Learn how to play your favorite songs on guitar with ease. Check out some best ways to learn songs on guitar. Whether you’re looking to play for fun or want to take your performance to the stage, these tips will help you become a guitar pro.
Mastering the Guitar is All About Playing Songs!
Playing songs is the core of learning guitar.
Learning the guitar is all about being able to play the songs you love. Without it, the process of learning guitar can feel pointless. It is through playing songs we are passionate about that drives us to overcome any obstacles and challenges in our guitar journey. We are often motivated by the dream of sharing our favorite songs with others or playing songs with our loved ones.
Mastering the guitar means mastering the art of playing songs!
An effective way to speed up your guitar learning process is by including songs in your guitar practice routine. It’s a known fact that we tend to remember words better when it is paired with a melody. Similarly, in academics, music is used to aid in faster learning. The same applies to guitar, where playing songs can help you quickly master chords, riffs, and techniques. Not only is it more enjoyable and engaging, but it also keeps you motivated and engaged in the learning process.
Best Ways to Learn Songs on Guitar
There are many ways to approach song learning on the guitar. In this article, we’ll discuss two effective ways to learn songs on guitar. We’ll provide tips and techniques to help you make the most of your practice time and improve your musical abilities.
1. Build & Expand Your Playing Repertoire
As a beginner guitarist, it is more strategic to be intentional in building and expanding your song repertoire. Instead of simply playing whatever comes to mind or what you hear, take the time to carefully select songs that will help you progress and measure your growth as a musician. A well-established repertoire can speak volumes about your abilities as a guitarist and showcase everything you have learned.
Here’s how you can grow your song collection:
- Create a List of Your Favorite Musicians. This will give you a starting point for what kind of music you want to learn.
- Compile a List of Your Favorite Tunes. After making a list of your favorite artists, create a list of your favorite songs from their songs. This will help you keep track of the songs you’ve learned and give you something to refer back to when you’re looking for something to play. Nothing can inspire you more than playing the songs you love.
- List Your Go-To Pop Songs. Make sure to include popular songs in your practice routine that boast catchy melodies and memorable lyrics. Not only will these tunes be a hit with your audience, family, and friends, but you’ll also have the opportunity to share them with your audience, family, and friends. Sharing music enhances the overall experience.
2. Organize the Tracks into 3 Types
Classify the songs you’ve listed into different categories based on their level of difficulty. Without proper organization, you risk falling into the trap of feeling bored with easy songs or feeling frustrated with difficult songs. Categorizing your songs in this way will enable you to practice more efficiently and ultimately, feel more fulfilled and productive.
An easy way to describe it is songs with 2 to 4 basic open chords. It is a great way to start, as they are easy to play and perfect for beginners.
One of the most significant factors when developing your song collection is picking songs you can play from memory. This ability will give you more confidence while playing, as you won’t have to keep on checking tabs or sheet music.
- Basic Plus
These songs include one or two barre chords but are still relatively simple to play. Playing these songs requires extra effort and practice before they become comfortable playing on guitar.
Advanced songs are typically songs you can mostly play but still have some challenging sections. These parts usually make the song more exciting and fun, giving you something to work on and improve. It could be a riff, fingerstyle pattern, 7th and sus2 chords, or techniques. This list should be realistic and challenging but achievable. Something that will push you as a player but still allow you to make good progress.
Keep a list of challenging songs you hope to play in the future, even if they are not achievable anytime soon. These songs are not for the faint of heart and require a high level of skill and proficiency to play.
It may be tempting to overlook these challenging songs, but you should see them as an opportunity to develop your skills and push your limits as a player. Including them in your list will set you up for growth and progress as a musician.
For example, you may have a list of challenging songs, like those by Tommy Emmanuel, that inspire you but will take a lot of work and dedication to play. These songs may be intimidating, but they are also incredibly inspiring. With consistent practice and commitment, you may be surprised by what you can achieve and master the songs you’ve always wanted to play.
What are Cool Songs to Learn on Guitar?
Don’t limit yourself to only popular or classic songs when choosing what to practice on guitar. Instead, consider expanding your musical horizons by exploring a diverse range of tunes that you may not have discovered yet but have the potential to become your favorites.
This can include songs from different genres, eras, and different cultures. Expanding your song list helps you develop more skills and techniques and find new ways to play songs.
