10 Easy Guitar Solos To Learn


For anyone learning to play guitar the ultimate goal is to be able to play a solo especially for those musicians that prefer lead over rhythm. While solos may seem hard most of the time they are easier once you break them down and actively listen to the song. When practicing your solos start slowly and make sure everything is working and sounding right before speeding up. Here are 10 easy guitars solos to learn along with tips on how to figure out tougher ones.

What Is a Guitar Solo?

While you are learning these solos the best thing to do is to find as much by ear as possible. There are tons of guitar tabs and guitar chords online and many user made videos on how to play them, try and get as far as possible without looking! The great guitar Gods of rock, progressive, metal, and jazz are so awesome because they started out by playing records and copying. It is tedious, hard, and annoying but that is the way to do it.

When a band plays the rhythm section is made up of the bass, drums, and other percussive techniques. Then you will often see two guitars as one plays backing chords while the other plays the lead riffs. One reason guitar became such a huge instrument in the 50’s was because the new electric distortion made for great leads, it can cut through a mix and be heard. The solo became popular in rock as a place to showcase this lead playing.

So it’s not just the right notes and techniques that matter, when you play a solo it needs to rise above and cut through the other instruments. If you are playing with others you may need various pedals and effects units to achieve that effect. Your solo is when the spotlight is on you so make it both fitting yet unique. And remember no matter how effortlessly someone plays a solo, they never just do it out of nowhere, it took a lot of practice to get there!

How to Figure Out a Guitar Solo?

Solos are just another form of melody so you will mostly be playing the guitar scales and modes of the song you are in. Some players are confused by modes but they are just scales in specific orders and with their own vibes. The feeling that we get from a scale comes from the intervals used, most guitarists use pentatonic scales to solo with as they all have safe notes and intervals that will work most anywhere.

If you want to find a song solo by ear it first helps to find the key and chord progression, once you have that it is those notes that will mostly make the solo up. Once you know the scale you are working on, put the song on repeat and start the trial and error process of finding the right note. Use a guitar tuner to tell exactly what notes you are playing as this will help you memorize the fretboard. If you do use tabs make sure you also pay attention to what notes you are playing so you get more out of them.

10 Easy Guitar Solos

Seven Nation Army

This song is in E minor and so is the solo, it is a very simple but rocking beat that is great practice and most people love it. It starts on the 9th fret of the G string (at note E for the scale) and riffs between the 11th and 12th fret along with a quick jump to the 10th fret of the B string. After 8 measure of these notes we move our E up an octave to the 12th fret of the E string, here we play the same melody just at a higher pitch.

Paint It Black

Another E minor scale is on The Rolling Stones “Paint It Black” plus this solo follows the main melody of the song so that helps. It starts at the 5th fret of the B string (an E note) and moves up to the E string on the 2, 3, and 5 frets, all we do is repeat the main riff off the song with these notes. There are a couple hammer ons and pull offs otherwise it is just straight note playing.

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Grunge bands are known for playing rather easy power chords and simple solos, in fact you can be sloppy in your playing and the distortion will usually hide it well. Here we have F minor and we start on the 10th fret of the D string, which is the C note, solos don’t always start on the root! The tabs to this look a little hard with all the bends and slurs but in reality it has many repeated motifs across its 16 bars.


This Metallica tune is in A minor and is mostly played on the G string starting at the second fret (the A note). There are some ghost notes and bends but otherwise the solo is very easy. Not all solos are shredding at breakneck speeds, sometimes the notes in blues and metal need simple but strong emotional playing.

The Man Who Sold the World

Whether you play the Nirvana or original David Bowie version of this song it is relatively easy and is in both D and Dm. We start on the second fret of the G string and stay on that string for the entire time. There are some fun slides and light bends but mostly just straight notes.

What’s Up

4 Non Blondes wrote this easy song and solo, many new guitarists like this song as it only has 3 simple chords over and over. It uses the A pentatonic and blues notes and is a little harder than the rest so far but for the most part you are simply copying the melody and main riffs. And it’s not as long as other solos, just a quick few measures so it makes it less to learn.

We’re Not Gonna Take It

This is an easy 80’s rocking guitar solo for those that have whammy bars, there are a couple notes here that will give a little bend to. It is in E major as opposed to the more common minor in rock songs we have seen so far. You are mostly on the G and B strings at the 9, 11, and 12 frets and it repeats the melody often.


This early rock hit was done on a slide guitar to give it that laid back and melancholy vibe. It is mostly in the key of C and Am and it is great practice for pulling more out of notes. Try to get as much wailing and sadness out of your guitar as they do in the original tune!


This Chris Isaak tune may be the easiest and hardest on the list? It is in B Dorian and barely uses any notes, but with the vibrato and heavy bends it sounds like so much more. To get to the point of fast playing and lots of notes you need to master these slow ones first!

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Most of our solos have been single notes to keep them easy, but great riffs often involve playing more than one note at a time. Here Green Day occasionally uses double stops or two strings at once. This will help you prepare for harder solos that have a lot more going on.

As you practice more you will soon realize that there are way more than 10 easy guitar solos, even the difficult ones aren’t that bad. It’s all about looking at the notes of the song and solo and getting the feeling right. If you keep making mistakes then it is best to find a new song or just slow down more. Steady and patient practice will win in the long run!