I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll (Intro) Sheet Music/TAB

“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.

Oye Como Va by Carlos Santana

Oye Como Va Guitar Sheet Music/TAB

I have enjoyed working on Oye Como Va by Carlos Santana with a couple of my students. The chords are very easy and can be strummed with a pick or plucked with your fingers. The challenging part is the rhythm which is very syncopated (accenting down and upbeats in an unexpected way). I recommend this piece for any beginner/intermediate player looking to improve their rhythm skills.

I know there is more to the song than I have notated in this PDF (above), but this is a great start without getting into the subtleties of Santana’s complete guitar solos. This version includes the vocal melody as well a short but sweet guitar solo that Santana plays at the beginning of the track. If any of my students are interested in the sheet music for the complete song, let me know!