Guitar is a popular instrument that can be a joy to learn. Easy songs make for the best way to practice and dominate the instrument, in a way that is really quick and fun. After all, the best way to learn to play the guitar is to turn into the songs that you really enjoy and practice them.
But playing the songs your enjoy is not all there is to it. You have also to make sure that these songs match your skills, and that you will be able to use them to improve your current knowledge.
Difficult and Easy Songs
For example, if you use a song that is too hard for you or not well known, this can become a problem, instead of an advantage. There is nothing worse than spending several hours playing something that you really don’t enjoy.
At the same time, there are songs that are definitely easy and can be played without any problems. However, many of these songs will not make you improve as a musician and guitar player. They may be nice to spend time, or even play with other friends, but if you spend all your time playing songs that are too easy, then you will be missing in the skills that are most important to play songs that are just a little more complex.
Finding the Right Songs
So it becomes important to determine what songs would make a good exercise and practice them diligently. These are songs that should be part of your daily schedule of guitar exercises. Here are a few tips and resources that will help you to uncover songs that can help you to become a guitar pro in little time.
1. Find Songs with a Mix of Chords
First, a good practice song has to contain enough chords to make it challenging. Many songs are so easy, that just two or three chords are enough to play it. This is the kind of song that will not help you improve.
Your songs should have at least three or more chords. Also, among them there should be some that are a little bit unusual to your. For example, if you already mastered songs in the key of E, you should start with other keys, for example F. Then you would be able to practice a few chords that you’re not used to.
A good resource a have found to get songs with a good mix of chords is getting a book with well arranged songs. In my research, I found two books with a very good combination of songs that have helped me to learn:
- First 50 songs for guitar: this is a collection that has an extensive selection of medium to easy songs that have helped me and my students to play good guitar chords.
- Cocktail Guitar: An Essential Anthology of Solo Guitar Arrangements: this is a more advanced book, so it will help you to get from medium to more complex chords and songs. It has been really powerful for me to go through these collections of songs.
2. Find Songs with Good Rhythms
Rhythm variety is another thing that you should strive for. After all, having your songs filling patterns that are a little more complicated may help your find a balance, and this will result in a more useful practice session. Also, by choosing variety, you will be able to get a better musical vocabulary to use in other songs.
This is the type of little improvements that, combined, can make a huge difference in how your play the guitar. You can notice this difference in a few weeks of months of study. You will listen the difference as you become a better guitar player.
For rhythm learning, my approach has been to get as much material to practice as possible. I have been able to find these from published books as well as from material found in the internet. Both sources may serve you, so here are two good sources of information about different books that I consult almost daily when practicing the guitar:
- Progressive Rhythm GuitarProgressive Rhythm Guitar: this is a very good book that I used to learn rhythm guitar.
- Adult guitar lessons: I use this web-based resource to find rhythm lessons. I have found this to be a cheap source of basic and more advanced lessons, which I can use daily to improve my skills.
3. Listen to varied songs
One problem plaguing many would-be musicians is the idea of learning only one style of music. Of course, like anyone else, there are always type of music that we like more than others. However, to progress as a musician you need to be open to learn as many styles and genera of music as possible.
By listening and leaning varied songs, you will be more prepared to play different things. Remember that music starts in your head and then becomes something you can play. You’ll never play guitar well if you don’t spend some time listening to a large variety of songs.
Like anything else these days, the web is full of resources that you can use to listen to good music. You’ll find all kinds of sources, but here is the one that I use and recommend:
- Amazon music unlimited: This allows you to listen to any music, for any instrument, during any time you want. My main use for this is to play the song and get the chords by ear. If is just a small fee per month that gives you a LOT of music that you can play along.