A lot of guitar solos use complex technical skills that take time to learn. In this lesson, let’s look at 7 easy guitar solos that any beginner can start learning right now.
These easy guitar solos will help you develop techniques such as bends, slides, legato, vibrato, and more. Each guitar solo is shown in Guitar TAB format and I’ll explain how to play each one.
Find out how to read Guitar TAB in this guide so you can get the most out of this lesson.
The guitar solos in this lesson are ordered from easiest to hardest. Start learning the top guitar solos and work your way down the list.
If you listen to the songs in this lesson, you’ll hear some very different guitar tones. Most solos use a drive tone, but you’ll hear that each one sounds very different. Some even use effects pedals to enhance the tone.
If you’re wondering what you need to do to get your guitar amp to sound like the song, I highly recommend reading my Ultimate Guide to Guitar Amp Settings. It’s one of the most important guides I’ve ever written and will explain how to think about your guitar amp properly.
Once you learn the guitar solos in this lesson, check out these 4 Easy Metal Guitar Solos to take your skills further.
How to Practice Guitar Solos
The way to practice the guitar solos covered in this lesson is simple. Here are the steps to follow for each guitar solo:
- Break the solo down into small parts
- Pick the easiest-looking part and practice it slowly
- Gradually work through all the parts at a slow tempo
- Once you feel confident playing all of the parts at a slow tempo, gradually raise the tempo
It doesn’t matter if you’re learning a basic four-bar solo or a four-minute solo, the above steps are the best way to practice guitar solos.
Here are some important practice tips to help you learn the guitar solos faster and easier.
Practice Tip 1: Don’t Rush!
The number one reason why your guitar solos may sound bad is due to rushing. Beginners and intermediate guitarists tend to rush through learning something, then wonder why it sounds bad.
Even if the guitar solo you want to learn is fast, start out by slowing it down to a crawl. Practice it at a slow and controlled tempo, then only raise the tempo after it feels easy.
If you ever feel like you’re struggling to keep up with the solo, you’re rushing. Slow the tempo down to give yourself more time to think about what you’re playing.
If you can avoid rushing, you’ll learn the solos faster and you’ll develop better control over the notes.
Practice Tip 2: Break the Solo Down into Small Parts
As mentioned earlier, breaking a long solo down into small parts will help you learn it faster.
You can break the solo down into sections as small as you like. Some complicated parts you might want to break down into three or four-note groups, while easier parts can be practiced in long sections.
If something feels hard to play, break it down into smaller sections and play those sections over and over until they feel easy.
Practice Tip 3: Isolate Difficult Techniques
If you come across a difficult technique in a guitar solo, you might want to isolate that technique and spend more time working on it. Find some exercises to help you work on that technique and you’ll find those exercises help you learn the solo faster.
For example, most of the guitar solos in this lesson use bends and vibrato. Bends is often a challenging technique for beginners to learn, so you might want to isolate that technique and spend some time working on it.
Practice Tip 4: Practice With a Metronome or Backing Track
Use a metronome or play along with the Guitar TAB using software such as Guitar Pro 8 at a slowed-down tempo.
If you use Guitar Pro 8, you can even import the audio file of the song and slow it down along with the TAB. It’s a great way to practice guitar parts and I explain it in more detail in my Guitar Pro 8 review.
Practicing with a metronome or backing track will ensure that you work on your rhythm and timing. Practicing a guitar solo without a metronome or backing track can lead to poor timing problems later on.
There are a lot of guitarists who play sloppy-sounding guitar solos because they don’t practice with a metronome or backing track.
If you want your guitar solos to sound good, you need to work on your rhythm and timing skills. A metronome or backing track is an easy way to work on these skills.
Can’t Stop by Red Hot Chilli Peppers
The short guitar solo in Can’t Stop is one of the easiest guitar solos you can learn. It’s a ridiculously easy guitar solo to learn that sounds impressive when played properly.
This solo is played in Standard Tuning at 88 bpm. The guitar tone uses light overdrive without any effects.
The key to getting this solo to sound good is to smoothly control the bends and make sure they hit the right pitch. If you can bend those notes up to the perfect pitch, they’ll sound fantastic. If you bend up to the wrong pitch, it will sound terrible.
