Updated: Apr 23, 2018
The common goal for most people learning the guitar would be to would be to be able to play songs they like. Some go on to become composers and writers of their own material however most people start out learning cover songs. This can sometimes be quite frustrating and time consuming so here are three tips to hopefully make the whole process easier.
1. Small Sections
Your average radio pop song is usually around three or four minutes in length however some are much longer. Many songs are compiled of different chord progressions, melodies and even time signatures so how do we learn it all? When teaching a new song to students I often break it down into smaller chunks. Depending on how difficult the song determines how small those sections are but we always take it step by step. We make sure that we aren’t totally jumping in off the deep end with all the information that’s needed and we just work at a steady pace. This tends to make the whole process a lot more enjoyable.
2. Learn It Properly
There are hundreds of guitarists out their that rush through songs and sort of only ‘half learn them’ if that makes sense. This is totally counter productive to us growing as guitar players and we want to ideally be improving. With each small section I would strongly recommend not moving on to the next section until the current verse/chorus/solo is mastered and embedded in your guitar memory. We want to be able to play the parts effortlessly and confidently before putting our brains through the task of learning any new information. This might mean that you’ll need to be patient and persistent with your guitar practice….but we already know that practice is key. We’ve mentioned in previous blogs about ‘building the wall of knowledge’ when it comes to our playing and this also applies here. If we do not fully understand or feel comfortable with the song in its current state it is totally pointless trying to add any new verses or complex section on top of it, you’ll simply forget everything that you have already learnt.
3. Be Consistent
Guitar Practice regularly. This sort of goes without saying but if it was automatically done by all students, then us teachers would never have to bring it up. In order for us to learn anything well we need to make sure that we are working on our songs regularly for it to become cemented. Think of it like this, if you are learning a really complex guitar solo that’s quite fast, can you retain everything that you’ve learnt by just going over it once on a Monday evening each week? The honest answer is no, we need to be consistent with our approach and set aside small regular amounts of time to give to our songs to make sure they’re sounding great
Here at Inspire Music School we are passionate about teaching the songs that our students want to learn. We want them to have all the tools to succeed and we demonstrate the above regularly in our lessons. For more information on how you can improve your song playing or becoming a student with our school contact us about guitar lessons in St Albans today!