The Best Beginner Guitar riffs!

Here are my top 5 best guitar riff tabs for getting a great start at guitar. These great guitar riffs will help improve your skills fast!


Jace Snel

3/24/20234 min read

flaming guitar digital wallpaper
flaming guitar digital wallpaper

The 5 Best Beginner Guitar Riffs

Are you a beginner looking to learn some great guitar riffs? Or maybe you're a seasoned player looking for some fresh inspiration. Either way, we've got you covered with our list of the top 5 beginner guitar riffs. From classic rock to modern pop culture, these riffs will help you learn essential techniques and build your skills on the guitar. So grab your guitar and let's get in!

Here's my list of the top 5 beginner guitar riffs:

  1. The Theme From Peter Gunn - The Blues Brothers

  2. Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes

  3. Beverly Hills Cop Theme - Harold Faltermeyer (Also known as Axel F by Crazy Frog)

  4. Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple

  5. Master of Puppets - Metallica

The best guitar riff for a beginner will be a lot different from the best for a pro. These riffs will help you learn how to use all of your fingers, practice your picking, moving between the strings, and playing more than one at a time! The best beginner riffs are fun, and easy to play but will also improve your technique, get you motivated, and help to get your fingers ready for more difficult songs in the future.

Read on below for the tips and tricks to improve your playing and some kick-ass songs to try out

If you don't know how to read tablature, check it out over here first!

The Peter Gunn Theme - The Blues Brothers

So my first pick is the theme from a spy thriller TV show from the 1950s – Peter Gunn. Also made popular by the Blues Brothers. It's one of the first songs I was taught all those years ago, and I still teach it to my students these days. It's got a country/cowboy feel to it and it's all played on one string!

So why this old song? Well, it's played over frets 2, 3, 4, and 5 – this means you get one fret for each finger! This is where the practice comes in. Getting all of your fingers involved in the riff, building strength and coordination. Follow the tab below, it repeats over and over. Have a listen to the song for the timing!

...and remember - just one finger per fret!

Peter Gunn theme riff tab
Peter Gunn theme riff tab

Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes

Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes - a song that I have discussed at length over here. Its popularity in sports arenas, in malls, and on television has made it known worldwide. It's usually the first song I teach kids. It is easy to follow, simple to learn and everyone knows it!

This is the most simple version of the song. It is not quite in the right key (you can tune it down to D for that or check out the link just earlier for multiple versions of the song, including an easy Seven Nation Army drum tab. Play it all on the low E string.

Seven Nation Army Tab Riff
Seven Nation Army Tab Riff

Beverly Hills Cop Theme by Harold Faltermeyer (or "Axel F" by Crazy Frog)

This is where worlds collide. The song I grew up calling the "Beverly hills cop theme" is now known by kids as simply "crazy frog!" It's a pretty weird version of the song, but it definitely made its popularity skyrocket again. It's also one of my favourites on the ukulele.

The Beverly hills cop riff has some interesting timing and it'll get you traveling all over the fretboard. It'll take some persistence to master at first, but it's a joy to play and hilarious to kids.

Beverly hills cop crazy frog riff image
Beverly hills cop crazy frog riff image

Smoke on the water – Deep Purple

THE Classic beginner riff. There are a couple of ways to play this song and both ways are great. The first is the way that most people learn as their first ever song. It's a well-known riff, sounds cool, and is easy to remember. The second is the actual way the riff is played, still pretty easy but maybe not as a first song. I would say that the first one sounds better on the acoustic, and the latter on the electric though!

Focus on memorizing the riff and use different fingers for different frets. Learning to play guitar starts with getting all of your fingers involved in playing so remember that and

Smoke on the water riff tab
Smoke on the water riff tab

Master of Puppets by Metallica

A song that has recently come back into favor by the way of stranger things, the Master of Puppets guitar riff is one of my favorites. Metallica, one of the great riff bands of all time could have their own top 10 riff list easily, and it was difficult to pick one to put here. However, it's the nature of the riff itself, descending through the notes, including some power chords, and following an easy-to-remember pattern that makes it a great beginner riff.

Master of Puppets riff tab
Master of Puppets riff tab

Whether you're a complete beginner or a seasoned player, learning new guitar riffs is always a great way to build your skills and expand your repertoire. From the classic rock of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" to modern pop culture hits like The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army," the riffs on this list will help you master essential techniques like finger placement, picking, getting all of your fingers moving and rocking out (obviously).

So pick start from the top and let me know your favorite riff to practice today over here at Facebook!

With a little dedication and hard work, you'll be shredding like a guitar legend in no time.