easy first songs to learn?

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by The Outlaw, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Electroman67

    Electroman67 Senior Member

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    Apr 24, 2012
    Enjoyable easy songs to learn when starting:
    I Love Rock n Roll - Joan Jett.
    Ridin' The Storm Out - REO.
    We're Not Gonna Take It -Twisted Sister
    Surrender <or> She's Tight -Cheap Trick
    Love Stinks - J Geils Band
    Destroyer - The Kinks
    Shakin' - Eddie Money
  2. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

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    Sep 20, 2011
    I just came across and skimmed through this thread. If you are still looking for song suggestions I have a few. First off, however, don't get discouraged with the guitar! Jjust have fun and take your time. At times I have found myself unable to nail something down at all, only to pick it up to some degree (whether easily or just a bit) half an hour, hours, or a day later.

    I don't think anyone has suggested it, but Smashing Pumpkins has some easy power chord/harmonic songs (though I wouldn't recommend trying to learn some of the crazy solos). Zero, Quiet, Today, Bullet with Butterfly Wings, Cherub Rock. Some might be a little "tricky."

    How are you doing these days with Smells Like Teen Spirit? Come as Your Are and All Apologies might be good to try.

    First song I ever learned was Yellow Submarine by the Beatles, followed by Zero by SP (not including solo).

    The Star Spangled Banner might also be fun for you to try.

    To help out with progressing practice chords and scales when you can.

    I can tab up how I play any of these or point you in the direction of tabs/videos for anything that might interest you (hard to find good tabs but they give you a starting point).

    Last, I like the suggestion of practicing clean (at least some of the time), and like others have said, you don't necessarily need to change your tuning for songs not played in standard tuning.
  3. AngryHatter

    AngryHatter Senior Member

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    Jun 19, 2009
    With a nick like Outlaw the ONLY acceptable answer is Green Grass and High Tides...duh.:dude:
  4. notjoeaverage

    notjoeaverage Senior Member

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    Apr 7, 2012
    Came across this and have some thoughts to share.

    Hope the OP is still at it and making progress, but for those in the same boat, you have to crawl before you walk, and walk before you can run.

    Too often we throw out songs we learned and say these are easy and for us at the time we learned them and with the skills we had at the time they might have been. Without knowing the skill level of an OP giving suggestions for songs is no more valid then telling him what type of guitar he should buy. Everyone has the best intentions and is trying to be helpful and a few of you really went out of your way for Outlaw, and I applaud you for it. I hope he's still at it.

    If you're in the same boat here are things to ask yourself when you start trying to learn how to play a song start to finish.

    Can I play a repeating 12 bar blues for any key, for each key. Can I play various strummimg patterns, can I play all the open chords yet any barre chords, how about alternate picking, palm muting, hammer ons and pull offs. If you haven't got these basic techniques down yet go to Justin Sandercoes site and do his free beginners course before you start on his song lessons.

    It's so much easier to play a song when you already have the techniques required to be able to play it, instead of having to learn the techniques while also trying to learn the song.

    If I was to teach someone who had bought a guitar in the past few months or years and has been noodling around and getting nowhere on there own, I'd first show them the index finger pivot chords A, D, and E, show them how to change from one to another without ever lifting the index finger from the 3rd string, then teach them basic strumming 12 Bar Blues and the basic chord progressions like I-IV-V and how songs are just a progression or groups of progression put togehter. Learn Basic Theory, understanding why you're doing something will a lot of times make it easier to plug along. Understanding of Time Signatures, Bars/Measures, Rhythm Slahes, Chord Charts and Basic Scales.

    Now you have the tools to do your own songs and like a couple of you have already said the number of songs using just A, D and E covers every genre.

    Still using your pivot add the C chord and Em, once youv'e got them down add your 4 finger G pivoting off the D chord ring finger on ther 2nd string, the you get your Cadd9 put in an FMaj7 and you have another I-IV-V to play with. Once you have B7 that gives you another I-IV-V and you can now play damn near half the songs ever written once you get your minors down.

    Within several weeks you should be able to play a steady 12 bar blues rhythm strumming, and that gives you a very sought after skill that you can trade for more knowledge. Post at your local guitar shop that you're looking to jam locally and will play 12 Bar Blues Rhythms for anyone who wants to work on their Blues Soloing take the last 15 mins of each hour to pick the guys brain and have him show you things you are having trouble with. You will get better in a hurry.

    If you are going to learn a song first look for the ones that use the same chord progression and strumming pattern through Verse Chorus and Bridge. Horse With No Name, Helpless and Knockin On Heavens Door (good calls previously), Freebird, What's Up and With or Without You are all basic strummers and 3 or 4 chords repeating.

    Anyone who wants a list of repetative strummers and basics with differing Verse Chorus send me a PM or if there are enough requests I'll start a thread and see if we can get some other contributors for diff generes and decades and maybe get them stickied.

