7 Easy Rolling Stones Songs on Guitar

The Rolling Stones may be getting up in years and I swear they’ve done at least a few “final” tours at this point. 

But they were the band that defined the Rock and Roll genre and bad boy lifestyle for much of the Sixties and Seventies. 

While the Beatles and Kinks managed to keep their public image “clean” for many years, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the rest of the Stones were the guys your mom warned you about. 

I mean, sometimes we like to think that life was more innocent in the past, but it’s really no secret that some members of this band snorted enough powder to kill a herd of elephants!

But regardless of how they spent their free time, their music has been the soundtrack to many people’s lives.

Now for much of my life, I always thought of most of the guitar playing in their songs as “meat and potatoes”, nothing fancy or overly difficult. 

But maybe I just wasn’t listening carefully because some Stones songs are really tricky

And Keith Richards has been known to employ some strange tunings on songs like You Can’t Always Get What You Want that he guards like the KFC chicken recipe. 

But that doesn’t stop people from coming up with different arrangements to be able to play the songs. 

Plus, there are some songs that are suitable for beginner players. After all, the Rolling Stones have released 30 albums so there’s a lot to choose from. 

So grab a telecaster if you have one, and maybe a headband, cause it’s time to pay tribute to one of Rock’s most enduring bands. 

1. Waiting on a Friend

This song hails from 1981 and has a nice slow and steady tempo that makes it perfect for novice players. 

It uses some traditional chords in slightly different ways but some parts can be simplified if you want.

The main riff that starts the song uses a Cadd9 chord that is like a regular C chord with your pinky finger fretting the 2nd string at the 3rd fret rather than the 1st. 

And the other chord you need is an F chord played on just the bottom four strings but sometimes you will be adding your pinky at the same place as the Cadd9 chord to make an F6 chord. Don’t worry it sounds more complicated than it is!

So the main riff goes Cadd9 F6 F. I recommend you check out the video tutorial if you need help with the timing for it.

As far as the rest of the song, it goes like this.

Verse: Am (Am7 Am) F

(G6 G G6) G C (G6 is like regular G with the 1st string open)

G G7 C (play two times)

You can leave out the chords in parentheses if you want and there are some fills that you can add in if you are a more advanced player, but there’s really not much to this song!

Link to tab

And here’s a lesson:

2. Sympathy for the Devil

This is a song that uses piano for the chords in the recorded version but when the Stones play it at live shows, you can bet your butt the song has rhythm guitar added in. 

And it’s one of the band’s most iconic songs that you can easily add to your repertoire. Just don’t play it at church unless you want some dirty looks. 

Check the video if you need to hear an example but you should use a Down Down Down Up Up strumming pattern followed by double timed Up and Down strokes to mimic the song’s rhythm. 

Here is how to play it. 

Verse: E D A E (repeat as needed throughout verse)

Chorus: B7 E B7 A E

The hardest part about this one is remembering all of the lyrics!

Link to tab

And here’s a lesson:

3. Dandelion

When Psychedelic Rock music was all the rage in 1967, the Rolling Stones put out a single with their take on the genre. 

And this song is notable for being an acoustic guitar song and reportedly having John Lennon and Paul McCartney joining in on backing vocals (some people think they helped to write this tune too). 

While many of the lyrics in the song are inspired by British nursery rhymes, some people think “dandelion” is a euphemism for dandy lines (of cocaine). 

Who knows for sure? I just enjoy the song!

There is a pretty easy intro riff that is not included in the linked tab but you can check out the video if you want to learn it. 

Here is how to play the chords with a capo on the 3rd fret.

Verse: G A A7 (play two times)

G Em (three times)

G A A7 (followed by C E7 on verses that repeat “Blow away Dandelion” a second time)

Bridge: E7 A A7 E

A A7 E A D

Link to tab (no capo but chords are more difficult to play)

And here’s a lesson:

4. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

This is probably the biggest hit of their long and storied career and everyone feels frustrated once in a while, so we all can relate to the lyrics in this song.

But learning to play this one is a breeze and it’s also the Stones song that people are mostly like to ask if you can play. 

The famous little riff is done on the A string like so:


Here are the chords to play the song.

Intro: Riff

Chorus:: E A (play two times)

E B7(or B5) E A 

Then back to the riff.

Verse: RIff!

Link to tab

And here’s a lesson:

5. Wild Horses

The last song to look at in detail is another classic ballad and my personal favorite Rolling Stones song to play and listen to. 

There are some quick chord changes in parts of the song but I will put those in parentheses if you want to leave them out. 

Another thing that makes this song easy is that the second part of the verse and the chorus are very similar in how they are played. 

Intro: G Am G Am G

Verse: Bm G (play two times)

Am (G) C D G D (C)

Play both lines twice!

Also, feel free to mix in Dsus4 with your pinky finger when playing D to make it sound better. 

Chorus: Am C D G F C (Bm) 

Play two times.

The final line of the last chorus goes to D and then ends on G after the C chord.

Solo rhythm backing chords: F C F C D

G Gsus4 G

Link to tab

And here’s a lesson:

6. Honky Tonk Women (with Open G tuning – D G D G B D)

Link to tab

7. Walking the Dog

Link to tab