The easiest rock songs to learn on guitar

Are you just starting out on your guitar learning journey? Graduating from learning scales and chords is exciting, and will motivate you to keep getting better!

Luckily, some of the best-known rock songs are actually pretty easy to learn on guitar! Here are the simplest ones – and Fret Zealot has step-by-step lessons to help.



You only need a couple of chords to master this beloved Fleetwood Mac hit, and the song lesson will walk you through the strumming pattern step-by-step! It also includes the guitar solo if you’re up for a challenge.

Brown Eyed Girl

Simple chords are the foundation of this Van Morrison classic. The song lesson will help you master the song’s rhythm at an easy pace.

Summer of ‘69

Bryan Adams’ 1985 hit can be played with mostly open chords. This lesson will help you learn it on any six-string (even if it’s unlikely you purchased it at the five-and-dime).

Seven Nation Army

This lesson will teach you the iconic riff of this White Stripes song, which is easier to play than it sounds!


Buffalo Soldier

This lesson doubles as a crash course in reggae strumming. 


Smells Like Teen Spirit

Ready to try out some power chords? This lesson will walk you through Nirvana’s biggest hit with maximum impact, but minimal skills are required.



Back in BlackFret Zealot’s most popular song lesson walks you step-by-step through AC/DC’s smash hit. It will have you rocking out in no time.

Want some additional help learning guitar? The Fret Zealot LED system attaches to any full-size guitar and connects to the Fret Zealot app via Bluetooth, giving you an extra edge. Purchase it here. 

Useful guitar tips for beginners

Are you just starting out on your guitar journey? Here are a couple of tips that will help level up your playing quickly. 

Use a metronome 

Metronomes will help you keep the time of a song with a click. They can be adjusted to keep time faster or slower, depending on the song and what you’re comfortable with. 

Using a metronome is helpful when learning a new song or guitar riff. Instead of trying to play the riff at full speed, you can practice playing it at a slower pace and adjust the speed as you get comfortable with it, until you’re up to full speed. Metronomes measure BPM, or “beats per minute”. 

You can find a metronome tool inside of the Fret Zealot app, or you can buy a physical one. 

2. Get chords to sound clear by playing each note individually 


As you learn how to play chords – especially barre chords – it can be challenging to have them ring out clearly. To play a chord, you need to press each string in the chord down firmly against the guitar neck, while allowing the open strings to vibrate fully (not touching them). With practice, you’ll build strength in your hands and calluses on your fingertips which will help. 

It’s also helpful to play through each note of the chord individually to make sure they’re ringing through clearly. Make sure if you’re playing a barre chord to use even pressure throughout to fully hold the fret down. 


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Fret Zealot can help you on your guitar learning journey with thousands of songs, hundreds of lessons, and every chord and scale at your fingertips! Try the 30 Day Beginner Challenge today. 

Do you know your guitar scale length?

Do you know your guitar scale length?

When you’re choosing a new (or a first) guitar, scale is something to take into consideration. Guitars come in different scale lengths depending on the manufacturer or style, and the length of a guitar scale can impact its playability and tone. 

“Scale length” is the measure of distance between a guitar’s nut and its bridge. The “nut” is at the top of the neck, near the headstock, and the bridge is the device that supports the string below the neck. 

How do you measure the scale length of a guitar?

A good rule of thumb is to measure the distance between a guitar’s nut and its 12th fret, and then double it. Guitar scale lengths are generally measured in inches, since most of the world’s largest guitar manufacturers are American. 

What are the scale lengths?

Full-size guitar lengths have scales that are longer than 24 inches, whereas a ¾ scale guitar will have scale lengths of 20 to 24 inches. Baritone guitars and guitars with extra strings – (7 string/8 string/9 string) guitars typically have longer scales to make sure the notes on the lower strings can sound clear.

What’s the difference between scale lengths?

Fret spacing is the biggest difference between shorter- and longer-scale guitars. Shorter scale guitars will have frets that are slightly closer together than their longer-scale counterparts. As scale length increases, so does the distance between frets. It’s not a huge difference, but something to consider, especially if you have large or small hands. Closer-together frets also may be easier to get used to for beginners. 

The longer the scale of a guitar is, the stronger the tension needs to be to hold the strings in tune. Shorter scale guitar strings require less tension, and might be easier to play. 

String gauge also is a factor when it comes to string tension, so if you find longer-scale guitars harder to play, you can compensate by fitting it with a smaller gauge of string. 

