Learn Guitar Songs
Learning the technical side of guitar is all well and good, but the reason most of us pick up a guitar in the first place is to learn songs. We hear a song on the radio, download an album from our favourite band, and deep down we’re really thinking, “how can I sound like that?”
Well, the truth is that it’s not all that hard to learn many of the songs your favourite bands play. Sure there’s may be some technical marvels out there that are just about unplayable, but even if it’s just strumming the chords, with a little practice most of us can come up with a reasonably sounding facsimile of a song that we like.
Tricks of the Trade
There are a few tricks of the trade that you’ll need to learn, though. First of all, it certainly helps to be able to read tab. Tab is a form of music notation that’s specifically designed for guitar and bass. It’s a lot more intuitive than traditional music notation and you can learn to read tab fairly quickly.
If you’re looking for a few easy songs to get you started, I’ve got a list here and will post more songs as part of the weekly blog entries.
Learning Songs by Ear
Another way to pick up new songs is to learn them by ear. There are some people who seem to be able to just listen to a song and play it, but most of us, me included have had to work at it. It does take some practice but there are a few tricks of the trade that can help get you started and make it easier.
One of these tricks is using software to slow down guitar tracks and make it easier to hear and transcribe. There are a few programs out there that are great for this and you can find more information on them here.
How to Practice
Finally, the biggest key to continuously improving as a guitar player, rather than just learning a few licks and playing them over and over, is the quality of your practice. Many guitarists never improve because they have poor practice habits and don’t really challenge themselves to get better. On this site you’ll find tips for improving your practice habits and learn the difference between practicing to get better and simply noodling around.
Learning songs is the most enjoyable parts of playing guitar. I think learning to play actual songs on the guitar is a lot more valuable than just learning various exercises in a guitar book. After all, playing songs and developing your musicianship is the whole point of picking up the guitar in the first place.