The ‘full’ bends shown in this guitar solo bend the note up two frets in pitch. This means the 15th fret bend will bend up until it sounds like the note on the 17th fret. Listen to the 17th fret note, then bend up until you hear that pitch.
The other important aspect to keep in mind when practicing this solo is the rhythm. The solo is slow to play, but you need to get the timing of each note right, or else the solo will sound sloppy.
Use a metronome or backing track to make sure you time each note perfectly. This solo will not sound good if you don’t get your timing right.
Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day
This simple guitar solo is very different from the other solos in this lesson. It’s extremely easy to play once you learn how to play the octave shapes it uses.
This guitar solo is a great example of how important rhythm and melody are. If you have a strong rhythm and a clear melody, even a simple solo like this can sound great.
The above solo uses octave shapes. Sometimes Guitar TAB will place an ‘X’ on the string in between the two notes and sometimes the string will be left blank as shown above.
The way you play these shapes is to use your first finger on the lower note and your third finger on the higher note. The string in between the two notes should be muted by either the side of your first finger or by resting your second finger on it.
When you strum the strings, you should only hear two notes ring out. If you hear any other string ring out, adjust your finger positions to make sure the other strings are muted.
The rhythm is simple with this solo as you constantly strum eighth notes. Use a metronome to gradually bring up the tempo.
Focus on smoothly shifting your hand up and down the fretboard throughout the solo. Don’t rush or else the solo will sound sloppy.
Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
This is an incredibly simple solo that gives beginners great practice of moving around the fretboard and playing some simple bends and vibrato.
Use a distorted guitar tone with a chorus pedal if you want to match the tone you hear in the song.
Spend most of your time practicing the first four bars because the rest of the solo is easy to play once you memorize the notes.
Think about which fingers you should use so you can smoothly move up and down the fretboard. You want this solo to sound like it flows smoothly, so your choice of which fingers to use will be important to get this right.
When playing the bends, make sure you bend all the way up to the correct pitch. Remember that a ‘full’ bend is equivalent to two frets, so listen to the note two frets higher to hear the pitch the bend should be pushed up to.
Like a Stone by Audioslave
This is a great example of how guitar effects can be used to take your guitar solos in different directions.
Tom Morello is well known for using a Whammy pedal and this solo is arguably his best example of using a Whammy pedal in creative ways.
To get the tone right for this song, you need to use distortion, a Whammy pedal, and a delay pedal (two delay pedals are used in the song, but one pedal will work fine).
If you think the above Guitar TAB looks easy, you’re right. The solo sounds impressive when you add in the Whammy pedal.
There are a few different Whammy pedals available, but they all do similar things. Here is the DigiTech Whammy DT to give you an example of a popular option:
To play this song properly, you need a Whammy pedal set to ‘whammy’ mode set two octaves up.
For every note in the solo (apart from the fast middle section), you rock the whammy pedal all the way forward. This bends the pitch up two octaves as you hear in the song.
After you play each note, bring the whammy back to the heel position before playing the next note.
Check out this lesson on How to Use a Whammy Pedal for more details about this solo as well as other Whammy examples and exercises.
If you’re interested in more solos that use a Whammy pedal, check out these Whammy pedal songs (Guitar TAB included for each song).
Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses
While this song has a long and difficult solo to learn, there are a couple of shorter and easier solos that any beginner can learn.
The great thing about this song is that a beginner can start by learning the main riff and the first two solos, then gradually work on the last solo later on.
Tuning: this song has the guitars tuned down a half-step to Eb (called E Flat). You can learn this solo in Standard Tuning and it will sound fine, it just won’t sound right if you try to play along with the song. Learn about E Flat Tuning in this guide.
Here is the first short solo in the song:
Don’t be fooled by how simple the above TAB looks – this short solo sounds great!
There are a few tricky bends you will need to work on, but the rest of the solo is as simple as picking the notes with the right timing.
In the first four bars, think about which fingers you should use to play these notes. A good general rule to follow is to use your first finger (index) to play the lowest fret note, then figure out the other fingers above that note.
So in this solo, you would start by playing the 12th fret with your first finger (index finger), the 14th fret with your third finger (ring finger), and the 16th fret with your fourth finger (pinky).
This may feel awkward for some beginners at first, but with some practice, you’ll see why it’s the best way to play this part. If you watch a video of Slash play this solo, that’s how he will play it.