How does scale length impact tone?

This gives shorter-scale guitars a warmer sound, since their strings have more “wiggle room” to vibrate. Because they require less tension, it’s easier to bend the strings on a shorter-scale guitar. 

Since longer-scale guitars have more string tension, they tend to produce a stronger sound with clear low ends. 

What about ¾ scale guitars? 

A ¾ scale guitar can be purchased for considerably cheaper than a full-size guitar, but often don’t have the capacity to produce the sound a full-size guitar can make. However, the small size makes finger exercises easier, making it a good choice for a first guitar or a practice guitar. 

Fret Zealot LED strips come in two sizes – 24.75” and 25.5”. Click here for more. 

Want to learn how to play guitar like Eric Clapton?

Want to learn how to play guitar like Eric Clapton?


The Eric Clapton Player Study course will help you learn the three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s signature style, including phrasing, minor pentatonic shapes, and solos. 



An English guitarist and singer-songwriter, Eric Clapton is regarded as one of the most successful guitarists in rock music. He’s had a decades-long career in music, including playing with The Yardbirds, forming power group Cream, and embarking on a successful solo career.

Clapton got his first guitar for his 13th birthday, but it was so difficult to play that he lost interest until two years later. Blues music was Clapton’s biggest inspiration – he practiced learning the chords by playing along to blues records. By age 16, he was getting noticed for his skills and began busking around London.

Clapton joined his first band at age 17, a British R&B group called The Roosters, kicking off a long career in music. He played for just under two years with The Yardbirds, leaving after the band decided to go in a pop direction with their music.

He played in several other bands before forming Cream, one of the first supergroups. In just 28 months, the band was a huge commercial success and played tour dates through the United States and Europe. However, band tensions caused the group to disband in 1968. They briefly reunited in 2005 to play a handful of sold-out shows.

Clapton began recording as a solo artist in 1970 and has released several best-selling albums. He has also recorded several albums with other musicians and contributed guitar to a number of songs by other artists.


Clapton has cited Muddy Waters, Freddie King, B.B. King, and Buddy Guy as his guitar influences. A pioneer of the British blues scene, Clapton mixes and matches the minor and major pentatonic scales to add variety to his solos.


In 2011, The Guardian credited Clapton with the creation of the “guitar hero cult”, where superlative guitar players are elevated to near-mythic status by virtue of their skills. Clapton is the only person to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times, and he was ranked second in Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitarists of All Time”. 


Once you’ve mastered Clapton’s signature style, try these song lessons! 





Wonderful Tonight 

Want to play guitar like John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers?

Want to play guitar like John Frusciante? You’ll find that you “Can’t Stop” once you start learning to play like the three-time Red Hot Chili Pepper guitarist with the John Frusciante Player Study course.


The children of two musicians – a Juillard-trained pianist and a vocalist – John Fruciante was born in Queens, NY but lived in Arizona and Florida before moving to California with his mother, where he became involved in the Los Angeles punk rock scene. He started playing guitar at age nine and was influenced by Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, and Frank Zappa. At 16, he dropped out of high school and moved to L.A. to become a musician. 

John Frusciante was an 18-year-old Red Hot Chili Peppers fan when he was tapped to audition for the band after the 1988 death of the band’s original guitarist, Hillel Slovak. Frusciante was introduced to RHCP’s music through his guitar instructor, who was auditioning to be a guitarist for them in 1984. Frusciante saw a RHCP show at the age of 15 and became a huge fan. He met both Slovak and bassist Michael Peter Balzary (“Flea”) before auditioning, the latter through jam sessions with Frusciante’s friend D. H. Peligro, the former drummer for Dead Kennedys. Flea recommended Frusciante for an audition. According to a 1999 VH1 “Behind the Music” episode, Frusciante was so excited when he got the call welcoming him into the band that he jumped on the wall of his home, leaving permanent boot marks. 

Though he has left the band twice, Frusciante is a huge influence on RHCP’s sound – he played on their breakthrough album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991), as well as their smash albums “Californication” (1999), “By The Way” (2002), and “Stadium Arcadium” (2006). He rejoined the band in 2019 and played on the band’s 12th studio album Unlimited Love. 


