artists, like Jose Feliciano, covered the song and even added their own twist.

Genre Blues/Latin rock
Difficulty Beginner
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsSamba Pa Ti Tabs

“Europa” by Santana

Another instrumental track by Santana that we have here is Europa. This song managed to top the Spanish Singles Chart in 1976 and became one of the band’s most loved tracks.

Carlos Santana is also the writer behind this one. He created it just after witnessing a friend suffer a bad trip from a psychedelic.

There are some rumors, though, that Europa is too similar to a song called Bridges by Armenian composer Arno Babjanian.

Genre Classic rock
Difficulty Beginner
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsEuropa Tabs

“The Boxer” by Simon & Garfunkel

Paul Simon put his heart and soul on paper when he wrote down The Boxer. The song is essentially a ballad or an autobiography of a man who leaves his home and heads out to NYC.

He reaches his destination and searches for work, only to find disappointments, and drowns in sorrows. The song shifts between first and third person to tell its story.

Near the end, the man declares that it’s enough and that he’s finally headed home.

Yet, once the song shifts to the third person, it talks about a boxer who’s scared, indecisive and doesn’t actually leave.

As the song simply tells a story, the guitar in the back follows easily, making it an excellent option for beginners.

Genre Folk rock
Difficulty Beginner
Type of GuitarAcoustic
TabsThe Boxer Tabs

“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen

The thing about Queen is that they were a unique band that combined their love to rock with their personalities.

This led to many great songs and worldwide fame—almost everybody knew Queen! One of their most famous songs is Crazy Little Thing Called Love. 

Of course, it’s not as renowned as Bohemian Rhapsody or We Will Rock You, but it’s just what you need to get your fingers picking on the guitar strings!

The song isn’t hard to learn, but it’s not easy to master either, making it a fantastic song for intermediate players.

Genre Rock/Rockabilly
Difficulty Intermediate
Type of GuitarAcoustic/Electric
TabsCrazy Little Thing Called Love Tabs

“Gravity” by John Mayer

If you want an easy song that’ll get your electric guitar journey started, then this is it. 

Gravity by John Mayer is an easy-going song that depends more on your feelings and how you convey them than your technical skills.

John Mayer himself confesses that this is one of the most important songs he’s ever written. It has a few words but the most compelling way of delivering them.

Genre Soul/Blues rock 
Difficulty Beginner
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsGravity Tabs

“Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson

As sweet as its name, Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson is a beautiful song about a man who’s completely head over heels for his lady!

Jack started this song as a way to tease his wife and make her pay attention to him every time she got distracted.

As time went by, the song started taking shape until it turned into what we know as Banana Pancakes.

Johnson filled the empty spots in the song with a few witty lines that’ll get his audience laughing and fused it with the perfect melody. Thus, we have ourselves a great tune to enjoy and practice.

Genre Pop
Difficulty Beginner
Type of GuitarAcoustic
TabsBanana Pancakes Tabs

“Stop This Train” by John Mayer

Similar to the previous John Mayer song, Stop This Train is another one that uses emotions to get the message across. 

As he was writing this song, John was having what he dubbed a “quarter-life crisis” that left him feeling bereft.

He felt like everything was passing him, and the responsibilities weren’t going anywhere. So, as you can guess, he was hoping to stop this train!

Now unlike the previous Mayer song, though, this one isn’t easy. He uses various tricky techniques that can be hard if you don’t know your way around the guitar yet.

Genre Pop
Difficulty Intermediate
Type of GuitarElectric
TabsStop This Train Tabs

“Neon” by John Mayer

If you thought you heard the last of John Mayer in this post, you’d be wrong! Neon by John Mayer is the go-to option if you want to challenge yourself. 

The song is for advanced players, as John uses various techniques and chords and moves with ease throughout the song.

Also, unlike the two previous songs, the tune here is more upbeat, and the story is mainly about a girl that likes partying—a lot!

So, the entire focus shifts from emotions to the more technical skills you can display with the guitar.

Genre Pop
Difficulty Advanced
Type of GuitarAcoustic
TabsNeon Tabs

“Dee” by Randy Rhoads

Dee is a short, emotionally beautiful track written and played by Randy Rhoads for his mother, Deloris.

The song was released on the Ozzy Ozborne album “The Blizzard of Ozz” and quickly became a fan favorite. Sadly, though, Randy’s untimely death left so much more to be desired. 

Because the track is quite short and emotionally intense, it can be a great choice for beginners to test their abilities.

Genre Rock
Difficulty Beginner
Type of GuitarClassical
TabsDee Tabs

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