If you enjoy learning this solo, read my Ultimate Guide to Slash to learn more about the guitars, amps, and pedals he uses. The guide will help you get a better Slash guitar tone and learn about his style of playing.
Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes
The main riff to this song is one of the easiest riffs you can learn on guitar. The solo is more complicated, but with enough practice, any beginner can master it.
This song is normally tuned to Open A Tuning (learn about alternate tunings here), but the below Guitar TAB is in Standard Tuning. So you can learn this solo without retuning your guitar.
Jack White plays this solo using a guitar slide, but you can learn it and play it normally with your fingers. Learn more about what a guitar slide is and how to use it in this guide.
The wavy lines in the above Guitar TAB represent vibrato. Vibrato is a technique that many beginners will have trouble learning at first, so you can ignore it when learning this solo.
I recommend learning this solo without using vibrato at first. Then after you memorize and feel comfortable playing the solo, you can add vibrato in when you are ready.
Notice that two of the bends are 1/4 bends. This means you only slightly bend the note up.
The entire solo has a loose feel to it, so you don’t need to be super-accurate with your bends or timing to make it sound good. If you listen to a live version of this song, you’ll hear that he plays very loose.
Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
This solo is played on an acoustic guitar, but you can play it on electric guitar and it will sound fine if you stick to a clean tone.
While this is a slow solo, it combines a few techniques that will take some time to get used to if you’re a beginner.
Learn about David Gilmour in this guide if you’re interested in learning more Pink Floyd guitar solos.
In the third and fourth bars, you’ll see that you need to play two notes at once and slide them back and forth between two positions. Practice these parts slow until you feel comfortable sliding between these positions.
Pay close attention to the bends to make sure you don’t mix up playing half and full bends.
The first bend shown is a pre-bend, which means you bend the note up before you pick the string. After you pick the string, you lower the string back down, then bend it up again as shown.
The bend in the second-last bar is an example of bending a string, holding it, then picking the string again before lowering it back down.
Easy Guitar Solo FAQs
Here are some common questions you might have about these solos or guitar solos in general. If you have a question not answered below about guitar solos, ask it here.
How Can I Get Better at Guitar Solos?
The best way to get better at guitar solos is to learn more solos from a variety of songs. Every new guitar solo you learn will teach you something new and help you improve your soloing skills. Challenge yourself to learn harder guitar solos and push yourself to learn solos from styles of music you normally don’t listen to.
Why Do My Solos Sound Bad?
The most common reason why someone’s solos may sound bad is due to rushing. If you don’t take your time to practice the solo slowly, you’re not going to learn proper control. If you feel like you’re struggling to keep up with the solo, that’s a sign that you’re rushing and it will sound bad. Slow down and work on your control before speeding the solo back up.
What is a Good Guitar Solo to Learn?
A good guitar solo to learn is one that challenges you to push your skills further, but not so hard that it frustrates you. The right solo for you to learn right now depends on your current skill level and what style of music you want to play.
Even if you’re not interested in the songs covered in this lesson, I recommend you learn to play the solos. These are great guitar solos to learn when you’re a beginner because they teach you important skills and techniques.
How Do You Memorize Guitar Solos?
You memorize guitar solos by breaking them down into small sections and playing those sections over and over. If you practice the solos regularly enough, you will memorize them. Some guitar solos are easier to memorize than others, but all guitar solos can be memorized using repetition and practice.
How Do You Start Learning Guitar Solos?
To start learning a guitar solo, split the solo up into small parts. Work on the easiest parts first, then gradually work your way to the harder parts. Slowly piece the parts together until you can play the entire solo from start to finish.
Is it Good to Learn Guitar Solos?
Learning guitar solos is a great way to become a better guitarist. Learning guitar solos will teach you new techniques, improve your skills, and give you a new way to express yourself on guitar. Even if you think of yourself as a rhythm guitarist and not a lead guitarist, it is good to learn guitar solos.
What is the Easiest Guitar Solo?
The guitar solos in this lesson are some of the easiest you can learn. While there are easier solos out there, you’ll learn more by practicing these solos.
Don’t focus too much on trying to find the easiest guitar solos. Even if some of these guitar solos look too hard for you, challenge yourself to try and learn them. Take your time, split the solo up into small parts then gradually work through the parts. You can learn all of the guitar solos in this guide if you work hard enough.
Check out these useful guides and lessons to take your skills further: