Songs you can play on one guitar string

If you’re starting out on your guitar journey, a great way to build up your dexterity and technique is by playing songs on just one string. It’s a lot more fun than playing scales and will keep you motivated to learn.

Just because you’re sticking to one string doesn’t mean you have to be confined to playing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” or “Happy Birthday” – many riffs and melodies of popular songs can be played on one string!

Once you’re comfortable playing these songs on one string, most of them can be beefed up with chords or more advanced techniques!

Another One Bites the Dust – Queen

The iconic bass riff for this 1980 hit can also be played on one guitar string. 

Thunderstruck – AC/DC

Angus Young’s guitar riff for this 1990 classic is one of the most memorable guitar lines of all time, but it can be played on just one string!


My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion 

No pennywhistle needed. The theme song for 1997 blockbuster “Titanic” can be played on just the high “E” string.

Smoke on the Water – Deep Purple

Possibly one of the best-known one string songs of all time, you can learn this whole riff on the low E string and double it when you’re ready.


Running Down a Dream – Tom Petty 

The riff of this 1989 hit can be played on one string, making it perfect for beginners. The chords are also fairly simple.


Seven Nation Army – White Stripes 

The bass riff of “Seven Nation Army” is one of the best-known basslines of all time, but it can also be played on the “A” string.


Satisfaction – Rolling Stones 

This 1965 hit will be “satisfying” to learn – the riff can be played on one string and the rhythm part consists of three simple chords! 


Misirlou – Dick Dale 

This surf rock classic can be played on just one string, as long as you can pick fast enough! 


Sunshine of Your Love – Cream 

This memorable riff can be played on just the D string.



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