Can I Really Learn Songs Faster?
Okay… This is not actually a new idea I just came up with. This method, along with learning a few other chord patterns, is the way many street musicians learn and remember lots of songs.
It really is very effective for those who want to play guitar and sing songs. It makes it easier to learn many songs. But it also makes it easier to remember many songs. It’s fairly easy to remember a few patterns and which one of them to use for a particular song…. much easier than treating every individual song is a whole new set of chords.
Whether you want to stroll the countryside and entertain the masses with your prodigious repertoire of popular guitar songs, or just looking for a shortcut to learn songs for your own entertainment or for your family and friends this method can be a valuable asset.
If nothing else it will enable you to fairly quickly be able to play along with YouTube videos and enjoy the challenge of keeping up.
YouTube As A Practice Partner
One way to get the feel for a song is to try playing along with the YouTube video. There are many subtleties that you can pick up this way. It will also help you practice changing chords on time because you can tell very quickly if you gotten off from the song.
Of course this is not always easy, especially if you're still struggling to change chords. Here are some tips to get you going.
- Start with the easier songs to get the hang of doing this. I recommend songs with just 3 chords to start off with. It helps if you're already familiar with the song.
- Choose songs that are recorded using an acoustic guitar. It's much more difficult to play along with a full band sound that uses an electric guitar or keyboard to play the chords. As you get more experienced you will be able to play along with any instruments.
- Listen to the song all the way through and see if you can hear where the chords change. Just making an attempt will help train your ears to listen for
- Then play along with the song strumming straight down. Keep it very simple and just try to change chords at the right times.
- In the earlier stages it's better to use easier chords and the capo if possible to play in the same key as the YouTube video.
- Try to spend some time several days a week doing this. Remember you are training your hands and your ears. New learning responds best to regular repetition.
10 Easy Guitar Songs To Play Along
Here’s 10 easy acoustic guitar songs that you can practice along with on YouTube. To start off I'd recommend that you choose just one or two that you either are familiar with or at least enjoy.
All 10 songs can be played using the three chords shown in the video (G,C and D). I've indicated the songs that need a capo to be able to play along on YouTube using the same three chords.
1. Bob Dylan- Knockin' on Heaven's Door Key G (no capo)
2. John Denver – Leaving on a Jet Plane Key G (no capo)
3. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama (no capo)
4. Blowin In The Wind – Bob Dylan Key G (no capo)
a. Written by Bob Dylan in 1962, in 1999 the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2004, it was ranked #14 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. Another beautiful version you may want to try is by Peter, Paul and Mary. To play along using the same chords put the capo on fret 2.
5. McCartney Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da Play G (video Key A – Capo 2)
6. Me and Bobby Mcgee – Janis Joplin Key G (no capo) Kris Kristofferson (video Key A – capo 2)
7. Wild Thing – The Troggs Play G (video Key A – capo 2)
8. Walking On Sunshine – Katrina And The Waves Play G (video Bb-capo 3)
9. Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry Play G (video Bb – capo 3)
10. All Shook Up (Elvis Presley) Play G (video Bb-capo 3)
I am beginner and I been following you for some time now . what ever I can play now is what I have I have leant from you.pls try and do some gospel lessons.
Hi Paul, thanks for your comment. I don’t have plans right now to do any gospel lessons because I don’t play gospel guitar. – Tomas
I think your guitar skills are excellent, however your singing is atrocious. I believe why they are so poor, is because you haven’t taken time to learn the words. So what I reccomend is pick a couple of tunes, you really like, in fact start with one. I chose some oldies: Ray Charles I can’t stop loving you, Roy Orbison California Blue and Long John Baldry singing Let the heartaches begin. As yet I can remember all of the words, to I can’t stop loving you (easy because it’s the same couple of verses, sung 3 times) Most of California Blue and I still need a lot more Let the heartaches begin. I chose to sing the songs, over and over, in order to memorise them. What I did not attempt, was to play the music, at least not till I knew all of the words. Now here comes the hard part, putting your music to them. That I have not mastered because I cannot play but to you that should come easy? Good luck Mark Morley
Thanks for your honest feedback/singing coaching. What you are recommending makes sense. In fact I’m going to practice “Only Fools Fall in Love – Elvis” and sing it at my school’s recital to my sweetheart. Gives me something to work for. I’ve also enrolled in voice lessons. -Tomas
I have been trying to learn to get proficient on the guitar for about 11 years now with out much success. I have tried 3 local studios, 3 paid online courses with little success. You seem to be good at what I’m seeing but all the others seem good when I first found them but it just didn’t work for me. At 74 I’m thinking maybe I never will be as good as I would like to be. I know a few chords, can’t seem to ever get the Barr chord to work for me and have trouble changing smoothly. Any suggestions.
Tomas great stuff. What better combo than a cheat-sheet along with some easy guitar songs. I’m learning a lot from you stuff and appreciate you sharing. Looking to tackle this list and share it with some other beginners too. Thanks.
Hi Tomas, I’ve been using your guitar lessons now for close on a year and have found them great. You explain things that make it very easy to follow and not complicated. Keep up the good work Tomas
Thanks Davie. I’m glad you’ve found my lessons helpful.
High five Tomas, you rock these lessons out very well.
You explain to a newbie level, great full for that.
This last one about 10 songs wit D G and C add7 is pretty amazing.
I’m glad you liked it, Lou (Old YogaDawg). – Tomas
Which strum will work with the song, Knockin on heavan door?
I seem to be having a hard time trying to find the correct one.
Also please add me to your list for your next school.