“John Frusciante (52279421075)” by Hel Davies from United Kingdom is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Frusciante’s early style was inspired by punk musicians. He has developed a style over his career that’s based on melody, tone, and structure, versus virtuosity, as well as creating texture through chord patterns. Frusciante cites Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix as influences, but doesn’t focus on speed, telling Kerrang! Magazine that “People believe that by playing faster and creating new playing techniques you can progress forward, but then they realize that emotionally they don’t progress at all. They transmit nothing to the people listening and they stay at where Hendrix was three decades ago. Something like that happened to Vai in the 80s.”

All of the guitars he plays were made before 1970. 

Solo work 

In addition to his work with RHCP, Frusciante has released 11 solo albums and 7 EPs, including acid house music under the name “Trickfinger”. After leaving RHCP for the second time in 2009, Frusciante shifted his attention to electronic music as an alternative to traditional songwriting. 

“I’m always drawing inspiration from different kinds of music and playing guitar along with records, and I go into each new album project with a preconceived idea of what styles I want to combine,” he told Guitar Player magazine in 2006. 


Once you master John Frusciante’s playing style, try one of these Red Hot Chili Peppers song lessons! 


Under the Bridge

Can’t Stop

Scar Tissue


How to Start a Band

You’ve obtained your first guitar, mastered the scales and chords, and even played in front of friends for the first time. Now what? 

If you want to take your journey to the next level, it’s time to start a band! Playing in a band will help build your confidence with your instrument, challenge you as a musician, and it will be a lot of fun. 

Here’s how to get started. 


Find your bandmates. 

Most bands feature at minimum a guitarist, bassist, and drummer, but you don’t have to limit yourself to that structure. It’s helpful to have someone to hold down the rhythm section with low end and percussion, but maybe you know a keyboardist who can hold the bassline down on keys, or a talented synth player who can produce a beat electronically. 

Ask musicians that you know to have a jam session to see if you mesh musically. Open mic nights are another place to meet like-minded artists. You can also post in your area’s musician community groups on Facebook – if your area doesn’t have one, feel free to start one! 


Determine what your sound is. 

Do you want to play strictly covers or original music? Are you a grunge band or will you play experimental dream pop?

Have a talk with your new bandmates about your musical influences and favorite song. Decide  what kind of music you want to make. If you’re an original act, create an “elevator pitch” to describe what your band’s sound is in a sentence or two – i.e. “we play alternative pop that sounds like David Bowie joined Florence + The Machine”. 

Another important discussion to have is your vision for the band. Figure out if you want to strictly practice in the garage, play out locally four times a month, or try to make it big. Make sure that all of your bandmates are on board. 


Get some songs

If you’re going to be an original band, get started writing some songs! You can check out this blog post for ideas on how to get started. 

If you’re going to play covers, start out with ten songs that match your band’s vibe – but don’t feel trapped in one genre. A punk-rock version of a Taylor Swift song could end up being a crowd favorite.


Pick a name 

A crucial part of starting a band is finding the right name. A good band name will stand out in the audience’s minds and hopefully have them following you on social media and streaming platforms. 

Get together with your bandmates and brainstorm possible names. Some jumping-off points include references to favorite songs or movies, allusions to how you met, or inside jokes within the band – but get as creative as you can! 

A couple of things to keep in mind – 

  • A band name that contains an expletive or just sound gross might be funny, but could block some venues from booking you in the future. 
  • If you’re going to play original music, consider how your band name will show up in search engines. A name that’s too common or simple could get lost. 
  • If you’re serious about the project, make sure your chosen band name isn’t already trademarked. It will save you a huge headache in the future.

Brand yourself

Love it or hate it, social media is essential to promoting your band. Create a logo for the group and snap a band picture.  You don’t have to splurge on professional photos right away, but get someone to take a good shot of the full band. Try to post regularly and keep followers in the loop about gigs, new music coming out, and anything that helps showcase your personality. Make sure that your social media pages contain contact info so potential bookers can reach you.


Find gigs 

Again, playing local open mic nights with your band or posting in community musician groups can be very helpful for landing your first gig. Make connections with other local musicians and bands, and take opportunities to open for them. Reach out to booking agents at local bars and music venues with samples of your music and a short description of your style. Putting together an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) is also a great idea.


Record your music 

Once you have some songs ready to go, it’s time to record them! Recording in a studio can provide great results, but it can be expensive. If someone in your band has the equipment and know-how to record, you can take your time and really get your sound the way you want it. Check out this course for setting up your home studio for help. 


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How to write your first song