CMC here, kids. How’s it goin? Ready to check out the latest? OK, dive in! Let’s get busy with How to play Guitar songs.
First off, this is kind of a loaded question, with more than a few answers, schools and theories. Lot’s of people will have opinions on this. You can take a strictly academic approach. Or, you can take a loose, casual approach. Either way, as I’ve been saying over and over, you’ll have to practice. You’ll have to devote some time to this. You need to make a commitment to this if you want to become accomplished, respected or even paid. But as I’ve also made clear many times, it’s OK if you just want to strum a few chords. The guitar is what you want it to be. It can be a rocket to fame if you’ve got mad skills, passion, time, money and connections. Or it can just be a way to strum a few folk tunes with three chord progressions. No worries, whatever you decide, you’ll get out of it what you put into it.
But let’s take this slow and step by step for you newbies.
- First off, learn to HOLD the guitar properly. Make sure you’re comfortable and it’s best to sit until you can rock out with a low slung shoulder strap. Find a comfortable place. For me, I knew I was in for the long haul, so I made myself as comfortable as I could get: my bed, my couch, a plush chair. But that may not be you. Maybe you prefer something more rigid. Whatever it takes but find your “spot.” Next, make sure you’re gripping the neck properly. This is HUGE and one reason so many people find it so difficult to play: REACH. Reach around the neck so that you are giving full access to your chord playing hand. don’t be afraid to hold the neck up high enough to see what you’re doing, either. Never worry about looking cool. Always focus on results. This thing is not going to be the easiest thing you’ve ever done in your life. So don’t make it any harder with lame choices.
- Make sure you are IN TUNE. Learn to tune a guitar by ear. This is ALWAYS STEP A. There’s nothing worse than playing an out of tune guitar. Yes, you could buy a tuner and they are awesome. I never did. I wanted to develop my ear. That’s up to you. Doing both is not a bad idea. Start by tuning by ear. Then test it. See how close you can get to perfect pitch. I like to tune with harmonics or open strings but you should eventually be able to do both. More on that in another article.
- Start off with some EASY SONGS. Simple three chord progressions are what most of us started with. Try some basic simple stuff like Smoke on the Water or some Blues.
- Don’t be afraid to tackle the harder stuff. Move on up to Stairway to Heaven- like songs that combine intricate picking and chords.
- Don’t ever get discouraged. Fight the blues even as you play the blues. So you’re not Jimmy Page, yet, after a few weeks. Who cares? Keep on Truckin. Stay in the game. Eventually you’ll get it.