If you had to learn a few songs to learn how to play rock n roll, which would you pick?

johmica

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Bo Diddley - Who Do You Love
Beatles - Ticket to Ride
Bob Dylan - Don't Think Twice
Eddie Floyd - Knock on Wood
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
ZZ Top - La Grange
Aerosmith - Walk This Way
AC/DC - Hell's Bells
Great White - Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Black Crowes - Jealous Again
Tom Petty - Mary Jane's Last Dance
 

1955

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These are just a few, could do this forever. Lots of stuff comes to my mind, from different decades and genres, it’s hard to just pick a few.
 

Maguchi

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I remember guys like Eddie Van Halen or Johnny Marr would woodshed when they were kids to Cream or the Stooges to learn how to play. What are some essential rock songs you would think are worth while to learn?
Roll Over Beethoven by Chuck Berry
Sitting on Top of the World by Cream
Good Golly Miss Molly by Creedence Clearwater Revival (originally Little Richard)
Don't Let Me Down by The Beatles
Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo by Rick Derringer or Johnny Winter
 

Maguchi

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Rock and Roll means different things to different people. I would pick song liked and learn them.
^^^This. If there are certain styles or songs that you like and want to emulate, learn those. If there are songs or guitar players that you want you're style to be like, learn those. At first you will copy and eventually you're own style will develop.
 

Old Verle Miller

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That's a lot like saying I want to learn to cook vegetables.

What audiences are you envisioning playing in front of?

Always know and play to the audience. The rock audience usually breaks down in terms of era/decade. Then later things get messy when you introduce nuances like acid, metal, disco, pop and so on and so on.

If you can do Credence, Doors, Rolling Stones, Paul Revere and The Raiders, The Animals, The Who, The Boxtops, Chuck Berry, Spirit, some Doobie Brothers, ZZ Top and the Byrds you'll have a complete show.
 

gimmeatele

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Johnny B Goode Chuck Berry
Roll Over Beethoven Chuck Berry
Jailhouse Rock Elvis Presley
Hound Dog Elvis Presley
All Shook Up Elvis Presley
Rock Around The Clock Bill Haley and his Comets
Get Back The Beatles
Surfin' USA The Beach Boys
Good Golly Miss Molly Little Richard
Rave On Buddy Holly
Think you covered my list there. 👍
 

HolmfirthNJ

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I would definitely go with the ‘50s: Chuck Berry (Johnny B. Goode), Buddy Holly (Peggy Sue), Eddie Cochran (Somethin’ Else) - I think you could spend your life on those three and it wouldn’t be wasted.
But also the ‘garage’ standards: Gloria, Rumble, Wild Thing are great because they sound great even if you’re not a great guitar player.
 

dlew919

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I'm taking 'rock and roll' to be pre-Beatles...

So, to learn guitar, in no order:
Johnny B Goode. (maybe that's all you need)
Summertime Blues
Pipeline (I think that's pre-Beatles)
Mystery Train (the elvis version)
Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis was that good - two is ok)
Peggy Sue
Rumble
Suzie Q
Rebel Rouser
Rock Around the Clock

If Post Beatles - it might need ot be broken down by Decade... So lets' give it a go

1960s:

Sunshine of Your Love
Paranoid
Communication Breakdown (Led Zeppelin)
Foxy Lady
Little Wing (Jimi's version)
You Really Got Me
My Generation
Day Tripper
Louie Louie
Cissy Strut

1970s
Smoke on the Water
Jail Break AC/DC (or Gloria by Them)
London Calling
Ziggy Stardust
Heartbreaker
Bohemian Rhapsody
Get it on
Aqualung (Jethro Tull)
Blitzkrieg Bop (The Ramones)
Knockin' on Heaven's Door

1980s
Always with me, always with you (Satriani)
Hammer to Fall (Queen)
Born to Run
Hot for Teacher (Van Halen)
Right Next Door (Robert Cray)
Texas Flood (SRV)
Thunderstruck (AC/DC)
Crazy Train (Ozzy)
Sweet Child o' Mine
Ride the Lightning (Metallica)

1990s:
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Alive
solace of you (Living Colour)
killing in the name (RATM)
One - U2
Nothing Else Matters - Metallica
Give it away - RHCP
Wonderwall - Oasis
Song 5 - Blur
Creep - Radiohead

That list is not a list of definitive tracks - all tracks can be substituted with at least 10 songs. It's also not necessarily representative of the acts. It's meant to cover as much of rock music since 1965 through to about 2000, so one can learn all (or at least a representative sample) of styles Many great guitarists are missing. It's not necessarily the best songs from any group or act. This is not a list to remove great guitarists. I think it's a list to cover the styles, as much as possible.
 

somebodyelseuk

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I remember guys like Eddie Van Halen or Johnny Marr would woodshed when they were kids to Cream or the Stooges to learn how to play. What are some essential rock songs you would think are worth while to learn?
Is it 'rock n roll', or 'rock'? They're not the same thing.

Buddy Holly, Elvis, Eddie Cochrane, Gene Vincent, Chuck Berry.
Something a bit newer, Brian Setzer and Daryl Higham.
 
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tubeswell

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Johnny B Goode
Route 66 (Chuck Berry Version)
Little Sister (Elvis Version with Hank Garland)
Lucille (Little Richard)
My Babe (Little Walter)
Susie Q (Dale Hawkins version with James Burton Lick)
Hello Mary Lou (Ricky Nelson version with James Burton lick)
20-flight Rock (Eddie Cochrane)
Mystery Train (Scotty Moore version)
And once you’ve got all those, Merle Travis’ version of Cannonball Rag has a whole pile of cool rockabilly riffs
 

nickmm

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One player often quoted is Hank Marvin, not so much in the USA but a huge influence on the 2nd British invasion guitar players.
So learn Apache.
Not sure if you call it Rock and Roll.
And Johnny B Goode is harder to nail than you think.
 




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