Easy Rolling Stones Songs

Rolling Stones songs for beginners

This list of songs consists of songs from the Stone’s early days through the Sticky Fingers album, mainly because I own the “Singles Collection: The London Years” guitar tab book.  I combed through that list of songs and then added a few more from some of the other albums.  There is not as many easy songs as one would think, as even songs that have just 4 chords like Street Fighting Man have heavily syncopated rhythms, a few guitar parts, and unusual chord changes generated through the use of open tunings.

Anyway, here are my recommendations for Rolling Stones songs for beginners to try, listed in order from easiest to hardest, more or less.

Songs using the G, D, A, and E chord

Dead Flowers – G song, D, A, G, 126 bpm, 8th note strumming pattern.  This is definitely the easiest one – 3 chords and the strumming pattern is the same through the entire song.

No Expectations – G song, E, Amaj7, D; in open E, but can be played in standard tuning; 92 bpm, 16th note strumming pattern.  The acoustic guitar in this song is tuned to open E, but you can play along with it using regular open chords.

It’s Only Rock and Roll – G song, E, A, D, G some fast chord changes between A and G, 126 bpm, 8th note strumming.  There’s an acoustic guitar just strumming 8th notes in the background – that’s what you want to play if you’re a beginner.  Save the more prominent electric guitar riffs for later.

Satisfaction – guitar riff song, E, A, B7 , 132 bpm, 8th note strumming. I usually have students play a combination of the acoustic and electric guitar parts.  If you’ve been playing for a couple of months you should try the main riff and then just strum the open chords during the verse.  If you’ve been playing for a little longer, you can try the electric guitar riffs in the verse instead othe simpler open chords.

Songs using the C chord

You Can’t Always Get What You Want – C chord song, G, C, and A; Capo on 5th fret, some hammer-on riffs on C chord;  104 bpm, 16th note strumming.

Songs using the F chord

Jumping Jack Flash – F song with guitar riff if capoed on 3rd fret; G song with guitar riff if capoed on 6th fret.  8th note strumming pattern, 120 bpm.  Arpeggiated part in bridge is more difficult but playable if capoed on 6th fret instead of the 3rd.  I usually opt to teach this to students early on with the capo on the 6th fret, but as a guitar riff song instead of an open chord song (meaning they’ve been taking lessons for 4-5 months instead of 2-3).

Street Fighting Man – F chord song, C, F, G, D;  126 bpm 8th note strumming.    The strumming pattern in this song is kind of weird, and it’s actually played in an open tuning, but you can simplify it by playing it with open chords and not playing some of the alterations to the chords.

Songs using the B minor chord

Wild Horses – B minor song G, Am, Bm; 66bpm, 16th note strumming

Guitar Riff Songs

Paint It Black – guitar riff in the beginning, Arpeggiated F chord song; Dm, F, C, G, A 126 bpm

Bitch – guitar riff song, power chords in the chorus; 138 bpm, 8th note picking/strumming;

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