One of the greatest advantages of playing guitar is the large amount of material available to play. It is easy to find all kinds of music that you can play on the guitar: rock, pop, ballads, jazz, you choose it. In this article you’ll understand how to learn guitar faster.
With all this kind of material written for the instrument, it is sometimes difficult to decide how to begin the exploration of all this amount of music.
How can someone decide what is the best way to lean to play the guitar? Should one start with simple folk songs, or it is better to use more modern music?
These are the kinds of questions that beginners consider when thinking about music on guitar. However, there are simple ways to achieve your goals, if you spend enough time practicing. Here are a few tips that you can follow.
1. Using Lyrics and Chords to Learn Songs
One of the secrets to learn guitar fast is to start using guitar lyrics and chords in a combination. A lot of written material for guitar includes the lyrics for popular songs. Sometimes this doesn’t happen for copyright reasons (since independent publishers may not have permission to include lyrics), but many songbooks will display the lyrics too.
Having the lyrics and chords in the same page is a powerful method of learning. The best thing about combining both chords and lyrics is that you can have a better idea of when the chords change. For a beginner, this is a very important indication. Also, you can improve your sense of music orientation, by looking at exactly where in the song certain chords will change.
Remember that you can make a lot of progress by using smart techniques. Combining chords and lyrics is one of the ways that you can improve your practice.
2. Use Rhythm as an Indication
Another powerful indication that you can use to learn songs fast is the rhythm of the song. Sometimes, when people start to learn a new song, they’re so concerned about the chords and notes that they forget to use one of the most important parts of any song: the rhythm.
Using the rhythm can help you make better sense of changes, moments when you need to use a different chord, or simply make your song more lively.
Many songs will have a clear rhythm that can be used directly. Other songs may work with different rhythms, and you can choose the one that works best for you. In any case, you need to determine the exact rhythm to follow in your interpretation, and use it.
3. Simplify Chords if Needed
Another tip to learn songs faster is to simplify and substitute chords when needed. If you’re unsure about a particular chord in a song, you can always make a substitution for a simpler chord.
For example, if the song has an Am7 chord, you can play Am instead, so you don’t need to worry about a particular chord shape that you’re not familiar with. As you improve, you will be able to use more and more complex chords if needed, but then you’ll have already learned the song without major effort.
Pro tip: you can learn thousands of songs using a simple video-based course that is used by lots of guitar players, including my students. The Advancing Guitarist will guide you to learn songs from sheet music as well as by ear.