    I've been playing for 11 years now and first 5 I was self taught, being a lousy teacher and a poor student didn't help, then I found out I was ADHD at 40; changed my diet started working out regularly and took Ritalin long enough to know what it was like to feel "normal", which I can maintain through diet and exercise most of the time. Once you can focus you can plan and you can implement that plan, if you follow through you will progress and you will improve. I can certainly identify with Outlaw and his frustration for 6 years all I could do was play repetative strummers and improvise my own chord progressions. I still spend up to an hour a day improvising because that's one of the things I enjoy, creating my own thing. Another is helping someone to do something better than I can. Those that can do, those that can't teach, I'm kinda half way inbetween that.
  5. The Outlaw

    The Outlaw Senior Member

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    Oct 26, 2011
    sorry i havent been around i havent gotten any reply notifications?

    im still messing with guitars but alot less lately and i've given up on trying to learn songs for now. i still pick up a guitar for an hour or 2 atleast twice a week but mostly just dicking around and seeing if i can find something that sounds good.

    out of the tons of guitars i bought i finally found a few that i liked and sold the rest. i kept a squier affinity strat, agile al3100 silverburst, and the cheapo ibanez HH. all my epiphones are gone. i got sick of spending time trying to learn to fix the flaws in my cheap guitars when i could be spending that time with the family or actually learning to play the cheap guitars. im very happy with the squier and agile and i love the action and neck of the ibanez but wont be playing it much untill i get other pups for it maybe some actives.

    as for progress:
    i never did get sweet child o mine down. all my buddy's laugh when i tell them how pissed i am about not being able to get it and swear that whoever recommended it must have been joking. said i pretty much set myself up for failure trying to learn that at my skill level. i still try a few times every time i pick up the guitar but im still way off on the rhythm and speed. i seem to go faster and faster and faster as i repeat it.

    i can now play the easy part of smoke on the water any time even in front of friends (usually i get nervous and screw everything up real bad when people are around)

    the intro to enter sandman i can get right about 4 times then it goes to shit, i've been thinking i should try to learn the rest of the song. it seems i mess most stuff up when i try to repeat it over and over.

    I still cant get seek and destroy down due to the mutes but in all honesty i havent tried in months.

    i can play one part from papa roach's last resort over and over on a good day and catch myself trying similar patterns on the fretboard when im buzzed looking for something that sounds good.

    i wish i had more time to play and experiment these days but my youngest girl started crawling a while back and gets into everything while the older daughter acts out for attention... this housefull of wemon has been keeping me busy and on the verge of insanity lately.

    i still want a few more guitars though. im currently feining for a good acoustic like the ibanez acoustic electric i sold due to legal trouble. im also wanting one of the alpine white gibby specials with p90's. sucks in a way but it seems like as long as i keep buying guitars i keep playing, just wish i could buy and sell without loosing money in the process. probably would have been cheaper to take lessons lol

    is malikon still doing the lick of the week thing? i loved those
  6. colchar

    colchar Banned

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    Oct 26, 2009
    I think this is an absolutely great idea and I am sure one of our helpful mods would be more than happy to sticky it for us.
  7. BadWolf

    BadWolf Member

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    Aug 11, 2012
    Play along with an iPod. Try to pick out chords to train your ear and go from there.
  8. notjoeaverage

    notjoeaverage Senior Member

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    Apr 7, 2012

    This is one of the most important tools to learn how to play songs.

    You need to learn "how" to play songs before you can play any song.

    Songs are made up of a progression of chords, the most popular chord progression in Rock and Blues is I-IV-V the Grey shaded columns in the chart. The Yellow column gives you the Key of the progression. So the first chord in a song normally signifies what Key the song is in.

    Practice one Key at a time, play each chord for one measure until you can change through each chord and keep a constent strum pattern without looking at the neck while playing. Then move on to the next key and repeat until you heve finished the chart.

    This practice can be put to good use immediately by playing Basic 12 Bar Blues, I Chord for 4 Bars, IV Chord for 2 Bars, I Chord for 2 Bars, V Chord for 2 Bars, I Chord for 2 Bars. Repeat that pattern a couple times and you have played your first song start to finish. You can play it in any key and add your own words and record it.

    Other progressions that work

    3 chord are I-V-IV and i-VII-VI.

    4 chord I-vi-IV-V, I-V-vi-IV, vi-IV-I-V

    Once you start to play a few progressions you'll start recognizing songs. It is best in my opinion to start with the simple strummers first when you wnat to learn how to play songs. The usual classic rock tunes you sing around a campfire/bonfire. Songs that have the same 3 or 4 chords all the way through with the same strum pattern. Once you can play a bunch of those you will have some confidence and more of the skills needed to move on to more complicated songs that have more than one strum pattern.

    You have to set realistic goals and don't reach too far too fast. Have a plan to help you reach your goal and identify the techniques you'll need to learn to play songs other than strummers. Learn how to pick out a melody on single strings while strumming, learn hammer on and pull offs, sliding and bending. You have to have these skills down cold to be able to play anything other than strummers.

    Sometimes it makes sense to start over just like a golfer having trouble with their swing stop before you have too many bad habits and start fresh from the beginning and build good practice habits and practice what you don't do well not what you're already good at.
    1 person likes this.
  9. Amy Jo

    Amy Jo Junior Member

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    Sep 3, 2012
    Both of these are in standard tuning:

    "My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison (this is without the capo, but if you want to use one to match the recording, put it on the 2nd fret) is Em, A Maj, D Maj, Bm, B7, then it changes key and you play the same thing up 2 frets. Try youtubing this.

    "Seasons of Wither" by Aerosmith. You can find accurate tab in the Hal Leonard "Guitar Recorded Versions" book for Aerosmith's album "O Yeah! Ultimate Hits". There is some slow, easy finger picking, and only 4 other chords, I think. It's a fun song to play, too. Good luck! :wave:

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