“The Top Ten Easiest Songs To Learn On Guitar”

So tonight I took our fallen soldiers back to the beer store for a refund, and I grabbed the (free) December 2013 issue of Chill magazine for shits and giggles. It had Ron Burgundy on the cover, so why not?

Inside was an innocuous little tag-along piece called “The Top Ten Easiest Songs To Learn On The Guitar.”

I thought ‘hey, great! This will be perfect for all of those campfires that I don’t sit around ever.’ Anyway.

I take issue with some of their list and, this being the wild and wonderful internet, I am free to rant about it here on my very own blog page. Which I share with James. And my opinions will surely not be his. This is all me, baby. Also, I take it to understand that they mean the riffs only. Not the solos or any of the fills… So really this is just me bitching. So there.

Ready? Of course you are. This list is lifted right from page 29 of the December 2013 Chill…

1. Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water. 

– Sure, every learning player gets this one pretty damn quickly. Not the solos, mind you…

2. George Thorogood And The Destryers – Bad To The Bone 

– Yeah, the riff’s basic. OK. Same as Purple, don’t be daunted by the solos…

3. Rolling Stones – Satisfaction 

– Oh, no doubt. In fact, if you can’t play this one on guitar, take up the oboe.

4. America – Horse With No Name 

– Yep, sure.

5. AC/DC – TNT 

– Just want to know how they picked this song out of all of them… all deference to AC/DC. The power of their songs comes from the simplicity of their bases. It’s what we love about it. It’s primal. Carved in stone. Ahem… Rock.

6. Wild Cherry – Play That Funky Music 

– It may be easy, but the question I can’t escape is why in the hell would you teach this to yourself?

7. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit 

– ditto my comment on Satisfaction.

8. Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Takin’ Care Of Business 

– Um, what? I duuno, maybe? But from a beginning guitarist’s point of view, getting this one down might be a little more than banging out a couple of repetitive chords. Not really one of the easiest songs to learn, I’d say. How about House Of The Rising Sun, instead?

9. Black Sabbath – Iron Man

Yeah, I get it, you wanna impress your friends with the riff. But you’re not playing the song, are you? Not a beginner song. And you still won’t sound like Iommi. No one else does.

10. Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven 

– Uh, what? And this is where I lost it… If this song were easy to play, we’d all be Jimmy Page, OK? Even the intro… have you ever looked up the TAB for that? The album-recorded version? Uh huh. This is NOT a beginning guitarist’s song. It is not EASY. The acoustic part OR the electric part. At no point would a guitar teacher say ‘well hey, now you’ve learned the basic chords and House Of The Rising Sun, let’s try Stairway To Heaven!’ Not unless they wanted to be the suckiest teacher ever and have all their students quit. Sorry. Nope. Nope nope nope nope nope.


Posted on January 18, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I once saw Blackmore talk about the Smoke… Riff saying that people get it wring – he just plays it on two strings. Did the article have the tabs?


    • Two strings, eh? Interesting, I’ll have to look that up. Thanks! Naw, the “article” (dubious at best) is a little footer on the bottom of a page in the middle of a magazine they give out for free at the beer store. I’m not really expecting thoroughness or quality, here…

      And thanks for checking out the blog! I hope I can throw some shit at the wall that you enjoy, every now and again!


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