Easy Heavy Metal Guitar Tabs for the Novice

A few of these will take practice, but none are too tough, even for the novice

Most people think of heavy metal music as being particularly challenging to play on guitar, and in many cases, they're right. Much heavy metal music features blisteringly fast guitar parts. There's good news for metal fans who are novice guitarists, though: Some classic heavy metal songs are fairly easy to play. These heavy metal song tabs are suitable for novice guitarists who want to improve their skill at playing metal music.​

01
of 13

'Iron Man' (Black Sabbath)

Black Sabbath File Photos
WireImage / Getty Images

"Iron Man" is an easy song for beginners; it primarily uses power chords slid around to different frets, combined with single-note lead parts. The tempo is slow, so it should give you time to move around the fretboard. Tony Iommi's short solo is too ambitious for the beginner, but you might try playing parts of it at a slower tempo.

02
of 13

'You Shook Me All Night Long' (AC/DC)

Photo of AC/DC
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

As is the case with many AC/DC songs, "You Shook Me All Night Long" employs basic open chords and open-string riffs. There's nothing too challenging in this hard rock classic. Even the guitar solo should be conquerable for the novice, with some practice.

03
of 13

'Smoke on the Water' (Deep Purple)

Photo of Ian GILLAN and Ritchie BLACKMORE and DEEP PURPLE
Redferns / Getty Images

This is one you are absolutely required to know, and the good news is "Smoke on the Water" is easy to play. There are just a few power chords, played at a relatively slow tempo. The solo is another matter, but feel free to take a whack at it. This is a great one for novice bands—the bass part is fairly simple but a lot of fun.

04
of 13

'Breaking the Law' (Judas Priest)

Music File Photos - The 1970s - by Chris Walter
WireImage / Getty Images

There's heavy use of power chords in "Breaking the Law," with a moderate tempo. You'll need to practice your palm muting, a fundamental technique of heavy metal rhythm guitar. There's a lot of that here during the chorus, underneath Rob Halford singing "breaking the law... breaking the law." Be sure to play these parts using all downstrokes.

05
of 13

'We're Not Gonna Take It' (Twisted Sister)

Twisted Sister
Mark Weiss / Getty Images

"We're Not Gonna Take It" is pretty simple stuff: power chords, palm-muting, and basic single-note lines. Even the guitar solo is fairly basic, although you'll need a whammy bar to faithfully replicate the original.

06
of 13

'Rock And Roll All Nite' (Kiss)

Give Us A Kiss
Peter Cade / Getty Images

It might be a stretch to call "Rock and Roll All Nite" heavy metal—the guitar part sounds like something recorded by Faces—but it has great riffs worth learning. There are no solos or other tricky bits to learn here.

07
of 13

'Back in Black' (AC/DC)

AC/DC In London
Redferns / Getty Images

There are lots of open chords in "Back in Black," so if you've learned your basic open chords, you'll be in good shape. The little riff between chords might take some practice to master. Try slowing the whole song down, playing everything accurately, and then speeding it up little by little.

08
of 13

'Poison' (Alice Cooper)

John Varvatos Detroit Store Opening Party Hosted By Chrysler

John Varvatos / Getty Images

A straightforward riff and some power chords are all you'll need to learn to play "Poison." Overall, it's pretty simple stuff.

09
of 13

'Slither' (Velvet Revolver)

Photo of Duff McKAGAN and Scott WEILAND and SLASH and VELVET REVOLVER
Redferns / Getty Images

Beginners may have trouble getting "Slither" up to speed, but once you've got the main riff mastered, you basically know the song. Pay attention to the partial string muting that's sometimes used when playing the main riff.

10
of 13

'Living After Midnight' (Judas Priest)

Judas Priest Album Cover Shoot
Redferns / Getty Images

If you can play power chords, you can play "Living After Midnight." Even the guitar solo should be possible for beginner guitarists, with a little work on their string bends.

11
of 13

'Killing in the Name' (Rage Against the Machine)

Photo of Rage Against the Machine
Lindsay Brice / Getty Images

"Killing in the Name" sounds complicated, but if you break it down, it's just an easy collection of single-note riffs played at medium tempo. Absolute beginners might have trouble with it, but for many of you, this is highly doable. Tom Morello uses a DigiTech Whammy pedal for the solo, which sounds really complicated but is surprisingly not.

12
of 13

'Paranoid' (Black Sabbath)

Black Sabbath File Photos
WireImage / Getty Images

At a slow tempo, "Paranoid" isn't too tough, but the original's tempo is pretty quick, so your right hand will get a workout. Try slowing it down, and once you get it, speed it up a bit at a time. Make sure you're appropriately palm-muting the strings as you hear in the audio.

13
of 13

'Aces High' (Iron Maiden)

Portrait Of Iron Maiden
Hulton Archive / Getty Images

"Aces High" is by far the hardest song here, but it's so great it's worth trying to learn. You'll need to be a pretty proficient palm-muter to nail it, and it's going to sound a lot better if you can find someone else to play this with—there are a lot of harmonized two-guitar parts. With a lot of practice, even beginner guitarists should be able to play a lot of this—except, that is, for the guitar solo.

Watch Now: Learn to Play Heavy Metal Power Chords