“I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts is great beginner guitar riff that I have worked on with a few students. I like to give beginning guitar players simple, bite size, easily recognizable riffs such as this one, Smoke on the Water and 12 Bar Blues in addition to chords because these riffs offer more immediate gratification to the beginner while chords can often take at least a few weeks of hard practicing before they become fluent. The intro to “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” is a small step up in difficulty from 12 Bar Blues and Smoke on Water because it combines power chords, bends, and some single note runs toward the end, but with a little practice anyone can be rocking this one in no time.
A lot of people don’t realize that Joan Jett’s 1981 hit version of this song was not the original which was recorded in 1975 by a band called Arrows. I highly recommend playing along with these tracks when you practice because it’s fun and helps with rhythm. Playing along with Weird Al Yankovic’s parody, “I Love Rocky Road” is also fun.