You can start by choosing songs that are popular and easy to play.
- Stand By Me by Ben E. King
- Payphone by Maroon 5
- Love Me Do by The Beatles
- Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door By Bob Dylan
- Three Little Birds by Bob Marley
- Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus
- Leaving on a Jet Plane by John Denver
- Twist and Shout by The Beatles
- A Horse With No Name by America
- Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
- Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
- Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Have You Ever Seen The Rain by CCR
- Zombie by The Cranberries
- I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For by U2
- You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift
Another great way to expand your guitar practice routine is by studying the music of guitar legends. By learning from the songs of these accomplished musicians, you can gain valuable insights into different techniques, styles, and approaches to playing the guitar. This can help you to improve your playing and develop your unique voice as a musician.
- James Taylor
- Bob Dylan
- Paul Simon
- Joni Mitchell
- Tommy Emmanuel
- Robert Johnson
- Merle Travis
- Joni Mitchell
- Bonnie Raitt
- Kaki King
- Lita Ford
- Muriel Anderson
- Memphis Minnie
- Mother Maybelle Carter
- Sister Rosetta Tharpe
- Nancy Wilson
- Sharon Isbin
- Elizabeth Cotten
- Liona Boyd
- Joan Jett
While guitar legends may seem like untouchable stars, approach them with a sense of openness and aspiration. Use their music as a source of inspiration for your guitar journey rather than feeling intimidated by their talent and fame. Remember, they also started somewhere and worked hard to become the guitar legends they are today.
Effective Guitar Practice Routine
To develop an effective guitar practice routine, it is recommended to include a combination of the following basic activities:
- Chords and Scales
- Strumming and Other Techniques
- Song Learning
When learning guitar as a beginner, focus on working on small sections to have significant progress. This will not only help you to progress more quickly, but it will also ensure that you’re fully absorbing the technical aspects of playing while still enjoying learning a new song.
Here’s how it can be done:
Practice Duration – When it comes to practice time, a good starting point could be 15 minutes. You can allocate 5 minutes for each section or activity you want to focus on. You can then gradually increase the time based on your availability. However, it’s important to note that consistency is the key, so make sure to PRACTICE DAILY, even if it’s only for a short period. I highly recommend choosing a specific time during the day when you are most available and can give your full attention to practice.
Routine Details – You have two ways you can combine to create an effective guitar practice routine. You can either create a separate list of chords, scales, and techniques to focus on and then a list of songs or integrate the whole song into your practice routine.
- Create a Separate List. The first approach allows you to take the time to master the fundamentals before incorporating them into a song. Set specific goals for each practice session and track progress over time. Have a consistent and well-structured guitar practice routine. This will also give a more clear direction to your progress. I strongly suggest you establish this first and use it as a guide or a template for your routine.
- Integrate the Whole Song. The second approach allows you to dedicate more time to focus on learning the song you want to play while also developing technical skills. You can break down the parts of the song into smaller sections, such as chords, scales, strumming patterns, and techniques. This can make it easier to practice each section separately and build your skills incrementally. Once you have finished learning the song, switch back to your setlist.
Accelerating Your Guitar Journey
If you desire to streamline your guitar practice routine and avoid the frustration of trying to determine the most effective lessons, investing in guitar lessons is a valuable step in your musical journey. Taking guitar lessons is one of the most effective ways to learn how to play the guitar.
The Importance of Guitar Lessons:
- Whether you’re just starting or have been playing for years, lessons offer a structured approach to learning that can help you make meaningful progress and achieve your goals.
- You can expect rapid improvements in your playing skills and a deeper understanding of the instrument.
- Guitar lessons can unlock your creative potential as a musician. You’ll develop the skills and understanding necessary to bring your musical ideas to life. With a solid foundation of techniques and knowledge, you’ll be able to take your playing to new heights and explore a wide range of creative possibilities.
- You can get the necessary guidance and receive targeted or personalized feedback and advice to help you overcome challenges and improve your skills faster and more efficiently. It can help you refine your playing, develop better techniques, and expand your musical knowledge.
So if you’re looking to make great strides in your guitar playing, tap into your creative potential, and take your guitar playing to the next level, consider taking lessons and see the difference they can make in your journey.