Easy Heavy Metal Guitar Tabs

Most people think of heavy metal music as being particularly challenging to play on guitar, and in many cases, they are right. Much heavy metal music features blisteringly fast guitar parts, with high-flying pyrotechnics on display. Good news for metal fans who are novice guitarists though - there are some classic heavy metal songs that are actually fairly easy to play. The following heavy metal song tabs are suitable for novice guitarists who want to improve their skills by learning to play metal music.

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Iron Man (Black Sabbath)

Iron Man tab
Iron Man audio (Spotify)

This is a great song for beginners - the song primarily uses a bunch of 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 going to be too ambitious for the real beginner, but you might try playing parts of it at a slower tempo.

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You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)

acdc back in black

You Shook Me All Night Long tab
You Shook Me All Night Long audio (Spotify) (cover band)

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

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Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple)

deep purple machine head

Smoke on the Water tab

This is one you are absolutely required to know - the good news is "Smoke on the Water" is simple to play. 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 actually a great one for novice bands to play - the bass part is fairly simple but a lot of fun.

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Breaking the Law (Judas Priest)

judas priest british steel

Breaking the Law tab

Again, heavy use of power chords here, with a moderate tempo. You'll need to practice your palm muting - a fundamental technique of heavy metal rhythm guitar - as there is a lot of that here (listen for it during the chorus, underneath Rob Halford singing "breaking the law... breaking the law"). Be sure to play these parts using all downstrokes.

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We're Not Gonna Take It (Twisted Sister)

twisted sister stay hungry

We're Not Gonna Take It tab
We're Not Gonna Take It audio (Spotify)

Pretty simple stuff - power chords, palm-muting, and basic single note lines. Even the guitar solo is pretty basic, although you'll need a whammy bar to faithfully replicate the original.

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Rock And Roll All Nite (Kiss)

kiss dressed to kill

Rock And Roll All Nite tab
Rock And Roll All Nite audio (Spotify)

It might be a stretch to call this one "heavy metal" - the guitar part in particular reminds of something that might have been recorded by Faces - but it's got some great riffs worth learning. No solos or other tricky bits to learn here.

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Back in Black (AC/DC)

acdc back in black

Back in Black tab
Back in Black audio (Spotify) (cover band)

Lots of open chords here - if you've learned your basic open chords, you'll be in good shape. The little riff in between chords might take some practice to get up to speed and in time - try slowing the whole song down, playing everything accurately, and then speeding it up little by little.

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Poison (Alice Cooper)

alice cooper trash

Poison tab

A straightforward riff and some power chords are all you'll need to learn in order to play "Poison". Pretty simple stuff.

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Slither (Velvet Revolver)

velvet revolver contraband

Slither tab
Slither audio (Spotify)

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

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Living After Midnight (Judas Priest)

judas priest british steel

Living After Midnight tab

This one is pretty simple - if you can play power chords, you can play "Living After Midnight". Even the guitar solo should be possible by beginner guitarists, with a little work on their string bends.

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Killing in the Name (Rage Against the Machine)

rage against the machine

Killing in the Name tab

This Rage Against the Machine sounds complicated, but if you break it down, it's just a collection of single-note riffs played at a medium tempo. Absolute beginners might have trouble with this one, but for the rest of us, this is highly do-able. Tom Morello uses a Digitech Whammy pedal for the solo, which sounds really complicated, but is ​surprisingly not.

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Paranoid (Black Sabbath)

black sabbath paranoid

Paranoid tab

At a slow tempo, this one isn't too tough at all, but the tempo of the original is pretty quick, so your right hand will get a workout. Try slowing this one 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.

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Aces High (Iron Maiden)

iron maiden powerslave

Aces High tab

Here's the real challenging one - "Aces High" is by far the hardest song included here. But it's just so great, it's really worth trying to learn. You'll need to be a pretty proficient palm-muter to nail the sound, 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 whole lot of practice, even beginner guitarists should be able to play a lot of this one. Except, that is, for the guitar solo.