Ready to start laying down some heavy riffs? Guitar teacher James W. shares seven easy metal songs on guitar even beginners can learn to play…
First, let me say that metal guitar is not dead, even though some detractors say so. Young bands like Black Stone Cherry from Mississippi continue to reinvent the music that is metal. The world of guitar always has room for one more innovator and that person could be you!
You may not be a Randy Rhoads or a Zak Wylde yet, but if you have something to say then there’s plenty of room on the Ozzfest stage. Let’s start with some easy metal songs on guitar so you can reach your goals.
This may very well be the coolest, heaviest guitar song ever, yet it’s also just about the easiest thing to play. With this simple song, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath virtually invented this style of guitar playing for the masses!
Not only does it go at a tempo anyone can master, but it is genius because it sounds big without a lot of flash lead guitar playing.
Bonus: this song is also great if you’re a fan of the Iron Man movie franchise with Robert Downey, Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow. That is way cool. Rating: 5 Gold Stars out of 5 on our Metal Chart.
Can it get any easier than this simple, timeless, catchy riff that doubles as the hook and supports the vocal without getting in the way?
Yes, you guessed it: “Whole Lotta Love” by Jimmy Page and Led Zep. It is estimated this riff made one million 14-year-olds pick up the guitar for the first time in 1970 and made believers out of 38 million fans. It made Page a force to be reckoned with and it can do the same for you at band practice.
It doesn’t even matter if you can play fast lead guitar like Jimmy because you can learn this opening riff in one minute flat. Rating: 4.8 Gold Stars out of 5 on our Metal Chart.
From the epic opening power chords of this song to the distinctive climbing riff played by Angus Young of AC/DC, this song has it all: simplicity, power, driving beat, and Gollum-like vocals by lead singer Brian Johnson.
The A major, D major, and E major chords comprise the foundation, and it is instantly recognizable. Talk about talent! BTW: Power chords are a Perfect 5th and you can’t hit a wrong note if you tried. Rating : 4.5 Gold Stars out of 5 on our Metal Chart.
Back in your parents day when albums ruled radio, most folks were still strumming their acoustic guitars to the country rock sounds of Laurel Canyon Blvd and Newport Beach.
Then came the aggressive stance of English rockers Judas Priest and their incredible power chords played on Les Paul’s and Stratocasters and Marshall Amps turned up as loud as possible. When Rob Halford sang about fighting to get out of poverty in the UK Midlands you knew he meant every word. It was a battle cry for youths worldwide.
One million new American made Fender electric guitars were sold in a matter of weeks. Rating: 4.8 Gold Stars out of 5 on our Metal Chart.
Metallica has the unique distinction of touring and calling other metal and rock bands “wimps” for playing blues rock less heavy than them and then incorporating the same blues rock into their sound. Strange? Not at all.
With its simple walk down style power chords it is reminiscent of AC/DC chord choices. And even if you dislike James Hetfield’s wild vocals, you will love his rhythm guitar playing. This song begs for no mercy.
Bonus: The song “Kill’ Em All” on the same album with its brutal relentless attack is also notable. Both are easy to play. Rating: 5 Gold Stars out of 5 on our Metal Chart.
System, or SOAD as they used to be called, play “Lonely Day” in a cool Db tuning, one and a half steps below standard tuning.
The song sounds heavier and darker as a result, even though it is a metal ballad.
Modern metal arrived with this band. Anyone can play this one by using fingerpicking on the simple intro parts and letting loose on the power chords. It evokes the utter sadness of men travelling by themselves on tour and watching the world fall apart and burn. Yet the singer is glad he survived.
This song can also be played unplugged. Rating: 5.2 Gold Stars out of 5 on our Metal Chart.
This band, not unlike like metal masters Korn, moms and dads either love or hate. There’s no in-between with these metal monsters.
Fortunately for us their music is not hard to grasp. Their song “This Means War” is a slow paced riff that has the fun audience singalong part attached to it so it is almost an anthem. You could play this in your sleep.
A plodding guitar part played on the Sinister Gates model Schecter electric guitar evokes all the angst a teenager can unleash. This song speaks to teens around the world! Rating: 4.7 Gold Stars out of 5 on our Metal Chart.
Explore more techniques and build your skills as you learn how to play guitar by studying with a private guitar teacher. Search for your guitar teacher now!
James W. teaches guitar, singing, and acting lessons in Jacksonville, FL. He specializes in teaching pop, rock, and modern country styles. James has been teaching for 10 years and joined the TakeLessons in 2010. Learn more about James here!
Photo by Ted Van Pelt